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Phoenix, The (1981)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Phoenix, The (1981) In the pilot movie archeologists discover a blonde haired man named Bennu (Judson Scott) preserved in a thousand-year old tomb, who they believe to be a visitor from outerspace. He escapes the lab and hitches a ride with a beautiful photographer, who helps him. He finds that the earth is now too toxic for him and that he needs to build a machine to help him, but needs half a million dollars for the equipment. He gets this by going to an illegal gambling den and winning.

He has certain powers-- he can read minds and focus energy through this large gold medallion of a phoenix he has about his neck. When we first see this one of the doctors tries to take it from him but it won't come off. He also gets his energy from the sun.

Bennu says that he's human but that he can utilize his inner powers and the feeling is that he's actually an ancient human, not a space visitor. He's a very low key character.

The first episode of the short-lived television series changes all this, clearly making him a spaceman (he tells one of the characters that where he's from the sun is much stronger and that the medallion he wears about his neck is a sort of transformer--and that without it he will die. They also give him lots more powers....he can disintegrate a huge rolling boulder, levitate and explode a prison wall to escape. And he also has a goal--he has to find Mira, another one like him, who has the information as to what his purpose is. And let's not forget his affinity with animals--he saves a box of cats in the last episode.

The government is after him and the person hot on his heels is Richard Lynch who doesn't believe, at all, that Bennu has special powers. Well, if he believes that the guy is from outer space I don't think it's too far a stretch that he could have extraordinary abilities. So that was the goofiest part of this series, the disbelief by the main guy chasing after him.

The original FUGITIVE tv series and THE INCREDIBLE HULK do this "man on the run" scenario much better, though I say THE PHOENIX probably has much more in common with the wolf-boy show LUCAN than anything else.

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