Silver Surfer (TV series)
|Created by||Larry Brody|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Stan Lee|
|Production company(s)||Marvel Entertainment Group|
|Original network||Fox (Fox Kids)|
|Original release||February 7 –|
May 16, 1998
Silver Surfer, also known as Silver Surfer: The Animated Series, is an American-Canadian animated television series based on the Marvel Comics superhero created by Jack Kirby. The series aired for one season on the Fox Kids Network in 1998.
While inspired by various Silver Surfer comic book stories, the series alters the original mythos in some key ways. The most notable change is the removal of the Fantastic Four from The Galactus Trilogy, the story that serves as the foundation for the first three episodes of the series. In this version, the Silver Surfer, who has had the memories of Norrin Radd partially restored to him by Thanos, protects Earth from the hunger of Galactus because it reminds him of Zenn-La.
Many other characters from Marvel's cosmic stable appear in the series, including The Watcher, Ego the Living Planet, Pip the Troll, Drax the Destroyer, and Adam Warlock. Most of the characters featured in the series differ from their printed-page incarnations. For instance, Adam Warlock is an alien supersoldier designed to fight the Kree and, due to Fox broadcast standards, Thanos serves Lady Chaos rather than Death.
The series utilizes a serialized storytelling approach. As with many Silver Surfer comic book stories, episodes tackle a range of social and political issues, including imperialism, slavery, non-violence, and environmental degradation. The series frequently alludes to the Golden Age of Science Fiction, with two episode titles from novels by Isaac Asimov (Second Foundation and The End of Eternity), one from Joe Haldeman (The Forever War), and character names from Asimov (First Speaker) and Doc Smith (Mentor). The story for one episode was by Harlan Ellison.
The series was cancelled after one season. Eight episodes were written for the second season before production was shut down. According to series creator Larry Brody, the cancellation was the result of a legal dispute between Marvel and Saban Entertainment.
|Paul Essiembre||Norrin Radd /|
|Denis Akiyama||Watcher Prime|
|Oliver Becker||Adam Warlock, Magus|
|Robert Bockstael||Pip the Troll|
|Lally Cadeau||Lady Chaos|
|Shirley Douglas||The Universal Sourge|
|Elizabeth Hanna||Kili the Troll|
|David Hemblen||Supreme Intelligence, Husseri|
|Lorne Kennedy||Planetary Essence|
|Roy Lewis||Ego the Living Planet|
|Mary Long||Gamora (First Time)|
|Nicole Oliver||Gamma Jen Beth|
|Karl Pruner||Beta Ray Bill|
|Tara Rosling||Frankie Raye/Nova|
|Alison Sealy-Smith||Gamora (Second Time)|
|Norm Spencer||Drax the Destroyer|
|Marc Strange||Lord Glenn|
|Aron Tager||The Master of Zenn-La|
Pip the Troll is the close companion of Silver Surfer, whom he follows on his quest to find Surfer's treasured homeworld Zenn-La.
In "The Planet of Dr. Moreaux", the Kree enslaved the Silver Surfer and had him work alongside Pip the Troll's kind until they revolted and escaped. In "The Forever War", Adam Warlock is seen fighting the Kree in a space anomaly when the Supreme Intelligence sends the Silver Surfer to get him. If there was a Season Two, an episode called "Rebirth" would have the Silver Surfer trying to stop the Kree-Skrull War.
Beta Ray Bill debuts in the episode "Innervisions", voiced by Karl Pruner. This version of the character along with the rest of his species shared a group dream using a special "dream weaver" from Zenn-La. When the Surfer came to alert them that Thanos was approaching, he convinced Beta Ray Bill to end the group dream and save the planet using all of the dream weaver's power to trick Thanos into believing he had succeeded in destroying the planet.
In this version, Nova's a mutant with the power to find anything she seeks. She is given her herald powers by Galactus when he chooses her as his herald in place of the Silver Surfer. She also mentions that her name is Frankie Raye.
Gamora is featured in the episode "Radical Justice".
