Spider-Man television series

Spider-Man television series

Spider-Man has appeared on television numerous times, in both live-action and animated television programs.

The series

"Spider-Man" - 1967 animated series

The first animated series was simply titled "Spider-Man", and ran on ABC from 1967 to 1970. The show's first season was produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation, which soon went bankrupt. In 1968, animator Ralph Bakshi took over. Bakshi's episodes, which suffered from extremely low budgets, were stylized and featured dark ominous settings and pervasive background music. One episode reused complete background animation, characters, and storyline from an episode of "Rocket Robin Hood". The series may be best remembered for its theme song. The background underscore is wildly popular in many circles, and a cult of fans have devoted a great deal of time to unearthing the whereabouts of the hard to find background music and exposing its virtues. [http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/01/swinging_or_non.html] Spider-Man was voiced by Paul Soles. [http://www.spiderfan.org/shows/tv_60s/index.html]

Spider-Man also made two guest appearances in the Spider-Woman animated series, where he was also voiced by Soles.

"The Electric Company - Spidey Super Stories"

Spider-Man was also an occasional character in the 1970s children's educational show "The Electric Company" which presented brief tales using a combination of animation and live action called the "Spidey Super Stories". In addition, in the educational spirit of the series, Spider-Man (portrayed by Danny Seagren) communicates only in word balloons for the viewer to read. Comic book adaptations of these stories were included in a companion kids-oriented comic book, "Spidey Super Stories", published by Marvel. [http://www.spiderfan.org/shows/tv_electric_co/index.html]

"The Amazing Spider-Man" - 1977 live-action TV series and overseas films

In 1977, a short-lived live action television series was produced called "The Amazing Spider-Man", starring Nicholas Hammond in the title role. Although the series earned good ratings, fans complained about its low-budget production values and its writing, which neither followed the comics' spirit nor provided adventures that were distinctively appropriate for the character. It also suffered from a sporadic broadcast schedule. The CBS Television Network cancelled it, along with "Wonder Woman", to avoid being called "the superhero network." Several episodes from this series were released as full-length motion pictures outside the U.S. Three movies were released overseas, including "Spider-Man" (the original TV-movie pilot from 1976), "Spider-Man Strikes Back" (1978), and "The Dragon's Challenge" (1979).

"Spider-Man" - 1978 tokusatsu series

In 1978, a "Spider-Man" live-action tokusatsu series was produced for Japanese television by Toei Company. Due to a request by Bandai that the show include giant robots and vehicles, it was not a faithful adaptation. Instead of Peter Parker, Spider-Man is nihongo|Takuya Yamashiro|山城拓也|Yamashiro Takuya. It was not related to the from 1970. This show is notable for introducing the convention to use human controlled mecha or 'Giant Robot' to battle other giants, and was a predecessor of the Super Sentai series, adapted to English as Power Rangers.

"Spider-Man" - 1981 animated series

In 1981, with the creation of the animation studio Marvel Productions Ltd., Marvel endeavored to translate more of their comic characters to television. To garner the attention of the major networks, Marvel first created a new syndicated Spider-Man cartoon that was partially based on the old 1960s show. The strategy worked, and NBC became interested in having their own Spider-Man cartoon.

"Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" - 1981 animated series

Towards this end the cartoon series "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" was created for NBC featuring Spider-Man, Iceman of the X-Men, and a new character, Firestar. Actor Dan Gilvezan gave voice to this incarnation of the wall-crawler. This series also featured a number of Marvel guest stars, and shared many of its character designs with the solo Spider-Man show produced just before it.

"Spider-Man" - 1994 animated series

The 1994, Spider-Man animated series was made for the Fox Network, (to accompany their X-Men series) with Christopher Daniel Barnes providing the webslinger's voice. This series had a bigger budget and used a novel system of one large story arc per season developed by John Semper. As a result each of the individual 65 episodes (starting with Season 2) were called "chapters." This series more closely reflected the comic book as it focused on the personal conflict Peter Parker felt as Spider-Man, instead of following the action-oriented shows that preceded it. This was the longest Spider-Man series, with 65 episodes in five seasons. [http://www.spiderfan.org/shows/tv_90s/index.html]

"Spider-Man Unlimited" - 1999 animated series

In 1999, an animated series named "Spider-Man Unlimited" was developed for Fox (intended to be an Expanded Universe final season of the 1994 show) in which Spider-Man is transported to an animated Counter-Earth inspired by the one created by the High Evolutionary in early 1970s comics. This series was cancelled after one season. Here Spidey was voiced by Rino Romano. [http://www.spiderfan.org/shows/tv_unlimited/index.html]

"Spider-Man: The New Animated Series" - 2003 animated series

In 2003, another television series adaptation, "Spider-Man: The New Animated Series" this time using computer animation was produced by Mainframe Entertainment for Sony Pictures Television and broadcast on MTV; it featured characters and continuity from the 2002 "Spider-Man" film, as well as the character Kingpin as depicted in the "Daredevil" movie. This series lasted 13 episodes. Spider-Man was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.

"The Spectacular Spider-Man" - 2008 animated series

This television series bridges the first few years of Amazing Spider-man and Brian Michael Bendis' Ultimate Spider-man. Peter Parker is a teenager living in contemporary New York, as in Bendis' Ultimate version, but he dates his best friend Gwen Stacey, as in the original Amazing Spider-man comics, and Mary-Jane Watson is "just a friend" who isn't interested in dating him, at least not exclusively. Many of Peter's original supporting cast, including Flash Thompson, have been translated into modern terms. Especially interesting is the fact that at least some of Parker's former supporting cast members are now people of colour. Liz Allen is Latina and Ned Lee (formerly "Leeds) is Korean. This reflects the tendency in Marvel's Ultimate line to introduce more diversity by altering existing characters (e.g., Nick Fury is Black, Colossus is gay, etc.). Their attempt to replicate J.K. Simmons' masterfully obnoxious performance as J. Jonah Jameson has not thus far been as successful, perhaps because it's a bit too derivative. The first season follows several different plot arc familiar to long-time Spider-man readers: Venom's creation and his complex relationship Eddie Brock (retconned into the early part of Spider-man's career), his budding romance with Gwen Stacey, and the first appearance of the Green Goblin. The series has aired 1 season so far (13 episodes), and a second season has been ordered.

External links

* [http://video.aol.com/video-category/spider-man/2426 Full episodes of Spider-Man free at AOL Video]


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