Space Ghost

Tagged: TV

Animated tv series (1966-1968; vt Space Ghost and Dino Boy). Hanna-Barbera Productions for CBS-TV. Produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Created by Alex Toth. Directed by Hanna, and Barbera. Writers included Walter Black, William Hamilton, Joe Ruby, and Ken Spears. Space Ghost cast includes Ted Cassiday, Keye Luke, Tim Matheson, Don Messick, Gary Owens and Ginny Tyler. Dino Boy cast includes John David Carson, Don Messick, Gary Owens and Mike Road. Twenty 30-minute episodes overall; 19 for Dino Boy. Each actual instalment was roughly 8 minutes. Colour.

Two series in one: each segment consisted of two Space Ghost adventures with a Dino Boy adventure inserted between them; the final episode featured Space Ghost alone. Space Ghost (Owens), whose real name is never given, is a future interplanetary policeman operating mostly in outer space. None of his colleagues were ever shown. Space Ghost wears a Superhero-like white costume with a black hooded mask and yellow cape. He travels in a Spaceship, the Phantom Cruiser, along with his twin teenage sidekicks Jan (Tyler) and Jace (Matheson), and their pet monkey Blip. All four have special belts providing Invisibility when needed; Space Ghost wears high-technology gauntlets which allow him to manipulate energy to a tremendous extent, while he can also travel through space for considerable distances without the Phantom Cruiser. Typically in each instalment, the twins would be trapped or captured by an enemy and Space Ghost would rescue them. Various hostile Aliens and Monsters were their primary opponents, some returning on a regular basis. Time Travel features in at least two episodes. Space Ghost battles the "Council of Doom" in the two-part final instalment in which he encounters characters from several other Hanna-Barbera series before achieving victory.

Dino Boy in the Lost Valley dealt with the adventures of Dino Boy (Carson), real name Todd, who parachuted out of a crashing plane carrying his parents over a valley deep in the jungles of South America. Landing in a Lost World of Dinosaurs and cavemen, Dino Boy was quickly befriended by Ugh (Road), a Neanderthal who saved him from an attacking Dinosaur. Ugh also tames the young Brontosaurus "Bronty" as a pet which Dino Boy rides like a horse. Dino Boy is often menaced by assorted other beings or Lost Races living within the valley including the Moss Men, Worm People, Vampire People and other hostile natives.

Both series were well-written compared to other animated children's series of the period, and could be enjoyed by adult viewers. The animation was of good quality, perhaps owing largely to Toth, who had worked in Comics since the 1950s. The series retains a substantial following today. While often shown separately or paired with other Hanna-Barbera properties in syndication, both programmes were released to home video in 2007 as originally presented. [GSt]

see also: The Herculoids.

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