Pilot: Lucan (Air date: May 22nd 1977)
A 10yr-old child raised by wolves in Northern Minnesota is brought to a California University and taught the ways of civilization by a kind scientist. He’s given the name Lucan. At twenty years-old he ventures out into the world to find his parents. Lucan has remarkable agility and wolf-like characteristics, but he is also wise, kind and gentle.
On his first job at a Construction company, Lucan’s immediately persecuted by the foreman and his cronies. Lucan befriends the shady company owner’s daughter, Mickey MacElwaine and helps her to find the courage to make her own decisions in life.
The Pilot movie is very straightforward and I actually don’t think it’s the strongest entry of the series. I liked the first half more, as it sets the stage and backstory in amusing/touching clips showing Lucan’s behavioral and learning process. After an impressive feat on the ropes, Lucan is sought out by gym coaches to play on sports teams but he politely declines. Meanwhile, the school administration doesn’t trust that Lucan’s been fully “domesticated.” Despite evidence to the contrary, they fear he’ll revert back to his wolf-like behavior and harm campus residents or cause them trouble outside its walls. Lucan’s Mentor, Don Hoagland, puts up a fierce defense, but he’s voted out of the school.
The latter half of the movie focuses a little too much on side characters we won’t meet again, nor would we care to, but the lead performances make up for the meandering scenes. We’re gradually shown Lucan’s abilities, the gym sequence is fun, as well as Mickey’s dramatic rescue. The show went through more plot changes after this, so don’t be surprised to see Hoagland again. I’m glad he stayed. I appreciated the simplicity of Lucan’s journey at the start, but it needed more “oomph” as a whole to capture an audience.