BraveStarr

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BraveStarr
Bravestarrtitlecard.jpg
BraveStarr title card
Genre Space Western
Action/Adventure
Format Animated series
Voices of Pat Fraley
Charlie Adler
Erika Scheimer
Lou Scheimer
Alan Oppenheimer
Susan Blu
Ed Gilbert
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 65
Production
Executive producer(s) Lou Scheimer
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Filmation
Distributor Group W Productions
DreamWorks Classics
Broadcast
Original channel first-run syndication (1987–1988)
qubo Channel (2010–2013)
Original run September 14, 1987 – February 24, 1988
BraveStarr and his sidekick/mount Thirty/Thirty

BraveStarr is an American Space Western animated television series.[1] The original episodes aired from September 1987 to February 1988 in syndication. It was created simultaneously with a collection of action figures. BraveStarr was the last animated series produced by Filmation and Group W Productions to be broadcast. Bravo!, a spin-off series (originally called Quest of the Prairie People) was in production along with Bugzburg when the studio closed down. Reruns of the show aired on Qubo Night Owl from 2010 to 2013, and reruns air on the Retro Television Network from 2010 to Present.[2]

Background[edit]

The idea for BraveStarr began with Tex Hex, his chief adversary. Tex Hex was created by Filmation's staff artists in 1984, during the development of Filmation's Ghostbusters.[3] Lou Scheimer found the character fascinating and pulled Tex Hex from the Ghostbusters cast. He asked Arthur Nadel, Filmation's Vice President for Creative Affairs, and art director John Grusd to develop a science fiction Western around the character. As the concepts took shape, staff writer Bob Forward fleshed out the writer's guide and eventually co-wrote the feature film script for BraveStarr: The Legend with writer Steve Hayes.

Plot[edit]

The episodes combine elements of science fiction and western genres. It is set in the 23rd century on a multi-cultural desert planet called New Texas, with Kerium as well as villains.

There is occasional violence in this series, as well as a few deaths.

Like many of Filmation's TV series (including He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, Shazam, The Secret of Isis, and the animated Ghostbusters), a moral lesson is told at the end of each episode. One particularly notable episode is "The Price," in which a boy buys a drug called "spin," a hallucinogen similar to LSD, becomes addicted to it, and dies from an overdose.[4]

Another noteworthy death is episode "Sunrise, Sunset", where an elderly man's dying wish is to see his son turn his life around before his son (the elderly man's grandson) is born.

Alien & Human Species[edit]

  • Apecats:

Gigantic and non-humanoid cat species who live near the only wetlands in New Texas.

  • Avianoid:

The two-headed "Two Face" cyborg came from an avianoid species and had half of his body augmented with cybernetic replacements (for reasons unknown), making him a cyborg. "Two Face" and his species are tall humanoid bird-like beings.

  • Broncosaur:

Dinosaur-like civilization. None exist anymore except for Stampede.

  • Dingos (Coyotoids):

Coyote-like civilization. Most of them are outlaws.

  • Equestroids:

Cyborg horse-like creatures which colonized New Texas. They had a rich culture and are capable of transforming their hooves into hands and feet. Law enforcement officer Thirty-Thirty is the only survivor of this colony.

  • Fuufta:

Pacifist sheep-like creatures that are often targeted by enemy civilizations.

  • Humans:

Including powerful Native Americans Shaman and Bravestarr, and British Sherlock Holmes.

  • Krang:

Cat-like humanodis, who have formed a warrior civilization and are enemies to New Texas and all of the Star Marines.

  • Porcinoid:

The "Hawgtie" character comes from a Porcinoid (Pig-like) humanoid species.

  • Prairie People:

Multi-talented prairie dog-like creatures who are native to New Texas. They are Kerium prospectors, diggers, and expert in mechanics and technology.

  • Reptillianoid:

The "Vipra" and "Diamond Back" characters come froma species of serpentine humanoid reptillianoids.

  • Rigellian:

The "Handlebar" character is a Rigellian, a race of hulking green-skinned humanoid giants with bright orange body hair. Rigellians possess a strength beyond anything capable by baseline humans.

  • Sand Walrus:

The "Sandstorm" character comes from the red-skinned humanoid Sand Walrus species and has a number of desert-evolved special powers.

  • Solacows:

Non-Humanoid cattle-like species.

Tagline[edit]

We needed a hundred lawmen to tame New Texas. We got one. You know something? He was enough.

