Captain Fathom

Something triggered a memory in my brain about a cartoon that I used to watch that superimposed a real mouth on top of a cartoon character.  The only thing I could remember about the show was that is had a submarine and a captain. Thanks to Google, with a little bit of searching I hit the jackpot.

Captain Fathom is from 1965, but I remember watching it on PBS when I was a kid. (IMDB has it listed as only 5 episodes but it seems like there was a whole lot more.) Captain Fathom had a submarine called the Argonaut along with the crew consisting of Cookie, Ronnie, Scotty, Miss Perkins and Flip the porpoise.

The combining of real mouths with cartoons is a processed called SYCHRO-VOX.  It does make the cartoon look a little strange, but I read somewhere that it was done so that deaf children could read lips while watching the show. That sounded pretty cool to me.

Here is an episode I found on YouTube so if you haven’t seen this process you could check it out.

http://youtu.be/3ztpPxrRMJY

Jason of Star Command

Jason of Star Command was one of my favorite space shows as a child. The show was a spinoff from Space Academy about the adventures of Jason (Craig Littler) and his constant confrontation with the evil Dragos (Sid Haig.) It aired from 1978 to 1979.

http://youtu.be/8lP7udY9ob8

I had to watch this when the DVD set came out. I really enjoyed reliving all of these great episodes. The show withstood the test of time for me.

Lancelot Link, The Secret Chimp

You will have to forgive me for the irregular posting times lately. Life has been rather busy for me this week. I hope to be as diligent as my other blogging friends, one of these days, and have my post ready to go weeks in advance!

Anyway, before I digress to much… I ordered up Lancelot Link from Netflix this week to check it out. I had not remembered this show from the 70s but it looked interesting and I just wanted to see if it sparked any forgotten memories.

Lancelot Link was a comedy that aired on ABC from Sept 12th, 1970 to Sept 2, 1972. It featured various chimps who were dubbed over with human voices in a sort of “Get Smart” type of show.

http://youtu.be/WV9Y0Qy0U20

I watched the first episode and at that point I was pretty much done. It just wasn’t my type of comedy and nothing about the show brought back any forgotten memories. But if it was something you had enjoyed as a child you might find it fun to watch again as it is available on DVD now.

http://youtu.be/gIPfqON1-L4

CBS Saturday Morning Cartoon Lineup

I thought this was neat. It is an advertisement for the CBS Saturday morning cartoon lineup from 1976.

CBS Saturday Morning Cartoon Lineup from 1976
CBS Saturday Morning Cartoon Lineup from 1976

Ark II would be my favorite show on this ad, though I did occasionally watch Isis and Shazam.

As I have mentioned before, Land of the Lost and The New Adventures of Flash Gordon were my all time favorites. What were your favorite Saturday morning shows?

The New Adventures of Flash Gordon

For me this was the greatest cartoon of all time on Saturday mornings.

Flash Gordon Title
Flash Gordon Title

The series ran from 1979 to 1982. The first season was a faithful adaptation of Flash Gordon featuring Flash Gordon, Dale, and Hans Zarkov.

Flash, Dale and Zarkov
Dale and Zarkov

And of course they battle the evil Ming the Merciless…

Ming the Merciless
Ming the Merciless

and sometimes Princess Aura when she is on the wrong side.

Princess Aura
Princess Aura

I found it interesting that this was originally created for a made for TV feature film. After the work was completed NBC broke it down into smaller segments and aired it on Saturday mornings.

It was renewed for a second season but NBC decided that the episode format had to be removed. One of the reasons being if someone missed an episode they would be lost in the story and not be able to see the missed episode until it re-aired. Thus the series was reduced to 15 minute story formats that featured a little dragon (who was completely lame).

Fail…

Never ceases to amaze me that networks always change things that work.

I have the DVDs and loved watching the show all over again. At the time of this blog post the DVDs are out of print now so you will have to look for them from second hand.

To see my top 10 favorite Saturday morning shows.

http://youtu.be/6mT3FeaO_sM

 

Thundarr The Barbarian

For me Thundaar the Barbarian was the second greatest cartoon ever. The story line is about Thundarr, Princess Ariel, and Ookla the Mok who live on Earth 2000 years after a cosmic destruction destroys most of the world. Savagery, super science and sorcery rule supreme. What more could you ask for! The series ran from 1980 to 1982.

I don’t have it yet but Warner Brothers has finally released it on DVD.

Lords of light! I finally broke down and bought this series from Warner Brothers and I am glad I did. I really enjoyed watching this show again.

Buy from WB

For a list of my top 10 favorite Saturday morning shows.

http://youtu.be/SaB19auvjc8

Ark II

Ark II was a science fiction series that ran on CBS from September 11, 1976 thru December 18, 1976. The plot was mainly focused on the Ark II, a  mobile laboratory crewed by Commander Jonah, Ruth, Samuel and a talking chimpanzee called Adam.

I enjoyed the series as a child, but I recently watched the DVD release from Netflix and wondered why I enjoyed it as a child. Ark II did not  pass the test of time for me.

I don’t know what was worse. The bad acting, the extremely over the top cheesy effects, or the number of goofs in filming the series. The first episode I watched you could clearly see a German Shepard sitting under the Ark II taking advantage of the shade. All fine and dandy expect the crew didn’t have a dog.

For those of you who loved the show it is available on DVD, but I do suggest you rent it first.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsed7Yjb2t4

For a list of my top 10 favorite Saturday morning shows.

Land of the Lost

http://youtu.be/gwvguf_0kUw

Marshall, Will and Holly
on a routine expedition
met the greatest earthquake ever known.
High on the rapids, it struck their tiny raft
(Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!)
and plunged them down a thousand feet below
to the Land of the Lost.

Hands down, the best Saturday morning show ever.

Land of the Lost was a Sid and Marty Kroft production that first aired on Sept 7th, 1974 and conintued to run until Dec 4th, 1976. The series was about a family, Rick (the father), Will (the son), and Holly (the daughter) who are transported thru a portal to a another world built by Altrusians.

I absolutely loved this show when I was a kid. I picked up all three seaons from Amazon a couple of years ago and this show withstood the test of time. I still find it enjoyable to watch today.


My favorite episode would probably be the one where Rick and Will met the Zarn. I thought the space ship made of light was pretty cool.

What was your favorite?

For a list of my favorite top 10 Saturday morning shows.

Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1970s

As a child of the 70s I never gave sleeping in a second thought. Monday thru Friday I had to get up early to go to school and Sunday I had to get up to go to church. That only left Saturdays and sleeping in on Saturday would have been a bigger sin then missing church.

Saturday was the day of all days. That was the day that all our adventures would begin and end. I lived for that day. And what better way could you start that day then watching an influx of cartoons and toy commercials while eating a bowl of sugary, crunchy goodness.

There was an internal kid’s clock in me that jolted me out of the bed so early that sometimes I was up before the cartoons had even started. (which was unfortunate for my parents too I am sure.)

I still have fond memories of those cartoons and even some commercials. I even remember a few times when my father would watch them with me. (He liked the older cartoons like Bugs Bunny.) If I had a top ten I think it would be this.

1. Land of the Lost
2. Flash Gordon
3. Thundarr the Barbarian
4. Jason of Star Command
5. Ark II
6. Herculoids
7. Blackstar
8. The Kroft Supershow
9. The Justice League
10. Space Academy

Occasionally, there would be even a more special Saturday. On those days mom would cook up a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Talk about a piece of heaven… warm chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, a glass of milk, and Saturday morning cartoons.

I would love to hear what others top ten would be or even the fond memories of Saturday mornings that you remember.