US/Japanese animated tv series (1986). TMS Entertainment Ltd. Created by Chris Columbus. Executive Producer Yutaka Fujioka. Directors include David Hilberman, Toshiyuki Hiruma and Sam Nicholson. Writers include Larry DiTillio, Ken Koonce and David Weimers. Voice cast includes Susan Blu, Pat Carroll, Nancy Cartwright, Jennifer Darling, David L. Lander, Danny Mann, Howard Morris, Hal Rayle and John Stephenson. Thirteen 24-minute episodes. Colour.
Doyle Cleverlobe (Rayle) and Aimee Brightower (Blu) are the first humans to attend Galaxy High (see Education in SF), whose student body and teachers are Aliens. Doyle is an arrogant jock, but gradually becomes more likable, with occasional relapses; Aimee is smart, more open-minded and immediately popular.
Other regulars include the six-armed class president, Milo de Venus (Lander); Beef Bonk (Stephenson), a bully who is Doyle's nemesis; Aimee's friends Booey Bubblehead (Darling) and Gilda Gossip (Cartwright), whose main character traits are readily deduced; and The Creep (Mann), who sings of his unrequited love for Aimee. Also prominent are Scientist Professor Icenstein (Morris), School Principal Biddy McBrain (Carroll) and student "Flat" Freddy Fender (Cartwright), whose main point of interest is hearing Nancy Cartwright's dry run for her Bart Simpson voice.
The character designs are fairly humdrum, with one-off and background aliens often being bipedal Earth animals with antennae. Plots are uninventive, usually based around the school or the Pizza Parlour where Doyle works, whose owner is an alien named Luigi. Hopes of even a loose adherence to scientific reality are quickly disabused in episode one, when Doyle falls into a chipper and comes out as a pile of french fries, not only alive but talking.
Professor Eisenstein and his Inventions provide many of the sf tropes: for example, his Molecular Reconstructor restores Doyle after his french-fry experience; his Time Machine takes Doyle, Aimee and their friends back to the beginning of Galaxy High, to find themselves responsible for its founding (see Time Paradoxes).
The inevitable anti-Drugs episode centres on the downloading of brain waves, such as those of Edgar Alien Poe and William Quarkspeare (see Shakespeare), to cheat in exams. Another episode has a plague of "martian mumps", where the afflicted turn green, lose their personality and become rule-obsessed Martians (see Mars); though reminiscent of 1950s Cold War plots, the trope's use here is not political – indeed, when Captain James T Smirk of the Medi-Federation turns up (see Star Trek) his attitude to Martians is portrayed as racist (see Race in SF). Other media references include King Kong (1933) and a horror film called I Was a Teenaged Human.
Proper science jokes are rare, an exception being Doyle's enquiry: "When's the next bus?" "Ten minutes PST" "Pacific Standard Time?" "Plutonian Standard Time" – Doyle counts on his fingers – "that's three months!" (it is unclear whether bad maths is in-character or a writer's indifference).
Unimaginative and only occasionally funny – there are many puns – Galaxy High is very much of its time, a little bland but fondly remembered by some. [SP]