Monday, January 05, 2015

Cult-TV Theme Watch: Bigfoot and Yeti

The hairy, stinky cryptid known as Bigfoot (or, occasionally, a yeti…) has been a regular staple of cult-television for years, but especially in the 1970s, when Sasquatch was a pop culture phenomenon.

Far earlier than that, however, Bigfoot -- or at least his footprints – made an appearance on the paranormal anthology One Step Beyond (1959 – 1961). In “Night of the Kill,” a young boy goes missing, but when found, reports that a hairy (and friendly) bigfoot-type creature was his protector and companion.

In the 1970s, an episode of the Leonard Nimoy series In Search Of (1977) devoted an episode to Sasquatch, and recreated his attack on a cabin near Mt. St. Helens, docu-drama style.

The most famous Bigfoot of the decade, however, wasn’t even a living being, but rather a robot.  The bionic Sasquatch, tool of a humanoid alien race, starred in many episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man including “The Secret of Bigfoot” and “Return of Bigfoot.”  The friendly robot sasquatch was played by both Andre the Giant and Ted Cassidy during the run of the series (and in cross-overs with The Bionic Woman).

Sid and Marty Krofft produced a Bigfoot themed series in the late 1970s as well, Bigfoot and Wildboy (1976 – 1979). It was originally part of the Krofft Supershow but by 1979 had inherited its own time slot.  In this series, Bigfoot raised a young boy as a son, and together the duo faced off against crooks and monsters.

Doctor Who (1963 – 1989) during the Patrick Troughton years also featured a hairy monster -- A Yeti – as a villain.  Like the Bionic Bigfoot, these Yeti were actually robots

In the early 1990s, Bruce Davison starred in a TV version of the feature film Harry and the Hendersons (1987) about a friendly Bigfoot-like creature and a suburban family.

Bigfoot was also a character on Sanctuary (2008 - 2011).

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