Swamp Thing (TV series): Wikis


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Swamp Thing
The Swamp Thing DVD cover
Format Science fiction, Action/Adventure
Starring Dick Durock
Mark Lindsay Chapman
Carrell Myers
Scott Garrison
Kevin Quigley
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 72 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Tom Blomquist
Tom Greene
Benjamin Melniker
Jeff Myrow
Joseph Stefano
Michael E. Uslan
Running time 30 minutes (with commercials)
Original channel USA Network
Original run July 27, 1990 – May 1, 1993

Swamp Thing, also known as Swamp Thing: The Series, is a science fiction, action/adventure television series based on the Vertigo Comics character Swamp Thing. It debuted on USA Network on July 27, 1990 and lasted three seasons for a total of 72 episodes. It was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel.



Swamp Thing was filmed in the brand-new Universal Studios Florida facilities and soundstages. This was allegedly granted to demonstrate the new studio because the series could be produced cheaply and quickly. For the first thirteen episodes, the crew shot on location in actual Florida swamps and returned to the studio for other scenes. However, the swamps not only prevented them from creating favorable lighting but also required lots of time to transport people and equipment from the swamp to the studio. They finally decided to build a swamp in the studio which, according to Durock, looked "ten times better than a real swamp."

Actor/stuntman Dick Durock, who played Swamp Thing in both films, reprised his role for the more serious-toned TV series. He wore a modified version of Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz's latex suit created for The Return of Swamp Thing, and he spoke in an electronically altered basso profundo.[1] Since his profuse sweating caused the lip and eye prosthetics to fall off while shooting the previous films, Durock simply had makeup applied in those areas for his television costume. "In the first feature it took close to four hours. In the second feature it took close to two hours. By the time we did the series, which ironically was by far the best makeup and costume, we had it down to about 45 minutes," he recalled.

Durock worked twelve hours a day, six days a week for 50 straight episodes without a break. In addition to the burden of wearing an 80-pound costume, the schedule required him to learn ten pages of dialogue each day. "I don't think this has ever been done before in the history of Hollywood where a guy wore a costume for that amount of time," Durock noted in a 2008 interview. However, he also recited the schedule as "two shows a week, three days each show, ten pages of dialogue a day. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and at the end of the day they hand you another thirty pages." This may allude to the schedule after the rigorous first 50 episodes. What's more, Durock stressed that "I had no experience as an actor at all, other than playing on Rockford Files and a zillion other shows, but not as an 'actor' actor per se."

Swamp Thing debuted with "The Emerald Heart" on Friday, July 27, 1990 at 10:30PM Eastern. The show's introductory narration decrees:

The swamp is my world. It is who I am; it is what I am. I was once a man. I know the evil men do. Do not bring your evil here, I warn you. Beware the wrath of Swamp Thing.

After the pilot episode, the series was temporarily halted for some retooling in presentation. Further modifications came after the initial 22 episodes, namely enlisting Tom Greene as executive producer, to improve the series for its second season which premiered January 3, 1992. Swamp Thing regularly featured guest stars such as Roscoe Lee Browne as a Voodoo priest, Tyne Daly as Dr. Arcane's fierce rival, Wolfman Jack as a carnival owner, and Adam Curry as a rock star. Two episodes also guest starred professional wrestlers Terry Funk, Kevin Nash, and Jorge Gonzáles a.k.a. El Gigante.

The series also introduced characters like the Kipp family as well a completely new incarnation of Anton Arcane played by Mark Lindsay Chapman. A young boy named Jim Kipp, played by Jess Ziegler, was intended to appeal to the young audience. However, after the first 12 episodes, a decision was made to return the series back to a darker theme seen in the original Swamp Thing film. Consequently, the story had Kipp abducted by a South American child stealing ring and never appear again. Durock noted, "The way they wrote him out was kind of a shock to me and everybody else except for I suppose the writers. . . That's a hell of a way to meet your demise!" Indeed, the Swamp Thing evolved as it went along. Regarding these shifts, Durock commented, "I guess we finally got it ironed out after the first 23, and with the next 50, we kind of tried to hit a balance."[2]

With the network eager to release new episodes, many were aired out of their original order in the series' original run. The disorganization created the effect of sporadic or unfulfilled plot points in various episodes, an issue that was corrected in the first DVD set. The series was also planned for 100 episodes but ended prematurely on May 1, 1993. Given this, a number of fleshed out plots were left unused. Due to its strong cult following, however, Swamp Thing would later re-air on Sci-Fi Channel and be featured during the S.C.I.F.I. World schedule in the early 2000s. As of 2008, the series airs on Chiller in movie form and is available on its official website.


