Tuesday, October 18, 2016


With superhero television programs blowing up in the last few years, recaps of superhero television shows have become all the internet rage. Other sites, however, are hobbled by the need to cover shows which have been "recently broadcast" or which are "any good at all." But who covers the uncoverable? That's why Gone&Forgotten chooses to cover the 1991-1993 USA Network live-action Swamp Thing television series in a feature I like to call "Swamp and Shout" or...

If You See Swamp Thing, Say Swamp Thing
A moldy tupperware container who walks like a man!
Season One / Episode Seven : Touch of Death

In which there's a strict hands-off policy.

Arcane and his bully boys are doing some night-hunting, bagging a 220-pound hick in the prime of his life. Too bad it’s off-season, them boys are gonna have to pay a hefty fine!

Turns out that the now-deceased swamp ‘bo is Mister MacCyrus (Mark McCracken), and he’s been killed for an experiment. Arcane injects the corpse with a version of the bio-restorative formula, expecting that it will revive the still-warm victim. I don’t know what Arcane expects the injection to do, really, since the guy’s heart has stopped and his blood isn’t moving anymore. I mean, I’m no doctor, but neither is anyone who writes for this show.

In the not-too-distant future ...

Disappointed at the lack of results, Arcane and his jumpsuited sidekicks – they genuinely look like they’re wearing KTMA-era Mystery Science Theater jumpsuits – beat cheeks back to the comfort of the Sunderland Corp. Not long after they leave, though – ta-daa, undead swamp cracker Captain Jack Harknesses himself from under a pile of wet leaves. He’s alive! Alive! And he kills whatever he touches! Shit! Bummer!

Promptly thereafter, he busts in on Will and Doc working on a boat, which sounds like a euphemism – and might be! Receiving a glancing touch from the hill-zombie has gifted Will with his own death-touch, starting with the family fish and unfortunately ending before a big group hug by all of the cast that isn’t Mark Lindsay Chapman or Dick Durock.

We get it, you vape.

While Will panics in the woods, Abigail has hired MacCyrus to do a little work around the house – you know, chopping wood, killing plants, killing pests, killing housepets. Handy stuff.  Just as she’s about to get all fruity and mystical and hippie nonsense and all that, Swamp Thing sweeps by and abducts McCyrus, ideally to protect Abigail from the dude’s deadly touch. Swamp Thing got speed!

But what he also has now is ONE HUMAN HAND! Yep, something about McCyrus’ post-mortem intravenous absorption of the bio-restorative formula not only kills people, but cures Swamp Thing! Or his hand, at least. It’s a start.

 "I am tired of these jokes about my human hand. The first such incident occurred in 1956 when..."

Arcane muses over his comatose wife Tatiana, figuring out that the bio-restorative formula only actually works on a subject after death. It’s a neat trick, but you can only do it once.

Will comes home if only to be locked in a room together with Abigail. It’s a young man’s fantasy but my fucking nightmare. Imagine if she (gasp) starts talking about her dreams again! Anyway, she’s keeping Will under wraps in the hopes that his death touch will eventually wear off. I can’t think of how you’d check for such a thing, but Will’s a young man with natural urges and I imagine all we have to do is wait and see if his dick dies. “My stack of Playboys has perished!” You know, that sort of thing.

"I can get you a nice couple chops, real lean, or a chuck roast. Rest goes to the dogs."

Arcane captures McCyrus, human-hand Swamp Thing gets in a crazy slapfight with Arcane, and McCyrus jumps in a big vat of acid. Well, problems all solved, really. Now if only Will can get his act together and do some lethal touching, we can winnow this show down to its star power.

Well, Swamp Thing’s hands come back and Will loses his death touch. We all lose our touch a little bit as we get older, Will, it’s no big deal. This is also the first time, I think, that we see Will and Abigail kiss, so this is a real landmark episode. Yup, circle the date on your calendars and stay tuned for next year’s parade. Meanwhile, the end.

He looks genuinely baffled.

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