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The television adventures of Dr. David Banner and his muscle-bound, anger-prone alter ego The Incredible Hulk come to an abrupt conclusion with The Complete Fifth Season set. As fans of the cult series know all too well, a slight change in ratings and costs for the series prompted its parent network to pull the plug on the show before its fifth season was launched; prior to this, seven episodes had been shot immediately after the conclusion of the fourth season in anticipation of the union strike that brought TV production to a halt in 1981. The Hulk's producers had hoped to bring the series to a more concise conclusion in its fifth season, but were denied the opportunity to shoot an additional nine episodes in order to accomplish that goal. As it stands, The Incredible Hulk ends on an ambiguous note, with Bill Bixby's David Banner still plagued by the monster (Lou Ferrigno) inside of him, and with no opportunity for a cure in sight; it's a disappointment, considering the care and maturity that the show took in presenting its comic book-inspired material. The final seven episodes are also somewhat lackluster, with only the eerie "finale," "A Minor Problem," as the stand out. Still, fans who've carried the torch for the TV Hulk over the past two decades will want the set, if only to have the complete network run in their collection. The DVD includes two featurettes: the first is a sentimental look back at the show's final days by producer Kenneth Johnson and members of the writing and production team, while the second, a gag reel, does much to imply that Bill Bixby was not as dour in real life as David Banner. However, the continued absence of Ferrigno from the supplemental material remains a curious and glaring oversight.

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MC04365 Incredible Hulk Season 5 DVD (1982/Bill Bixby) $29.98 $26.99