Spider-Man (1967 TV series)

Spider-Man (1967 TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name = Spider-Man

caption = Spider-Man, as depicted in the 1967 Saturday morning cartoon.
format = Animation, Adventure
runtime = 25 minutes
creator = Stan Lee (comic book),
Steve Ditko (comic book),
Grantray-Lawrence Animation,
Krantz Films, Inc.,
Ralph Bakshi
starring =Paul Soles
country = CAN,
network = ABC flagicon|Canada Family YTV Teletoon
first_aired = 1967 | last_aired = 1970
num_episodes = 52
followed_by = "Spidey Super Stories"
website = http://marvel.toonzone.net/spidey67/
imdb_id = 0061301
tv_com_id = 20083

"Spider-Man" is an animated television series that ran from September 9, 1967 to June 14, 1970. It was jointly produced in Canada (for voice talent) and the United States (for animation) and was the first animated adaptation of the Spider-Man comic book series. It first aired on the ABC television network in the United States but went into syndication at the start of the third season.

It featured the adventures of Marvel Comics' most famous character. Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced the first season. Seasons 2 and 3 were crafted by producer Ralph Bakshi in New York City.

The opening credits depicts a scene of robbers burgling a jewellery store. In the first shot, the sign reads "Fine Jewlery". Then in the next shot, it changes to the correct spelling ("Jewelry", US spelling).

eason 1

The first season of the show dealt primarily with Peter working at the Daily Bugle as a teenage freelance photographer, thereby capturing his relationship with the gruff, demanding J. Jonah Jameson and shyly romancing Betty Brant over the reception desk, while Peter was often being called into action as his crime-fighting alter-ego. Peter's life away from the Bugle's newspaper offices and Aunt May's Forest Hills home were almost never dealt with in these early episodes, and he was also never seen at college -- although he would sometimes visit various professors he clearly knew (such as the opening of "Sub-Zero for Spidey," where he went to see a professor by the name of "Smartyr"). Still, the character design for young Parker was spot-on, combining the conceptualizations of both Steve Ditko (right down to the primary-colored blue suit, white shirt, and red tie) to John Romita Sr., who served as a consultant for the show.

An interesting error on Spider-Man's costume appeared through Season 1. The spider on his costume (both front and back) was depicted with only 6 legs. By Season 2 new drawings of the costume showed an 8 legged spider, but reused footage from Season 1 maintained the error.

Season 1 contained mostly stories involving classic Spider-Man villains from the comic book series, but the Ralph Bakshi helmed Seasons 2 and 3 almost entirely eliminated villains from the comic book, choosing to instead have Spider-Man face generic magical villains and monsters.


Voice talent

The show's acting talent included Bernard Cowan, who was the dialogue director, narrator, and voice of some supporting characters. Paul Soles provided both the light, mild-mannered voice for college student/photographer Peter Parker and the much deeper, heroic tone for Spider-Man. Peg Dixon provided the voice of Betty Brant as well as other various love interests for Peter in later seasons, and Paul Kligman's distinctive, high-pitched voice was utilized on J. Jonah Jameson and several villains. Also appearing [ [http://www.wallopinwebsnappers.com/ Wallopin' Websnappers ] ] were Vern Chapman as Doctor Octopus, Gillie Fenwick as Dr. Smarter, Curt Conners, the Lizard, and the Vulture. Tom Harvey was the voice of Electro and the Sandman. Chris Wiggins was the voice of Mysterio. Carl Banas was the voice of the Scorpion. Len Carlson was the voice of the Green Goblin, Parafino, and one of the Fly brothers (Stan Patterson). Harry Ramer was the voice of Dr. Smythe, Dr. Noah Boddy, and the other Fly brother (Lee Patterson). Ed McNamera was the voice of the Rhino. Billie Mae Richards was Billy Connors and Max Ferguson was the Phantom.


