Thursday, September 27, 2012

Geek TV: Gigantor!

gigantorConcept: In the far-flung future of the year 2000, Jimmy Sparks, a 12-year-old boy, controls Gigantor, a huge flying robot, with a remote control. Gigantor, created by Jimmy's father, was originally created as a weapon, now used for peace.

Total Episodes: 52

Original Air Dates: (Japan) October 20, 1963 – May 25, 1966; (US) 1964-1966

Original Network: Syndicated

Geek Factor: 9

Characters:

Gigantor: Huge flying robot, with incredible strength. Gigantor has no intelligence of his own, but merely acts under the instructions of whoever has his remote control.

gigantor5Jimmy Sparks (Voice of Billie Lou Watt): 12-year-old boy who controls Gigantor, and uses him as a guardian of peace. Jimmy lives with his uncle Dr. Bob Brilliant on a remote island, and not only carries a firearm, but he also drives a car on occasion!

Dr. Bob Brilliant (Voice of ): Jimmy's uncle and guardian.

Dick Strong (Voice of Gilbert Mack): A secret agent.

Inspector Blooper (Voice of Ray Owens): A funny policeman.

Geek Guest-Stars: None
Geek Pedigree:

gigantor-headerFred Ladd was the person who “discovered” Gigantor for US audiences. His credits include editor, writer and director of The Underseas Explorers and The Space Explorers (also producing some of those), producing Pinocchio in Outer Space, associate producing Journey Back to Oz, writing episodes of not only Gigantor but also Astroboy, Kimba the White Lion, Tarzan (1979), The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!, The Incredible Hulk (1982), and Ghostbusters (1986). He was also voice director for Astroboy, Gigantor, Kimba the White Lion, G-Force: Guardians of Space, and Sailor Moon.

Peter Fernandez wrote several episodes, and contributed voices to a handful as well. He served the same role for shows like Astroboy, The Space Giants, Johnny Cypher in Dimension Zero, and Ultraman. He did voice direction for many of those shows, along with Godzilla Versus the Space Monster, Marine Boy, Star Blazers, Thunderbirds 2086, and many other shows and movies, most recently for Kenny the Shark. Oh, and of course, he was the voice of the title character, Rex Racer and others on Speed Racer, voiced Dr. Mariner and Piper on Marine Boy, Mark Venture on Star Blazers, and other roles. He had a cameo as a local announcer in the 2008 Speed Racer movie, and was the voice of Spritle on the ill-advised Speed Racer: The Next Generation. He passed away in 2010.

Gigantor_KochCollV1 Ray Owens had done the voices of Dr. Boyntonn, Dr. Elefun, and the Narrator in Astroby, and did the narrator on Kimba the White Lion. He was the voice of The Flash in the Filmation Flash and Justice League cartoons that were part of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, and provided voices for the religious shows The Flying House and Superbook.

Billie Lou Watt, as noted earlier in this series of articles, was the voice of Astroboy on that series, as well as the title voice on Kimba the White Lion, and could also be heard on The Flying House and Superbook. Her last role was Ma Bagge on Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Gilbert Mack had earlier been cast in the TV series Fearless Fosdick (I didn't know there had been such a thing), did voices for Johnny Jupiter including the title character, and also provided voices on Astrboy and Kimba the White Lion.

DVD Release: Multiple box sets.

Website: http://www.gigantor.org/ (official site)

Notes: I loved this show as a kid! The original anime of this was called Tetsujin 28-go.

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