Like a mystic summons to Dr. Strange the call has been sent out. Once again it is time for the myriad blogs relating to comics to join forces. The Super-Blog Team Up is here to educate and entertain the masses. This go around the subject is…Magic!
Dr. Strange is set to hit theaters this Friday, November 4th. For the most part it is Marvel’s salvo in opening wide the doors of a barrier they have kept closed. Chiefly the realms of Magic and their practitioners in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I realize that without having seen Dr. Strange for myself yet – my statement might be incorrect. They may in fact present a different way to look at magic from the comic books. For one thing, I would point out they followed that very path in Thor from 2011.
[Via] Marvel Grimm Girl
However if Marvel is indeed delivering movie goers their first glimpse of how magic works. I think they totally have chosen the right character to help make those introductions. Namely Dr. Stephen Victor Strange…the Sorcerer Supreme!
I am willing to bet honest money that Benedict Cumberbatch will be absolutely smashing as Stephen Strange. By and large I do realize that is a given. I also know it’s not a great secret but we shouldn’t forget that Benedict is not the first actor to portray Strange in a live action film.
How Peter Hooten became Dr. Strange!
In 1978, thanks to the popularity of CBS’ The Incredible Hulk television series. Producer Philip DeGuere was given the go ahead to create a TV movie pilot for the Sorcerer Supreme. I think it’s pretty evident that DeGuere was a fan of the character as he wrote and directed the film.
Of course he based the premise on the character created by Stan Lee and artist extraordinaire Steve Ditko. Strange made his first appearance fittingly enough in Strange Tales #110 which was published in July of 1963. In fact Lee has gone on record giving the lion’s share of credit to Strange’s creation to Ditko. However the writer has also pointed out the character’s flowery speech was due to the early 30s old time radio series Chandu the Magician.
Not to mention that Stan Lee served as a consultant on the 1978 film.
So what is the movie about?
In a nutshell the 1978 Dr. Strange introduces our protagonist who is now a successful psychiatrist instead of a surgeon. Strange (Peter Hooten) finds his world-view expanded when he becomes embroiled in ages old battle between good and evil. The Nameless One has tasked Morgan Le Fay (Jessica Walters) to destroy the current Sorcerer Supreme, Lindmer (John Mills). To accomplish this Morgan possesses Clea Lake (Eddie Benton) who attacks Lindmer but is unsuccessful in her attempt to kill the older man. Being Sorcerer Supreme has its advantages to be sure – not the least being able to call on his good friend and aide Wong (Clyde Kusatsu) to help heal him.
Clea though is having horrible psychic trauma from having been possessed. Which is how she becomes a patient to Dr. Stephen Strange. Lindmer contacts the young man and gives rather cryptic advice that medicine along won’t be able to cure Clea. Having exhausted all of his talents he decides to pat a visit to Lindmer. Which is how Strange learns he is destined to protect the Earth from numerous threats originating from places of darkness.
[Via] Video Detective
So how did the pilot do in the ratings?
I hate to say that it didn’t do well. At all. Perhaps the re-runs of the hugely popular Roots mini-series on ABC had something to do with it. At the same time the audiences of the day probably weren’t ready for the subject matter of Dr. Strange. Which is truly a shame because while it most certainly has that 70’s cheese it is well acted, well written, and quite frankly a lot of fun.
I might be in the minority with that viewpoint but at least you can find out for yourself. As it was released on DVD the other day – from our friends at Shout! Factory.
I want to point out that the release has been remastered from the original film elements!
By the eye of Agamotto! Make sure to check out the other SBTU contributors as well!
LongBox Graveyard: Doctor Strange vs. Dracula
DC In The 80s: Examining The Immortal Doctor Fate (1985)
Between The Pages: The Wondrous Worlds of Doctor Strange
Crapbox Son Of Cthulhu: The Makings of a Sorcerer Supreme: Optimism and Sacrifice
The Daily Rios: Amalgam Dr Fate / Dr Strange
Chris Is On Infinite Earths Blog: Batman Visits the Sanctum Sanctorum
The Unspoken Decade: Nighttime Sunburn: Rise Of The Midnight Sons
Coffee and Comics Blog: Review: Doctor Strange #84
The Superhero Satellite: Strange Magic