Namor Didn’t Lose A ’70s TV Series To The Man From Atlantis

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In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, find out if Namor lost a 1970s TV series because man from atlantis beat the concept


Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and seventy-third episode where we take a look at three comic book legends and determine if they are true or false. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three captions. Future FEW installments will all center on Namor, honoring the historic Marvel character making his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

NOTE: If my twitter page reached 5,000 subscribers, I’ll be doing a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Good deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

COMIC CAPTION:

Namor lost a 1970s TV series because man from atlantis beat in the market with a similar concept.

STATUS:

I go with false

This caption is fun, because it ties into things longtime captions readers are familiar with, while at the same time ties into something longtime comic book readers are very used to (it’s very different nowadays).

RELATED: How Roy Thomas Used an Old Comic Swipe to Solve a Namor Story


WHAT IS THE MAN OF ATLANTIS?

In March 1977, a TV movie titled man from atlantis has been freed. It starred Patrick Duffy as a man found unconscious near a naval base. When he wakes up, he has amnesia. He also has webbed hands and gills and possesses superhuman powers like super strength, super speed, and can breathe underwater. He is cared for by Doctor Elizabeth Merrill (Belinda Montgomery) and she names him Mark Harris. After going on a mission to somehow repay the government for saving his life, he intends to return to the ocean, but can’t part ways with Merrill (plus the whole “Not Knowing If It Happened”). there is an Atlantis to return to because of the “amnesia” agreement. So he leaves to work for the Foundation for Ocean Research. The film was a success, and it was followed by three more TV movies in May and June, and finally, NBC launched a television series based on the films.

man-from-atlantis

The series was short-lived, lasting only the initial order of 13 episodes (and the final two episodes aired in the summer after the show was pulled from the schedule in December).

While I’m sure he was upset about the show’s cancellation, it turned out to be really good news for Duffy, as he was then hired to do a new show called Dallas. It worked well for him. Fun fact, for a show very similar to Namor, Marvel actually did a comic book adaptation of the series!

man-from-atlantis-comic-book

Alright, let’s get to the legend at hand. If you go to Namor’s Wikipedia page, there’s a passage that says, “In the 1970s, a Sub-Mariner television pilot was announced, but never filmed due to similarity to the short-lived Man from Atlantis.”

Is it true?

RELATED: An Iconic Namor/Daredevil Fight Was Almost the Start of a New Sub Series

DID THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS SMOKE A NAMOR TV SERIES?

That’s the thing that I mentioned at the beginning of the article, which is a standard thing that longtime legend readers are used to, which is the concept of Ouroboros Linking, where websites are all linked to each other on a topic without anyone actually having a good source. They are simply linked to each other and these links somehow become the buttress of the “fact” itself. You know, like, “Well, if AW websites say it’s true, I guess it’s true,” although they all rely on a weak initial link. I just wrote about how it led to a false caption this year regarding CBS shows.

Wikipedia cites an article that just repeats the fact without any source. So let’s see how believable this story is if there is no real source on the subject.

By now, longtime comic book readers are used to this recurring thing where Marvel Comics Bullpen newsletters would regularly announce new adaptations of Marvel Comics film or TV projects that never actually happen. There would be these things ALL THE TIME. And almost none of them ever became a reality.

In 1977, Universal Television entered into an agreement with Marvel to develop programs based on a number of Marvel characters. One of them, Incredible Hulk, proved to be a major hit as a TV series, while two others, Doctor Strange and Captain America, only ended up in TV movies (one for Strange, two for Cap). Two other heroes, Human Torch and Namor, never even got a TV movie.

However, a Namor project was promoted in Marvel comics in April 1978, with Universal’s Pontoon and strange doctor projects (as well as an independent Spider-Man TV show that had been part of a different licensing deal)…

marvel_bullpen

As I noted earlier, man from atlantis had already been essentially canceled in December 1977, and yet in April 1978 there were still hopes for a Namor TV special. I don’t know why the project fell apart, but projects fall apart for SO many reasons. I just don’t think there’s any evidence that man from atlantis actually had an impact on the series because it was developed while that other show was on the air and continued to be promoted after that other show was canceled, so whatever the reason the namor tv show is not born i don’t think there’s a reason to link man from atlantis at all.

It’s fair to say I don’t know for ABSOLUTE that there was no connection, which is why I’m not putting a definitive “False” on this one, but it still seems pretty obvious.

SOME MORE LEGENDS OF ENTERTAINMENT!

Check out some entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Did Oprah Winfrey get her name from a typo on a birth certificate?

2. Are all Pulp Fiction watches really set to 4:20?

3. Did Michael Jackson actually sing during his Simpsons appearance?

4. Does the band name Stone Temple Pilots represent something much more obscene?

PART TWO COMING SOON!

Check back soon for part 2 of the legends of this episode!

Feel free to send me suggestions for future comic legends at [email protected] or [email protected]


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