Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Space Ghost vs. "Space Spectre" (1981)

NBC, thinking they had a potential winner, had commissioned a new set of Space Ghost cartoons from Hanna-Barbera as part of the 1981 Space Stars series. I guess the thinking was they had gotten some positive numbers from combining reruns of the original series with Frankenstein, Jr. a few years earlier, but waited too long to pull the trigger. When they did, Space Stars was part of an action-packed lineup that also included Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends & Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!. Of the three adventure shows, only Spidey was retained the following season. Go figure.

Here, then, is an offering from 1981, as Space Ghost (Gary Owens) meets his doppleganger from a parallel universe, Space Spectre. The mistake in the casting was not having Owens double up and voice Spectre as well as Space Ghost. Instead, Spectre's voice is that of John Stephenson, who also voices a galactic patrolman in pursuit of the villain. Minute mistakes like that, apparently, proved to be costly.......

As noted, Jan & Jace's confusion would've worked better had Owens voiced Space Spectre.

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

This story had potential, and for the life of me I'll never know why Gary owens wasn't used to voice his evil doppelganger.

In fact, since they were trying to convey that the parallel world Space Specter came from was the opposite of the mainline universe, then why would that universe's Galactic Patrol be law keepers? Shouldn't they have been law breakers?

I do give props to Jan for noticing that "Space Ghost's" uniform was different and became suspicious. Usually these stories show how different the evil twin is yet their longtime comrades never seem to notice right away!!

Plus, it seemed odd Space Specter had no sidekicks. Even pirates had a crew of some sort.

hobbyfan said...

Thanks for pointing out the rest of the flaws in the writing. Small wonder that the 1981 Space Ghost eps were inferior to the original series in a lot of ways.

Space Stars was formatted similarly to the All-New Super Friends Hour 4 years prior with 5 segments, but they could've thought outside the box by linking some stories together to set up the Finale segment at the end of the show. Agree or disagree?

magicdog said...

I definitely agree! If they had it would have predated most of the current serialized animated fare.

Unfortunately, TPTB were too scared to go anywhere other than the conventional routes.

hobbyfan said...

I think if they tried to link the stories together, they could've saved the show from cancellation.