Setting[edit]

The setting in most episodes is planet New Texas, which is in a planetary system containing three suns. The system is located 600 parsecs (1956 light-years) from Earth. New Texas has a large desert, and the entire planet does not have much water. Much of the food and water supply is imported. There are no oceans, but there is one wetland area on the planet which is the home of "apecats". Water is also found in Aqua-Pods, which are cactus-like plants. The planet's natural resource is Kerium, which is extremely valuable and powerful. A small amount of Kerium can supply large amounts of energy to a spaceship. As a result, everybody (including outlaws) wants Kerium.

  • The native civilization of New Texas is Prairie People, who are expert diggers and scientists. They are prospectors and claim most of the Kerium mines.
  • Fort Kerium: A town capable of armoring itself (called Defensive Mode) where most of the law enforcement officers reside.
  • Starr Peak: A mountain where Shaman lives. He survived the crash landing by covering his spaceship with meteors. Now his spaceship has been fossilized onto Starr Peak. This location is home to a flame which is the source of Shaman (and Bravestarr's) powers. Also, there is lots of Kerium beneath Starr Peak. Star Peak is technically claimed by Billy Bob and Diamond Back.
  • Stone Canyon: A large mining canyon. Also it is the location of some crime.
  • Peaceful Valley: A large farm land.
  • The Hexagon: Hideout for most of the villains that want to steal the Kerium and enslave the population.

At the end of several episodes, characters end up moving to New Texas, including former villains. This includes a reptile creature who was adopted by the Prairie People, and a Krang doctor who requested asylum.

Two episodes are set on Earth, where the city of London resembles a modernized Victorian England, including a time travelling Sherlock Holmes. This lends a steampunk flavor to the series and is a logical extension of the series' setting.

Characters[edit]

Heroes[edit]

  • Marshall BraveStarr (Pat Fraley): The title character is a Galactic Marshall stationed on the planet "New Texas." He is a Native American who can call upon the power of "spirit animals." The spirit animal powers are:
    • Eyes of the Hawk: Enhances his vision and can also grant him an aerial view of the surrounding area.
    • Ears of the Wolf: Gives him super-hearing.
    • Strength of the Bear: Gives him super-strength.
    • Speed of the Puma: Gives him super-speed.

It should be noted that these powers are not literally equivalent to the attributes of the animals he invokes, as the Strength of the Bear grants him far greater strength than any real bear, capable of lifting huge boulders, and similarly the Speed of the Puma allows him to run at immense speeds akin to comic-book characters such as Quicksilver or the Flash. In addition to his animal powers, he has electronic equipment to assist him such as an opti-visor and a two-way radio. Bravestarr also carries a "Neutra-laser" pistol and a "Trans-freezer" rifle, but seldom uses either, only doing so when he has to. Whenever he does not ride his cyborg horse, he uses a regular Turbo-Mule.

