Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

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Birdman and the Galaxy Trio
Birdman1967.JPG
Birdman
Written by Neal Barbera
Phil Hahn
Directed by Joseph Barbera
William Hanna
Voices of Keith Andes
Don Messick
John Stephenson
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 40[1]
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Taft Broadcasting (original)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 9, 1967 (1967-09-09)  – September 6, 1969 (1969-09-06)
Chronology
Followed by Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law

Birdman and the Galaxy Trio is an animated science fiction television series created by Alex Toth and produced by Hanna-Barbera. It debuted on NBC on September 9, 1967,[2] and ran on Saturday mornings until September 6, 1969. The program consists of two segments: Birdman, depicting the adventures of a winged superhero powered by the sun, and The Galaxy Trio, centering around the exploits of three extraterrestrial superheroes. NBC ran two new segments of Birdman each Saturday, separated by a segment of The Galaxy Trio.

The character of Birdman was revived three decades later in the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim TV series Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, and several characters from Birdman and the Galaxy Trio appeared in this revival.

Main characters[edit]

Birdman[edit]

Birdman segment title card.
  • Birdman (voiced by Keith Andes) - An ordinary human endowed by the sun god Ra (although this origin is only vaguely and briefly hinted at during the series; his real name is given as Ray Randall) with the ability to shoot solar rays from his fists and project "solar shields" to defend himself against attacks. He was recruited by a top-secret government agency, Inter-Nation Security, and now works full-time fighting crime, assisted by his eagle sidekick Avenger. In addition to the abilities he received from Ra, Birdman also possesses the power of flight, thanks to the giant wings which sprout from his back. His sole weakness is that he must periodically recharge his super powers through exposure to the sun’s rays. His trademark is his battle cry of "Biiiiirdman!!" when he goes into battle.
  • Falcon 7 (voiced by Don Messick) - Birdman's eye patch-wearing contact with Inter-Nation Security, and the person from whom Birdman typically receives his missions.
  • Birdboy (voiced by Dick Beals) - A sidekick for Birdman. The two first met when Birdman happened upon a shipwreck, of which Birdboy was the only apparent survivor. Since the boy was near death from exposure, Birdman transferred some of his own super energy to him, reviving him and giving powers similar to Birdman's, and he went on to aid him in several episodes. Birdboy lacks the natural feathered wings sported by Birdman, however, and is only able to fly with the assistance of the mechanical wings strapped to his back. He spends much of his time searching for his father, who was lost in the wreck, but this was never resolved. In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Birdboy reappeared as Peanut, Birdman's erratic, scheming legal clerk.
  • General Stone General Stone appears several times in Birdman with other military leaders, and tends to find himself on the receiving end of the villains' schemes.
  • Number One (voiced by Vic Perrin) - The leader of the sinister organization F.E.A.R. and Birdman's "number one" enemy. F.E.A.R. is behind many plots over the course of the series, frequently employing supervillains to perform nefarious tasks. The organization was seemingly defeated for good and its leader arrested in "The Wings of FEAR", but it occasionally resurfaced without any explanation.

Minor villains[edit]

