The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)

CBS (ended 1979)



User Score: 83

out of 10
User Rating
284 votes

By Users

The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)

Show Summary

This live-action drama followed the exploits of Peter Parker, a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle. Peter is bitten by a radioactive spider while on an assignment and gains the abilities of a spider. He can cling to walls and has the proportional strength and agility of a human-sized arachnid. Peter is also a part time college student at a local University where he is majoring in science. After receiving his new abilities, he constructs unique web-shooters which he wears on his wrists over the costume in this version, and later on only one wrist which allow him to swing from building to building and to catch crooks in a massive web. This version of the wall-crawler's exploits suffered from a low effects budget and long periods of hiatus between episodes. Still it holds pride of being the first live-action version of the comic book hero. Over the thirty-plus years since the TV series first debuted, this show has become a cult favorite.moreless
Ellen Bry

Ellen Bry

Julie Masters

David White

David White

J. Jonah Jameson (pilot only)

Robert F. Simon

Robert F. Simon

J. Jonah Jameson (not in pilot)

Michael Pataki

Michael Pataki

Captain Barbera

Nicholas Hammond

Nicholas Hammond

Peter Parker/Spiderman

Chip Hurd

Chip Hurd

Rita Conway

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  • Cheezy fun...If you are a Spiderman fan, then you should see it... If you are a fan of campiness, the you should see it too.

    Before you go on, I have to say this: this show really doesn\\\'t deserve the 7.4 that I gave it if I were to look at it subjectively... but I\\\'m not doing that.

    I gave this show a 7.4 because I loved this show when I was a child of 8. I never forgot the very few episodes that I watched (they only made 14 or so of them), and never saw them again until recently. Like many shows that I remember being really cool in my childhood, this one didn\\\'t age very well. Even so, I get a little kick out of seeing it again. Part of it is the laugh I get seeing the cheeziness of it all and another part is the feeling I get remembering the way I reacted when I was a kid...

    Watch it, don\\\'t expect much and just have fun.moreless
  • The first live-action adaptation of Spider-Man revises much of the comics' storylines, such as dropping the characters of Mary Jane and Aunt May and omitting all super-villains.

    Put this show in the category of chessy fun. This show wasn't terrible, per se, but it wasn't great, either. The style of superhero shows in the '70s was to avoid any over-the-top and/or supernatural villains altogether, so there are no Green Goblins, Doc Ocks, etc. to be found here. Other 70s efforts (Wonder Woman, Hulk) managed to work around that and still have some measure of success, but Spider-Man didn't last nearly as long. Perhaps the most glaring mistake was that they altered the non-supernatural characters too much, taking away Aunt May and Mary Jane to replace them with characters who didn't add much. This show is an interesting diversion, as long as you don't expect too much.moreless
  • This short-lived CBS Prime-Time TV series was the first live-action adaptation of the "Spider-Man" superhero comic books/comic strips published by Marvel Comics. The series only lasted 14 episodes, but they were staggered out over a 2-year time-frame.moreless

    Nicholas Hammond (who was one of the VonTrapp children in "The Sound of Music") played the protagonist, Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The TV show producers/writers took several liberties with adapting the series, compared to the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comic book stories. In the original comics, Peter Parker was a high-school student when he got his powers. Here, Peter Parker is already a graduate college student. He's still a budding scientist, and a chem-lab experiment using radioactive waste is where the fateful spider comes along to bite the hero. He gains wall-crawling ability, super-strength and a special "spider-sense" which is basically ESP that focuses on nearby danger. Shortly afterwards, he uses his science skills to create a webcasting device that he wears on his left wrist (comics purists note the glaring fact that it is worn on the outside of his costume, and not underneath.)

