Depending on where you come from you might know the subject of today’s post under a different name. Â In Japan it was called Gatchaman (or Science Ninja Team Gatchaman if you prefer!), whilst in the rest of the world it has been known as both G-Force and Eagle Riders. Â Here in the UK, we knew it as Battle of the Planets.
The show originated in Japan in 1972, but was brought to the western world in 1978 by Sandy Frank Entertainment, who cut the original episodes up to remove some of the more violent moments, added a few new characters and generally made the show more palatable to western tastes. Â This meant poaching a fair few ideas from Star Wars, including an epic sounding theme song and a token R2D2 like droid, but more on that later.
Battle of the Planets followed the adventures of G-Force, a team of five youngsters who defended the Earth from attacks from outer space, normally perpertrated by the evil Zoltar (an absolutely perfect name for a villain if ever there was one!). Â They travelled through space in a ship called the Phoenix, which in great Japanese tradition had a number of mini vehicles which the different members of G-Force could use. Â The Phoenix could also transform into a fiery bird like craft called the Fiery Phoenix, which looked brilliant and was often the easiest way to save the day at the end of the episode!