The name for the series was undecided up to the production of the first episode. The favorite was "Birdmen" and was labeled as such on the first episode. However, the name Gatchaman created as a onomatopoeic pun of the word used to represent the sound of metal objects crashing together: "Gacchan!"
Although the Zoltar character is also known as Solaris, especially in the English-language dub of Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman (1994), his original Japanese name is Bergu Kattse, a name that literally means hill cat in German and is probably used as a pun on the surname Katzenberg. When the series was turned into Battle of the Planets (1978), the American animators changed his name to Zoltar and later to Solaris for Eagle Riders (1996).
Originally, the series' opening theme song was intended to be "Gatchaman's Song," but the studio's advertising agency insisted that the more childlike composition, "Destroy Galactor!," be used for the title sequence instead with the former film being used for the end credits. However, as the producers anticipated, the driving "Gatchaman's Song" proved so popular with viewers that the songs switched positions in the 23rd episode with a new title sequence for the rest of the series.