A lonely giant in another world... with canned food though
A crack at the bottom of the sea is discovered by Mark and his crew at the Foundation For Oceanic Research and it’s slowly draining the ocean. Mark rescues a diver (Ted Neely from “Jesus Christ Superstar”) who seems to have come from the crack and he, reluctantly, informs them that it leads to another world.
Interesting premise and a rather fun episode. It’s played out in silly fashion though. Turns out that this other world has one inhabitant; a Giant named Thark (Abdul Jabbar) and he’s doing some mining work and a lot of gold is unearthed. It’s implied that there’s nothing there, no people or nothing’, yet this Giant (just Jabbar’s natural size, though) has canned food and some bottles in his shack; oh well, I guess he regularly visits our domain and trades some of his gold for food and drinks (and snatches some clothes too).
But logic is not the main reason why we watch “Man From Atlantis”, now is it? This is all rather fun as Mark gets to know Muldoon (Neely), essentially a conman and thief, and appeals to his conscience and enlists help from him in rescuing our planet. Neely is appealing in his role and there’s a pretty funny scene here when he’s trying to cheat Mark out of his Oceanic Research jacket in a card game. Muldoon even lands Mark in a bar fight! Give the writers credit for squeezing that in.
Unfortunately; Abdul Jabbar seems to be as bad in acting as he is good with a basketball. He can’t even keep a straight face. But still he’s oddly likable as (as it turns out) a pretty friendly giant. Here’s another thing that’s becoming a stable with the series; there are no villains here. Sure Schubert is essentially evil (I’m relieved at his absence, at last) but he’s mostly played for laughs and he has no menacing presence. The Giant here has no idea he’s doing any harm and once he realizes it; he helps Mark rectify things.
“Man From Atlantis” is, as said in previous reviews, a somewhat charming TV relic. Idea wise; it’s all over the place and Mark’s adventures, though pretty imaginative, are fairly outlandish and due to (probably) low budgets not too well realized. Almost always the climax is underwhelming and the absence of any real villains is a miss.
The show nevertheless scored a real winner with Duffy who’s absolutely terrific in the lead.