Modern Day version of the hit tv series.
Doctor David Banner is a physician/scientist who is traumatized by the tragic car accident that killed his beloved wife Laura. Haunted by his inability to save her, Banner studies incidents of people who, while in danger, somehow managed to summon superhuman strength in order to save their loved ones. He concludes that high levels of gamma radiation from sunspots are the cause, and the emotional stress experienced in these situations combined with the gamma radiation altered the body chemistry to cause an increase in strength. In a tragic twist, it is revealed that while his own body would have been the most receptive to the sunspot augmentation, the car accident that claimed his wife occurred on a day with the least sunspot activity. To test his theory, he bombards his own body with gamma radiation. Unknown to Banner, his equipment has been upgraded, causing him to administer a far higher dose than he intended. He attempts to lift a heavy object to test his strength, but is unable to, so he leaves the lab angrily, thinking the experiment has failed.
Driving home in a heavy rainstorm, he suffers a flat tire and injures himself while trying to change it. The anger resulting from the pain triggers his first transformation into the Hulk, a seven-foot tall, 330 pound, green-skinned savage sub-human with near superhuman strength. The Hulk destroys Banner's car and wanders off into the nearby woods. The next morning, the Hulk stumbles upon a girl who is camping with her father, and attempts to befriend her (a la The Monster in Frankenstein). In the ensuing confusion, the Hulk is shot by the girl's father, but manages to escape. Once calm and unharrassed, he eventually transforms back into Banner—who has no memory of the tire-changing incident, or the events thereafter. Unsure of how to proceed, Banner seeks out his research partner, Dr. Elaina Marks (played by Susan Sullivan). Her amazement at Banner's healing powers (his gunshot wound is nearly healed) is replaced by shock and horror when Banner tells her that he bombarded himself with gamma rays.
Banner and Marks relocate to a laboratory isolated from the rest of the research institute but still on its grounds, locking him in an experimental pressure chamber designed for deep underwater use; they hope that if he metamorphoses again, it will hold the creature. Banner initially suspects that his transformation had been caused by the lighting and/or rain, both of which he was experiencing at the time, and they simulate analogous conditions in the chamber. When this fails to induce a transformation, he lies down to get some sleep. Banner then has his recurring nightmare of the accident that killed his wife, which causes him to transform and the creature violently escapes from the chamber. Dr. Marks takes a blood sample from the Hulk's wounded hands and guides him to a couch where he calms down and returns to normal. They then realize that the Hulk has a very high metabolism and healing rate and that the transformation is caused by strong negative emotions, such as anger.
While Banner and Dr. Marks try to reverse the process, a reporter named Jack McGee, who is investigating the reported sighting of the Hulk, intrudes on the lab. When the scientists refuse to speak to him, McGee suspects they know more than they are letting on and sneaks into the lab, hiding in a cupboard where he accidentally knocks over a chemical container. Banner catches McGee hiding and removes him from the premises, but as he confronts McGee outside the spilt chemicals (unseen by Banner) result in the lab catching fire. Banner rushes back into the lab to save Elaina, and the stress of the smoke fumes triggers a transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk carries Elaina away from the inferno into the woodland. She reveals her love for David before she dies from injuries she sustained in the explosion. McGee witnesses the Hulk carrying her away, and surmises that the Hulk started the fire and killed both Banner and Marks. Although the authorities are skeptical of the existence of the creature McGee tells them about, he reports the creature to the police and publishes a front page headline in his newspaper proclaiming ‘Incredible “Hulk” Kills Two’, before vowing to track down the creature so he can catch it and bring it to the law's attention. It is at this point the series begins – McGee vows to capture Marks and Banner's killer. Banner, now presumed dead, is forced to go into hiding while trying to find a cure for his condition.
In a manner vaguely similar to the popular series The Fugitive, this forms the basis of the TV series: Banner endlessly drifts from place to place, assuming different identities and odd jobs to support himself and sometimes to enable his research. Along the way, Banner finds himself feeling obliged to help the people he meets out of whatever troubles have befallen them. Often Banner's inner struggle is paralleled by the dilemmas of the people he encounters, who find in Banner a sympathetic helper. As Kenneth Johnson states, "what we were constantly doing was looking for thematic ways to touch the various ways that the Hulk sort of manifested itself in everyone. In Bixby and his character, David Banner, it happened to be anger. In someone else, it might be obsession, or it might be fear, or it might be jealousy or alcoholism! The Hulk comes in many shapes and sizes. That's what we tried to delve into in the individual episodes." Despite his attempts to stay calm no matter how badly he is treated, Banner inevitably finds himself in dangerous situations that trigger his transformations into the Hulk.
Meanwhile, McGee continues to pursue the incredible story of the mysterious monster, whom he believes got away with a double-murder. Ultimately, Banner changes (or even saves) someone's life for the better. Nonetheless, he (almost always) flees town, scared that publicity over the Hulk's ‘rampages’ will eventually bring unwanted scrutiny of him from the local authorities and/or McGee. The story (almost always) ends with Banner hitch-hiking down some outbound highway or road—a strikingly haunting and sad piano solo version of the series theme music playing in the background (as the ending credits visualize). The mood conveys Banner's inner sense of hopelessness: the quest of a man desperate to one day find the cure that will bring him peace, an end to his endless running, and the ability to reclaim a normal life.
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