Long before the MCU, the 1970s was the first era when iconic Marvel heroes entered live-action. Of course, back then, it was all on TV. There was the hugely successful The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, and even Captain America. But Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange, also made it to live-action in 1978. He starred in a made-for-TV movie simply titled Doctor Strange, which was very loosely based on the comics. And now, this 1970s Doctor Strange movie is finally coming to Blu-ray from the folks at Shout Factory.
You can read the official description of 1978’s Doctor Strangeand check out the cover art above:
A modern hospital may seem worlds apart from the days of ancient sorcerers. But for psychiatrist Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten) and his patient Clea Lake (Eddie Benton), this is where those worlds collide … and the nightmare begins! Nothing Stephen Strange learned in medical school could prepare him for an attack by an evil sorceress from the “fourth dimension,” Morgan le Fay (Jessica Walter), a villainess who plans an invasion of unimaginable evil on Earth. Chosen by an ancient guardian of the spirit world to learn the mystic arts to defeat Morgan and safeguard the Earth, Stephen Strange must take the place of the Earth’s last sorcerer. Come along for a fantastic adventure into the “fourth dimension” with … Dr. Strange!
Although technically still “ the Sorcerer Supreme” in the ’70s film, Doctor Stephen Strange’s origin story differs totally from the comics. And while other characters have the same names as familiar Marvel counterparts, the similarities end there. But hey, it’s got Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter as the witch Morgan le Fay, and that alone is worth the price of admission.
Back in the day, these Marvel television projects veered wildly from the source material. We had a David Banner as the Hulk instead of a Bruce Banner, and Captain America is the son of the WWII Cap, who rides around on a souped-up motorcycle. And 1978’s TV Doctor Strange looked like Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch in a Halloween costume. But all of these are fun windows into a time when Hollywood always thought they could improve on the comics. And also a reminder of just how good Marvel fans have it now. ’70s Doctor Strange just hits a little differently.
The new Blu-ray features a high-definition transfer and restoration from the original film elements, along with a new audio commentary by pop culture historian Russell Dyball And The Panel Jumper host Cole Hornaday. As we wait for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to release on May 4, we can enjoy this 1978 Doctor Strange. You can pre-order the Blu-ray now on the official Shout Factory website, for release on April 26.