In order to be more cost-effective, given the limited budget for the show, Spider-Man's costume for this series only has webbed areas on his head, arms and boots; the rest of his costume is plain (save for the spiders on his chest and back). Additionally, the series also relied upon stock re-use animation from one episode to the next which included everything from Spider-Man swinging across the New York City skyline, to Peter Parker stripping off his white dress shirt to reveal his supersuit (and putting on his mask) during his hidden transformations into the costumed superhero. Character movement was also kept to a minimum, though there was (arguably) more character movement here than in other Marvel-themed projects, such as "The Marvel Superheroes", the character movement of which once being described as "like a comic book with the mouths moving."

After Grantray-Lawrence went bankrupt, the second and third seasons were produced at a dramatically reduced budget by Krantz Films under Ralph Bakshi. This cost cutting is most apparent in the third season with two episodes re-using almost the entire footage from two "Rocket Robin Hood" episodes as well as remaking previous episodes with minimal changes.

In addition, the episodes adopted a darker tone with darkly colored settings, psychedelic images, and atmospheric music. But where the reduced budget took its toll, Bakshi tried to delve further into Peter Parker's everyday life at college as a soft-spoken student (such as where he tries out for the football team in "Criminals in the Clouds" only to fail miserably, and actually becomes a star pitcher for the baseball team in "Diamond Dust"). Peter's romantic life also began to take shape as he started dating a variety of women who were either are concealing secrets ("Home") or found themselves angrily waiting for him while Spider-Man saved the city from certain destruction ("Swing City"). Bakshi also provided fans with the first-ever origin story for the character ever presented on TV, the aptly-titled "Origin of Spider-Man", which oddly enough used entire chunks of Stan Lee dialogue not from the hero's first appearance in "Amazing Fantasy" #15 (Aug'62) but from a drastically updated retelling in "Spectacular Spider-Man" #1 (Jul'68) entitled "In The Beginning" (which was published only a few months before the episode was aired).

Theme song

The theme song of the show has become a popular standard. The lyrics were written by Academy Award winner Paul Francis Webster, while the music was composed by Bob Harris. The song's opening lines, "Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can," are almost as synonymous with the character as his costume. The 2002 and 2004 film adaptations have featured characters as buskers performing the song; Jayce Bartok and Elyse Dinh respectively. Both films also feature some version of the song at the very end of the credits: the 2002 adaptation featured the original 1967 recording while the 2004 film had a re-recording by Michael Bublé (also featured on the film's soundtrack). 2007's "Spider-Man 3" features a performance of the song by a marching band at a public rally celebrating Spider-Man.

Meanwhile the incidental music from the series, with its jangling surf guitar, groovy brass lines and jazzy scoring, is highly regarded by fans and much sought after by soundtrack collectors. The 1st season featured an original score written by Ray Ellis (who also adapted the Bob Harris theme, in the same way John Barry utilized Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme" in various 007 films, or Nelson Riddle utilized Neil Hefti's "Batman Theme" in addition to new material). The 2nd & 3rd seasons reused the Ellis score while adding a substantial amount of new music taken from KPM Library tracks ("production music") featuring such English composers as Johnny Hawksworth, Syd Dale, David Lindup, Johnny Pearson, Alan Hawkshaw, Johnny Harris and the team of Bill Martin & Phil Coulter.

The series were introduced to the Latin countries on the seventies, but instead of introducing the Spider-Man theme, they input instead a completely new song by composers Erick Bulling & Santiago and performed by Chilean singer El Capitan Nemo. The song was so successful that also a record has been sold highly in Latin America on the 1970s, and most people catch that song as the original main theme, rather than the original English version.

"Rocket Robin Hood" footage

The episodes, "Phantom from the Depths of Time" [http://www.spyder-25.com/60s2.html Spider-Man Season 2 comments] from Spyder-25.com] and "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" were, for a large part, recycled animation from two episodes ("From Menace to Menace" and "Dimentia Five") of an earlier series, "Rocket Robin Hood". [http://www.spyder-25.com/60s3.html Spider-Man Season 3 comments] from Spyder-25.com] Therein, Spider-Man was substituted for Robin Hood on the animation cells.