  • Dr. Millennium (voiced by Hal Smith): A super-villain who appeared in "The Menace of Dr. Millennium", using a time-manipulating machine to commit crimes, and "The Revenge of Dr. Millennium", where he tried to exact his revenge on Birdman and take over the world from the past.
  • X the Eliminator: A mercenary hired by F.E.A.R. to eliminate Birdman. He is charged with bringing back Birdman's crest from his helmet as proof of his accomplishment.
  • Ringmaster: Agent of F.E.A.R.
  • Morto the Marauder: A criminal genius and evidently once a significant threat to the world, Morto twice escaped from prison with his mechanical know-how and wreaked havoc in "Morto the Marauder" and "Morto Rides Again".
  • Cumulus the Storm King: A supervillain who can control the weather.
  • Nitron The Human Bomb: A scientist who got the capabilities and powers of a chemical called NITRON. He is eager to join "F.E.A.R", for which Number One tells him to finish the atomic reactor, USS-CO-BOLT and Birdman but fails.
  • Mummer: A supervillain who is a master of disguise. Unlike most of his enemies, Mummer was able to escape from him thanks to his disguises.
  • Kiroff: A supervillain who was responsible for causing worldwide earthquakes.
  • Zardo: A supervillain who one time captured Avenger.
  • Constrictor: Dressed like a snake and has two boa constrictors as his pets, this supervillain captures Avenger and tries to use him in order to capture Birdman. Birdman finds Avenger and burns Constrictor's headquarters down. Constrictor realizes Birdman is too powerful to be defeated and manages to escape, Birdman never caught The Constrictor.
  • Reducto: A supervillain who wields a shrink ray. He uses this ray to demand money from Central City or he will shrink its size. After being defeated by Birdman, he is shrunken down to microscopic size.
  • Doctor Shark: A supervillain who fought Birdman underwater and had the face of a shark, but the body of a man. Birdman had to constantly regain his strength by battling Doctor Shark in small increments so that he did not lose his energy from being away from the sun. Doctor Shark was eventually defeated.
  • Hannibal the Hunter: A big game hunter who is determined to hunt down Birdman.
  • Mentok the Mind-Taker: Mentok has the ability to send cerebral messages to a person or animal to do his bidding. He uses this ability to get Birdman to steal missiles from the United States Government. He plans on using these missiles to start a war between two countries.
  • Dr. Freezoid: Dr. Freezoid has a weapon that can turn an entire city block into ice. He has a retreat in the North Pole. Birdman causes him to self-destruct his base of operations with his own weapons. In Birdman: The Legend of the Bird, he used to be president Calvin Coolidge but suffered a disease that caused him to be cold-blooded and him turning into an ice demon.
  • Deadly Duplicator: An old man with large glasses, Deadly Duplicator uses his glasses to create duplicates of the people that he zaps. Deadly Duplicator has full control over the twin and uses them to help him in his plans to take over the world, but of course is thwarted by Birdman.
  • Professor Nightshade: An Agent of F.E.A.R., he steals a solar box that has the power to send entire cities into a 4th dimension. Professor Nightshade traps Birdman and tries to use the solar box on him, but it reacts to Birdman differently: instead of sending Birdman into the 4th dimension it gives him energy to become strong. When Prof. Nightshade tries to use it again on him it reflects off of Birdman and Nightshade accidentally sends himself into the 4th dimension. Birdman then destroys the machine. He later appears as a witness
  • Chameleon: A scientist who created a transformation serum that gave him the ability to shapeshift into whatever he wants, whether it's people, animals, or even inanimate objects. In the end the serum in his body ran out and Birdman handed him over the police.
  • Moray of the Deep: Captain Moray abducts his seventh scientist. He forces them to develop a nuclear reactor. Birdman disguises himself as a scientist and gets abducted by Moray, but Moray knew it was him and a great battle ensues. Birdman is then captured for real. He sends a signal to Birdboy to find him. As Birdman is about to enter a nuclear reactor (which should have killed him) his energy is instead restored. Thus ending the villainy of Captain Moray.
  • Aliens of the Purple Moss: These were aliens who came to earth to take it over. Fortunately Birdman was informed and stopped the aliens in a heated battle.
  • The Brain Thief: A mad scientist named Doctor Shado captures four other scientists and tries to steal the information in their minds.
  • Dr. Mentaur: A scientist who turned a woman into Birdgirl through hypnosis, a super serum, and some metal wings. Eventually he was defeated and Birdgirl became normal again.
  • Birdgirl: Created by Dr. Mentaur through hypnosis, a super serum, and some metal wings Birdgirl was created. She was an aerialist before she met Dr. Mentaur. While under hypnosis, she was used to defeat Birdman. While captured, Birdman tricked her into letting him go outside as a last request. Regaining his strength from the sun, this allowed Birdman to defeat Dr. Mentaur and save Birdgirl.
  • The Incredible Magnatroid This was a robot created by a scientist to destroy Birdman.
  • Medusa: Aka "The Empress of Evil" captures the Prince of the Maja Raja and then captures Birdman. The Prince gives Birdman a diamond from his turban that he says came from the sun god, Ra. After giving it to Birdman, Birdman is able to regain his strength and defeat Medusa.
  • Spyro: Head of a master spy syndicate, he hijacked the atomic city supply train to do some evil bidding.
  • Dr. Claw: He is a scientist that used an Ant serum to inject his creation Ant Ape. When he injects his robot creation the Ant Ape becomes super strong and nearly unstoppable, but Birdman defeats them. NOTE: This Dr. Claw is much different from the one in Inspector Gadget.
  • The Speed Demon: A convicted felon already put away by Birdman retaliates by creating a potion that gives him super speed. He runs around stealing money and jewels from various places. He then realizes that with his new power he cannot be defeated. Speed Demon captures Birdman and almost defeats him, but Birman comes out on top. In the end Speed Demon's speed causes his aging process to speed up rapidly and he becomes an old man, losing the battle.
  • Vulturo: Dr. Vult is an evil scientist who made a vulture-like costume to combat Birdman. He appeared in two episodes of Birdman and the Galaxy Trio: in "Vulturo, Prince Of Darkness", where he was hired by F.E.A.R. to destroy Birdman, and "Return Of Vulturo", in which he tried to exact his revenge. Like many other characters .
  • Murro (sic) the Marauder: This evil villain can commandeer the shadows of unsuspecting victims. Although the episode title card identifies the character as Murro, he is referred to "Murko" throughout the segment.

