Dr Strange – 1978 – The lost TV-film
Ever since I was a kid I like magic tricks. Not that I necessarily believe in real magic but I like to be fooled by great illusionists. And I hate not being able to figure out the trick too. In the movie-realm magic exists of course. Real Magic. I have no problem with that what so ever. I enjoy it and I love fantasy movies with wizards and warlocks too. In Dr. Strange, we meet som real sorcery and the antagonist is none other than Morgana Lefay. I don’t know why this character from the King Arthus saga is present here but she is.
She isn’t the true villain though. She isn’t the boss, there is someone or something else controlling her. I never figure out what it was because it stayed in the shadows and I got no good look at it. But she is the operative bad gut so to speak. And, hands down, I’d much rather see a good looking woman as the evil ingredient than som monster standing in the shadows. In fantasy land, it would be ok, but this also takes place in the real world where it’s preferable to visualize a humanoid looking very human.
The good side is visualized by an elderly man. He’s supposed to be several hundred years old but I’d say he looks like 50-60 or so. I guess magic can keep you look you for a very long time. Anyway, the old man is very knowledgable and realizes that evil is coming after him once again. He has defeated it before but at his old age, he needs to find a replacement for himself.
This replacement is, of course, Dr. Strange. A psychiatrist at the local hospital that has no idea about the very real struggle between good and evil that is going on in the shadow realm. But he wears a very special ring that was given to him by his father. That is the way to identify him but he has to commit of his own free will to follow in the old man’s footsteps, and he’s most unwilling to accept any of the magic for real.
That’s basically what the movie is about. You could consider it to be a coming of age adventure in a way. Coming of age where Dr. Strange needs to evolve himself and com to realization with that he doesn’t really have a choice. He can’t let evil win.
Overall I find it pretty boring. Interesting to see solely because there was a new version filmed a few years ago with Benedict Cumberbatch. You’ll have to take it for what it is though. There’s no great effect and since it’s from the late seventies there’s nothing strange about that. It’s more drama than action anyway.