  • Dick Durock as Swamp Thing: A professor who was burned by chemicals at the hands of Dr. Anton Arcane, transforming him into a supernatural creature hellbent on protecting his new home from evil.
  • Mark Lindsay Chapman as Dr. Anton Arcane: A smarmy hipster who attempted to steal Holland's formula and serves as his arch nemesis.
  • Carrell Myers as Tressa Kipp: Divorced mother of Jim and stepmother to Will, who's trying to restart her life in her hometown in Houma, Louisiana.
  • Scott Garrison as Will Kipp: Step-Son to Tressa and half-brother to Jim, who came from Philadelphia and befriends Swamp Thing.
  • Kevin Quigley as Graham: The unimaginative yet trusty and devoted assistant to Arcane.



A Swamp Thing comic book advertisement

Swamp Thing was at one time USA Network's top rated show despite being subject to mixed or poor reception. Dick Durock, however, recounted being sent many positive reviews from various media. He also noted that the series had strong European following, particularly in the Netherlands and England which had a national Swamp Thing fan club.[3]

The series failed to reach a considerable mainstream approval but has gained a cult following thanks in part to its unintentional camp value. Adam-Troy Castro of SciFi.com gave a largely unimpressed review of the series' first DVD set, noting "Somehow [the] action never amounts to very much, because the staging is consistently beyond awful." While he noted moments of good cinematography, the Swamp Thing costume is criticized for its poor mobility and burden on fight scenes. Castro also considers the acting poor and the bonus interviews much more interesting than the episodes themselves.

Andrew Winistorfer of PopMatters heavily criticized the series in his review for the Volume Two DVD set. Calling it "a marathon of bad clichés, disjointed plot lines, lame acting, and even lamer stories devoid of any ironic pop culture worth at all," he gave the DVD set a 2/10 rating. Winistorfer also expressed frustration in the episodes being organized by original air dates rather than production order, causing numerous plot inconsistencies.[4] Various other websites have echoes such statements in their own Swamp Thing DVD reviews.[5][6]

Home video and DVD release

In 1990, four episodes of Swamp Thing, labeled The New Adventures of Swamp Thing, were released on VHS in England. This includes "Birth Marks," "The Watchers," "Tremors of the Heart," and "Walk a Mile in My Shoots."[7]

On January 22, 2008, Shout! Factory released Swamp Thing - The Series. This 4-disc DVD set contains all 22 episodes of the first two seasons in their proper chronological order.[8] Volume Two was released July 15, 2008 and contains the first 25 episodes of the third season.[9] However, this collection organizes the episodes by original air date. Cast members reunited to film extras for the DVDs, and Durock embarked on a tour of fan conventions to promote the new releases.

See also


  1. ^ Daniels, Les (October 1995). DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. Bulfinch Press. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0821220764.  
  2. ^ Harris, Will A Chat with Dick Durock Bullz-Eye.com (February 20, 2008). Retrieved on 6-27-09.
  3. ^ ICONS interview with Dick Durock IconsofFright.com (February 2008). Retrieved on 6-27-09.
  4. ^ Winistorfer, Andrew Swamp Thing: the Series Vol. 2 PopMatters.com (July 15, 2008). Retrieved on 2-06-09.
  5. ^ Judge Paul Pritchard Swamp Thing: The Series, Volume 2 DVDVerdict.com (July 2, 2008). Retrieved on 3-05-09.
  6. ^ Oliver, David DVD REVIEW: SWAMP THING - THE SERIES, VOL. 2 Chud.com (August 21, 2008). Retrieved on 3-05-09.
  7. ^ Swamp Thing: The TV Series CultTVMan.com. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
  8. ^ Swamp Thing - The Series Amazon.com (January 2008). Retrieved January 17, 2008.
  9. ^ Swamp Thing: the Series Vol. 2 Amazon.com. Retrieved 2-05-08.

External links



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