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DVD Review: Swamp Thing – Seasons 1 and 2

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Swamp Thing is the story of Dr. Alec Holland, a man who becomes a creature of the swamp after exposure to chemicals following a failed attempt on his life by Dr. Anton Arcane (his nemesis throughout the series). Following his transformation, Holland becomes the protector of the swamp and innocents while thwarting any wrong-doers who chose to use the swamps for their nefarious plans.

I didn’t watch this series when it originally aired, but Dick Durock did a good job as Swamp Thing. It couldn’t have been easy to get around in that rubber suit, but he made getting around look easy and played a convincing protector of the swamp.

The series itself had its ups and downs. The best episodes focused on Alec himself. The suit, the special effects, and some of the acting weren’t that great, but the show was loyal to the comic that was the basis for this series and that’s more important.

It also should be noted that the episodes were filmed in a certain order and just like some other shows, including Sliders, season one was shown out of order. This DVD set rectifies that error by showing them in the order they were meant to be seen, a fact that the DVD itself informs the viewer.

The DVD has little in the way of extras, but the two featurettes entitled "The Men Behind the Muck" are worth watching. The first featurette is an interview with Swamp Thing creator Len Wein (who has created a number of well known characters including X-Men Storm, Colossus, and one of my favorites characters, Wolverine).

The best story in his brief screen time discusses the origins of how he came up with Swamp Thing for a short story that outsold all other DC Comics that month including Superman, and how DC immediately wanted to do a series to capitalize on the popularity of the character and he said no. This surprised the editors since most creators are happy to do a series when the fans wanted one. It took quite a few months for Wein to come up with an idea that he felt didn’t cheapen the original story. I wish the producers of the DVD had given a little more time to him.

The second "Behind The Muck" featurette is with Swamp Thing himself, Dick Durock. He discusses how he went from stunt man to actor and how he got the part of Swamp Thing. He discusses how he enjoyed his time both as a stunt man and then the lead on Swamp Thing and how all involved helped him become a better actor.

While Swamp Thing didn’t exactly set the world on fire, it has a loyal fan base and the series is loyal to the source material.

Grade B

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