Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Monster Machine

Season: 1
Episode Number: 1
Season Episode Number: 1
Production Number: Unknown
Airdate: Unknown

Writer: George Kashdan
Director: Hal Sutherland

Voices: Ted Knight (Narrator, Computer), Jerry Dexter (Aqualad), Julie Bennett (Wonder Girl), Tommy Cook (Kid Flash), Pat Harrington Jr. (Speedy).

Plot: A giant robot emerges out of the ocean and the Teen Titans are alerted of its destructive nature. They set out to take care of the robot and find out where it came from.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Teen Titans first formed when Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash teamed up to take down Mr. Twister in Brave and the Bold #54 in 1964. Their next appearance was in Brave and the Bold #60 which introduced the character of Wonder Girl. Two years later the Teens are spun off into their own series and Speedy joined the group to create the founding team.

One year later, the Teen Titans debut in their very first animated series as part of the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. Three seven-minute shorts were created and starred all the original members minus Robin (whose absence is possibly due to the Adam West Batman TV series that was currently on the air).

The 'teens helping teens' premise of the comic book was ditched in favour of sci-fi superhero storytelling. In The Monster Machine, a classic sci-fi cliché is used: Giant robots.

The Monster Machine is a pretty standard episode as far as sixties television is concerned. The writing and acting in this episode reflects the era and the use of robots and aliens is something often found in plots during the early days of Filmation.

The individual members of the Teen Titans don't really get a whole lot of character development in this series. The Teens are written as a band of well-oiled robots. Each member knows his or her duties and stops the threat without any problems (although Aqualad gets knocked out, something that happens in almost every episode of Aquaman).

While this is classic television at its best, I would have liked to see the characters fleshed out a bit more. But I suppose that would be hard to do with only three seven-minute episodes.

DVD Releases:
  • DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures

  • Back to Episode Guide

    No comments: