Samson & Goliath
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|Samson & Goliath|
|Also known as||Young Samson|
|Genre||Animated television series|
|Created by||William Hanna
|Written by||Tony Benedict
|Directed by||Joseph Barbera
|Theme music composer||Ted Nichols|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13 (26 segments)|
Art Scott (associate producer)
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Distributor||Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (1967–73)
The Program Exchange (1973-present)
|Original airing||September 9, 1967|
Samson & Goliath (also known as Young Samson) is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for NBC, where it debuted on September 9, 1967. Primarily sponsored by General Mills, who controlled the distribution rights through its agency Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, Samson & Goliath was retitled Young Samson in April 1968 to avoid confusion with the stop-motion Christian television series Davey and Goliath.
Twenty-six 12-minute episodes of the series were produced; Samson & Goliath cartoons were paired with other General Mills-sponsored shows such as Tennessee Tuxedo and Go Go Gophers to form a full half-hour for their original network broadcasts.Young Samson was later shown in syndication with The Space Kidettes as The Space Kidettes and Young Samson, distributed by The Program Exchange. The Space Kidettes and Young Samson was the only Dancer Fitzgerald Sample-sponsored cartoon to be outsourced to Hanna-Barbera; the agency's in-house studio, Gamma Productions, had closed shortly before the series began. (It was also the only cartoon in the DFS portfolio not to be created by Jay Ward Productions or Total Television.)
The show follows the adventures of a teenager named Samson and his dog, Goliath as they ride around the country on a motorbike. Whenever trouble arises, usually in the form of a menacing super villain or evil scientist, Samson transforms himself into a superhero version of the biblical Samson by hitting his golden wristbands together. A second slam transforms Goliath into a super-powered lion. Samson has great strength, endurance, and agility, as well as the ability to leap so well he appears to be flying. He can also direct shock waves from his wristbands, and by twisting his bracelets, can increase his and Goliath's powers to far greater levels.
Goliath, in addition to having similar strength and leaping powers, has "power beam" rays that emanate from his eyes, apparently making him more powerful than Samson. The pair's reverse transformation is never depicted. Though Goliath derives his name from the Biblical villain Goliath, a giant warrior for the Philistines, the two characters otherwise have nothing in common.
Samson & Goliath is similar in format to other Hanna-Barbera adventure shows such as Space Ghost, Mighty Mightor, and Shazzan in its pacing, plots, voices, music and art direction. Many of these characters were developed for CBS by comics artist Alex Toth, but Samson was on NBC. Tim Matheson, who had earlier been the voice of Jonny Quest, provided the voice of Samson. Goliath's vocal effects are done by Don Messick.
This show is very similar to a 1980s cartoon show, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Like Samson, teenage Prince Adam turns into the adult, muscular superhero He-Man by way of a magical artifact. Like Goliath, his pet tiger Cringer also turns into the bigger, stronger and tougher Battle Cat. Both Samson & Goliath and He-Man (along with Mighty Mightor) bear similarities to an earlier property, the Fawcett Comics (later DC Comics) superhero Captain Marvel. Samson hitting bracelets on his wrists to transform himself is identical to how Rick Jones summons the Marvel Comics version of Captain Marvel in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.
- Monatabu and Iguanasaurus — Monatabu is an evil witch doctor whose tribe punished him for his evil deeds. He leaped into a volcano, but instead of dying, found an Iguanasaurus, and gained control of it. Each year, it emerges from the volcano to attack the village. Samson and Goliath discover the truth, and seal the pair inside the volcano forever.
- Aurora Borealis Creature — The Aurora Borealis somehow becomes an electrically charged monster that begins attacking an Inuit village. Samson and Goliath lure it onto an ice floe, and it sinks into the water, thus destroying it.
- The Colossus of Rhodes — When an archaeologist brings the Colossus of Rhodes up from the sea, lightning brings it to life, and it goes on a rampage. Samson and Goliath are able to send it back to the bottom of the sea.
- Venusian Ice Men — The Venusian Ice Men arrive on Earth to freeze a valley to make it habitable for their race. After defeating an ice monster, Samson and Goliath use a reflecting mirror from a telescope to deflect a freeze ray back at the villains' ship. The ship is destroyed, and the Ice Men melt.
- Terrorists — A band of international terrorists steal the STX-19, an experimental plane, and also switch Samson's bracelets with lead ones. Goliath recovers the real bracelets, and he and Samson bring back the STX-19 and capture the thieves, however the title slide says the SXX-19.
- Monarch and PERIL Agents — Monarch and the PERIL Agents kidnap Professor Talos. Samson and Goliath rescue him, and capture the bad guys after an intense struggle.
