BotP Universe G-Force Spectra Episodes Fan Stuff Misc.

Translated French Article

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On TF1, a new science-fiction serial that hopes to dethrone
"Goldorak" (Toei Doga's Grandizer)


     Here comes the "anti-Golderak" era. After the horrifying
monsters of Antenna 2, TF1 now offers us clownish robots...

     But let's back up a moment. Since its beginnings television
has broadcast thousands of animated cartoons. 'Popeye', 'Pink
Panther', 'Satanas'... They've been watched with amusement,
between important programs, then dismissed without further
thought. Then one evening last winter, on Antenna 2, Goldorak
leaped forth from Japan. A thunderous success. Telespectators of
all ages waited for the Goldorak hour as though it were a crucial
appointment. Everywhere kids were humming his theme song. Finally
at Christmas, an unheard-of wave of merchandising items and
Goldorakian saucers. In short, a tidal wave. Also a social
phenomenon, which "Tele 7 Days" was almost the first to discover
and report on, when a stupefying flood of mail on Golderak crashed
in. The series quickly gave birth to polemics. It was argued over
among families. A minor Dreyfus affair over an animated cartoon...

     "It's incredibly violent!" said some.

     "How could anybody be shocked by it?" Asks others, "when,
only moments later the newscasts show the dead in Beirut or
elsewhere, which certianly don't come from the world of fiction."

     It was even suggested that Golderak was a racist or a Nazi
since the Terrans were always shown as having the right to
annihilate those who didn't resemble them. In university
departments of sociology and communication science, students chose
"the Goldorak case" as their thesis subjects.


     More astonishing, but on a technical and commercial level,
was that Goldorak was Japanese rather than American. The
Americans, until now the masters of the science-fiction comic
strip, seemed to have missed the "supernatural revolution" in
animated cartoons. But this Pearl Harbor of television has now
been avenged with Battle of the Planets, whose world success is
taking place this very moment. Each Wednesday afternoon on TF1
until next July, we'll be seeing for a half-hour the episodes of
'Battle', produced by the 'Sandy Frank Film Syndicate' of New
York. In addition, beginning in October, we can find other
vicissitudes in a monthly publication whose title is... "Battle of
the Planets".

     It's clearly evident that the basic theme of this American
creation resembles that of 'Golderak' or 'The Invaders', since
there aren't 36 different ways to develop a "battle of the
planets" theme. In this case the planet 'Spectra' is in the midst
of an ecological crisis. Its inhabitants want to seize the pure,
rich and fertile Earth (good news for those of us who've been
nervous about our well-being). The Terrans defend themselves. But
if there are space battles, they are treated with a constant
humor. Our globe is protected by a team- the 'G-Force' - of five
'super-youths', including a female 'Princess' - who are as brave
as they are bizarre. A 'super-hero' leads the 'super-youths' with
style: Commander Marc. They have all the usual powers and
stupefying forces that appear according to the needs of the
action. But what they are mainly out to do is to ridicule the
adversary, rather than atomizing him or cutting him into
'superconfetti' with a 'superlaser'. To such an extent that the
Spectran chief Zoltar frequently, due to intensity of his
vexations in his constant setbacks, falls into what is for him the
sign of 'superintense' rage: he turns into a lobster.

     Humble robots assist Commander Marc and the 'G-Force'. But
they aren't somber electronic brutes. This is obvious in the way
the 'robot-radar' whose duty is to unmask the squadrons from
Spectra and who answers to the strange name of "7 Zark 7"
expresses his unease by saying, "I'm really sweating machine oil",
or his chagrin when he is taken aback by, "It looks like I've
blown my transistors."


     In short, it's unlikely tha anyone will discover in this
highly diverting 'Battle of the Planets' any impudent fascicm or
evidence of interstellar ethnic discrimination...

     The era of smart-alec, angelic robots and saucers modeled on
a "Heavenly Salvation Army" has finally arrived. To depict the
character of 'Battle' two words can apply: fantastic or marvelous.
There is a distinction. In this case it's the marvelous that's
most evident. A good sidereal life for all for the next ten
months, then, thanks to Commander Marc, the G-Force, Zoltar the
lobster, and robots who are prone to self-criticism.

Robert Cusin