  • Angus McBride: The father of J.B. McBride. He was a prospector with a passion for Journalism. He was previously business partners with Tex Hex many years ago and since stopped mining after being injured and then abandoned by Tex Hex. He now runs Fort Kerium's newspaper. He used to live with his daughter until he got remarried.
  • Billy-Bob: A human Kerium prospector.
  • Commander Karen Kane: A former Star Marine who retired after marrying her crush Angus McBride. She is the stepmother of J.B. who have had a few disagreements. Karen is now a defense contractor for Fort Kerium. She has an Irish accent.
  • Deputy Fuzz (Charlie Adler): A member of the Prairie People, native prairie dog-like civilization of New Texas. His specialties, like all others of his kind, are digging, with even the miners of New Texas not coming close to the speed in which he moves through the ground, as well as high mechanical aptitude for building and repairing all manner of devices. BraveStarr affectionately calls him "li'l pardner". Fuzz seems to have trouble pronouncing Thirty-Thirty's name, rendering it "Doody-Doody". On the other hand, Fuzz is an expert impersonator who can duplicate Bravestarr's voice. (Fuzz was voiced by Pat Fraley in this instance. Also, Charlie Adler was replaced by an uncredited actress in two episodes, "No Drums, No Trumpets" and "Strength of the Bear".)
  • Diamondback: A snake-like reptilian humanoid, Diamondback is a Kerium prospector. He owns the Kerium deposit underneath Starr Peak along with his human colleague Billy-Bob.
  • Doc Clayton: The town's doctor, his name is a reference to the famous gunfighter Doc Holliday. He is a frequent ally to Bravestarr, but seems to have some pacifist ideals.
  • Handlebar (Alan Oppenheimer): A hulking, 14-ton, green-skinned bartender and former space pirate from the Rigel star system, with a bright orange handlebar mustache and a Brooklyn accent. He mostly serves BraveStarr and Thirty Thirty a drink called "sweetwater" in his bar. Other times he acts as a reserve law enforcement officer. He has a pet cyborg steer named Rampage.
  • Judge J. B. McBride (Susan Blu): The town's female judge and romantic interest for BraveStarr. The two kiss each other twice in "BraveStarr the Legend." She comes to BraveStarr's aid from time to time, using a high-tech gavel given to her by the Prairie People (referred to as a "hammer of justice" in the series) as a weapon. The Prairie People also gave her a Turbo-Stallion vehicle as well as windbreaker clothing.
  • Long Arm John: A law enforcement officer with a sophisticated prosthetic arm.
  • Molly: Molly drives a "Strato-Stage", a modernized stagecoach that is controlled by a whip. Molly's stagecoach bridges the gap between the main mode of transportation: Turbo-Mules, and the larger space-capable freighters. Occasionally Molly has a security guard to blast away enemies. Molly is also capable of piloting space vehicles.
  • Shaman (Ed Gilbert): An unnamed Native American shaman who is capable of extremely powerful magic. He raised Bravestarr and is still his mentor. Shaman lives in a towering animal-carved mountain called Starr Peak (in reality the remains of his crashed starship, covered by meteorites), under which is a large Kerium deposit. Shaman is capable of teleportation as well as time travel.
  • Thirty Thirty (Ed Gilbert): BraveStarr's talking "techno horse," who can "transform" from a quadruped into a more anthropomorphic biped. He carries a giant energy rifle he refers to as "Sara Jane." He is the last survivor of an ancient civilization called the Equestroids, a cybernetic breed of sentient equines that colonized New Texas. He has strength approximating BraveStarr's bear strength. Unlike Bravestarr, Thirty Thirty is far more quick tempered and aggressive, which has led to vocal disagreements between them about the use of force in the line of duty.

Villains[edit]

  • Barker (Lou Scheimer): A little coyote.
  • Billy The Droid:
  • Cactushead (Pat Fraley): A robot with a cactus head and four mechanical legs. He's equipped with two energy cannons that can alter matter. Often seen as the comic relief and used as a spy.
  • Goldtooth: An overweight coyote that usually leads other coyotes in the battle.
  • Hawgtie (Lou Scheimer): A humanoid pig dressed in a Union Army uniform. He seemed to be strong, and used bolas to capture or bind his victims.
  • Howler (Lou Scheimer): Another coyote of Tex's gang. Like Dingo Dan he can take on human form.
  • Krang: Humanoid panther-like creatures with green armor and German accents. The Krang are a threat equal to Stampede's threat. They are wanted outlaws of the Star Marines. Episodes featuring the Krang involve prisoners of War escaping from the Star Marines. Other episodes the Krang are looking for slaves. They frequently target the sheep-like pacifist Fuufta Civilization. On the other hand, a Krang doctor requested asylum on New Texas.
  • Outlaw Skuzz (Alan Oppenheimer): Tex's cigar-smoking henchman and cousin of Deputy Fuzz – he is apparently the only Prairie Person to have taken up a life of crime. Like Tex Hex, he was mutated by Stampede. Skuzz is often reprimanded by the others for his constant smoking. Fuzz even arrested Skuzz for this until BraveStarr pointed out that smoking isn't a crime. Why Skuzz wouldn't be kept in custody for his real crimes remains a mystery.
  • Queen Singlish: A woman that commandeered an entire island which floats through space. She constantly wants slaves to assist her.
  • Sandstorm (Ed Gilbert): A red reptilian alien who can exhale giant clouds of sand, which the gang usually uses to escape. His kind are sometimes called 'sand walruses' and are native to New Texas. He can also use his sand to put people to sleep and summon up sand creatures.
  • Stampede (Alan Oppenheimer): A demonic-looking Broncosaur who is covered in smoke. He is an extremely powerful devil creature who is enemies with Shaman. Stampede wants both New Texas and the Kerium all to himself and his slave population. He provides amnesty to wanted outlaws in exchange for assistance in his attempts for domination.
  • Tex Hex (Charlie Adler): Tex Hex is rivals with Bravestarr. Similar to Bravestarr, Tex has his own powers which includes teleportation, energy bolts, and shapefhifting. His powers were given to him by his mentor and boss, Stampede. Tex Hex was mutated, explaining his lavender and aged skin. Before being recruited by Stampede, Tex was an honest Kerium prospector with comrade Angus McBride. Tex also had a girlfriend named Ursula, who wanted to live a content, happy life with him. But Tex abandoned Angus and he also left Urusula. Tex may be evil but is often unwilling to destroy his enemies. Another woman who bears a resemblance to Ursula almost talked him out of his life of crime. Later, he finds Ursula has married another man. Tex even stops Stampede and the others from invading Fort Kerium to spare her life. Also, he was outraged when he was accused of kidnapping Bravestarr. Tex refused to accept slaves, and agreed to punish his associate Sandstorm in exchange for Bravestarr to calm down Thirty-Thirty, who was destroying everything in sight.
  • Thunderstick (Pat Fraley): A stuttering robot with an arm cannon.
  • Two-Face: A two headed cyborg bird.
  • "Two faced" Dingo Dan (Ed Gilbert): One of Tex's coyotes with a notionally Aussie accent. Dan is a master of disguise with the ability to take on a human appearance but would often forget to change his distinctive "fancy hat."
  • Vipra (Susan Blu): A serpentine female villain who has the power to hypnotize people, such as the assayer Klem in Fort Kerium, making it seem as if a Kerium deposit below Starr Peak actually belonged to Hex. Her weapon of choice is a snake-shaped "gun" that shoots a paralyzing ray. She is also an expert of locating items. She hates Tex Hex and schemes to take over his position.

