The Man and the Challenge
|The Man and the Challenge|
|Format||Adventure; Science fiction|
|Created by||Ivan Tors|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||36|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Picture format||Black and white|
|Original run||September 12, 1959 –
June 11, 1960
The Man and the Challenge is a 36-segment half-hour television adventure/science fiction series which ran new episodes on NBC from September 12, 1959, to June 11, 1960. It starred George Nader as Dr. Glenn Barton, a research scientist for the Institute of Human Factors, an agency that conducted experiments designed to measure human endurance for the United States government. The series was produced by Ivan Tors.
Nader's costars included Jack Ging as Dan Wright, Michael Masters as Bill Locke, the Canadian-born Joyce Meadows as Lynn Allen, and Michael Keith as Matt Adams. The episodes focused on various individuals setting world records of strength, endurance, and mastery of various difficult skills.
The program also featured appearances by Bethel Leslie as Eleanor Beck in "The Early Warning", Ted Knight, as Dr. Herter in the episode "Daredevils", and Raymond Bailey, in the role of Dr. Kramer on the series opener "The Sphere of No Return". Joining Knight in that segment was Paul Burke.
Selected episodes and guest stars
Most guest stars on The Man and the Challenge were not well known at the time, though screen star Debra Paget appeared as Liza Dantes in the October 17 episode "Invisible Force", along with William Conrad, who was cast as Jim Harrigan. Here is a partial listing of some who appeared, their characters, the title of the episodes, and date of airing:
- James Best as David Malloory and Robert Karnes as Henderson (both Kentucky natives) and Robert Conrad as Bill Howard, costarred in "Maximum Capacity" on September 19.
- Whit Bissell as Dr. Robert Widener and Bethel Leslie as Nina Robinson in "Odds Against Survival" on September 26
- Sue Randall as Phyllis, in "The Windowless Room", January 30, 1960
- Robert Knapp as Ryder, in "Flying Lab", March 12
- Frank Maxwell, as Colonel Bill Blake in "The Extra Sense", April 2
- Darryl Hickman as Max Edwards in "Man in a Capsule", April 9
- Tyler McVey as Captain Whitlow in "The Dropper", April 23
- Karl Swenson as Dr. Lindstrom in "Breakoff", June 4.
The Man and the Challenge continued in reruns until September 3, 1960. It was replaced by the western The Tall Man starring Clu Gulager and Barry Sullivan as Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, respectively. It aired at the 8:30 Eastern slot on Saturdays opposite Steve McQueen's Wanted: Dead or Alive on CBS and Leave It to Beaver on ABC. It followed and preceded NBC westerns, Bonanza in its first season, and The Deputy starring Henry Fonda and Allen Case, respectively.
- Alex McNeil, Total Television, 4th edition, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 512
- IMDB, The Man and the Challenge: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131178/
- 1959-1960 American network television schedule
- TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes & Noble. p. 392. ISNB 0-7607-5634-1