What Was It Like Working For “The Incredible Hulk”?
With the imminent return of The Incredible Hulk to television (currently being developed for ABC and spinning out of the Avengers movie next summer) it’s illuminating to go back and take a look at how the original TV series was made. Allan Cole (perhaps better known as the co-author of the [[[Sten]]]novels) was a writer for the series, and he’s been reminiscing…
To understand The Incredible Hulk you have to first know that everybody on the show was nuts. Some were nice nuts. A few, not so nice. And others bounced back and forth like green balls of silly putty with no notice whatsoever.
It also helps to understand that the very premise of the show was schizoid, with this wimpy little doctor-type guy (played by Bill Bixby) transforming into a big green monster (played by Lou Ferrigno) when somebody kicks sand in his face and pisses him off.
Put another way, scripting for the Incredible Hulk was like writing for Kabuki theater. As Chris said, “one frigging thing out of place and everybody and everything goes apeshit.”
The writing experience could be frustrating, agonizing and drive you just plain bonkers. On the other hand, of the hundred and fifty odd shows Chris and I worked on, it was one of the most fun and satisfying. Once you got the formula down pat, you could write just about anything you wanted. More importantly, what you wrote went on the screen, so you didn’t hesitate to open up and address broader themes than one might expect in a show about a comic book character.