- Boltor and Natives — On Evil Island, Samson is captured by a tribe who loyally serve a talking flame. He and Goliath discover that the evil scientist Boltor has an underground electronic laboratory, and had created the talking flame as well as mechanical sharks. He has also stolen American missiles. Samson and Goliath foil his plan to launch the missiles, but he sinks the island, disappearing for good.
- Zarno and the Monsteroids — Zarno the Cruel is an alien based on an asteroid, from which he sends a deadly ray to Earth. Samson and Goliath are teleported to the asteroid, where they defeat Zarno and his Monsteroids.
- General Tong, Ramu, and Rama-Keesh — General Tong and Ramu unleash the robot idol Rama-Keesh upon a mountain village. The General's purpose is to drive the people away so that his troops can move across the border. He orders Rama-Keesh to destroy Ramu, but Samson saves him. Rama-Keesh is destroyed when it falls into a fire pit, and Tong and Ramu are taken into custody.
- Salamandro and Hijackers — Salamandro is a mutant catfish based in an undersea laboratory. He sends two human hijackers to loot the passing cargo ships. Samson and Goliath find their way into the lab, where they escape from a number of death traps. Although they flood the lab, the evil trio escape.
- Baron Von Skull and Tor — Baron Von Skull is an elderly World War One flying ace from Germany, who creates evil war machines. Tor is his assistant. Samson and Goliath destroy the machines, but the pair fly away, presumably into the arms of the police.
- Kunev Khan and Moonleader — Kunev Khan is apparently a long-time enemy of Samson and Goliath. He steals the Graviton, and delivers it to the Moon Leader, not realizing the alien intends to double-cross him. The Moon Leader is dispatched, and Samson and Goliath fly Kunev and the Graviton back to Earth.
- Dragon Men — The Dragon Men are a tribe of possible Mayan ancestry, based in an underground city. Samson and Goliath enter the city via a Mayan pyramid in order to rescue Professor Kinkaid, who had been captured by these warriors. The Dragon Men are defeated when Goliath's roar breaks open a dam, releasing water that sweeps them away, and also puts out a fire that started when a dragon lizard ignited the sulphur gases.
- Dr. Zuran and Rogor — Dr. Zuran is yet another mad scientist who captures Professor Cartwell, and gains control of Rogor the robot. He transfers Samson's strength to the mechanical monster, but Goliath restores it. Zuran also tries to kill Cartwell, but Samson saves him just in time. Zuran flies away, and Cartwell fixes up Rogor, turning him into a good, useful roboot.
- Darvo, Darvo's Henchman, and Coral Creature — Darvo and his assistant revive the Coral Creature, which begins attacking a city in Australia. Samson and Goliath cause it to turn against its masters, destroying them and their lighthouse. The creature itself returns to the sea.
- The Dome and Henchman — The Dome and his henchman plot to launch nuclear warheads. Samson and Goliath successfully thwart their efforts.
- Nerod, Servo, Gladiators, and Giant Beasts — Nerod is an avid collector of Roman antiquities who models himself after Nero. He and Servo invite Samson and Goliath to fight robot gladiators and rhinos in a replica of the Colosseum. The heroes defeat their foes, and destroy the mansion.
- Dr. Desto — Dr. Desto is a scientist who had been experimenting with the time dimension. He brings in a number of past threats, and pits them against Samson and Goliath. All are defeated, and Desto himself is pulled into the past, never to return.
- Narton and the Gill Men — Narton and The Gill Men emerge from the ocean floor to conquer the surface people. Samson and Goliath beat them at their own game, but Narton gets away, vowing to return.
- Thing from the Black Mountains — This is a reptile that is roused from a lake near the Black Mountains by a missile. Samson and Goliath fight it, and send it back into the lake.
On March 8, 2011, Warner Archive released all 20 episodes of The Space Kidettes and Young Samson on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com. The original network broadcasts of The Space Kidettes and Samson & Goliath were formatted to break up the plot line of each episode to include additional animated content not made by Hanna-Barbera, but which were controlled by the series’ sponsor.
After the network runs ended, both stories were re-edited into continuous scenarios, and the two series were joined together as the The Space Kidettes and Young Samson for subsequent forms of distribution. The revised syndication versions of these shows are the only ones available for distribution, as the original network versions were cut and reconformed for the current configuration. These are the versions used for the DVD release.
- McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television (4th ed.), pg. 721. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8
- Sinnott, John (March 27, 2011) Review ofSpace Kidettes and Young Samson. DVDTalk. Retrieved 2013-05-07
- "Young Samson & Goliath - MOD-DVDs Now Available for 'The Space Kidettes and Young Samson'".