Monday, September 15, 2014

Rein-Toon-Ation: Eagle Riders (1996)

The third American adaptation of Japan's popular Gatchaman cartoons fell into the hands of songwriter-producer Haim Saban in 1996. Unfortunately, Eagle Riders, which adapted Gatchaman II & Gatchaman Fighter, failed to catch on here in the US.

While the characters and basic designs remained the same, the names were again changed. 65 episodes were produced, enough for 13 weeks of daily programs, much like the first American adaptation, Battle of the Planets. However, for whatever reason, only 13 episodes aired here, on Saturday mornings in syndication. Wikipedia claims it was a UPN series, but in truth it wasn't. It may have aired on UPN affiliates in different parts of the country (airing on the NBC affiliate here, which was a CBS affiliate when it aired Battle nearly 20 years earlier), but it was definitely not part of the network.

I didn't see much of the show to merit giving it a rating. We'll leave you with the intro. Part of the narrative was cut off by the poster, the cleverly monickered None.

For those who care, actor Bryan Cranston, before hitting it big in primetime with Malcolm in the Middle & Breaking Bad, is one of the voice actors in Eagle Riders. Like, who knew?


magicdog said...

BOTP was my introduction and it wasn't until the age of the internet before I had the chance to see what it was originally intended to be. I know Sandy Frank was trying to protect the young ones, but Americans lost out on a lot until Gatchaman was made available on tape/DVD years later.

I caught a few eps here and there of Eagle Rider and Guardians of Space, but without the original voices (not to mention name changes, at least they could have kept those!), it seems to be missing something.

hobbyfan said...

Yeah, and it's the c-word. Continuity. Some of the Eagle Riders eps were also edited, and I think G-Force: Guardians of Space, which we'll get to eventually, was also edited.