Duffy’s ‘Atlantis’ Hits Warner Archive2 Aug, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey
“The Man From Atlantis” is the type of TV property the Warner Archive Collection was meant for.
Airing for only 13 episodes from 1977 to 1978, after four TV movies, the series did have the distinction of being the first American TV show in China, but was a quickly forgotten domestic failure.
Fast-forward 30-plus years and it’s now a cult classic, a series that may not earn shelf space at retail, but definitely has an audience via the manufactured-on-demand DVD service Warner Archive.
“Having the series on DVD and available is the perfect answer to all those people and there are many who remember the series,” said actor Patrick Duffy, who played the underwater superhero from Atlantis, Mark Harris. “It affected a generation of young, impressionable people who were preteens and seeing a 'hero' with all the strange qualities Mark Harris had.
“But more than that, it symbolizes an interest in preserving the history of our industry, early TV,” he added. “Big successful shows are preserved but the hundred that came and went in a few seasons would be lost forever, if not for Warner Archives.”
Warner is making available the four films ($24.95) and the complete TV series ($34.95) in two remastered sets. The two sets put Warner Archive that much closer to 1,000 releases, just a little over two years since the collection first launched.
“As we approach the landmark occasion of releasing our 1,000th title, we’re all grateful and delighted for what has turned out to be the overwhelming success of the Warner Archive Collection,” said George Feltenstein, Warner's SVP of theatrical catalog marketing. “The consumer support we’ve received is particularly rewarding because it allows us to reinvest in all corners of the vast Warner library and to broaden our restoration and preservation efforts.”
The collection began with feature films, but Warner quickly began adding classic TV, short subjects and animations, all classic titles that never would have seen the light of day on DVD otherwise.
“Always when watching arts projects from the past you must take time into the consideration,” said Duffy, who credits “The Man From Atlantis” for his subsequent 13-year stint on “Dallas.” “If you are able to watch with the eyes of someone from 1976 when looking at ‘The Man from Atlantis,’ and also appreciate the seriousness we had for the project, then I believe it will be as much or maybe even more entertaining than it was when viewed in 1976 or 1977.
“Plus , what’s not to appreciate in a huge, yellow terrycloth swimsuit?”