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Battle of the Planets 

A five-member superhero team called G-Force fights to defend Earth and its space colonies from the threat of the planet Spectra.
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1  
1980   1979   1978  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Alan Young ...  7-Zark-7 / ... 85 episodes, 1978-1980
Keye Luke ...  Colonel Cronus / ... 85 episodes, 1978-1980
Ronnie Schell ...  Jason 85 episodes, 1978-1980
Janet Waldo ...  Princess / ... 85 episodes, 1978-1980
Casey Kasem ...  Mark 85 episodes, 1978-1980
Alan Dinehart Alan Dinehart ...  Chief Anderson / ... 85 episodes, 1978-1980
Takayo Fischer ...  Additional Voices 85 episodes, 1978-1980
David Jolliffe ...  Additional Voices 85 episodes, 1978-1980
Alan Oppenheimer ...  Additional Voices 85 episodes, 1978-1980
William Woodson William Woodson ...  Additional Voices / ... 85 episodes, 1978-1980
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Storyline

Zoltar and his evil minions constantly attempt to either destroy or conquer the planet Earth. His efforts in this regard are constantly battled by G-Force, a group of five teenagers with high-tech vehicles, weapons, and a thing for bird-like costumes. Each member of the defense team has incredible, cerebrionic-enhanced superpowers. These teenaged orphans have pledged their lives to defend Earth and the Federation from Zoltar, ruler of the planet Spectra. G-Force's missions are coordinated from Center Neptune on Earth by their computerized assistant, 7-Zark-7. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

outer space | See All (1) »


Certificate:

TV-Y7 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

G-Force See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series Battle of the Planets was marketed to capitalize on the momentum created by Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), released in the prior year. The words Battle (instead of War) and Planets (instead of Star) are plays on that theme. The character 7-Zark-7 was a play on "droid" names created in Star Wars, that utilized letters and numbers, such as C-3PO and R2-D2. See more »

Quotes

[opening narration]
Narrator: Battle of the Planets! G-Force, five incredible young people with superpowers! And watching over them from Centre Neptune, 7-Zark-7! Watching, warning against surprise attacks by alien galaxies from beyond space. G-Force! Fearless young orphans, protecting Earth's entire galaxy. Always five, acting as one. Dedicated! Inseparable! Invincible!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK DVD box set of the entire series contains several alternative versions of several episodes:
  • 'Battle of the Planets: The Movie', a 68 minute feature editing together several episodes onto one storyline: 'Attack of the Space Terrapin', 'Big Robot Gold Grab', 'Ghost Ship of Planet Mir' and the 'Invasion of Space Centre' episodes'. The G-Fore team's adventures here are all earthbound, and include scenes of violence and loss of life originally edited from the TV series. 7 Zark 7 is played by David Bret Egen instead of Alan Young.
  • 'Mini Feature', a 40 minute short combining the 'Invasion of Space Centre' episodes. This feature includes violence and loss of life originally cut out of the TV series. It also includes an alternative character introduction separate from the TV series, and a new club version of the theme music.
  • The episode 'Rescue of the Astronauts', with an additional character introduction, introduction sequence and the club version of the theme music.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Prisoner: Cell Block H: Episode #1.36 (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Better than the Superfriends, not quite Gatchaman
5 October 2003 | by grendelkhanSee all my reviews

Those of us who watched this series in the 70's tend to have a deep love of this show. Those who have been able to see the uncut Gatchaman episodes have seen what it could have been. Those who have seen the "G-Force" version have seen how bad it could have been. It was revolutionary in its time, and some of it still holds up well.

Sandy Frank brought Tatsunoko's Science Ninja Team Gatchaman to America as Battle of the Planets. The names were changed to protect the innocent, or because they foolishly thought American kids couldn't identify with Japanese names, like Ken, Joe and June. Oh, well, Whatta ya gonna do? Instead, they became Mark, Jason, Princess, Tiny and Keeyop, with voice work from Casey Kasem, Ronnie Schell, and Janet "Judy Jetson" Waldo. To further the ties to then-popular Star Wars, a robot, 7-Zark-&, was added, with obviously inferior animation. The series was moved from Earth to outer space. People sill died occasionally, but not in as large numbers as in Gatchaman. Exploding planes and ships were always robot controlled and Spectra forces aways ejected, much like in the later GI Joe series. But what still set this apart from other animated fare was the mature storytelling.

The characters had real feelings and motivations. They sought revenge, felt jealousy and fear, had relationships, and got hurt. The battles were spectacular, even after being heavily censored. The villains were unabashedly evil, not misguided. The heroes didn't always win, at least not completely. Plus, there was character development and ongoing sub-plots. Quite a change from the Superfriends and Scooby Doo.

The main flaw with the series is the censorship and the added footage. The new animation was greatly inferior and detracted from the plot. The distributors didn't have enough faith in the viewers and felt an overwhelming need to protect them from violence; however, this audience was in love with Star Wars and wasn't afraid of a little violence. The later G-Force version stuck closer to the storyline and showed that most of the violence could be left in without being too graphic, editing only the most extreme scenes.

The series was highly influential in Japan, inspiring many imitators, including the live action Power Ranger shows. In the US, it inspired a cult following, but did little to pave the way for better animated shows, at least immediately. In later years, fans of the show would end up in the tv world and would import greater numbers of Japanese animated programs. Now, Japanese shows and manga comics account for a large segment of youth entertainment. The dvd revolution has finally brought the uncut Gatchaman, along with the altered BOTP, to American homes, through legal means, rather than bootlegs. There's even talk of a continuation of the show and/or new show. Although somewhat dated, there's still quite a bit of entertainment value here.


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