Glen A. Larson, 1937–2014


Could’ve left it right there. Although I have to admit I never watched Manimal, so, for all I know, it could have been one of those gems that was axed before it could find an audience.

I watched it. “Gem” is not a word I’d use to describe it.

“Let’s resolve every single episode by having the stiff British guy morph into one of the three animals we filmed the special effects for.” You could probably get a drinking game out of spotting the re-used footage. Marvelously cheese-tastic.


That was true of Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider too. There was maybe a grand total of two minutes’ worth of space battle footage, and every time that Pontiac rolled out the back of the moving semi it seemed to be crossing the same barren stretch of highway. Special Effects used to be expensive.


No mention of Automan? Buck Rogers? Galactica 1980? (Barry Van Dyke! Almost as good as a replacement for Dirk Benedict as he was for Jan-Michael Vincent in Airwolf…)

Also, more credibly, Alias Smith and Jones and Quincy.

And as I noted elsewhere, Will Ferrell is apparently working on a Manimal movie…

Wasn’t part of the reason Battlestar Galactica was cancelled was because even with the endless reuse of shots it was ruinously expensive?

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Buck Rogers! I loved that show. I liked the more serious tone of the second season more than the first, but felt the whole series was more than a little tongue-in-cheek. I just never could get over feeling like Gil Gerard was like a younger Adam West.

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I didn’t see it, but I think the network knew what they had on their hands. I remember when it first aired, the president or prog. director at NBC (Tinker? Tartikoff?) was a guest on SNL. They had him out in the street, going from one car to another, asking people to please watch Manimal.


Somewhere there must be an animated GIF of Gil Gerard making the dance move, but I haven’t found it.

I liked Manimal. But I was twelve.

Larson came up with a whole lot of my favorite childhood entertainments, buckets-o-cheese though they may have been.

I mourn.

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