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Star Fleet (Xボンバー Ekkusu Bonbā) is a marionette tokusatsu TV series. It was created by manga master Go Nagai, and produced by Cosmo Productions and Jin Productions.

Synopsis

As the year 3000 approaches, a war-torn Solar System is invaded by the Imperial Alliance in search of a supreme being, the F-01. The experimental X Bomber spacecraft with its young crew must discover the secret of F-01 and turn it against the Imperial Alliance or all will be lost.

Dubbing HistoryEdit

X-Bomber, as the series was originally known, was retitled Star Fleet for the English language dub produced by Leah Productions. Apart from the character name changes, there was relatively little changed from the original Japanese version in terms of story and editing. A reportedly damaged soundtrack necessitated a new soundtrack composed by Paul Bliss. The overly-literal translations provided by the Japanese studio were adapted by American writer Michael Sloan (who would later go on to create the popular TV series The Master and The Equalizer).

The English dub aired on ITV from October 23, 1982 to April 16, 1983. Whereas the show failed in its native Japan, it managed to become a sleeper-hit in the UK due to it dealing with topics not common in Television at the time. The show was popular enough that there were plans for the UK Licensee to finance the original studio to do a second season, with those plans only to fall with the news that the puppets and sets were mostly destroyed in a warehouse fire. The dub of show also managed to gain the attention of Queen artist Brian May, who did his own cover of the English theme with Eddie Van Halen in his 1983 solo-album Star Fleet Project.

CastEdit

Image Character Original Name Seiyū Flag Japan Dub Actor Flag United Kingdom
Drbenn Dr. Benn Robinson Mikio Terashima Peter Marinker
Shiro Shiro Hagen Shiro Ginga Toshio Furukawa Jay Benedict
Hercules Barry Hercules Bongo Heracles Shigeru Chiba Constantine Gregory
Lee John Lee Bigman Lee Naoki Tatsuta Mark Rolston
Lamia Lamia Mami Koyama Liza Ross
Ppa P.P.A. P.P. Adamsky Yūji Mitsuya John Baddeley
Sean Barrett (eps 7-10)
Kyle General Kyle General Kuroda Hidekatsu Shibata Kevin Brennan
Goodcarter Captain Carter Captain Custer Norio Wakamoto Garrick Hagon
Profhagen Professor Hagen Professor Ginga Mikio Terashima Al Matthews
Sfcs1 Number One Officer A Hideyuki Tanaka Jay Benedict
Sfcs2 Number Two Officer B Masaharu Satō John Baddeley
Halley Captain Halley Katsuji Mori Garrick Hagon
Makara Commander Makara Bloody Mary Rihoko Yoshida Denise Bryer
Orion Captain Orion Kozlo Reizō Nomoto Sean Barrett
Caliban Caliban Doctor Gedora Kenichi Ogata Al Matthews
Termoid Termoid Soldiers Gelma Soldiers Masaharu Satō John Baddeley (eps 1-3)
Jacob Witkin (eps 4-24)
Master The Imperial Master Emperor Gelma Banjō Ginga Jacob Witkin
Narrator Yuzuru Fujimoto Peter Marinker

Episodic CharactersEdit

Image Character Seiyū Dub Actor Ep.
Makarasymbiote Makara's Symbiote Masaharu Satō Jacob Witkin 1, 8-9, 17, 21
Sfcstaff1 Communications Officer Naoki Tatsuta Jay Benedict 1-2, 4, 6
Mark Rolston 3
Garrick Hagon 23-24
Sfcstaff2 Communications Officer 2 Masaharu Satō Jay Benedict 2, 4, 23
Pilot2 Ocean Fleet Pilot Banjō Ginga Sean Barrett 2
Sfcstaff4 EDF Officer 1 Shigeru Chiba Jay Benedict
Sfcstaff3 EDF Officer 2 Banjō Ginga John Baddeley
Sfcstaff5 EDF Officer 3 Rihoko Yoshida Denise Bryer
Missilebase Commander Vargas Banjō Ginga Constantine Gregory 3
Keeli Princess Keeli Mami Koyama Liza Ross 11
Aide1 Callinean Aide Kenichi Ogata Jacob Witkin 20-21
Sfking King of Callinean Mikio Terashima Sean Barrett
Sfqueen Queen of Callinean Mami Koyama Liza Ross 21
Exco1 Imperial Officer 1 Kenichi Ogata John Baddeley 22-24
Exco2 Imperial Officer 2 Masaharu Satō Jacob Witkin

Additional VoicesEdit

NotesEdit

  • Episode 18 was undubbed, as it was the third recap episode that offered nothing new to the plot. This doesn't seem unique to the English dub, as the French, Italian and Arabic dubs don't dub it either. It seems that the episode is excluded from international distribution packages.
  • Al Matthews' role was not credited due to the end credits being the same used since Episode 1. His first voice appearance on the show was Episode 19. His voice was confirmed via e-mail correspondence with Louis Elman.
  • Star Fleet was heavily influenced by the works of Gerry Anderson (primarily Thunderbirds) as well as Star Wars. The English casting has some interesting connections echoing these influences.
    • Denise Bryer, the voice of Commander Makara was a voice actor on early Gerry Anderson series (The Adventures of Twizzle, Four Feather Falls) and would go onto work on Anderson's Terrahawks the following year as Captain Mary Falconer and Zelda.
    • Garrick Hagon and Jay Benedict played Biggs and Deak, two friends of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on Tatooine in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Post-production cuts however reduced Hagon's role significantly, while removing Benedict's role altogether.
    • The sound editor for the English dub was Tony Lenny, who had previously worked as the sound editor for 8 episodes of Thunderbirds and previously as music editor for its predecessor series Stingray. He would also go on to direct and edit for Terrahawks.
    • The English dub also utilized sound effect tracks from Anderson's live-action series Space: 1999.
  • In the UK, VHS tapes of the series were only released as highly edited compilation films titled The Thalian Space Wars (consisting of Episodes 1, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 4) and Space Quest for F-01 (consisting of Episodes 2, 3, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 23 and 24). The lone exception is a tape released by Thorn EMI of Episodes 4 and 5 edited together.

TransmissionEdit

Date(s) Channel Country
1982-1983 ITV United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom

Video ReleasesEdit

Distributor Year Format Contents Region Country
MY-TV 1983 VHS Compilation Films PAL United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom
2 Volumes
Thorn EMI 1984 Episodes 4 & 5
1 Volume
Master Vision 1987 Compilation Films
2 Volumes
Classic Family Entertainment 1988 The Complete Series NTSC United States Flag United States
8 Volumes
Fabulous Films 2009 DVD The Complete Series 2
PAL
United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom
4 discs
Umbrella Entertainment The Complete Series 4
PAL
Australia Flag Australia
4 discs
Discotek Media 2017 The Complete Series 1
NTSC
United States Flag United States
4 discs

External LinksEdit