DVD
The Incredible Hulk
Volume 2

Starring: Bill Bixby
Universal Playback
12.99
0784602
Certificate: PG
Available now


David Banner gets caught up in a feud between a young woman and a group of hijackers who stole her father's truck...

The first of three episodes on this DVD, Never Give a Trucker an Even Break, contains some unusually light-hearted touches for what tends to be a rather gloomy and tragic series. The country and western style incidental music evokes trucking caper movies such as Smokey and the Bandit. Accordingly the villains, while representing a physical threat to the heroine, are also comically incompetent at times. I also had to smile when David (Bill Bixby) admitted to himself that he really ought to buy shirts that stretch! But, of course, he never got around to doing that, did he?

Part of the fun of watching this series is wondering at exactly which point David will make his transformation into the Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). In this instance, the last straw comes when a payphone eats his last quarter! This is an advert for stress management if ever there was one - though in fairness, he is trying to make an emergency call to save a woman's life.

Each episode is preceded by its original teaser trailer, and the teaser in this case contains a line of dialogue that was cut from the final programme.

The episode itself makes a pleasant change from the norm.

 

Offering himself as a guinea pig for DNA research that could cure him of his Hulk affliction, David stumbles upon a black market in stolen babies...

In Life and Death David has more than enough reason to get angry. In this episode, he is given a potentially lethal injection by a corrupt doctor.

Andrew Robinson (better known these days as Garak, the Cardassian tailor in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) plays the medic of dubious morals. Seeing this actor with big '70s hair is the main reason for watching this rather run-of-the-mill instalment.

 

Working at a racetrack, David befriends Ricky, the retarded brother of one of the racing drivers. But soon Ricky's life is in danger...

It's impossible to watch an episode called Ricky without thinking of ex-EastEnders star Patsy Palmer and her trademark exclamation. Listen out for David calling out this name in an uncannily similar fashion!

A recurring motif in The Incredible Hulk is that of the young innocent who is not afraid of the monstrous Hulk (a homage to a similar scene in Universal's original Frankenstein movie). In this episode the innocent in question is the eponymous developmentally challenged young man. Mickey Jones puts in an endearing performance as Ricky, who teaches the less than jolly green giant how to open a can of pop!

A common factor in each episode is of course Bill Bixby, who never fails to portray David Banner with complete and utter conviction, even in such fantastical circumstances.

Ricky is a decent episode, although it's a shame about the rather obvious stock footage of demolition derbies.

Richard McGinlay

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