Attack Of The Space Terrapin

Battle Of The PlanetsEarly warning robot 7-Zark-7 observes as a huge, turtle-shaped alien spacecraft from the planet Spectra attacks a heavily guarded facility to steal the formula for a substance that Earth shares freely with many other worlds to ease famine. G-Force, a team of five young people whose cerebonic implants give them amazing strength and endurance, is called into action. But when the vehicle vanishes without a trace, G-Force leader Mark decides that the team needs to forgo destroying their target so they can find its base of operations on Earth. His second-in-command, Jason, disagrees… but with Spectra’s forces constantly stepping up their attacks on Earth, he’ll have plenty of opportunities for the action he craves. Aboard their spacecraft, the Phoenix, G-Force works to destroy the Spectra vehicle from the inside… but escaping won’t be so easy.

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Alan Dinehart
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Voice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Ronnie Schell (Tiny), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar / The Luminous One)

Battle Of The PlanetsNote: For this episode only – the first one produced – Ronnie Schell plays Tiny, but the actor says he did not provide the voice of Jason for this first episode. The voice actor for Jason remains unknown for this episode alone. 7-Zark-7 says that Center Neptune is “900 fathoms beneath the surface of the sea” off of America’s west coast – or just a little over a mile undersea. All of Dr. Nambu’s appearances in this episode are replaced by narration or orders delivered by radio from 7-Zark-7. Dr. Nambu would appear in later episodes, but he was given the name of Chief Anderson – a name that, in the original Gatchaman episodes, belonged to a completely different character.

For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Rescue Of The Astronauts

Battle Of The PlanetsA space capsule returns from Mars with orbital photos pinpointing every secret Spectra base on the red planet’s surface. Before that information can be returned to Center Neptune, however, a huge Spectra submarine snags the capsule moments after its ocean splashdown. Mark and the Phoenix crew discover an underwater base where the capsule’s two-man crew is being held hostage, and Mark sets out alone to rescue them. But once he’s inside the base, Mark discovers that his arrival has been expected – and unless his teammates can rescue him, he’s just become Spectra’s third hostage.

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by David E. Hanson
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Voice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar / The Luminous One)

Battle Of The PlanetsNote: Casey Kasem doubles as the voice of the flight controller for the space mission, using the “radio voice” that made him famous as the longtime host of the weekly syndicated radio show, American Top 40. The most significant plot alteration in this episode is the complete avoidance of the original Gatchaman scenes in which it is revealed that the captured astronauts have already been killed before their would-be rescuer arrived (!). In the scene where Mark yells a somewhat out-of-place “Tarzan” sound, the original Japanese episode had the character issuing a fierce war cry. For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Space Mummy

Battle Of The PlanetsPlane crashes and sightings of mysterious phenomena abound on the recently-discovered planet Zarkadia (named after its discoverer, 7-Zark-7), a new ally of Earth. Chief Anderson and G-Force travel there in the Phoenix to investigate, discovering that Spectra has created a giant robotic mummy to terrorize the planet. The plutonium-powered robot’s target is Dr. Sweet, who has discovered and refined a plutonium-neutralizing mineral called anti-pluton. Silencing the scientist will allow Spectra’s plutonium-powered terrors to rampage across the galaxy unchecked. The mummy has only one vulnerable point, and Mark has to find it with little time to spare.

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Battle Of The PlanetsVoice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar)

Note: This is the first episode to feature new animation of the existing Gatchaman characters created expressly for Battle Of The Planets, namely, Mark on 7-Zark-7’s viewscreen (the difference between the Japanese animation and the American animation is instantly recognizable to any anime afficionado). Chief Anderson is said to be aboard the Phoenix for its interplanetary flight to Zarkadia (presumably the people of this planet didn’t already have a more dignified name for their homeworld), but since Dr. Nambu seldom, if ever, boarded the God Phoenix in Gatchaman, he is not seen there. Another thing not seen here is the entire opening teaser from the original Japanese episode, completely cut due to its violent images. The Zarkadians (really?) are apparently immune to the common cold. For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here. The airdate listed here is approximate, not exact; see the bottom of this page for information on Battle Of The Planets airdates.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Space Serpent

Battle Of The PlanetsA recent series of earthquakes gets Chief Anderson’s attention. One of the leading seismologists in the country, Dr. Harlon, talks to his old student Mark about the unusual quakes, which are occurring far away from known fault lines. But before they can catch up on old times, another quake strikes, and Dr. Harlon falls into the resulting crack in the ground and is killed. Mark takes his teacher’s death hard, but not as hard as Harlon’s daughter Debbie. Taking it upon himself to personally find the cause of the earthquakes and prevent them from happening again, Mark goes rogue, leaving the rest of G-Force out of the action as he searches for Spectra’s latest monstrous creation – a giant metallic serpent burrowing under the surface of Earth. This foe is more than Mark can handle alone, though – and the rest of his colleagues have to break out the big guns to save the world from Zoltar’s latest scheme.

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Voice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar)

Battle Of The PlanetsNote: Astonishingly by today’s standards, the scenes of the seismologist lighting up and smoking a cigarette are left in; then again, it was the 1970s. At any point past the early 1980s, the scenes would’ve been edited to avoid the smoking, or the conversation would’ve been cut altogether, or – as often happened when people were seen to meet grisly ends in Battle Of The Planets – 7-Zark-7 would’ve mentioned that it’s okay for him to smoke because he’s a robot. (Okay, maybe not.) The U.N. fighter jets – all of which have canopies for pilots – are said to be “robot controlled fighters.” Other lessons learned in this episode: it’s okay to put the firing switch for nuclear weapons in the hands of an untrained (and possibly teenage) civilian, so long as she refuses to fire them because seeking revenge is bad. (The scene of her firing the weapon – as actually happened in the original Gatchaman episode – is skipped, and we hear via voice-over that Jason lets the nukes fly instead. Which is perfectly acceptable.) For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ghost Ship From Planet Mir

Battle Of The PlanetsA new Earth base on the planet Mir, combining an oceanic research facility with a huge oil refinery, has become the latest target of Spectra’s attacks. Supply ships with human crews are disappearing near a “ship graveyard” in Mir’s major ocean, and Chief Anderson sends G-Force to investigate. The Phoenix arrives and heads straight for Mir’s ocean, quickly finding evidence that Spectra is teaming up with disgruntled locals on Mir to drive humans off their planet. Jason is eager to take the fight to Spectra’s fleet of fighters, but when he empties the Phoenix’s entire supply of missiles, G-Force has to hope that help is on the way.

