Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Spy from Outer Space, Part Two

Season: 1
Episode Number: 2
Season Episode Number: 2
Production Number: Unknown
Airdate: September 17, 2009

Writer: Mort Weisinger
Director: Hal Sutherland

Voices: Ted Knight (Narrator, Aliens, Police Chief), Bob Hastings (Superboy).

Plot: Krypto must find a way to save Superboy so that the two can make it back to Earth in time to stop the impending alien invasion!

Review (Warning! Spoilers!):This two-part episode makes up the first and second episode of The Adventures of Superboy which could be found sandwiched between two episodes starring Superman in The New Adventures of Superman in 1966.

As far as first episodes go, this one is pretty good for its time. The plot is simple, but leaves plenty of room to introduce us to this character and his dog. In the mid-60s every child who had ever looked at a comic book knew who Superboy was, so the show doesn't need to bother with an origin story. So instead, we are treated to a story about an alien invasion.

Bob Hastings provides the voice of Superboy. Hastings would go on to voice many more cartoon characters over the years, including Commissioner Gordon on Batman: the Animated Series in the 90s. The aliens are voiced by Ted Knight who did the voices of most of the villains in these early Filmation cartoons.

Now I may be wrong, but it sure sounds to me like Ted Knight is the Narrator, however in every source that I check, it lists Jackson Beck as the Narrator, which is true for the Superman segments. I wonder if the narration was redubbed and some point, replacing Beck with Knight. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

UPDATE: Will of Will's Ultimate Super Friends Episode Guide has contacted me with info regarding the narrator query:

Ted Knight was a good friend of Lou Scheimer's and helped play a part in getting Filmation's career in cartoons off the ground. In the DC Comics cartoons, Knight was the voices of the narrator, supportive players and police, villains, and their hoods and flunkies. He was the character voice of each cast while someone else played the hero. Bob Hastings as Superboy in this case. The only DC series Knight was not involved in was Superman, since Filmation wanted to use the radio cast. That's why Jackson Beck is only narrating Superman episodes and no one else.

In this episode, Superboy loses his powers when he flies to a planet with a red sun. On Earth, it is the yellow sun from which he gains his powers. If this is the case, shouldn't have Superboy lost his powers once he left our galaxy, since the yellow sun would be too far away?

And why did he lose his powers once he landed on the planet? Wouldn't the red sun's light reach Superboy while he was still a far distance away from the planet?

And if Superboy could simply cancel out the effects of the red sun by covering himself up, shouldn't Superboy lose his powers every time he is inside a building on Earth?

This are the questions that shows in the 60s didn't feel the need to worry about. And you shouldn't either while watching these episodes. Just enjoy them.

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1 comment:

Mikeyboy said...

the idea of the character is that he stores solar energy like a would take a couple of days before his powers begin to ebb in the slightest. Then it would take a couple of weeks or even a month for him to be powered down so much that he's only as stong as a regular earth teen. Hope this helps