MAN FROM ATLANTIS (1977)
Article 4464 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Lee H. Katzin
Featuring Patrick Duffy, Belinda Montgomery, Dean Santoro
What it is: Science fiction TV pilot
When an amphibious man is found washed up on the shore, the military takes control of him and makes his existence a national secret. He is then sent out on his first mission: to locate a submarine that has gone missing.
I’ve already seen other episodes of the “Man from Atlantis” TV series; this, the pilot episode, is easily the best of what I’ve seen so far. Part of the reason is that the script is much stronger than the ones I’ve seen in the other entries of the series, particularly during the opening scenes of the movie. The other reason is the appearance of Victor Buono as the villain in the second half of the movie. Now, I’ve seen Buono as a villain many times, but his performance of Mr. Schubert here as a man brimming with folksy affability is a brilliant move; based on this performance alone, his character has catapulted to my list of all-time favorite TV villains. My other feelings about elements of the series remain the same; Patrick Duffy is much more interesting under the water than he is on dry land, and the show in general handles the underwater scenes very well.