As well as having two similar episodes to that of "Rocket Robin Hood", Spider-Man featured many vocie actors previously heard on "Rocket Robin Hood," and many of the second season Spider-Man episodes used the former's music cues.

Broadcast schedule

"Spider-Man" was initially broadcast in the U.S. on Saturday mornings on ABC. The first episode that aired was "The Power of Doctor Octopus"/"Sub-Zero For Spidey" on September 9, 1967. For the full run of the first season and of the second season, the show was seen at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. ABC's last Saturday morning broadcast of "Spider-Man" was on August 30, 1969, with 39 half-hour episodes (many with two separate stories) aired. The show went on hiatus until the following March, when a third season began a six-month run, from March 22 to September 6, 1970, on Sunday mornings, at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

In 1977, the series was broadcast abroad, airing in several international markets for the first time. In the case of the Spanish and Italian versions, a completely different theme song was used, dubbed over original footage of the introduction. The song was written by composers Erick Bulling & Santiago and performed by Chilean singer El Capitan Nemo. This song was also released as a vinyl LP single. For the Italian version, the show's title there, "L'uomo Ragno", was superimposed in large yellow type over the first two shots of Spider-Man swinging through the city.

The series has also aired on ABC Family, starting in 2002 as part of the network's Memorial Day weekend-long "Spidey-Mania" marathon, timed to coincide with the release of the feature film. However, it appeared that airings of the show were only limited to said special marathons, as it wouldn't be seen again until a third "Spidey-Mania" marathon (to coincide with the release of "Spider-Man 2") in 2004, the last time it was seen on ABC Family in the US. (The second "Spidey-Mania" marathon, aired in 2003, did not feature this series.) In addition, the show aired on Family in Canada until September 2007 when they took it off to make room for their fall schedule. The show has never aired on the channel since.

The network was notorious for heavily editing footage so it could be more suitable for younger audiences; for example, J. Jonah Jameson's right hand (which usually held the cigar he puffed on) had to be manipulated (and removed altogether in some cases). In one episode, where Jameson originally held his cigar in his hand, he was manipulated to make an "okay" sign.

As of September 1, 2008, the series can be seen (unedited) in Canada on Teletoon Retro.

Episode list

eason 1

*1A - The Power of Dr. Octopus
*1B - Sub-Zero for Spidey
*2A - Where Crawls the Lizard
*2B - Electro the Human Lightning Bolt
*3 - The Menace of Mysterio
*4A - The Sky Is Falling
*4B - Captured by J. Jonah Jameson
*5A - Never Step on a Scorpion
*5B - Sands of Crime
*6A - Diet of Destruction
*6B - The Witching Hour
*7A - Kilowatt Kaper
*7B - The Peril of Parafino
*8 - Horn of the Rhino
*9A - The One-Eyed Idol
*9B - Fifth Avenue Phantom
*10A - The Revenge of Dr. Magneto
*10B - The Sinister Prime Minister
*11A - The Night of the Villains
*11B - Here Comes Trubble
*12A - Spider-Man Meets Dr. Noah Boddy
*12B - The Fantastic Fakir
*13A - Return of The Flying Dutchman
*13B - Farewell Performance
*14A - The Golden Rhino
*14B - Blueprint for Crime
*15A - The Spider and the Fly - In the episodes "The Spider and the Fly" and "Trick or Treachery," the villains (The Fly Twins) are named 'Stan' and 'Lee.' This is an obvious reference to Stan Lee, one of the original creators of Spider-Man.
*15B - The Slippery Dr. Von Schlick
*16A - The Vulture's Prey
*16B - The Dark Terrors
*17A - The Terrible Triumph of Dr. Octopus
*17B - Magic Malice
*18A - Fountain of Terror
*18B - Fiddler on the Loose
*19A - To Catch a Spider
*19B - Double Identity
*20A - Sting of the Scorpion
*20B - Trick or Treachery