Episode list[edit]

Title Airdate PC
1 "The Disappearance of Thirty-Thirty" 1987·Sep·14 053
2 "Fallen Idol" 1987·Sep·15 037
3 "The Taking of Thistledown 123" 1987·Sep·16 007
4 "Skuzz and Fuzz" 1987·Sep·17 021
5 "A Day in the Life of a New Texas Judge" 1987·Sep·18 048
6 "Rampage" 1987·Sep·21 041
7 "To Walk a Mile" 1987·Sep·22 020
8 "Big Thirty and Little Wimble" 1987·Sep·23 038
9 "BraveStarr and the Law" 1987·Sep·24 010
10 "Kerium Fever" 1987·Sep·25 006
11 "Memories" 1987·Sep·28 039
12 "Eyewitness" 1987·Sep·29 014
13 "The Vigilantes" 1987·Sep·30 023
14 "Wild Child" 1987·Oct·01 027
15 "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here" 1987·Oct·02 018
16 "Eye of the Beholder" 1987·Oct·05 011
17 "The Wrong Hands" 1987·Oct·06 025
18 "An Older Hand" 1987·Oct·07 030
19 "Showdown at Sawtooth" 1987·Oct·08 009
20 "Unsung Hero" 1987·Oct·12 029
21 "Lost Mountain" 1987·Oct·13 034
22 "Trouble Wears a Badge" 1987·Oct·15 043
23 "Who Am I?" 1987·Oct·16 022
24 "BraveStarr and the Treaty" 1987·Oct·20 033
25 "Thoren the Slavemaster" 1987·Oct·21 019
26 "The Price" 1987·Oct·22 049
27 "Revolt of the Prairie People" 1987·Oct·23 047
28 "Hostage" 1987·Oct·26 031
29 "Tunnel of Terror" 1987·Oct·27 042
30 "The Good, the Bad, and the Clumsy" 1987·Oct·28 026
31 "Balance of Power" 1987·Oct·29 052
32 "Call to Arms" 1987·Oct·30 051
33 "BraveStarr and the Three Suns" 1987·Nov·02 044
34 "The Witnesses" 1987·Nov·03 024
35 "Handlebar and Rampage" 1987·Nov·04 035
36 "Runaway Planet" 1987·Nov·05 032
37 "The Bounty Hunter" 1987·Nov·06 060
38 "Buddy" 1987·Nov·09 040
39 "The Day the Town Was Taken" 1987·Nov·10 059
40 "BraveStarr and the Medallion" 1987·Nov·11 015
41 "Legend of a Pretty Lady" 1987·Nov·12 062
42 "Sunrise, Sunset" 1987·Nov·13 061
43 "Call of the Wild" 1987·Nov·16 057
44 "Tex But No Hex" 1987·Nov·17 050
45 "Space Zoo" 1987·Nov·18 004
46 "Tex's Terrible Night" 1987·Dec·14 046
47 "Running Wild" 1988·Jan·29 045
48 "Thirty-Thirty Goes Camping" 1988·Feb·01 058
49 "The Haunted Shield" 1988·Feb·02 036
50 "Ship of No Return" 1988·Feb·03 056
51 "Little Lie That Grew" 1988·Feb·04 065
52 "Brothers in Crime" 1988·Feb·05 054
53 "Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century (Part 1)" 1988·Feb·08 016
54 "Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century (Part 2)" 1988·Feb·09 017
55 "New Texas Blues" 1988·Feb·10 001
56 "Jeremiah and the Prairie People" 1988·Feb·11 028
57 "The Ballad of Sara Jane" 1988·Feb·12 013
58 "Brother's Keeper" 1988·Feb·15 005
59 "BraveStarr and the Empress" 1988·Feb·16 063
60 "Night of the Bronco-Tank" 1988·Feb·17 002
61 "Nomad Is an Island" 1988·Feb·18 012
62 "The Blockade" 1988·Feb·19 064
63 "No Drums, No Trumpets" 1988·Feb·22 008
64 "Shake Hands with Long Arm John" 1988·Feb·23 055
65 "Strength of the Bear" 1988·Feb·24 003