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Voice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo Battle Of The Planets(Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar / The Luminous One)

Note: The Red Impulse element of the original episode is completely omitted here; G-Force’s salvation comes from unspecified “fighters from Mir.” (Various characters pronounce the planet’s name in different ways, ranging from “mere” – a la the Russian space station – to “murr.”) President Kane’s discussion with Chief Anderson seems to imply that Earth is not welcome on Mir, despite the fact that they’ve built an undersea base with a huge oil refinery there; the presence of two factions on Mir seems to infer that Earth has set up shop in the middle of a Mir civil war (!). Large portions of the original Gatchaman episode were cut from this installment, including the initial attack on the supply ship and the entire attack on the undersea base. For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Big Robot Gold Grab

Battle Of The Planets7-Zark-7’s security scanners alert him to a bank robbery committed by robots. G-Force is dispatched to investigate, with Chief Anderson suspecting that Spectra is involved. Mark, Keyop, and Princess find Spectra’s hideout and allow themselves to be captured in plain clothes. Distracted by the three “civilians” and the sighting of the Phoenix, the Spectra base commander completely misses Jason sneaking into the installation to find the gold. Everything seems to be going according to plan – until Mark and his friends find themselves surrounded by the deadly robot gold thieves.

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Battle Of The PlanetsVoice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar / The Luminous One)

Note: In the opening moments of the episode, 7-Zark-7 says that “all the universe knows of Center Neptune,” which slightly contradicts the numerous episodes that claim it’s G-Force’s secret base. This episode’s sound mix is almost completely replaced in many places, with American composer Hoyt Curtin’s music unusually prominent; some scenes play out with more music than sound effects. For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ace From Outer Space

Battle Of The PlanetsAt an international air show, Mark is flying a high-tech jet fighter of 7-Zark-7’s design, but is stunned when an ancient biplane appears with a skull-faced pilot standing atop its wings. The pilot’s metallic whip destroys Mark’s fighter, and G-Force is sent to pursue the intruder back to his home planet. He is Captain Doom of the planet Ergos, and he hopes to conquer Earth before his rivals on the planet Spectra can. When his metal whip shears the rudder off of the Phoenix, it seems that Captain Doom might be able to make good on his ambitions…

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Battle Of The PlanetsVoice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar / The Luminous One)

Note: In the original Gatchaman version of this story, the jet being tested by Ken has a non-polluting engine, and was invented by Dr. Nambu. Great pains are taken to point out that “Captain Doom” is not affiliated with Spectra; in the original story, “Katsenberg, the steel demon” is merely another of Berg Katse’s many disguises. The Gatchaman team, particularly Joe and Jinpei, employ considerable violence in thwarting Katsenberg’s scheme, and their escape is shown to be much narrower than G-Force’s escape. For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Fearful Sea Anemone

Battle Of The PlanetsChief Anderson reveals to G-Force that construction on a new secret undersea base on the innermost planet of Galaxy 30 is nearing completion…and that Zoltar is aware of its existence and may be trying to destroy it before it can be used. The Phoenix is launched to patrol the area, and they spot a huge robotic sea anemone on the seafloor. Keyop, still stinging from an encounter with civilians who know about G-Force bot don’t seem to know there is a G-4, sneaks away to try to complete the mission alone. But he may be leading Zoltar straight to the new secret base…

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Battle Of The PlanetsVoice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar / The Luminous One)

Note: This is one of the most literal translations of the original Gatchaman story to the Battle Of The Planets format, though where changes are made, they’re whoppers – including the construction of Center Neptune’s identical twin in “Galaxy 30” (in the original anime, which is set mostly on Earth in its first season, this marks the first appearance of the Crescent Coral Reef base, animation of which is used as Center Neptune in every Battle Of The Planets episode). For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Jupiter Moon Menace

Battle Of The PlanetsFlaming meteorites begin raining down on heavily populated cities on Earth, wrecking havoc, death and destruction. Chief Anderson analyzes samples of the meteorites and discovers that they originated on Callisto, a moon of Jupiter. The Phoenix is launched toward the moon, where it is discovered that Zoltar and Commander Typhon of the planet Scorpius control a huge, scorpion-like vehicle which mines moon rocks and then fires them at Earth. G-Force must destroy the mecha before it destroys Earth.

written by Jameson Brewer
directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
music by Hoyt Curtin and Bob Sakuma

Battle Of The PlanetsVoice Cast: Casey Kasem (Mark), Ronnie Schell (Jason), Janet Waldo (Princess / Susan), Alan Young (7-Zark-7 / Keyop), Alan Dinehart Jr. (Tiny / Chief Anderson), Keye Luke (Zoltar / The Luminous One)

Note: The scenes of panicked Earth citizens fleeing (and dying) from the original Gatchaman episode are excised completely; 7-Zark-7 says he has sent an evacuation order to prevent deaths on the ground. (Handy, that.) Also removed is Jason destroying the mecha’s control room with a hail of machine gun fire. For the corresponding episode of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, click here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green