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