Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Herculoids (1967)

Hanna-Barbera expanded on its universe of super adventure in 1967, taking viewers to the jungle world of Amzot, later renamed Quasar, home of The Herculoids.

Zandor (Mike Road, ex-Jonny Quest) was the team leader and unofficial ruler of his world, as we rarely, if at all, saw any other humans on Amzot, aside from Zandor's wife, Tara, and their son, Dorno (Ted Eccles). The emphasis was on the collection of creatures that formed the Herculoids. Spm1975 uploaded this open, narrated by Road:

Unbelievably, Road was also the voice behind most of the Herculoids, if not all of them. Who knew he had that kind of talent in him? Road & Virginia Gregg (Tara) were the lone cast members to return when the series was revived as part of the 1981 Space Stars series, which would mark the end of his association with Hanna-Barbera. Today, reruns of the series pop up from time to time on Boomerang, usually in late night, and the series was just recently released on DVD. Could the Herculoids return to action in the near future? As long as it's done right!!

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

Yay!! One of my favorite action adventure toons of my childhood!!

I managed to see a few eps from both the 60's series and the '81 show and, like Space Ghost, the 60s version comes out on top! The Herculoids seemed much less vulnerable in their original series.

I think however you are mistaken that Mike Road was the only original VA to return to his Herculoid role; the late Virginia Gregg returned to her role as Tara in the '81 series although Ted Eccles was replaced as Dorno.

Also, Don Messick was the voice behind Gloop & Gleep. Mike Road did Igoo and Tundro. I'm not certain who did Zok.

Like Space Ghost, I really hope to see a rocking reboot of this show soon!

hobbyfan said...

Thanks, Magicdog. I have amended the original post. I did some checking, and it turns out Mike Road was the voice of Zok.

The vulnerability of the Hercs in the '81 series was due largely to the anti-violence statutes put in place after the original series.

magicdog said...

I'm not surprised. It wasn't until years later and seeing the old and new toons side by side that I noticed how much difference the "anti-violence rule" made.

Even the alternate opening for the Herculoids (which was used when the show went into a season of repeats in 68-69) was toned down from the fight scenes the original openings had! Even the theme music was changed!

hobbyfan said...

So the alternate open was a product of Peggy Charren's meddling. What a shock.