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.

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 of an overdose.[4]

Setting[edit]

The setting in most episodes is planet New Texas: a planetary system containing three suns, located 600 parsecs (1956 light-years) from Earth. Much of the food and water supply is imported. The majority of land is desert; but there is one wetland area, which is the home of "apecats". Water is also found in cactus-like 'Aqua-Pod' plants. The planet's natural resource is Kerium: a red mineral used as a fuel source, and often sought by characters both good and evil. Implications exist that New Texas was colonized for Kerium, but will remain inhabited even after the mines are exhausted.

  • The native civilization of New Texas are the Prairie People, who operate most of the Kerium mines.
  • Fort Kerium: A mechanized town capable of armoring itself; Bravestarr's base of operation.
  • Starr Peak: A mountain where Shaman lives, concealing the spacecraft in which he arrived on New Texas, atop a Kerium deposit.
  • Stone Canyon: A large mining canyon. Also it is the location of some crime.
  • Peaceful Valley: A large farm land.
  • The Hexagon: Fortress for most of the villains.

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.


Alien & Human Species[edit]

  • Apecats:

Gigantic non-humanoid felines 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.

  • Broncosaur:

Dinosaur-like civilization, of which Stampede is the last living representative.

  • Dingos (Coyotoids):

Coyote-like humanoids, who often appear as minor antagonists, amenable to a peaceful lifestyle.

  • Equestroids:

Cyborg equines capable of assuming human attributes (bipedal stance and prehensile forelimbs especially) at will. 'Thirty-Thirty' is the only survivor of this colony.

  • Fuufta:

Pacifist sheep-like creatures, often targeted by enemy civilizations.

  • Humans:

A variety of ethnic groups including Native Americans Shaman and Bravestarr, and British Sherlock Holmes.

  • Krang:

Cat-like humanoids, warlike and therefore opposed to Bravestarr and his ideals.

  • Porcinoid:

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

  • Prairie People:

Multi-talented prairie dog-like creatures, native to New Texas, who take pleasure in mining and in the operation of machines.

  • Reptillianoid:

The "Vipra" and "Diamond Back" characters are both reptilian and humanoid, and display behaviors of both.

  • Rigellian:

The "Handlebar" character is a Rigellian: a race of green-skinned humanoid giants with bright orange body hair and superhuman strength.

  • Sand Walrus:

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

  • Solacows:

Non-Humanoid cattle-like species.

Characters[edit]

Heroes[edit]

  • Marshall BraveStarr (Pat Fraley): The title character; a Native American who can call upon the power of "spirit animals", enabling him briefly to perform superhuman feats. 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-human hearing.
    • Strength of the Bear: Gives him super-human strength.
    • Speed of the Puma: Gives him super-human speed.

It should be noted that the Strength of the Bear grants him far greater strength than any real bear, whereas the Speed of the Puma allows him speeds akin to comic-book characters such as Quicksilver or the Flash. In addition to his animal powers, he has electronic equipment such as a computerized visor and a two-way radio. Bravestarr also carries a "Neutra-laser" pistol and a "Trans-freezer" rifle, and the badge on his shirt can shield him at need. Although called 'Marshal' and 'champion of justice', he usually serves as a mediator in any conflict, and often seeks peaceful resolution to every problem, unless confronted by the series' periodic villains.

  • Angus McBride: The father of Judge J.B. McBride: a prospector with a passion for Journalism, who now operates Fort Kerium's newspaper.
  • Billy-Bob: A human Kerium prospector.
  • Commander Karen Kane: A former Star Marine who retired after marrying Angus McBride. She is the stepmother of J.B. Like Angus, she has a Scottish accent.
  • Deputy Fuzz (Charlie Adler): A member of the Prairie People. BraveStarr affectionately calls him "li'l partner". Fuzz is typically a figure of comic relief, but has played more-serious rôles at need.
  • Diamondback: A snake-like humanoid Kerium prospector, who owns the Kerium deposit underneath Starr Peak along with his human colleague Billy-Bob.
  • Doc Clayton: The town's doctor, frequently an ally of Bravestarr's.
  • 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". Other times he acts as a reserve law enforcement officer. He has a pet cyborg steer named Rampage.
  • Judge J. B. McBride (Susan Blu): Fort Kerium's principal (and perhaps only) judge and lawyer; Bravestarr's ally, consultant, and occasional paramour. In battle, she uses an electronic gavel (called a "hammer of justice" in the series) given her by the Prairie People.
  • Long Arm John: A law enforcement officer with a sophisticated prosthetic arm.
  • Molly: Molly drives a "Strato-Stage", a mechanized stagecoach traveling above ground. Occasionally Molly has a security guard to blast away enemies. Molly is also capable of piloting space vehicles.
  • Shaman (Ed Gilbert): An otherwise-unnamed mystic, capable of teleportation, time travel, psychokinesis, and near-omniscient clairvoyance; Bravestarr's mentor and foster-father.
  • Thirty Thirty (Ed Gilbert): BraveStarr's cyborg stallion, capable of assuming a bipedal form at will. His principal weapon is the 'Sarah Jane': a large blunderbuss from which he projects directed energy. He is more belligerent than Bravestarr, and will often prefer fights to resolutions.

Villains[edit]

  • Barker (Lou Scheimer): A little coyote.
  • Billy The Droid:
  • Cactushead (Pat Fraley): A robot equipped with two energy cannons. 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 assume human form.
  • Krang: Humanoid felines with green armor and German accents; a periodic enemy.
  • Outlaw Skuzz (Alan Oppenheimer): Tex's cigar-smoking henchman and cousin of Deputy Fuzz; apparently the only Prairie Person to prefer crime.
  • 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 or create sand creatures.
  • Stampede (Alan Oppenheimer): Chief antagonist, and sponsor to all other villains; a monstrous, skeletal 'Broncosaur', and apparently the last of his kind. Stampede seldom appears in battle directly, but is usually the source of his subordinates' evil plans.
  • Tex Hex (Charlie Adler): Bravestarr's rival, opponent, and counterpart, distinguished by a withered appearance and lavender skin; Stampede's junior partner.
  • Thunderstick (Pat Fraley): A stuttering robot with a directed-energy cannon built into his arm.
  • 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; assistant to Tex Hex, but envious of his high rank among the villains.

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. Marshal 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]