Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Big Bad Beetleborgs (1996)

Haim Saban's continued attempts to expand his "universe", using footage imported from Japan with new American actors and scripts, saw a 2nd series added to Fox's lineup in the fall of 1996.

Big Bad Beetleborgs tells the story of three comics geeks (2 boys and a girl) who accidentally free a phantasm from a pipe organ in an old, supposedly haunted mansion. The ghost, Flabber, grants them one wish, that they could become their favorite comic book heroes. Get the idea?

Otherwise, it's a by-the-numbers Saban series, as the kids battle monsters on a regular basis. Beetleborgs aired as much as six days a week, as Fox burned the show a little too quickly. In the second season, the title was changed to Beetleborgs Metallix as the kids' powers and costumes changed. Unlike the Power Ranger franchise, however, Fox's overplaying of the show left it to end with a cliffhanger after the 2nd and final season. 88 episodes were aired over 2 seasons (1996-8).

Following is the first season intro:

One minor casting change between seasons, with the departure of Shannon Chandler, created an awkward situation that ultimately proved costly.

No rating.


Goldstar said...

The reason why "Big bad Beetleborgs" was changed to "Beetlebrogs Metallix" with all new costumes and villains in the shows' 2nd season was because Saban ran out of Japanese action footage from the previous Super Sentai series. Incidentally, the "Metallix" costumes and villians were from a completely unrelated Sentai series.

Despite some fairly amusing moments, BBB was a clumsy attempt to merge several kids' shows into one. usually, there would be the main plot with the typical Super Sentai heroes fighting villains stuff, as well as a separate plot involving Flabber and his classic monster roommates, who were somewhat reminiscent of The Groovie Ghoulies (consisting of a vampire, a mummy, a Frankenstien monster and a werewolf). Honestly, the monsters were the best part of the show. I would have liked to have seen a spinoff series with just them. Of course, they would have needed to add a female monster. My choice would be a wacky witch named Casta Spell (as you can tell, I've spent some time thinking about this).

Silverstar said...

Actually, "Beetleborgs" was Saban's 4th Americanized Sentai series; prior to "Beetleborgs", Saban produced "VR Troopers", which Fox didn't pick up (it was syndicated) and "Masked Rider", based on the "Kamen Rider" franchise which is still running in its' native Japan to this day. "Masked Rider" ran for a single season on Fox Kids before going into syndication the following year.

hobbyfan said...

Masked Rider & VR Troopers have previously been discussed in the archives, guys. IIRC, Masked Rider had bowed in the US a year earlier, and was replaced on Fox by the Beetleborgs, while the Troopers also debuted in '96. This is why I referred to "continued attempts" in my lead. Why Masked Rider didn't catch on here remains a mystery.