eason 2

*21 - The Origin of Spider-Man
*22 - King Pinned
*23 - Swing City
*24 - Criminals in the Clouds
*25 - Menace from the Bottom of the World
*26 - Diamond Dust
*27 - Spider-Man Battles the Molemen
*28 - Phantom from the Depths of Time
*29 - The Evil Sorcerer
*30 - Vine
*31 - Pardo Presents
*32 - Cloud City of Gold
*33 - Neptune's Nose Cone
*34 - Home
*35 - Blotto
*36 - Thunder Rumble
*37 - Spider-Man Meets Skyboy
*38 - Cold Storage
*39 - To Cage a Spider

eason 3

*40A - The Winged Thing
*40B - Connor's Reptiles
*41A - Trouble with Snow
*41B - Spider-Man Vs. Desparado
*42A - Sky Harbor
*42B - The Big Brainwasher
*43A - The Vanishing Dr. Vespasian
*43B - Scourge of the Scarf
*44A - Super Swami
*44B - The Birth of Micro Man
*45A - Knight Must Fall
*45B - The Devious Dr. Dumpty
*46 - Up From Nowhere
*47 - Rollarama
*48A - Rhino
*48B - The Madness of Mysterio
*49 - Revolt in the Fifth Dimension1
*50 - Specialists and Slaves
*51 - Down to Earth
*52 - Trip to Tomorrow1ABC did not air Revolt in the Fifth Dimension episode with the rest of the third season possibly because of the incidence of death, spatial creepiness, and great psychedelia in that episode Fact|date=April 2007. ABC aired Sting of the Scorpion/Trick or Treachery in its place.


* Paul Soles - Peter Parker/Spider-Man - Both Paul Kligman and Paul Soles made appearances on the Canadian comedy show Wayne & Shuster in the 1970s and 1980s, Kligman being the more popular one.
* Peg Dixon - Betty Brant
* Bernard Cowan - Narrator, Dr. Matto Magneto, Plutonian Leader
* Paul Kligman - J. Jonah Jameson
* Carl Banas - Scorpion, Dr. Banas
* Len Carlson - Green Goblin, Parafino, Stan Patterson/Human Fly, Bolton, Captain Ned Stacy
* Vernon Chapman - Doctor Octopus
* Gillie Fenwick - Dr. Curt Connors/Lizard, Vulture, Pardo, Plotter, Professor Smartyr
* Max Ferguson - Fifth Avenue Phanton, Executioner of Paris
* Tom Harvey - Electro, Sandman, Baron Von Rantenraven, Dr. Atlantean, Dr. Stillwell, Master Vine, Mugs Riley
* Ed McNamera - Rhino, Blackbeard, Vulcan
* Henry Ramer - Dr. Noah Boddy, Grandini the Mystic, Henry Smythe, Lee Patterson/Human Fly
* Billie Mae Richards - Billy Connors
* Chris Wiggins - Mysterio, Blackwell the Magician, Boomer, Harley Clivendon, Infinata

VHS release

Various episodes were released on VHS videotape though out the 1980s and 1990s, usually compiled with other Marvel Comics based characters' cartoons also.

DVD release

On June 29, 2004, Buena Vista Home Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time, with the set titled as "Spider-Man - The '67 Collection". The 6-disc boxset features all 52 episodes of the series as well as an introduction from creator Stan Lee.


External links

* [http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/01/the_music_every.html#more WFMU Essay on the search for Spidey's Background Music]
* [http://www.wallopinwebsnappers.com Wallopin Websnappers! - Paul Soles' personal memories of the series]
* [http://marvel.toonzone.net/spidey67/ 67 Spider-Man @ Marvel Animation Age]
* [http://www.spyder-25.com/60s.html Spyder-25 - Detailed description]
* [http://www.spiderfan.org/shows/tv_60s/index.html Spiderfan description]
* [http://www.retrocrush.com/archive2003/spiderman/ retroCRUSH tribute]
* [http://www.kevinmccorrytv.com/spidey.html The Spiderman Page] - Written by Kevin McCorry - updated & expanded, 2006

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