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The Man From Atlantis television series came about after four highly sucessful TV movies which appear on the NBC network. The first movie introduced audiences to the main character and his supporting cast. After a particularly violent sea storm, the body of a man dressed in only yellow swimtrunks is found on a beach near a naval undersea research base. It is soon discovered that this man is still alive and not an ordinary man. He possesses webbed hands and feet as well as gills instead of lungs. After being nursed back to a semblance of health by marine biologist Dr. Elizabeth Merrill (played by Belinda J. Montgomery) it is discovered that the man has no memories of his past and does not know who he is or where he comes from. Due to his unique physiology and the unusual markings on his trunks, it is surmised by the research facilties computers that he could possibly be an in habitant of the long lost undersea civilization of Atlantis. Dr. Merrill gives him the name of Mark Harris. After gauging the full extent of his underwater abilities (undersea breathing, abilitiy to withstand extreme undersea depth pressures, able to see withn the extreme darkness of undersea depths, swimming at speeds that match that of dolphins, but has a weakness of having to stay in close proximity to water or he will die within hours if not submerging himself) the members of the research facility, known as The Foundation for Oceanic Research, offer him a deal : in exchange for his services using his aquatic abilities to aid them in various undersea endeavors, they will make every effort to help him regain his memories and possibly find the lost Atlantis (if it is wher he is from).
His first assignment for The Foundation, Mark Harris is asked to locate a submarine carrying a group top military officals that has gone missing. Along with Dr. Merrill, Harris boards a navy vessel to assist in the search for the missing sub. It is during a search in ocean depths that only he can traverse that Harris discovers another submarine as it enters an enormous undersea habitat. The sub and the habitat are creation of a scientist who simply calls himself Mr. Schubert (played by Victor Buono). Schubert is responsible for the disapperance of the military sub and has the military officials who were aboard the sub as prisoners. He has outfitted each with a mind controlling wrist bracelet all in a attempt to set off a global nuclear war. Once this war has occured and enough time has passed afterwards, Schubert plans to repopulate the surface with subservient individuals of his choosing.