Battle of the Planets

1978 | United States

US adaptation of the Japanese anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman of which 85 episodes (of the original 105) were adapted and given a twist to appeal to the US juvenile television market of the 1970s. 

The story followed the adventures of G-Force, a team of youngsters with a mission to save the Earth from the warmongering planet Spectra. The team consisted of Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop and Tiny. The commander of the Spectra forces was the villainous Zoltar who received his orders from the "Luminous One" a ghost-like, disembodied, floating head! The main ship of the G-Force team was the Phoenix, a transporter piloted by Tiny, that could deploy four smaller vehicles, each operated by one team member. The Phoenix could also fire "Bird missiles" as well as transform into a flaming bird-shaped craft with a giant blowtorch (called the Fiery Phoenix). The G-Force members were experts in a combination of martial arts, ninja-like weapons, and were possessed of "cerebonic" powers to dispatch hordes of enemy soldiers and overcome other obstacles. Their bird-like costumes included wing-like capes that could fan out and function as "gliders". The G-Force members could stay in contact through a wrist-band communicator which also served as a way for them to change from their 'civvies' instantly into their G-Force uniforms.

Published on November 29th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.