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BANNER, Dr. David Bruce
(The Incredible Hulk)
Somewhere in the USA

David Banner is a research scientist. During an experiment to discover the correlation of high doses of gamma radiation from the sun with people's ability to lift heavy objects, David accidentally overdosed on an immense amount of gamma radiation [two million units].

David Banner Morphs into The Hulk
 

A few days later, David's car broke down in the rain on a lonely country road. While trying to repair a flat tire, David hurt his hand. The anger and pain from the injury triggered a chemical DNA metamorphosis and David turned into a raging green hulking beast. When he woke, he remembered nothing but discovered all his clothing was torn beyond repair.

Realizing something phenomenal had happened to him, David and his colleague Dr. Elaina Marks investigated his condition at the Culver Institute in California. David figured out the Creature was a reversion to some kind of primal state brought on by anger or stress. Later, an explosion and resulting fire in the laboratory killed Dr. Marks.

Unfortunately, her death was linked to the Green Monster reported at the scene [The Hulk trying to rescue the doctor]. A tabloid reporter from the Chicago-based National Register named Jack McGee got hold of the story and made it his mission in life to find the Creature, a.k.a. Dr. David Banner [who reportedly also died in the fire].

Once Jack McGee's snooping irritated David Banner [who was posing under an assumed name] and he told the reporter "Mister McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.” It appears that whenever David experiences extreme emotional responses derived from anger, pain or panic, he transforms into the Hulk. When his rage subsides David returns to normal.

Examples of such stressful incidents would include drowning, being buried alive, getting beaten up, nightmares, gunshot wounds and traffic jams. When David did get pissed off, his alter ego could smash through brick walls, overturn cars and tanks, break chains, uproot large trees, and bend steel in his bare hand. When asked “David, are you telling me that this creature cannot die?” he replied “If the damage were catastrophic, maybe. But I have seen lacerations close in seconds, bullets wounds heal. I don’t even have a scar.”

As David traveled around the country in search of a cure, he met a number of people. A few of them learned of his secret. They included Emerson Fletcher, David's father D. W. Banner, David's sister Helen Banner, Dr. Henry Pratt and Dr. Carolyn Fields, whom David married. Sadly, Carolyn soon after died of a tragic disease. David's first wife, Laura died in a car accident. It was David’s inability to save her from underneath an overturned car that motivated him to research gamma radiation’s effect on adrenaline and superhuman strength.

When the Hulk was finally killed, David's body revealed itself to the onlookers. His friend cried “David, don't. Don't die. We could be free now.” David's last words were “Jasmin, I am free.”


Series Opening narration

Narrator: Dr. David Banner. Physician. Scientist. Searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now, when David Banner grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs. The creature is driven by rage, and is pursued by an investigative reporter...
David: Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Narrator:

The creature is wanted for a murder he didn't commit. David Banner is believed to be dead, and he must let the world think that he is dead until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him.

 --THE INCREDIBLE HULK


TRIVIA NOTE: In the original comic strip that inspired the TV series the "David" character was called "Bruce" Banner. Reportedly, the character's first name was changed from "Bruce" to "David" because, the producers thought the name "Bruce" might be construed as to "feminine." When Jay Leno of THE TONIGHT SHOW heard this story he cried, "Like David's not a gay name?" There are also other differences between the TV series character and the comic book. In the comic books Bruce Banner was mutated into the Hulk by a nuclear explosion. He spoke and had bulletproof skin. The TV hulk just growled but had an incredibly fast metabolism which enabled it to quickly heal. In the summer of 2003 The Hulk returned to the public eye in the debut of the movie The Hulk (2003) starring Eric Bana as Bruce Banner. The character remained truer to the comic book version by using "Bruce" as Banner's first name. And by using CGI (computer animation), movie director Ang Lee portrayed a Hulk who weighed 3000 pounds, jumped three miles and who picked up tanks by their cannon muzzles and flung them off into the sky. And if the Hulk hit the ground with his fist, he could manifest a mini-earthquake. The last line of the movie reflects the filmmakers desire for a sequel film as Bruce Banner warns "You're making me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." The film Hulk referred to people as "Puny Humans."

BILL BIXBY: Born January 22, 1934 in San Francisco, California, Bill Bixby graduated from UC Berkeley. After stints as a lifeguard, and male model, he took to acting. His earlier roles included a helicopter airman in Lonely Are the Brave (1962) and a Track Coach in the Broadway play Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) The same year, Bill landed the role of Tim O'Hara, a newspaper reporter who befriends a stranded Martian on science fiction comedy MY FAVORITE MARTIAN/CBS/1963-66; and then went to appear in a series of TV shows including THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER (1969-72), THE MAGICIAN (1973), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1978-1982); GOODNIGHT BEANTOWN (1983) and TRUE CONFESSIONS (1984). Before his death from prostate cancer on November 21, 1993, Bill Bixby reprised his role as David Banner in the TV movies The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988), Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) and finally, Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990).

LOU FERRIGNO: The counterpart of the David Banner character was actor Lou Ferrigno, the 275-pound body builder who played the enraged green giant on this fantasy CBS series. Born November 9, 1952 in Brooklyn, New York, Lou Ferrigno suffered an ear infection at the age of three which caused a 65% loss of hearing. After his parents noticed he didn't hear sounds (they clapped behind his ears) he began wearing a hearing aid. His deafness created a slight speech impairment which made learning to speak difficult. A bit of a loner, he eventually took up body building to compensate for his lack of hearing and a lack of self-esteem. His hard work and dedication to body building earned him the titles Mr. Teenage America, Mr. America, Mr. Universe (won twice), and Mr. International. He also appeared in the body building film Pumping Iron (1974) and TV-movie sequels to The Incredible Hulk series. Lou also provided the voice of The Hulk in the animated cartoon spin-off THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1996). In the fall of 2000 on the CBS sitcom KING OF QUEENS Lou Ferrigno was cast as himself [the former TV star of TV series THE INCREDIBLE HULK] who moved to the Queens area of New York City to be the recurring next-door neighbor of Doug Heffernan, a parcel delivery man.


THE INCREDIBLE HULK/CBS/1977-82  

Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner
Jack Colvin as Jack McGee
Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk
Ted Cassidy as Narrator
Mariette Hartley as Dr. Caroline Fields
Elizabeth Gracin as Jasmin

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