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The Deadly Director
Review and Media by Jon T

Episode #20 - The Deadly Director
Original Airdate - September 21, 1968

The villainous Impostor poses as the famous director Otto von Lenz after kidnapping the genuine article. He invites the Fantastic Four to star in a film of their own, and they readily accept his offer. He shows them a few highlights of their previous battles against Dr. Doom and the Mole Man as examples of what kind of action he is looking for. Having learnt from the other super-villains' past mistakes, the Impostor instructs the Four to meet him on his private island for the beginning of the film shoot. As they approach in the Fantasticar, the Impostor has his film crew fire a real laser at the craft, forcing the Four to crash-land. On the island, the Impostor challenges the Fantastic Four to evade three challenging traps on the island. The team have to dodge trap after trap and finally confront the Impostor.

Notes: This episode is a partial clip show, and when the Impostor shows highlights of the Fantastic Four's previous battles, a couple of lengthy clips from "Three Predictions Of Dr. Doom" and "The Menace Of The Mole Men" are shown.
The indicia for this episode as shown on the title card implies that this episode was originally meant to include clips from "Klaws", "Return Of The Moleman" and "Blast Starr, The Living Bomb Burst".


Review: Once again, another totally 'original' story for this series that pales in comparison to the Lee-Kirby based episodes.

The plot of making a movie as a cover to do away with the main stars isn't new, and neither is the concept of an enemy who is a master of disguise. Indeed the same plot would later be used in the 1970s FF show!

We get some lengthy clips to take up some time, but at least here they serve some sort of function, ostensibly preparing the Impostor against similar moves from the FF. It's not until almost halfway through the episode that the story actually begins in earnest, and then we're subjected to some pretty boring 'movie' themed traps for the Fantastic Four, at least until the two-headed mechanical monster Reptilius appears. Unfortunately, Reptilius is dealt with about a minute after its first appearance!

In conclusion, this is a mediocre finale to a fairly entertaining series; one that was certainly the most faithful interpretation of the Fantastic Four until the second season of the Marvel Action Hour.


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