“Dr. Jonathan Chase… wealthy, young, handsome. A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa’s deepest recesses to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father’s legacy and the world’s darkest mysteries. Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man… Manimal!”
So goes the official synopsis for the short-lived action-adventure series, Manimal. Created by Glen A. Larson, the man behind Battlestar: Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Knight Rider, Manimal was an attempt by NBC to create a kind of hybrid James Bond character by using the suave, debonaire Simon MacCorkindale in the lead, but also using the then-novel bladder effects that were dominating horror films and thus creating a show that, they hoped, kids and horror fans would eat up. It only lasted eight episodes and has been widely reviled as one of the worst shows of all time, but if you sit down and watch Manimal, is it that bad? After all, there has to be a reason its cult following has been robust over the years.
In this episode of Gone But Not Forgotten, we take a look at the show’s creation, including some exclusive photos from the Stan Winston School, which explore the show’s then-groundbreaking makeup work. We also fondly remember the late Simon MacCorkindale, who tragically passed away in 2010. This episode is written by Jessica Dwyer, narrated by Travis Hopson, edited by Michael Robenault and produced by David Arroyo. Berge Garabedian is the executive producer. Watch previous episodes below and let us know if you remember Manimal in the comments!