The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)

Season 1 Episode 1

The Deadly Dust (1)

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 05, 1978 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
14 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Deadly Dust (1)
When Peter Parker's university allows plutonium onto the campus, several of his fellow students, appropriate the radioactive materal in order to make a political statement against nuclear power.

When a real criminal, an extortionist, discovers where the bomb is being kept he steals it from the student thieves. Spider-Man must now trace the path of the new thieves and shutdown both the extortionist and the weapon.moreless

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  • Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave

    In 1977 CBS aired a Spider-Man television movie, which had fairly decent acting and production values (for its time). Outside of the United States it sometimes was given a theatrical release.

    In the pilot (which should be listed on this web page), University student Peter Parker gains his super powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. With his new found powers he stops a New Age Guru who uses mind control to force honest citizens to commit crimes.

    The pilot was successful enough to launch this series.

    So, 'Deadly Dust' (sometimes given an international theatrical release as 'Spider-man Strikes Back') is the followup to the original pilot.

    For the television series. a new actor is playing Mr. Jamerson, Joe Robinson is not in the series at all and Rita, Mr. Jamerson's secretary, is. Peter Parker is still a University student with a part-time job working for the Daily Bugle.

    'Deadly Dust' is probably one of the most ambitious of these live action Spider-Man television episodes. The topical plot has some of Peter Parker's classmates very upset that a professor has gotten permission to test some plutonium on campus. They are so upset that they steal the plutonium, frame Spider-Man, and build a mock-up the bomb in order to protest nuclear power. The bomb is real enough that it makes one of the students deathly ill.

    When Mr. White, an international arms dealer, gets wind of this, he has his men steal the bomb for his own evil purposes, which apparently includes detonating the bomb in the same city where President Carter is giving a speech.

    Thus Peter Parker (Spider-Man), Mr. Jamerson and a lovely female journalist from a rival paper all travel to LA to locate the bomb.

    Spider-Man battles the arms dealer's minions, a wrestler and a karate expert, in a couple....interesting fight sequences. Spider-Man even jumps out of a helicopter in some stunt that looks silly today, but was probably pretty impressive for its day.

    Naturally, Spider-Man does disarm the bomb and defeat the minions, although Mr. White escapes.

    The stunts and special effects used in 'Deadly Dust' are actually pretty impressive given the fact this is late 1970s network television. Yes, they do look a bit silly today, but I enjoyed watching this two part episode more then the 1977 pilot.

    Likewise the writing is sometimes a bit campy, this was the late 1970s, but it does seem somewhat credible (for a comic book based story) that students who are militantly opposed to nuclear power would break the law to make a protest statement and that (given the lax security on campus) terrorists might steal the material to make a bomb.

    Mr. White and his minions are probably the closest thing that the television series ever got to credible villains. It is set-up for Spider-Man to battle Mr. White again, but the series was cancelled before that could happen.

    I wish that this series was given a proper DVD release. It actually generated solid ratings when it originally aired, but the CBS network was getting tired of being associated with comic books.

    If you can find a decent copy of this two-part episode (and can forgive the late 1970s technical limitations and sensibility) then its actually an enjoyable comic book adventure ride.moreless
Nicholas Hammond

Nicholas Hammond

Peter Parker/Spiderman

Robert F. Simon

Robert F. Simon

J. Jonah Jameson (not in pilot)

Michael Pataki

Michael Pataki

Captain Barbera

Chip Hurd

Chip Hurd

Rita Conway

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Captain Barbera: Who are you?
      Peter: It's all right, Captain. She's with me.
      Gail: I have my credentials. Gail Hoffman with the National Paper and the Weekly Examiner.
      Captain Barbera: Great. Another one. Next it will be Woodward and Bernstein.

    • Peter: You know, Rita, you shouldn't really talk to him like that. He could have you fired.
      Rita: He wouldn't dare.
      Peter: Oh, yes he would. And he will to if you if you make him mad enough. He has some very important friends that could make it very difficult for you to get another job.
      Rita: Oh yeah. Well I've got some friends, too, that could make it very difficult for him to keep the tires on his Royals, if you know what I mean.

  • NOTES (1)

    • A couple of intersting tidbits

      (1) Rita gets a call from a Socialist organization asking for Mr. Jameson to make a donation.
      (2) In laughing about this phone call with Peter Parker she [Rita] remarks that Mr. Jameson is so conservative he would not eat a steak if it was even a little pink ["pinko" is a slang term for a socialist or a homosexual].
      (3) Plans had been made to have Mr. White battle Spider-Man again, but they never panned out.