Dr. Strange promises to enchant us on Friday with its reality-bending special effects, as well as its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton. But this isn’t the first time the good mystic doctor has made an onscreen appearance. The first Dr. Strange film, a CBS TV movie, appeared all the way back in 1978.
And we have the trailer for you, below.
In it, Steven Strange is an altered version of himself. He's not a neurosurgeon but a psychiatrist. And here, he has inherited his father's mystical power and mystical ring. In the comic book version, Strange's powers are not genetically based.
Frankly, the first version of Dr. Strange is everything both fabulous and horrible about 1970s television. Bad sound? Check. Cheesy special effects? Here. Man perm and mustache? Oh gods, the flashbacks. But it has a sincerity that can’t be matched by 2016’s polish. And frankly, for fans of the Sorcerer Supreme, it was the only game in town.
But not for fans of comics in general: If you recall, the late 1970s was a golden age for comic book television, with Shazam, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk and The Amazing Spider-Man all airing around the same time.
Check it out. It’s certainly, to use a word that Strange is familiar with, mesmerizing.
Note: You can see the 1978 film in its entirety on YouTube here. Link longevity not guaranteed.