In case you missed it, I reviewed seasons 2, 3 and 4 and here I am now looking over the last seven episodes of the final season of the show. Having read my other reviews you’ll know that I’ve been quite an advocate of The Incredible Hulk. Sadly, T.S. Elliott can sum up this last season in one famous quote: “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.”
There’s always been a certain cheesy charm to this show. The acting has never been all that when it comes to the supporting cast, but no matter how insipid the show got it was always held together by Bill Bixby’s unending charisma. However, not even Bixby can save these episodes. The acting in these episodes is the worst of the series.
However, this biggest annoyance of this collection is the complete lack of closure. Being that the show was suddenly cancelled the writers were never able to give the show a proper ending. David Banner never finds his cure and the subplot involving the intrepid reporter Jack McGee is left unresolved. In fact McGee only appears in one episode this season.
From E. Coli and pregnant escaped convicts to traumatized ex-Vietnam vets and crooked baseball agents these are easily the worst seven episodes of the whole series and the fact that they are a lumped together here in one collection is pretty disheartening. Perhaps the only thing that could have saved this box set would have been the inclusion of the three made for TV movies that came a few years later, however they are nowhere to be seen.
The Phenom 10/2/1981
Banner catches a ride with a promising young pitcher, but it will take the strength of The Hulk to protect the young man from the dangers of an unscrupulous agent.
Two Godmothers 10/9/1981
A special delivery makes for an amazing escape when Banner is forced to help three prisoners from a woman’s institution – including one who is nine months pregnant.
Banner’s anonymity is put in jeopardy when he tries to stop a Vietnam veteran form assassinating a prominent politician.
Banner finds himself on a mission with a higher purpose when he impersonates a clergyman in order to save an immigrant from some greedy smugglers.
Romance puts Banner in a shaky situation when he competes with a powerful lumber baron for the attention of a beautiful local girl.
Exposing The Hulk may be the only option for escape when Banner is captured by an embittered ex-convict and imprisoned in an abandoned ghost town.
A Minor Problem 5/12/1982
Banner is in a race against time when he arrives in an eerily deserted town that has been contaminated by a deadly bacteria.
The show is presented in fullscreen 1:33.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. The show has some dirt and scratches on it but none too bad to distract from the over all presentation. The sound is fine. It’s not great, but there is nothing really to complain about.
Behind The Success: The Story Of The Incredible Hulk: (18 min.) This time around creator Kenneth Johnson is joined by several writers of the show to talk about their experiences in making the show. This featurette is far less interesting than pervious ones.
Gag Reel: (6 min.) This just about the only reason this collection is worth anything. The quality of the footage is terrible, but this is one fantastic gag reel. Bill Bixby was a hilarious guy and it shows here. You even get to hear him curse which is really funny.
If you’ve bought all the seasons of the show so far, odds are you’ll buy this one too, but if you’re interest in The Hulk is just a passing fancy, then by all means avoid this one. There are seven bad episodes. The only thing here worth your time is the six-minute gag reel.
Universal presents The Incredible Hulk: Season Five. Created by Kenneth Johnson. Starring Bill Bixby. Running time: 339 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD: October 21, 2008. Available at Amazon.