Opening From Narrator
"Dr. Jonathan Chase is a wealthy, young, and handsome man with the brightest of futures with a very dark past. From Africa's deepest recesses, to the rarest peaks of Tibet, Heir to his father's legacy, and the world's darkest mysteries is Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man, Manimal."
By modern standards its special effects, though plentiful, were relatively low-quality, not surprising given the time period and other constraints. While Dr. Chase was meant to have the ability to change himself into any animal, in practice his onscreen transformations were almost always into a hawk or black panther, with the exact same backdrops each time, presumably to save on the budget, though he did become a snake once. (In the episodes when Dr. Chase turned into a bull and horse, the actual transformations occurred off-screen.)
The show was cancelled after only eight episodes. David Letterman may have had a role in its swift cancellation by mercilessly hammering the show in his typical ironic style. In the years since, its name is often invoked by science fiction fans when asked to name the worst series ever made for American television (which is not to say that it has no fans at all). Glen Larson, the creator, would eventually resurrect Chase briefly for a crossover with his 1990s underground classic Nightman.
Cast * Simon MacCorkindale as Jonathan Chase * Melody Anderson, Brooke Mackenzie * Michael D. Roberts, Tyrone "Ty" C. Earl * Reni Santoni, Lt. Nick Rivera * William Conrad, Narrator
Episode # Date aired Title
1 9/30/1983 Manimal
2 10/14/1983 Illusion
3 10/21/1983 Night of the Scorpion
4 10/28/1983 Female of the Species
5 11/4/1983 High Stakes
6 12/3/1983 Scrimshaw
7 12/10/1983 Breath of the Dragon
8 12/17/1983 Night of the Beast
Trivia * In the episode "Breath of the Dragon," Walter Nebicher from Automan can be seen walking outside the chinese restaurant. Both Manimal and Automan were filmed back to back with the same scene (at a different angle) appearing in the episode of Automan.