Local actor recollects about his portrayal of the King of the Seven Seas

MEDFORD, Ore.– The next superhero epic “Aquaman” is hitting theatres this week. But the character has special meaning to a local actor who played a similar character when he got his big TV break.

Most people know Patrick Duffy from the 80’s hit “Dallas” but his first TV series was called “Man From Atlantis.”

While many are now used to seeing blockbuster superhero flicks on the big screen, for Duffy that wasn’t the case when he started.

“They just had started doing green screen and we couldn’t afford it,” he said. “So everything that you saw on the man from Atlantis was actually real.”

Duffy, a Rogue Valley local, was the Man from Atlantis which was created as a 13 episode TV series in 1977. It was Duffy’s first break before the hit show “Dallas” the next year.

“The ‘Man From Atlantis’ being the first real professional job I ever had,” he said.

While not technically Aquaman, Duffy says his show was a more realistic portrayal including the lack of special effects.

“The difference between Atlantis – my version and theirs – is quite large,” he said with a smirk. “There was no way to fake being underwater. There was no way to ride mechanical attack sharks or any of this other stuff I see in the trailers. So everything we did, they would throw me in the water.”

The show only ran ended up running for one season but Duffy has since written a book continuing the tale of the show he originally saw potential in.

“It diverged from the premise and jumped into trying to do Star Trek, Batman,” he said. “It became a bit cliche-ridden and I thought it was actually a good premise.”

But all of that hasn’t stopped him from cracking jokes about who’s more of a man from Atlantis.

“Now that I’m twice the man he is,” said Duffy about Jason Momoa, the lead in “Aquaman.” “No I mean literally I’m twice as old as Momoa is so I’m twice the man.

Duffy will just have to wait and see if Momoa lives up to being the King of the Seven Seas.

Duffy says he has two other books in the works if his first book does well. He says he’s actually grateful for the shows short run as he soon after he was chosen for a spot on “Dallas.”

A fun fact that was brought up during the interview, “Man From Atlantis” was the first American TV series to be purchased by the People’s Republic of China. Duffy chalks it up to its small amounts of dialogue and science fiction premise.

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