Monday, March 20, 2017

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Hawks


A hawk is a mid-sized bird of prey. A hawk possesses talons, hooked beak, and broad wings. The hawk is known for its ability to hunt, and swoop down to grab its prey.

Hawks have appeared frequently in cult-TV, in one form or another.

First, the actual bird -- a hawk -- has appeared as a mythic or powerful symbol in series such as The Man from Atlantis (1977) episode "Hawk of Mu," and in Glen Larson's Manimal (1983).  


In the Man from Atlantis episode, the Hawk of Mu is a statue of great energy, capable of effecting energy fields. In the course of the episode, it transforms into a real bird.

In Manimal, a hawk is one of the several animals that Dr. Jonathan Chase (Simon MacCorkindale) can become.


The superhero Hawkman -- based, obviously, on the hawk -- has appeared on TV in programs such as the animated, Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera series, Super Friends (1977) and, more recently, the live-action Smallville (2001 - 2011).  


And another character -- an alien -- named Hawk (Thom Christopher) was a regular character on the second season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981).  He was literally a bird-man.

The name "Hawk" is often symbolically used by TV writers to suggest strength or power.  For example, the helicopter pilot and lead character in Airwolf (1982-1987) is Stringfellow Hawke (Jan Michael Vincent). And Avery Brooks plays gun-for-hire -- a man named Hawk -- in both Spenser for Hire (1985-1988), and A Man Called Hawk (1989).
Finally, one other notable Hawk in sci-fi TV. 


Space:1999 (1975-1977) is famous for its work-horse, modular spacecraft, the Eagle.  In a First Year story, "War Games," viewers are introduced to another spaceship of Earth design, the warship called a hawk.

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