Peter Parker is sitting in the radiation lab one day when along comes a spider and - the rest is comic-book history.Now, like other superheroes before him. "Spider-man" has been turned into television fantasy, with a 90-minutes CBS version airing tonight (3 o'clock on Channel 9) as a possible series pilot.
Spider-Man doesn't leap tall buildings with single bounds, he climbs them, and scenes of him scrambling up or down imposing walls are among the special effects highlighting the show, which is lighthearted, and faster-moving by far than "The $6 Million Man." Spider-Man can also spin a mean web in a matter of instants and, as we learn tonight, foil mad masterminds in about an hour and a half.
Nicholas Hammond, who plays the puttering Peter Parker and the sinewy Spider-Man proves a very agreeable youn hero, and Thayer David, who recently played the FBI chief on "Washington; Behind Closed Doors," is menacingly Laird Cregaresque as the old ultra-villain.
Though more stylishly produced than many junk TV shows, "Spider-Man" disappoints with its mix of New York and Los Angeles locations. We've seen enough of L.A. on TV to last us for centuries. When Peter Parker goes to the top of the Empire State Building, we think we're going to witness something impressive, but in the next shot he's obviously back in stock-set city.
Still, it's a fairly brisk and decidedly non-violent show. Like other dumb but harmless things, "Spider-Man" couldn't hurt a fly.