was an American science fiction television series that aired for one
season on the Fox Network between August 26, 1994 and March 3, 1995.
The original two-hour
pilot was produced by Sam Raimi and developed by Sam Hamm. It stars
actor Carl Lumbly. The show is unique in that it depicts an
mild-mannered doctor Hawkins is shot in the spine during a riot, leaving
him paralyzed from the waist down.
After losing a
lawsuit against a police officer he holds responsible, he uses his
company's resources to invent a powered exoskeleton that not only
enables him to walk but gives him superhuman abilities.
Using a vast
array of technology, including a large underwater lab and a hovercraft
called the Crysalid to fly around the city, he assumes the
persona of the vigilante "M.A.N.T.I.S." (Mechanically
Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System).
There were a number of differences between the pilot and the series. For
example, in the pilot, Hawkins wore a suit over the exo-skeleton, it
lacked a skullcap, and the headpiece was larger. The setting was changed
from Oceania City to Port Columbia, and all of the characters, with
Hawkins being an exception, were changed.
The network scrapped the idea based on the pilot movie for two reasons.
The pilot dealt heavily with racism, which the network wanted to stay
clear of. The second was the series starred three black actors and no
white actors. The series would have the black star, but two white people
in the costarring roles.
In the series,
the supporting cast was changed to John Stonebrake, Taylor Savage and Glalyn Gorg
as Lt. Maxwell, with the plot being completely rebooted.