    In the pilot episode/movie, Peter berates a purse-snatcher while perched vertically on a nearby wall-- the shocked thief is stalled just enough for the police to arrive. Local newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson catches wind of the alleged "Spider-Man" and lets it be known that anyone who can get photographs of him will get paid handsomely. So Peter designs his spider-costume, and goes about photographing himself all around town. Jameson is none the wiser, and though he thinks Parker is a little flaky, he can't deny the authenticity of the photos.

    Shortly, a bizarre crime-wave hits NYC, which will prove to be Spider-Man's big challenge. It seems that a corrupt self-help guru with a large clientele has an elaborate mind-control device which he is using to hypnotize his clients. Broadcasting submliminal messages with membership pins that double as receivers, his clients, from various ordinary walks of life, start committing bank robberies; during the getaway, they always crash the car at a predetermined location; a group of henchmen retrieve the money, and the unwitting robbers are left to die or face prosecution, with no memory of what happened.

    The police investigator following the case is the hard-nosed Captain Barbara. He's skeptical of why Peter tends to show up at scenes of trouble, usually in the aftermath of Spider-Man having been there. Spider-Man's investigation leads him to the guru's headquarters where he must fend off a group of martial arts guards armed with bo staffs. Peter's science skills lead him to find out what's causing these otherwise normal people to turn crooked, and the climax is set.

    Further episodes would continue to explore the adventures of Peter Parker and his costumed alter ego. David White (Larry on "Bewitched") plays Jameson in the pilot. Robert Simon played Jameson after the pilot. Other supporting characters included Daily Bugle secretary Rita (possibly loosely based on the Glory Grant character in the comics), Aunt May (who only made sporadic apparances), and Julie, a female "rival" reporter (who was not in the comics, but seemingly created as a "Lois Lane" and potential love interest).

    The scripts kept the characterization of the hero intact (morally upright, though he frequently has bad luck, and half the people in Pete's life think he's kind of a flake), and Hammond as Peter/Spidey was very good, though he was clearly playing an adult version of the character-- it would have been interesting to see an adaptation of the original high-school setting of the strip.

    The TV show never featured any villains from the comics series, instead focusing on human crime lords and rogue scientist-types (curious, then that the Wilson Fisk/Kingpin character was never attempted).

    Despite taking place in New York City, 99% of the series was actually filmed in Los Angeles (except for some establishing shots and stock footage). The special effects, though perhaps adequate for the time (and likely, a small budget), come off as very dated in today's CGI-saturated culture.

    Stan Lee had a "consultant" position on the show, which, unofficially, was likely a token role, as in later interviews Lee would claim to have no practical influence on the creative direction or the execution of episodes.

    The series apparently changed time-slots several times during its run, which probably didn't help ratings. Compared to the "Incredible Hulk" TV series, "Spider-Man" was less well-executed, though in fairness they did have a larger cast to deal with and a fixed thematic venue (New York) to try and contend with.moreless
  • I'm of fan of cheesy things and if you are too than this show just might hit the spot.

    Spider-man probobly was a corny thing back in the day but I think that it holds a special place in the hearts of hard core spirey fans. Don't discount the seriousness in which the people who actually had to shoot this thing took it. They were approached with an impossible task of making this seem actually cool and interesting. The worst of it is the web shooters on the outside of the costume,eehh! In the end you just might get a bigger laugh than you expected and probobly more unitentional laughs than yoou imagined. This will always be looked upon as a laughable chapter in the miney making Spiderman series.moreless
  • One word for me…NOSTALGIA!

    I watched this show as a kid and loved it. I mean, I was a kid and Spider-man is a superhero, right? Watching as an adult, it is not so impressive. This show oozes “70’s”. Although the stories and acting aren’t all that bad, what hampers this particular show is the special effects. They had no computer animation or effects and obviously a low budget. I am sure the producers made the best of it, because, let’s face it…actually making someone look like they are climbing walls and ceilings, and shooting webs from their wrists is not that easy; and with a low budget even harder. Nevertheless, it takes me back to my childhood and fond memories, and that counts for something.moreless

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