Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Goldie Gold & Action Jack (1981)

This was originally published in my other blog, The Land of Whatever, back on August 18:

Producers Joe Ruby & Ken Spears had built a successful track record with ABC after launching their own studio in 1978 with Fangface. 3 years later, Ruby-Spears hit its first speed bump.

With Plastic Man having ended a 2-year run, and with Thundarr the Barbarian and Heathcliff entering their 2nd seasons, ABC asked Ruby-Spears for another adventure series to replace Plastic Man. The result was Goldie Gold & Action Jack, which, like Fangface & Thundarr, was an original creation, as opposed to licensed properties like Plastic Man and Heathcliff. Goldie Gold, billed as "the world's richest girl", was a cross between 60's private eye Honey West and comic book boy millionaire Richie Rich, who, oh by the way, was also part of the ABC Saturday morning block by this point. And, then, there's the matter of Goldie (voice of Judy Strangis, ex-Electra Woman & Dynagirl) also owning a newspaper, the Gold St. Journal, so factor in a little Britt Reid (Green Hornet), but without the secret identity. Goldie accompanied her ace investigative reporter, "Action" Jack Travis, all over the globe, encountering the usual variety of would-be world conquerors and the occasional minor menace.

Unfortunately, as with yesterday's subject, Spider-Woman, Saturday morning audiences weren't quite ready to accept an animated series with a female lead, and Goldie Gold was cancelled after just one season. Ruby-Spears had previously discarded another original creation, Dingbat & the Creeps, as the back-up segment on Heathcliff, bringing in another comic strip, Marmaduke, but Brad Anderson's great dane also was gone after one season, with Heathcliff's cancellation.

So I ask the question again. Is it possible to reboot Goldie for today's audience? Warner Bros. holds the rights to the series, and with the 30th anniversary due next year, the time may actually be right for a change, but don't hold your breath. Goldie isn't held in high esteem at Boomerang and Cartoon Network these days, buried in their vaults. Their loss.

Rating: C.

Updated, 12/19/10: Here's the open, uploaded by BeestieTO to YouTube:

2 comments:

magicdog said...

I don't think Goldie Gold failed because the show had a lead heroine; rather I think it was the show was being pulled in too many directions. It was one part Jonny Quest, one part Superfriends, and one part Richie Rich.

I do think the show is rebootable but you'd have to play up the Goldie and Jack characters in a Moonlighting-esque way. Plus, in the show Goldie was supposedly only 18 years old while Jack had to be at least 10 years older than that to have been the sought out reporter he was. I'd narrow the age gap between them and make Goldie the somewhat naive, spoiled sweet heiress who recruits Jack for either her online paper, or as an investigator/bodyguard. Jack being very savvy about life gradually opens Goldie's eyes to the bigger picture of how the world works (she having been rather sheltered).

hobbyfan said...

In other words, it failed for the same reason Spider-Woman failed 2 years earlier, and Jana of the Jungle the year prior to that. So the gender bias was in effect then.

Some executives need to be introduced to the modern world.