Lucan possesses a near supernatural agility – He scales walls, ropes, trees, cliffs, and bridges with relative ease. How fast can he climb? “It depends what’s chasing me.” When the gym coach is shocked at his speed, Lucan replies, “I used to play with the bears.” Despite his amazing feats of dexterity, Lucan declines to show off.
Lucan can howl, growl, and fight like a wolf. He runs like an Olympian. Lucan also displays an uncanny rapport with animals. Lucan manifests a deep instinct for danger. Like a tingling “spider sense,” Lucan knows when he’s being stalked, and if a predator – human or animal – is about to confront him or attack.
Lucan’s core body temperature is similar to a wolf, which by some estimates is 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit. This amazing discovery prompts a confused doctor to jokingly ask a colleague if he should “call a Veterinarian.” Lucan prefers to rest in the daytime, and prowls around restlessly at night. He’d rather sleep on the floor or even in the trees than on a cushy bed. When he left Dr. Hoagland’s care he had to be reminded to “keep your hand on your wallet” and “wear your shoes.”
The show skirted fantasy themes. Like Dr. David Banner when enraged, or the Man From Atlantis when he hits the water, Lucan’s eyes change color when his wolf senses are riled. It basically freaks people out and serves him well. But don’t confuse Lucan with a werewolf. Lucan doesn’t literally turn into a wolf or even a half-wolf. His teeth don’t grow into fangs and his face and knuckles don’t sprout coarse hair. He is a human being with keen, wolf-like traits.
These physical facets of Lucan’s character are a mystery which the writers didn’t have time to explore before the show’s cancellation. Dr.Hoagland concluded in his reports that “Metabolically, he is more wolf than man.”
The key lies with his parents. Perhaps Lucan was Native American and left behind in the woods, or maybe his parents were involved in ritualistic practices and he was sacrificed to wolves? Was his family accursed by Gypsies? Or maybe they were Gypsies. (In the fabled sense) These guesses about Lucan’s heritage actually come up in the show.
At one point he’s thought to be Romanian, and later called a Gypsy. After successfully knocking down the champion in a boxing match, the announcer called out that he’s “running around like a triumphant Indian!” He’s bullied by vicious farmhands who think he’s Mexican. When Lucan proved his tracking prowess in the mountains he’s asked if he’s Native American.
The answer is always the same for Lucan. He doesn’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did turn out to be Native American. But more important than his cultural roots, where does he get his wolf-like powers? Was his mother bitten by a mystical wolf? Was his father a werewolf? No supernatural theories were presented on the series.
What if Lucan’s abilities were the result of scientific and genetic tampering and his parents were pawns? Maybe the experiment went awry and he was left in the woods? There’s too many “What ifs?” to ponder.
Regardless of the answer, Lucan’s missing parents were the driving force of Lucan’s quest and the longer they stayed missing, the more adventures he encountered.