Galaxy Trio[edit]

The Galaxy Trio is a group of three extraterrestrial superheroes, Vapor Man, Meteor Man, and Gravity Girl, who patrol space in their cruiser Condor One maintaining order and fighting evildoers in the name of the Galactic Patrol law enforcement agency. The ship was equipped with a "displacer" very similar to the transporter device on Star Trek,[citation needed] which was a contemporary show.

  • Vapor Man (voiced by Don Messick) - He has the ability to transform part or all of his body into gaseous form (a power shared by at least some residents of his home planet of Vaporus), enabling him to fly, escape from physical bonds, and squeeze through very small spaces, as well as producing various forms of "vapor" (such as "freeze vapor") from his hands.
  • Meteor Man (voiced by Ted Cassidy) - A native of the planet Meteorus. Meteor Man is distinguished by his ability to increase or decrease the size of any part of his body. He gains superhuman strength in any limb that he chooses to enlarge.
  • Gravity Girl (voiced by Virginia Eiler) - She has the ability to bend the laws of gravity to her will, allowing her to fly and lift very heavy objects with her mind. The daughter of the king of the planet Gravitas, she left her luxurious home and life of privilege at an early age to fight crime with the Galactic Patrol and was subsequently assigned to the Galaxy Trio team, with whom she has served ever since.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Chief: A man referred to only as "Chief" is a recurring character in Galaxy Trio. He fulfills a similar role to that of Falcon 7 in Birdman.

Episodes[edit]

Birdman[edit]

  1. "The Menace of Dr. Millennium"
  2. "X The Eliminator"
  3. "The Ruthless Ringmaster"
  4. "Morto the Marauder"
  5. "Birdman vs Cumulus the Storm King"
  6. "Nitron the Human Bomb"
  7. "Birdman vs the Mummer"
  8. "The Quake Threat"
  9. "Avenger for Ransom"
  10. "The Brain Thief"
  11. "Birdman vs the Constrictor"
  12. "Birdman Meets Birdgirl"
  13. "Birdman Meets Reducto"
  14. "Serpents of the Deep"
  15. "Hannibal the Hunter"
  16. "The Purple Moss"
  17. "The Incredible Magnatroid"
  18. "Mentor, the Mind Taker" (sic; even though the character is called "Mentok" throughout this episode, the on-screen title reads "Mentor")
  19. "The Wings of Fear"
  20. "Birdman vs Dr. Freezoids"
  21. "Train Trek"
  22. "Number One"
  23. "The Deadly Duplicator"
  24. "The Deadly Trio"
  25. "Professor Nightshade"
  26. "The Chameleon"
  27. "The Empress of Evil"
  28. "Birdman Meets Birdboy"
  29. "Birdman Meets Moray of the Deep"
  30. "Birdman and the Monster of the Mountains"
  31. "The Return of Vulturo"
  32. "Birdman in the Revenge of Dr. Millennium"
  33. "The Wild Weird West"
  34. "The Ant Ape"
  35. "Morto Rides Again"
  36. "Vulturo: Prince of Darkness"
  37. "Murro, the Maurauder" (sic; even though the character is called "Murko" throughout this episode, the on-screen title reads "Murro". Likewise, the title reads "Maurauder" rather than "Marauder")
  38. "Birdman vs the Speed Demon"
  39. "The Pirate Plot"
  40. "Skon of Space"

