Put simply, Star Fleet is the best puppet TV series never made by Gerry Anderson. Â Sure, I love Gerry’s stuff, but Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Stingray and the rest of them were not of my era – Star Fleet was and when the series first aired on Saturday morning British TV in 1982 I was hooked. Â Well, it featured space ships and giant robots! Â What more could a young boy want?
Star Fleet featured an ongoing story line about Earth being attacked by the Imperial Alliance from the Thalian Zone, headed up by an imposing black helmetted guy (at least, I think it was a helmet) called the Imperial Master. Â He sends Commander Makara (a batty female officer who looked like she had a mini extra head over her left eye) on a mission to find the mysterious F-01.
The Earth Defence Force uses X-Bomber, a heavily armed space ship to combat the alien invaders. Â It is commanded by Dr. Ben who is assisted by pilots Shiro Hagen, Barry Hercules and Jon Lee. Â Shiro is the hero of the piece, whilst Barry Hercules is the cool afro headed dude (if it were live action he’d be played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Jon Lee is the portly, ginger haired, easily spooked one.
Also aboard the X-Bomber are Lamia, a princess type character who was found on Mars as a baby by Shiro’s father, who actually turns out to be the F-01 mentioned earlier. Â She is accompanied by Kirara, her guardian for want of a better word. Â He (assuming it is indeed male) is a big fluffy creature with glowing eyes. Â Finally there is P.P.A, or Perfectly Programmed Android, an annoying little flying ball thing that goes around giving orders and generally being irritating to the rest of the crew, especially Barry Hercules who gets most annoyed by P.P.A’s seeming air of superiority.
X-Bomber is a cool looking ship as it stands, but cooler still was the Dai-X. Â Three separate mini ships called Brain Com, Main Body andÂ Leg TracksÂ are launched from X-Bomber, piloted by Shiro, Barry and Jon respectively. Â Individually the three ships were useful in a fight, but they could also link together to become a massive humanoid robot named Dai-X which can battle land based enemies or fly majestically through space. Â The various forms of Power Rangers do the same thing today, but Dai-X was the first I’d ever seen, and looked awesome!
The show was originally made in Japan but was dubbed into English so we could understand what was going on. Â The show was even given a superb theme tune written by Paul Bliss. Â This is often attributed to Brian May from Queen, but he actually only did a cover version of the theme tune because he liked it so much.
To finish then, below is the ending credits which shows Dai-X forming and of course features the excellent theme tune. Â I must also provide a link to my mate Philip’s Star Fleet page, as he’s an even bigger fan of the show than I am and today just so happens to be his birthday! Â Happy Birthday Phil.