Nebula appears in the two-part episode "Learning Curve" voiced by Jennifer Dale. Nebula, like many before her, wants to gain knowledge from the Universal Library (Home of the Watchers). Because the motive of her search for knowledge is greed, she devolves into a creature known as a viral (a blob-like creature full of knowledge, but unable to act on it).
Mentor also appears in the episode "Learning Curve". He is Thanos' brother, rather than Starfox, due to a typographical error in the script. Drax also appears in the episode "Learning Curve". He is an android and a companion of Mentor.
|No.||Title||Written by||Original air date|
|"The Origin of the Silver Surfer"||Larry Brody||February 7, 1998|
February 14, 1998
February 21, 1998
|Just as the Watcher has warned, Galactus has arrived at Zenn-La to consume its energy. Norrin Radd sacrifices himself by offering to serve as Galactus' herald, whose job it will be to scout out planets without intelligent life so that Galactus won't destroy any civilizations. On the upside, Galactus gives Norrin a portion of his powers, turning him into the Silver Surfer. On the downside, the transference of powers remove Norrin's memories and his moral convictions! With no memories, the Silver Surfer finds world after world for Galactus to devour, but the herald is troubled by the destruction. The evil Thanos uses Ego the Living Planet to invade the Surfer's mind, intent on finding the secrets of Galactus within. The resulting mental battle unleashes the Surfer's memories and he goes to confront Galactus. When Galactus decides to attack the Earth, the Surfer rebels, attacking the world-eater. Although the Surfer cannot harm Galactus, he is allowed to return to Zenn-La. When he gets there, he discovers that the planet has been moved, and he is now alone in space! The Surfer vows to find Zenn-La, and his beloved Shalla Bal.|
|4||"The Planet of Dr. Moreau"||Larry Brody,|
|February 28, 1998|
|The Surfer searches to find a Kree colony, where a Zenn-La scholar is rumored to be living. Surfer is enslaved by the Kree, and forced to work alongside genetically-engineered creatures known as "Trolls." Teaming up with Pip the Troll, and Pip's girlfriend, Kili, the Surfer leads a revolt against the Kree slavers.|
|"Learning Curve"||Larry Brody (part 1 & 2),|
Andrea Lawrence (part 1)
|March 7, 1998|
March 14, 1998
|The Surfer and Pip join Mentor and his servant, Drax the Destroyer, as they search for the mythical Universal Library of the Watchers. Mentor hopes to stop his mad brother, Thanos, from taking over the universe. The Surfer wants only to find Zenn-La. Plus, Eternity and Infinity have a grave warning for the Watcher. The Universal Library is overrun with large viral globs, and when Mentor interfaces with the "Index" they discover how Uatu came to be the last of the Watchers. The Silver Surfer, Drax, and Pip leave the planet; but Mentor is left behind.|
|April 4, 1998|
|The Surfer finds a series of planets that have been devastated by Thanos, and Surfer rushes to warn the next planet in Thanos' target. It is a planet known as Harmony, and Surfer was on his way there to learn of Zenn-La by use of a gift his people gave to the planet; but the people of Harmony used the gift to live in a perpetual dream. Unaware of their impending doom at the hands of Thanos. Surfer enters the dream and convinces one of their heroes, Beta Ray Bill, to help defeat Thanos. But how can they do that when all Thanos really wants is the love and approval of Lady Chaos?|
Michael Steven Gregory
story by Harlan Ellison
|April 11, 1998|
|Galactus is dying, and his new herald, Nova, enlists the Surfer's aid to help save his life. Surfer and Galactus strike a deal. He would help Galactus if in return, Galactus gives him information about Zenn-La. Galactus agrees and allows the Surfer to enter his body in order to destroy the scourge that is killing him, while Nova remains on the outside, defending Galactus from attacking Wanderer ships. Surfer learns that Galactus knows nothing about Zenn-La's location because, in his anger, he hurled the planet so far away, even he knows not where it came to rest.|
|9||"Second Foundation"||Larry Brody,|
Michael Steven Gregory
|April 18, 1998|
|Nova is torn between her duties for Galactus and her loyalty to the Silver Surfer. After finding a young planet filled with the energy Galactus needs to survive, she helps the Surfer try to find Zenn-La. They end up on the ancient Skrull homeworld, where they become fighters in a Skrull revolution that is tearing apart the world of the shape-changers. Their duty is to protect the royal egg which is to become the next hive mother of the Skrull.|