Galaxy Trio[edit]

  1. "Revolt of the Robots"
  2. "The Battle of Aquatrons"
  3. "Galaxy Trio Versus the Moltens of Meteorus"
  4. "Galaxy Trio Versus Growliath"
  5. "Galaxy Trio & the Sleeping Planet"
  6. "Galaxy Trio & the Cave Men of Primevia"
  7. "Titan the Titanium Man"
  8. "Computron Lives"
  9. "Space Fugitives"
  10. "The Eye of Time"
  11. "The Duplitrons"
  12. "The Demon Raiders"
  13. "The Rock Men"
  14. "Return to Aqueous"
  15. "Space Slaves"
  16. "Invasion of the Sporoids"
  17. "Gralik of Gravitas"
  18. "Plastus the Pirate Planet"
  19. "Drakmore the Despot"
  20. "The Peril of the Prison Planet"

Birdman and the Galaxy Trio in other media[edit]

Galaxy Trio segment title card.

Birdman appeared in issues 1 through 7 (April 1968-October 1969) of the Hanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes comic book, published by Gold Key Comics.[3] He was joined in issue 2 by the Galaxy Trio (their first appearance together).

In 1997, he was also featured in issue #5 of DC Comics' Cartoon Network Presents: Toonami comic book series.[4]

The 2005 video game F.E.A.R. is too the name of a fictional organization but instead is focused on extremely dangerous paranormal activity instead of causing crime.

DVD release[edit]

On July 17, 2007, Warner Home Video released Birdman & The Galaxy Trio - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[5] Birdman accidentally appeared on the menu screen for the DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures, a DVD set which featured DC Comics based superhero cartoons produced by Filmation, in 2008. Warner Home Video has stated that this was a mistake, and that Hawkman was supposed to be in Birdman's place.[6]

Birdman & The Galaxy Trio - The Complete Series
Disc 2 (Side A)
[01] Hannibal the Hunter - The Cave Men of Primevia - The Empress of Evil
[02] The Wings of Fear - The Demon Raiders - Birdman Meets Birdboy
[03] The Menace of Dr. Millenium - The Rock Men - Birdman vs Dr. Freezoids
[04] The Deadly Duplicator - Space Fugitives - Professor Nightshade
[05] Train Trek - Space Slaves - Birdman Meets Moray of The Deep

Disc 2 (Side B) Also includes the Special Feature entitled, "Birdman: The Forgotten Hero"
[06] The Monster of The Mountains - Galaxy Trio vs Growliath - The Return of Vulturo
[07] The Revenge of Dr. Millenium - Return to Aqueos - The Ant Ape
[08] Birdman vs The Speed Demon - Invasion of The Sporoids - The Wild Weird West
[09] The Pirate Plot - Gralik of Gravitas - Skon of Space
[10] Murro The Marauder - Plastus The Pirate Planet - Morto Rides Again

Birdman and the Galaxy Trio in other languages[edit]

  • French: Solaris
  • Japanese: 電子鳥人Uバード/銀河トリオ (Denshi Chōjin Yū-Bādo / Ginga Torio; "Electronic Superhuman U-Bird / Galaxy Trio")
  • Polish: Birdman i Trio z galaktyki
  • Portuguese: Homem-Pássaro e o Galaxy Trio
  • Spanish: Birdman y el Trío Galaxia

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]