Friday, November 02, 2012

Geek TV: Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles!

frankjr4
Concept: Frankenstein, Jr.: In Civic City, boy scientist Buzz Conroy and his father Professor Conroy battle supervillains with a powerful robot named Frankenstein Jr. The Impossibles: A rock music band is, in reality, a superhero group!
Total Episodes: 18

Original Air Dates: September 10, 1966 – September 7, 1968

Original Network: CBS

Geek Factor: 8

Characters:

frankjr2Buzz Conroy (Voice of Dick Beals): Boy scientist and adventurer, he built Frankenstein Jr. and activates “Frankie” through an energy ring.

Frankenstein, Jr. (Voice of Ted Cassidy): Giant robot, powerful and heroic savior of Civic City.

Professor Conroy (Voice of John Stephenson): Father of Buzz Conroy, and a respected scientist.

Multi-Man (Voice of Don Messick): Can create identical copies of himself.

Fluid Man (Voice of Paul Frees): Can transform his body into any fluid.

Coil-Man (Voice of Hal Smith): Can form into a super-springy coil

Big D (Voice of Paul Frees): Contacts the Impossibles via a receiver in Coil Man's left-handed guitar to give them their assignments.

Geek Guest-Stars: N/A

frankjr3Geek Pedigree:

Writer Eddie Brant had previously written episodes of Matty's Funnies With Beany and Cecil, and would later write episodes fo Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor, Young Samson & Goliath, and Cattanooga Cats. Writer Phil Hahn would later write episodes of Birdman, Fantastic Four (1967), Get Smart, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and many other shows. Writer Jack Hanrahan also wrote episodes of those shows, apparently in partnership with Hahn, and later wrote episodes of The Mouse Factory, The Flintstone Comedy Hour, The All-New Popeye Hour, Inspector Gadget, and many other programs.

Michael Maltese also wrote episodes, and of course, the crowning achievement of his career was writing Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies cartoons from 1941 and into the 1960s (and in that run, classics like “What's Opera, Doc?”, “Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½ Century,” and “Duck Amuck”). In that latter decade, he also wrote episodes of Quick Draw McGraw, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Secret Squirrel Show, The Atom Ant Show, and many others. He would later write episodes of Abbott & Costello (1967 cartoon), Wacky Races, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Cattanooga Cats, Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines, Harlem Globetrotters, The Funky Phantom, and others. From the 1970s to about 1988, he received credit for the cartoons that were incorporated into various Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck TV specials, and probably some newer stories as well written prior to his death in 1981.


Paul Frees, of course, has had a long and distinguished voice career up to his death in 1986, and I've covered him before (look for a refresher on him in the future). Ted Cassidy, of course, has also been covered in-depth, and I'll likely get back to him sometime in the future! Don Messick is another of those voice artists that I really need to cover in-depth, and I may hold off on that until I get to Jonny Quest, The Jetsons, or some other show. John Stephenson is another voice artist who I'd just covered recently, and will revisit in the future.

Now, Dick Beals, on the other hand, I haven't covered before (or at least, not in much detail). He was the voice of Ralph Phillips in the classic cartoons “From A to Z-Z-Z-Z-Z,” “Boyhood Daze,” and “Adventures of the Road Runner” (I think the latter had him watching the Road Runner on TV and talking about why the Coyote wants to catch him). He was the voice of Davey on Davey and Goliath, one of the voices of Gumby, voiced Yank and Dan on Roger Ramjet, and later voiced Tiny Tom on The Lone Ranger (1966), Birdboy on Birdman, as well as various roles here and there, most recently Baby-Faced Moonbeam in two episodes of Duck Dodgers. He was also the voice of Speedy in the Alka-Seltzer commercials!

frankjr1Hal Smith had along career, beginning with on-screen roles starting in 1946, although his first real geek role was being one of the voices of Gumby in The Gumby Show (1957). In 1959, he started doing voices for Hanna-Barbera along with his on-screen roles, being heard in The Huckleberry Hound Show and Quick Draw McGraw (as the voice of Hardy Har-Har and others). He took over the role of Elmer Fudd at Warner Brothers for a short time in the early 1960s, and had many other roles... and that's a bit more on him than I had when writing about him fort the 1978 Fantastic Four series!

DVD Release: Complete series.


Website: http://www.toonopedia.com/frank-jr.htm is the Toonopedia page on this show, and is the best site I could find!

Notes: Believe it or not, in pre-production, the Impossibles were going to be called The Incredibles! I enjoyed this show, and for some reason, I never caught on that Frankenstein, Jr. was very similar to Gigantor!

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