Manimal (The 80’s TV Series)

Today at work while joking about something, the idea of morphing images came up (ok we’re geeks!), and somewhere in the back of my head a little thread was launched down memory lane, reminding me of this short-lived TV series called “Manimal”, that I used to watch in my childhood.

The series was about a certain Dr. Jonathan Chase, a shape-shifting man who could turn himself into any animal to fight crime. The role of Jonathan Chase was played by actor Simon McCorkindale.

Only 8 episodes were made of this series before it was axed due to poor ratings, which I thought was a shame.
Of course, those days being the 80’s and it being a TV production, the special effects used were less than spectacular, but still as a child I really enjoyed it and loved the idea of a man who could tranform himself into any animal.

In reality his onscreen transformations were almost always into a black panther or hawk, using the exact same backdrops each time, in order to save on the budget by using the same footage. I remember he also became a snake once, which was a bit weird and left me a bit confused for some reason. In other episodes he also turned into a bull and horse, but the transformations occurred off-screen.

Anyway, it was a nice series, that I was allowed to stay up to watch, and I really enjoyed every episode of it. I think that if given a second chance with today’s technologies, it could work out better and maybe become a hit.
Until that happens, it’ll just have to live on as another little piece of my childhood memories, and the memories of others who watched it.

[More: IMDB, Wikipedia]

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