All three photos are mine, but the thought bubbles with Simon MacCorkindale…Photoshop ROCKS!
Okay, there’s something really ODD going on with me. For more than a month now, I’ve suddenly got memories of a very short-lived TV series (as in two months and eight episodes). The series Manimal started on September 30, 1983, but was dead by mid-December of the same year. What happened? NBC made the huge mistake of putting this up against CBS’s Friday night powerhouse…DALLAS.
The one thing I discovered when I was 8 years old as this show aired…why Simon MacCorkindale was my first crush! He was so cute (and I really don’t like using the term hottie because he had a lot more class than some celebs today). His character, Dr. Jonathan Chase, was a professor of criminology and a pretty good expert on animal behavior…only because he could transform himself into ANY animal he wanted.
The two most common animals the viewer could see him transform into (thanks to the famous Rick Baker special effects) were the black panther (the animal) and the hawk. The problem there: The effects were very expensive for that time, so any other animal transformations were simply implied (horse, cat, etc.).
Recently, when I attended Dragon Con 2013, there was a special panel to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this series, despite having only eight episodes to its credit.
This is the actual banner at the Manimal 30th Anniversary track at Dragon Con!
We even did a 9-second Manimal chant prior to the panel. I never had so much fun at a panel in all my life!
Sadly, Simon MacCorkindale himself passed away in 2010 from colorectal cancer at the age of 58. However, he’d be really happy to know Dr. Jonathan Chase is still around, and Manimal has manage to endure for 30 YEARS!