Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 3, Episode 13

Background

This is the final episode of the series. Given the streak of poor quality/cheap rehashes that they refer to as episodes, my expectations for this are pretty low. Let's get this started.

Story 'Trip to Tomorrow'

  Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 3, Episode 13
Summary: First Aired Jun 14th 1970 (full-length episode)

While Web-swinging around town, Spider-Man approaches a train yard. His web is severed by a bolt of lightning, causing him to fall into a railway car. This car is occupied by a small boy intent on running away from home. He asks if Spider-Man can teach him how to be a crime-fighter like him.

Spider-Man then tells him three separate stories illustrating some of the things he'd have to do if he wants to become a crime-fighter.

  • Defeat a much more powerful enemy. In this case the Martian god Volton. (Shown in "Thunder Rumble")
  • Confronting legends. Mysterio's plan to smuggle in a shipment of gold by bringing the legend of the Flying Dutchman to life. (Shown in "Return of the Flying Dutchman")
  • Go to weird places and fight for your life. The evil sorcerer Kotep returns to conquer the world (Shown in "The Evil Sorcerer").

As the train begins to leave, the boy jumps out of the car, convinced that he's just not ready to be a super-hero just yet - or ready to leave home. Spider-Man leaves as well, thankful that he was able to change the kid's mind.

General Comments

If this was supposed to be a greatest bits episode, you would think that they could have chosen better episodes than "The Evil Sorcerer" and "Thunder Rumble". Those aren't particularly good episodes nor are they representative of any of Spider-Man's normal rogues' gallery.

Personally I would have used all episodes from season 1. They probably selected those two for time constraint reasons. However, since coherency isn't a major concern for them, I would have used clips from the following episodes:

  • The Terrible Triumph of Dr. Octopus
  • Captured By J.Jonah Jameson
  • Electro the Human Lightning Bolt
  • To Catch a Spider
  • Trick or Treachery

Content from those episodes could have been worked in and been more entertaining than "Sorcerer" and "Rumble".

Overall Rating

1 web. I'll give them a break since they finally came up with justification for reusing footage. Since I only enjoyed 1 of the 3 flashbacks to begin with, I wasn't too happy to see them again.

I think they missed a real opportunity to have Spider-Man speak to kids directly and tell them that what he does is dangerous, running away from home isn't always a good idea, etc. They could have easily worked some moral into this if they wanted to do so. They didn't have to harp on it, but just mention it in passing and go on.

Footnote

Closing Thoughts

No grand finale episode, just a clip show. It's disappointing that they couldn't go out with a major villain or at least something new. Not recycled-new, I mean new-new. They had to have saved enough money over the majority of this season to allow them to do one good farewell episode. Alas that was not the case.

Overall had they just kept the plots simple and Spider-Man in New York, the show would have done much better. Going into strange dimensions or underground or to the jungle just doesn't work for the character. I will admit, I am curious what they would have been able to do with a bigger budget. That is presumably the reason they went cheap on so many episodes. I'm not 100% convinced on that. Bear in mind, I'm of the mindset that if you can't do it right, don't bother doing it at all.

Believe it or not, I have enjoyed reviewing the episodes for this series. Despite some very odd stories, excessive/odd use of stock footage, recycled episodes, and everything else that went with it. This was the first series to showcase Spider-Man, proving that he was a comic powerhouse even though he had been in existence for five years. When the opportunity to do this came about, I volunteered for a several reasons.

One of which was to actually watch all of these episodes, something that I have never done. I watched this series as a kid and have some good memories of the show. Many of these memories are tied to Hostess Cupcakes, but that's another problem. I was at the (lack of) mercy of the television programmers. Whatever they wanted to show is what I could see.

Another reason is that I wanted to try a different approach for reviewing. I try to be objective when I do the reviews, but at times, the sarcastic commentary does pop up. Usually those comments are expressed verbally and forgotten days later. Anyone that has actually seen even one of these episodes knows that this is budget animation with attitudes-of-the-times on display. In other words we all know how flawed this series can be. For reasons I won't divulge, I needed an area where I can be as acerbic as possible. Doing the reviews for this series in this manner seemed like a good idea.

Overall the series is worth watching once for the sake of nostalgia. I would use these reviews as a general guide to point out which ones you should avoid. Most of the episodes you have to take with the proverbial grain of salt because they are dated and limited to the content allowed at the time.