Action figures and other merchandise[edit]

In 1986, a year before the TV series premiered, Mattel released an action figure line based on the Filmation cartoon series.[5] These figures were large for the time at nearly 8" tall and came in a windowed box with artwork similar to that of their Masters of the Universe contemporaries. Each figure had a unique action feature and was packaged with one or more Kerium nuggets. Marshall BraveStarr and Tex Hex were also packaged with a Laser Fire Backpack which shot infra-red beams and had "space-age" sound effects. Such backpacks were individually available – blue for heroes and black for villains. Other figures available were Handlebar, Sandstorm, Thirty/Thirty, Skuzz, Fuzz, Col.Borobot, & Thunderstick. The Neutra-Laser weapon, which worked with the infra-red technology, and Fort Kerium playset also made their way to toy shelves. A second series of figures was designed but never produced. This included Dingo Dan, Judge JB, Long Arm John, Rampage, and the Starr Hawk vehicle.

A BraveStarr video game was released for Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum. It is a side-scrolling shooter game. Various other forms of BraveStarr merchandise made their way to the market including a Colorforms Adventure Set, Ladybird storybook, pillow case, sticker album, and water gun, among others. A comic book series, BraveStarr in 3-D, also began under Blackthorne Publishing in January 1987.

Home video and DVD releases[edit]

BraveStarr made its way to VHS in compilations such as Filmation All-Star Theatre and Sampler Collection. Individual episodes of the series found their way to shelves as late as 1989.

BCI Eclipse (under license from Entertainment Rights) released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time in 2007/2008. The series was released in 2 volume sets, with the first volume featuring several bonus features.[6][7] As of 2009, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print as BCI Eclipse ceased operations.[8]

On December 10, 2010, Mill Creek Entertainment announced that it had acquired the rights from Classic Media to re-release the series on DVD in North America.[9] They subsequently released a complete series set as well as two single volume releases on May 10, 2011.[10]

DVD Name Ep # Release date
BraveStarr – Volume One 20 May 10, 2011
BraveStarr – Volume Two 20 May 10, 2011
BraveStarr – Volume Three 25 TBA
BraveStarr – Complete Series 65 May 10, 2011

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Best of Bravestarr". Pop Matters. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  2. ^ "TV Listings: KAZTDT2 (KAZT-DT2), October 2, 2010". Zap2it. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ Wagner, Diane (December 21, 1986). "The $20 0 -Million Man". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  4. ^ "The Best of Bravestarr". The Trades. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Mattel Attempts to Streamline as Profit Sinks". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  6. ^ "Bravestarr: Volume 1 DVD @ DVD Empire". Dvdempire.com. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  7. ^ "Bravestarr: Volume 2 DVD @ DVD Empire". Dvdempire.com. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  8. ^ "Site News – PRESS RELEASE: Navarre Shuts Down BCI, Makers of He-Man, Day Break, Price is Right and other DVDs". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  9. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Mill Creek Returns He-Man, Bravestarr to DVD!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  10. ^ "BraveStarr DVD news: Release Date for BraveStarr – The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 

External links[edit]