History: M.A.N.T.I.S. is an American science fiction television series that aired for one season on the Fox Network between August 26, 1994 and March 3, 1995. The original two-hour pilot was produced by Sam Raimi and developed by Sam Hamm. It stars actor Carl Lumbly.
Plot: The wealthy, mild-mannered doctor Hawkins is shot in the spine during a riot, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. After losing a lawsuit against a police officer he holds responsible, he uses his company's resources to invent a powered exoskeleton that not only enables him to walk but gives him superhuman abilities.
Using a vast array of technology, including a large underwater lab and a hovercraft called the Crysalid to fly around the city, he assumes the persona of the vigilante "M.A.N.T.I.S." (Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System).
Midway through the show's run, minor characters were jettisoned, and more fantasy adventure elements were incorporated into the premise, including parallel universes, time travel, super-villains, and monsters. In one particular episode, the M.A.N.T.I.S. is accidentally thrown 32 years into the future, where he finds that his own technology has been exploited to create a supercomputer that is being used to enslave the Port Columbia population. He destroys it and sets the human population free before returning to his own time.
In the series' final installment, Miles Hawkins and Lt. Maxwell are killed disposing of an invisible prehistoric dinosaur. John Stonebrake seals off the records and technology that had created the M.A.N.T.I.S., thus averting an apocalyptic future. While the title character's death was given a sense of finality, the story was left open in one respect: when Miles Hawkins returned to 1994 from the year 2026 (a 32 year difference), he did so precisely 32 seconds after his vehicle sent him forward in time, thus altering the computer-controlled future that his disappearance had led to. As such, Miles Hawkins, while dying in the reality that he returned to, was also sent forward in time to an unknown future.
Fun Fact: The pilot featured Gina Torres as pathologist Dr. Amy Ellis.
Releases: M.A.N.T.I.S. was released on Amazon's Digital Download service Unbox on April 2, 2008. A DVD release of the series was released on January 27, 2009.