Comics On TV: ‘Swamp Thing: The Series’

by Ryan Rigley

Last week’s return of “Arrow” to the CW marks the beginning of a new wave of DC television series. Not only have Warner Bros. and DC announced their plans for a “Flash” spinoff series sometime next year but they’ve also made mention of a Jim Gordon-centric “Gotham” TV series over at FOX.

Marvel Studios may be killing it in the Cinematic Universe, but it seems like DC has television on lock. In fact, DC has always been pretty proficient with their TV series. Case in point being “Swamp Thing: The Series,” a TV show based on a DC character made popular by Alan Moore in the 80’s. With Guillermo del Toro’s plans to include Swamp Thing in his “Justice League Dark” film, we think now’s as good a time as any to reflect back on the “Swamp Thing” TV series.

Series Statistics

Network: USA
Broadcast Date: 1990 – 1993
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 72

Adapted for the small screen by screenwriter Joseph Stefano (“Psycho,” “The Outer Limits”), the majority of “Swamp Thing: The Series” was filmed inside Universal Studios Florida allowing for the show to be produced cheaply and efficiently. Reprising his role from the “Swamp Thing” feature film, actor/stuntman Dick Durock would portray Dr. Alec Holland, a.k.a. Swamp Thing, on the subsequent “Swamp Thing” TV series.

At one point, “Swamp Thing” was the highest rated show on USA despite its initial mixed reception. In fact, the series garnered a huge following in the Netherlands and England which eventually spurred a Swamp Thing fan club. Currently, “Swamp Thing” has a considerable cult following due in large part to its campy nature and low budget production value.
Notable Episodes

The Emerald Heart
The pilot episode of the series which introduces every major character on the show, Swamp Thing encounters an 11 year old named Jim and aids the boy in freeing a dwarf that has been held captive by the evil Dr. Arcane.

Falling unconscious due to a vast amount of toxic waste dumped into the swamp, Swamp Thing awakes to find himself trapped in a carnival freak show run by an ruthless ringleader in league with Dr. Arcane.

Walk a Mile in My Shoots
Dr. Arcane and Swamp Thing accidentally switch bodies after a trap that Arcane has set up goes horribly wrong. Now, Swamp Thing must adjust to being human for the first time in years and must find a way to reverse the process before the change becomes permanent.

Mist Demeanor
When a mysterious and deadly mist rolls into town, Swamp Thing and Dr. Arcane must put their differences aside and team up in order to save the entirety of the town from impending doom.

That’s a Wrap
The most meta episode of the series, a film crew begins shooting a TV movie about Dr. Arcane in the swamp. However, things quickly take a turn for the worst when the lead actor is murdered and pages of a script detailing Alec Holland’s transformation and Arcane’s evil nature begin to appear.

Still not convinced “Swamp Thing: The Series” is worth a watch? Well then, check out this clip of Swamp Thing saving a little boy from a lizard man and then resurrecting a dead midget:

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