Shows : Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 18
This story is part of a Lookback Series: The Show Must Go On...
This review was first published on: May 2010.
Curt Connor may have stumbled upon the find of the 20th century. This was the 1960s, therefore I'm referring to it appropriately. Through a series of tests, he may have proven the existence of the legendary Fountain of Youth. With a great scientific find comes the responsibility to keep it to yourself.
Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 18 (Story 1)
Jan 1968 : SM Title
Summary: First Aired Jan 6th 1968
Deep in the Florida swamp sits an abandoned Spanish Fort. Inside this fort is a picturesque pond partially surrounded by a rock wall underneath a large tree. Cur Connor is performing experiments on the contents of the water as has made an amazing discovery: he has found the mythical "Fountain of Youth". On a related note, he has also discovered - or more accurately is discovered - by a 15th century conquistador that is guarding the so-called fountain.
Connor turns up missing. News of his disappearance reaches New York and the desk of Jonah Jameson. While Jonah rants about an "absent-minded scientist forgetting to come home", Peter books the first flight to Florida [Try saying that five time fast]
Once there he changes to Spider-Man and meets Martha and Billy Connor in their home. Martha explains that Curt was working on a secret project prior to his disappearance. He wouldn't reveal any details about it other than it was revolutionary.
Spider-Man goes to Connor's lab to find any clues. He finds Harvey Clivendon rummaging through the desk drawers to find information on Connor's discovery. Just as their battle begins, Billy appears and distracts Spider-Man, causing him to be knocked out. When he awakens Clivendon is gone. He tells Billy to stay at the house while he finds the hunter.
Spider-Man soon learns that Billy doesn't follow directions very well. They are quickly attacked by Clivendon, who wants Connor's secret all to himself. Clivendon forces them into a quicksand pit and leaves them for dead. The moment he leaves, Spider-Man frees himself and Billy.
Spidey decided that the best place to start looking for Curt is the Spanish Fort. [Where else would they look?] The fastest method is by water, so he makes a spider-boat out of his webbing. Complete with outboard motor and assorted controls. [Take that, Reed Richards, with your unstable molecules.] They soon find that a pair of alligators are making their way toward them. Clivendon reappears in a boat of his own and opens fire, causing the boat to capsize. He once again leaves Spider-Man and the child to their deaths and continues toward the fort. Spider-Man and Billy elude the gators and continue on their path to the fort.
Clivendon arrives and finds Connor first. He's being held captive by the conquistador. Clivendon offers to help him escape if he turns over his findings to him. Spider-Man and Billy arrive at this point. Spidey fights Clivendon while Billy frees his father. When the Connors return, Spider-Man has webbed up the greedy hunter.
At this point Billy sees the conquistador aim the fort's cannon at them and light the fuse. Wanting to help his hero, he runs over and lifts the barrel over his head, altering the trajectory. The cannon fires sending the cannonball to the fountain, which is completely destroyed upon impact. [#1 the kid should be partially deaf now. #2 a single cannon ball can't reduce an oasis to a giant smoking crater #3 he should have burned hands now #4 just look at screen cap #5]
Seeing the devastation that he helped bring about, the conquistador runs off into the swamp. Connor explains to Spider-Man that he thinks that *was* the legendary Fountain of Youth. Spider-Man then realizes the conquistador may have been Ponce de Leon.
I do try to get past the misuse of Spider-Man's webbing in this series. They turn it into many things that are frankly impossible no matter how you bend the rules of science. Throwing the red challenge flag each time is pointless; you just state the obvious. I will ignore my own advice and just state that creating a fully-functional boat with a motor is a load of crap.
They did something similar in the previous "Lizard" episode, but limited it to a big fan and skis. This was a full. Sized. Boat. You can almost believe that he could find enough wood to make skis and web them together. There is no way he could find enough wood to web together for a boat. This means the boat has to be primarily composed of webbing which doesn't float. Then again, a motorized propulsion system was created out of webbing, so whatever. At times the painful inconsistencies and highly improbable uses of the webbing get to me.
The inclusion of Billy in this episode bothered me. Not for any "child endangerment" aspect because Spider-Man told him to stay home and Billy simply ignored him. He was just really annoying. I found myself hoping Spider-Man would web him to a tree and come back for him later.
Billy finally got his wish by saving Spider-Man and his father from the cannon. This was a bad idea for several reasons. He could have easily been kidnapped by Ponce de Leon. They could have just moved quickly to one side; I don't think the cannon was mounted on a swivel base. Finally he broke the Fountain of Youth. He should be grounded for that.