Herculoids, The

Tagged: TV

US animated tv series (1967; vt Zandor). Hanna-Barbera Productions for CBS-TV. Executive producers: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera. Created by Alex Toth. Directed by Hanna and Barbera. Writers included Joe Ruby, David Scott, Ken Spears, Toth. Cast includes Ted Cassidy, Ted Eccles, Virginia Gregg, Don Messick and Mike Road. 36 ten-minute episodes, two per programme. Colour.

The planet Amzot's rulers Zandor (Road) and Tara (Gregg), with their son Dorno (Eccles), defend this stone-age world against a variety of Aliens and other Monsters. Being opposed to Technology for reasons never explained, the three defeat Invasions with help from other natives of Amzot. Gleep and Gloo (Messick) are protoplasmic Shapeshifters. Igoo (Cassidy) is an ape-like being made of rock who is almost indestructible. Tundro (Road), a Dinosaur-like creature able to fire explosive energy "rocks" from the four horns on its head, can also spin his head rapidly and use it as a drill. Zok (Road) is a space dragon able to travel without aid through space and fire laser Rays from both eyes and its tail. Despite being anti-technological, the Herculoids are friends of Space Ghost (1966-1968) and appeared in one episode of his series. They featured in various Tie Comics over the years from both DC Comics and Marvel Comics.

The characters were revived, along with Space Ghost and his companions, for the short-lived animated anthology series Space Stars (1981-1982), again from Hanna-Barbera Productions. An additional eleven six-minutes episode featuring the Herculoids were produced. Their home planet was here inexplicably renamed Quasar, although the plots remained similar. Most surviving cast members returned for this revival, save for Eccles, who was replaced by Sparky Marcus as Dorno. Ted Cassidy had died in 1978; his replacement is unclear. Space Stars ran on the NBC-TV network. Directors included Ray Patterson and writers included Donald F Glut. [GFi]

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