Saturday, June 25, 2016

Daytime Heroes: Bots Master (1993)

I will acknowledge right here and now that I never watched an episode of the short-lived French import, Bots Master when it first arrived in the US in 1993, the latest attempt by ex-DIC co-founder Jean Chalopin to gain a new foothold in the US.

Set in the not-too-distant future, at least now as I'm writing this, 23 years after the series first aired, the story surrounds boy genius Ziv Zulander, whose first creations are being used for less than altruistic purposes, so he creates a new set of robots to fight the tyranny.

What hurt the show? Seems Chalopin hadn't learned the lesson from his former employers when they made a big time blunder building a show around rapper MC Hammer (Hammerman) 2 years earlier. Then again, neither did Hanna-Barbera a year later, when B-52's frontman Fred Schneider was brought in to create a new rap theme for Captain Planet. At that time, hip hop and heroics didn't mesh well, and wouldn't until Static Shock came along for the WB a few years later. So not digging the rap theme written for this show, and performed by some of the cast. Judge for yourselves as you watch the episode, "Adios....ZZ":

I get this was ultimately meant to sell toys, and there are fans of this show online clamoring for its return. All well and good, but back in 1993, the market was crowded, and that included some anime imports. Bots Master was lost in the shuffle, and with only 40 episodes produced, two months worth of daily shows, or, if syndicated channels chose the other option, nearly a full year without repeats, a trend that would continue for the rest of the decade, but not with a lot of success.

No rating.

Animated World of DC Comics: Batman vs. Simon the Pieman (1968)

Batman meets a brand new villain with a real taste for crime in "Simon The Pieman". Simon (Ted Knight, of course) dresses in drag in his cover ID as Mother Apple, and this was a rarity back in the late 60's.

Unfortunately, his delusions of grandeur didn't exactly endear him to his more experienced fellow crooks, whom he dismissed as if they were beneath him. Well..........

Simon merited one more appearance, and was never used again. When Filmation gained a new license for Batman in 1977, they opted to create new characters all over again, since this time the rights to the classic villains were split with Hanna-Barbera, though the likes of the Riddler wouldn't return for another year and a half.

Today, Simon would probably be posited as an opponent of healthy eating.

Rating: B-.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Isis in Now You Don't (1976)

As promised, here's the concluding chapter of , well, we might as well say, "Now You See It.....Now You Don't", from The Secrets of Isis, with special guest star John Davey (Shazam!) as Captain Marvel.

I'm just going to guess, but the voiceover narration by co-executive producer Norm Prescott used here is from season 1, not season 2, since we noted last time that Joanna Pang (Cindy) had left the show, replaced by Renalda Douglas, who played Rennie Carol.

Now, don't you think CBS & Filmation would've been better served with airing one of the two episodes on Shazam!. to get that show's other stars, Michael Gray and Les Tremayne, in the mix?

No rating.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Isis & Captain Marvel team up! (1976)

From season 2 of The Secrets of Isis:

Isis (Joanna Cameron) gets help from Captain Marvel (John Davey) to clear Rick Mason (Brian Cutler) of robbery in the first half of a 2-part adventure. Here's "Now You See It" (which was also the name of a CBS game show around this same time):

Joanna Pang (Cindy) left the show after 1 season. Writer-director Arthur H. Nadel cut his teeth at Four Star, where he wrote and/or directed a number of episodes of The Rifleman and some of the studio's other Westerns. Filmation, I believe, marked a career revival for Nadel.

We'll have the conclusion tomorrow. Didn't see either half, so there's no rating. As it was, I was involved in other matters that precluded watching Isis back then.

From Comics to Toons: Popeye in Coffee House (1960)

Popeye's in for a culture shock when he finds Olive Oyl has turned into a beatnik. Then again, so has Brutus. The Beat Generation may never be the same again after "Coffee House". Like, dig it, daddy-o!

For whatever reason, Bluto's name was changed to Brutus, though still voiced by the same actor (Jackson Beck), when King Features began producing their own cartoons. Luckily, Hanna-Barbera corrected this mistake when they acquired a license 18 years later.

Rating: B-.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits: We're All Together (1972)

From Season 1 of Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids comes "We're All Together", which sums up the episode, "Creativity", an origin of the gang's Junkyard Band.

I think Mushmouth must've seen Bo Diddley in concert. Why else would he have that square "guitar"?

It Should've Been on a Saturday: Ulysses 31 (1981)

Ulysses 31 takes a hero from Greek mythology and updates his story to the far future. Specifically, the 31st century.

It is also one of the first series produced by DIC, but it took six years, or so Wikipedia claims, before it landed here in the US. Supposedly, the series was included in the Kideo TV syndicated package released in 1987, which, as memory serves, allowed for other failed DIC properties, such as Wolf Rock TV and Hulk Hogan's Rock & Wrestling, to gain new life. Unfortunately, no station in my market picked up the block. Somehow, I seem to recall Nickelodeon picking up the show, not just in Australia, but here in the US. However, I've never seen it, so there won't be a rating.

We'll leave you with the episode, "The Lost Planet". The Saban logo at the end comes from the 90's.