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BraveStarr title card
|Voices of||Pat Fraley
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||65|
|Executive producer(s)||Lou Scheimer|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Distributor||Group W Productions
|Original network||first-run syndication (1987–1989)
Qubo Channel (2010–2013)
|Original release||September 14, 1987 – February 24, 1988|
BraveStarr is an American Space Western animated television series. 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.
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. 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.
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.
As on other Filmation series (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 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.
The setting in most episodes is New Texas: a planetary system orbiting three suns, 600 parsecs (1957 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 chief export is Kerium: a red mineral used as a fuel source, and often therefore the prize of conflicts among characters. 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 the location of some crime.
- Peaceful Valley: A large agrarian land.
- The Hexagon: Fortress for most of the villains.
- The Badlands: the inhospitable land surrounding the Hexagon.
Alien and human species
- Apecats: Gigantic non-humanoid felines who live near the only wetlands on New Texas.
- Avianoid: The two-headed criminal Two Face comes from an avianoid species, and had half of his body augmented with cybernetic replacements (for reasons unknown), making him a cyborg. Another avianoid is the 'Cygnian Ambassador', who resembles an ostrich.
- Broncosaurs: 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 BraveStarr and Shaman, and the British Sherlock Holmes.
- Krang: Cat-like humanoids; warlike and therefore opposed to BraveStarr and his ideals.
- Porcinoid: Hawgtie comes from a porcine (pig-like) humanoid species.
- Prairie People: Anthropoid prairie dog-like creatures, native to New Texas, who take pleasure in mining and in the operation of machines.
- Reptillianoid: Antagonists Vipra and Diamond Back are both reptilian and humanoid, and display behaviors of both.
- Rigellian: Drink-seller Handlebar is a member of this race of green-skinned humanoids with bright orange hair and superhuman strength.
- Sand Walrus: Antagonist Sand Storm comes from this red-skinned humanoid species, and has a number of special powers.
- Solacows: Non-humanoid cattle-like species.
- Marshal 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:
It should be noted that the 'Strength of the Bear' grants him strength sufficient to destroy stone or support steel bridges, whereas the Speed of the Puma allows him speeds akin to comic-book characters Quicksilver and 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 "Protector of Peace" and "Champion of Justice", he usually acts in the former role, preferring to serve as a mediator in any conflict. He often seeks peaceful resolution to every problem, unless confronted by the series' periodic villains.
- 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 to her by the Prairie People.
- Thirty/Thirty (Ed Gilbert): BraveStarr's cyborg stallion and chief deputy, 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. His appearance later inspired an alternate design for the character of Sylvia in the Wander Over Yonder episode "The Cartoon."
- Angus McBride: The father of Judge J. B. McBride; himself a former Kerium prospector who now operates Fort Kerium's newspaper.
- Billy-Bob (Ed Gilbert): A human Kerium prospector.
- Commander Karen Kane (Susan Blu): 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 also plays more-serious roles at need. The first of the Prairie People to befriend humans.
- Diamondback (Alan Oppenheimer): A snake-like humanoid Kerium prospector, who owns the Kerium deposit underneath Starr Peak along with his human colleague Billy-Bob.
- Doc Clayton (Lou Scheimer): The town's doctor; frequently an ally of BraveStarr's.
- Handlebar (Alan Oppenheimer): A hulking, 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.
- Long Arm John: A law enforcement officer with a sophisticated prosthetic arm.
- Molly (Susan Blu): Courier aboard 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.
- Stampede (Alan Oppenheimer): Chief antagonist, and ringleader of the outlaws based at the Hexagon. A monstrous, partly skeletal Broncosaur, and apparently the last of his kind. He seldom appears in battle directly, but is usually the source of his subordinates' evil plans, and is the archenemy of BraveStarr's mentor, Shaman.
- Tex Hex (Charlie Adler): BraveStarr's rival, opponent, and counterpart, distinguished by a withered appearance and lavender skin; Stampede's junior partner. Originally Tex, a greedy Kerium prospector who briefly co-owned a Kerium mine with Angus. He crashed a Kerium-overloaded ship while heading home from New Texas, and was revived and given a host of magical powers by Stampede. Credited, in the feature-film, with the discovery of Kerium on New Texas.
- Barker (Lou Scheimer): A little coyote.
- Billy The Droid: A purple robot with the power to shoot energy bolts from his hands and a gripping arm from his chest.
- Cactus Head (Pat Fraley): A short 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. 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. A cousin of Deputy Fuzz; apparently the only Prairie Person to practice crime. The moral lesson at the end of one episode had him saying he liked being an outlaw, but one the one bad thing he disliked doing was smoking, and warning viewers not to follow his example.
- Queen Singlish: A woman that commandeered an entire island, which floats through space. She constantly wants slaves to assist her; but is defeated by the Prairie People.
- Sand Storm (Ed Gilbert): A red, reptilian anthropoid who can exhale giant clouds of sand. His kind are sometimes called "sand walruses" and are native to to New Texas. He can also use his sand to put people to sleep or create sand creatures.
