Dr David Bruce Banner was a scientist and physician, originally from Colorado. He was the son of Elizabeth and D.W. Banner. He had one sister, Helen, who also became a doctor. He is also the main character of the TV series.
He attended medical school against his father's wishes, because D.W. wanted David to take over the family farm when he was old enough. There he met Elaina Marks, who would be his work colleague in the Culver Institute. For a period of time, he undertook research of a terminal illness (which Dr Caroline Fields happened to have) which he gave up after his first wife, Laura, died.
We first meet him in the pilot interviewing people who have experience moments of extreme strength which they didn't even know they had, which led David to the conclusion that gamma radiation was affecting them in some way.
Gamma Radiation and anger Edit
"Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." - David Banner, pilot episodeDavid undertook an experiment on himself to test his theory. With medical equipment he gave himself an accidental overdose of this radiation (over 2 million units). This triggered a change within his DNA that meant whenever he got angry or outraged a metamorphosis known as a 'Hulk out' happened, turning him into a 7-and-a-half foot tall green monster (christened "The Hulk" by Jack McGee, a tabloid reporter who was convinced the Hulk was a killer and set out to pursue the creature). When his anger passed, he would "reform" back to his David Banner form with no memory of what happened during his moments of anger, as his conscious mind would stop nearing the end of the hulk out process.
David realised he could never stay in one place too long, because McGee was on his tail all the time and he had to let the world think he died, either in the burning down of the Southwest laboratory or the creature killed him - making him a fugitive. He moved from town to town, attempting to find a cure for his condition and adopting false aliases (keeping his first name David, but changing his surname to another one that began with 'B').
Prometheus and the Demi-Hulk Edit
In this story, David stops halfway through his reformation due to a meteorite covered in gamma radiation. The resulting half-hulk, or Demi Hulk, had David's mind (albeit in a simpler form) and speech (pitched lower). This hybrid could be angered easily - examples including "GIVE ME ONE!" and "NO! NO!" (etc). The military and scientists believed the Hulk to be an alien, but the intervention of Jack McGee stopped them from undertaking any proper scientific experiments on the Demi Hulk.
- The Demi Hulk was played by Ric Drasin.
- Amusingly, Drasin's Hulk was taller than Lou Ferrigno's Hulk!
Broken Image and Mike Cassidy Edit
In this story, Bill Bixby played both David Banner and a dead-ringer of him, a criminal named Mike Cassidy. David is often assumed to be Cassidy in this story, and at one point even pretended to be him in order to get past Jack McGee, who found David alive after thinking him dead. This leads to the most interesting scene in Hulk history, pictured on the right.
- Goof: You can see the split-screen line.
Proof Positive Edit
This is the only episode in the entire run of the series where Bill Bixby did NOT play David Banner. At this time, he had a divorce with Brenda Benet and was attending legal proceedings so wasn't available. A stuntman plays David in this episode, with Jack Colvin's Jack McGee taking the leading role instead.
- In The Psychic, later in Series Three, Bixby and Benet appear together on screen. The reason for this was that Bixby wanted his son Christopher to see that both parents could get on together, despite not being married anymore.
- The shot of Bixby's white eyes comes from the second Hulk out in the Series One episode Life and Death.
The post-series movies Edit
Three TV movies were made after the series was cancelled. All three were directed by Bill Bixby, the first one being co-directed with Nicholas Corea (Bixby was uncredited).
The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988) Edit
David Banner reunites with Donald Blake, a student he met at Harvard Medical School. Blake has the power to summon Thor, the Norse warrior god of thunder.
The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk (1989) Edit
David is arrested for a crime he did not commit. He is told he will be put on trial, but all we see of the trial is a nightmare David has and he never actually attends the trial (contradicting the title). He teams up with blind attorney Matt Murdock, who is secretly Daredevil.
The Death Of The Incredible Hulk (1990) Edit
David Banner works for Dr Ronald Pratt. When caught using Pratt's equipment in an attempt to cure himself, David explains to Pratt who he is and what happened to him. Pratt offers to help him cure the creature and David also has an unlikely romance with a spy.
- SPOILER ALERT! Read the title of the movie. Then you already know how it ends.
- A sequel called Revenge Of The Incredible Hulk was planned, having the Hulk be resurrected with David's mind, but was cancelled after Bixby died in 1993.
One last thing Edit
David Banner is not related to the rapper of the same name. Nor is he related to Bruce Banner, his Marvel counterpart. Also, he is not the same as the David Banner who appeared in Hulk (2003) as that David Banner is a different man altogether - He is a psychopath!