|10||"Radical Justice"||Larry Brody,|
|April 25, 1998|
|The Surfer is captured by Lord Glenn and the Wanderers and put on trial for the crimes of Galactus. The Surfer is stripped of his powers and turns back into Norrin Radd. As he fights for his survival on a planetoid filled with robotic traps, the twin stars near the planetoid begin to collapse and form a black hole. Norrin Radd must regain his powers as the Silver Surfer in order to save those that have condemned him to death.|
|11||"The Forever War"||Larry Brody,|
|May 2, 1998|
|The Surfer asks the Kree's Supreme Intelligence to help him find Zenn-La, but before they give him an audience with the Supremor, he must do something for them. While on his task, he is swallowed by a spatial anomaly where Adam Warlock is in a never-ending battle with the Kree. The Surfer frees Warlock from the battle, and both of them return to the Kree Home World. There they discover that the Supremor has evil plans for Warlock. The two heroes escape, and Warlock learns about the destruction of his people. Though the Surfer asks Warlock to join him, Adam Warlock chooses to return to the anomaly where he can fight his "forever war", forget, and live on in honor.|
|12||"Return to Zenn-La"||Larry Brody||May 9, 1998|
|The Surfer finally finds Zenn-La, and is reunited with his beloved Shalla Bal. But things seem different, and the behavior of Shalla Bal gets increasingly strange and dangerous. The Surfer soon discovers that he has not found his home at all; instead he has once again found Ego, the Living Planet, who intends to repay his debt to the Surfer!|
|13||"The End of Eternity"||Larry Brody,|
|May 16, 1998|
|The Surfer is summoned by Eternity and Infinity, and is warned that Thanos has found a way to make time flow backwards, thus bringing about the end of the universe! As the Surfer rushes to stop Thanos, the universe begins to contract around him. When it appears as if the Surfer dies in his battle with Thanos, Eternity and Infinity wonder if all has been lost.|
In the U.K. the complete series on two discs were to be released by Liberation Entertainment on July 28, 2008; however, because of the closure of the U.K. division of Liberation Entertainment, the release was cancelled. The rights were then acquired by Clear Vision LTD who released the set on May 11, 2009.
As with most of the Marvel Films Animation and New World Animation libraries, the rights to this show is currently owned by Disney Enterprises, through BVS Entertainment and Jetix who acquired the Fox Kids Worldwide franchise and the kids’ entertainment programming properties of Saban Entertainment and Fox Children’s Productions in 2001 and also, Marvel Animation, which Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009. However, there are no plans to release the series on Region 1 DVD in its entirety.
In September 2019, it was announced that the complete series would be available to stream on the Disney+ service.
- Goldman, Michael. "Stan Lee: Comic Guru". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. Archived from the original on April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 551–552. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 740–741. ISBN 978-1476665993.
- "Interview with Larry Brody". Marvelite.prohosting.com. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- "The Silver Surfer". TVWriter.Com. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- "Holy Crap, Remember…The Silver Surfer Animated Series?". Panels on Pages. June 5, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- "Reviews & Ratings for Silver Surfer". IMDb.com. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- "HMV | Music, Films, & Games". Hmv.com. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- "HMV | Music, Films, & Games". Hmv.com. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- Original Airdates and Episode Order
- Silver Surfer at TV.com
- Silver Surfer (1998) on IMDb
- Silver Surfer Episode and Scripts[dead link] - Contains scripts for all 13 aired episodes and 8 unproduced episodes.
- DRG4's Silver Surfer: The Animated Series page
- International Catalogue of Superheroes
- Silver Surfer Cartoon Central
- Episode Guide
- Marvel Animation Age Presents: The Silver Surfer