Monday, April 21, 2014

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Teen Force (1981)

I've been waiting to do this one for a long time.

Teen Force was part of NBC's 1981-2 series, Space Stars, and while they got the rub from working with Space Ghost & The Herculoids in some crossover episodes, they've been lost in the mists of time since the series was cancelled.

Just who made up the Teen Force, anyway?

Electra was a telepath, and of the three core members made the most crossovers with Space Ghost and his wards. The writers tried to at least tease a relationship between Electra and Jace, but that went nowhere. On the other hand, Kid Comet was dating Jace's twin sister, Jan. Moleculad, then, was the odd man out in terms of relationships.

As their names imply, Comet & Moleculad also had specific powers. Comet often transformed into a literal comet when he accelerated, and Moleculad, well, I think you could figure it out as you watch the episode, "Death Ray":

Edit, 8/5/16: The video is unavailable at this time.

Let us not forget the Astromites, the twin dwarves who spoke entirely in gibberish. If I'm not mistaken, that gibberish was done by one man-----Michael Winslow, better known for his later work in the "Police Academy" movies. Small wonder, then, that Winslow was billed as the human sound effect machine.

Uglor, the villain, was a sort-of analogue for Jack Kirby's seminal Darkseid, who would make his TV debut just 3 years later, but, unfortunately, he was about as scary as a dead lizard. Yeah, that bad.

For some reason, these cartoons have been ignored by Cartoon Network & Boomerang in recent years, locked away in WB's vaults. Their loss, as usual.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

Thank you so much for posting this!!

I hadn't seen a clip of TF in at least 20 years! Sure the writing is subpar (oh, to just think of the reboots we could do with these characters!) and the Astromites bugged, but it had so much potential! At the time I didn't know about Michael Winslow - my official introduction was his appearance in the first Police Academy movie. Hearing the Astromites again confirms his familiar sound effects.

I could easily see Jan and Kid Comet were set up as a couple but it seemed Jace lusted after Electra but she didn't appear to feel the same. I always imagined that she was too mature for him emotionally, which is why they didn't get together. It seemed like a Freshman chasing after a Senior on the cheerleading squad in retrospect.

This show (along with the rest of the Space Stars) really should go up on Boomerang. It's not like there isn't any room for improvement on the current Boomeraction lineup.

hobbyfan said...

Current programmers at CN/Boomerang don't think it's worth the time. Sheer idiocy, I say. They've ignored the TF for too long.

A reboot would work, sure, with strong ties to Space Ghost, of course. Provided of course that SG would be his old heroic self, as we saw on Batman: Brave & The Bold, not the Letterman wannabe talk host.