- Thunder Stick (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 has 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.
|1||"The Disappearance of Thirty-Thirty"||14 September 1987||053|
|2||"Fallen Idol"||15 September 1987||037|
|3||"The Taking of Thistledown 123"||16 September 1987||007|
|4||"Skuzz and Fuzz"||17 September 1987||021|
|5||"A Day in the Life of a New Texas Judge"||18 September 1987||048|
|6||"Rampage"||21 September 1987||041|
|7||"To Walk a Mile"||22 September 1987||020|
|8||"Big Thirty and Little Wimble"||23 September 1987||038|
|9||"BraveStarr and the Law"||24 September 1987||010|
|10||"Kerium Fever"||25 September 1987||006|
|11||"Memories"||28 September 1987||039|
|12||"Eyewitness"||29 September 1987||014|
|13||"The Vigilantes"||30 September 1987||023|
|14||"Wild Child"||1 October 1987||027|
|15||"Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here"||2 October 1987||018|
|16||"Eye of the Beholder"||5 October 1987||011|
|17||"The Wrong Hands"||6 October 1987||025|
|18||"An Older Hand"||7 October 1987||030|
|19||"Showdown at Sawtooth"||8 October 1987||009|
|20||"Unsung Hero"||12 October 1987||029|
|21||"Lost Mountain"||13 October 1987||034|
|22||"Trouble Wears a Badge"||15 October 1987||043|
|23||"Who Am I?"||16 October 1987||022|
|24||"BraveStarr and the Treaty"||20 October 1987||033|
|25||"Thoren the Slavemaster"||21 October 1987||019|
|26||"The Price"||22 October 1987||049|
|27||"Revolt of the Prairie People"||23 October 1987||047|
|28||"Hostage"||26 October 1987||031|
|29||"Tunnel of Terror"||27 October 1987||042|
|30||"The Good, the Bad, and the Clumsy"||28 October 1987||026|
|31||"Balance of Power"||29 October 1987||052|
|32||"Call to Arms"||30 October 1987||051|
|33||"BraveStarr and the Three Suns"||2 November 1987||044|
|34||"The Witnesses"||3 November 1987||024|
|35||"Handlebar and Rampage"||4 November 1987||035|
|36||"Runaway Planet"||5 November 1987||032|
|37||"The Bounty Hunter"||6 November 1987||060|
|38||"Buddy"||9 November 1987||040|
|39||"The Day the Town Was Taken"||10 November 1987||059|
|40||"BraveStarr and the Medallion"||11 November 1987||015|
|41||"Legend of a Pretty Lady"||12 November 1987||062|
|42||"Sunrise, Sunset"||13 November 1987||061|
|43||"Call of the Wild"||16 November 1987||057|
|44||"Tex But No Hex"||17 November 1987||050|
|45||"Space Zoo"||18 November 1987||004|
|46||"Tex's Terrible Night"||14 December 1987||046|
|47||"Running Wild"||29 January 1988||045|
|48||"Thirty-Thirty Goes Camping"||1 February 1988||058|
|49||"The Haunted Shield"||2 February 1988||036|
|50||"Ship of No Return"||3 February 1988||056|
|51||"Little Lie That Grew"||4 February 1988||065|
|52||"Brothers in Crime"||5 February 1988||054|
|53||"Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century: Episode 1"||8 February 1988||016|
|54||"Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century: Episode 2"||9 February 1988||017|
|55||"New Texas Blues"||10 February 1988||001|
|56||"Jeremiah and the Prairie People"||11 February 1988||028|
|57||"The Ballad of Sara Jane"||12 February 1988||013|
|58||"Brother's Keeper"||15 February 1988||005|
|59||"BraveStarr and the Empress"||16 February 1988||063|
|60||"Night of the Bronco-Tank"||17 February 1988||002|
|61||"Nomad Is an Island"||18 February 1988||012|
|62||"The Blockade"||19 February 1988||064|
|63||"No Drums, No Trumpets"||22 February 1988||008|
|64||"Shake Hands with Long Arm John"||23 February 1988||055|
|65||"Strength of the Bear"||24 February 1988||003|
Action figures and other merchandise
In 1986, a year before the TV series premiered, Mattel released an action figure line based on the Filmation cartoon series. 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 and 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 J. B., 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
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. As of 2009, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print as BCI Eclipse ceased operations.
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. They subsequently released a complete series set as well as two single volume releases on May 10, 2011.
|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|
- "The Best of Bravestarr". Pop Matters. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "TV Listings: KAZTDT2 (KAZT-DT2), October 2, 2010". Zap2it. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
- Wagner, Diane (December 21, 1986). "The $20 0 -Million Man". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "The Best of Bravestarr". The Trades. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Mattel Attempts to Streamline as Profit Sinks". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- "Bravestarr: Volume 1 DVD @ DVD Empire". Dvdempire.com. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Bravestarr: Volume 2 DVD @ DVD Empire". Dvdempire.com. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "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.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Mill Creek Returns He-Man, Bravestarr to DVD!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- "BraveStarr DVD news: Release Date for BraveStarr – The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "BraveStarr". epguides.com. Retrieved October 28, 2005.
- "Filmation Associates: BraveStarr". The Big Cartoon Database. Retrieved October 28, 2005.