Flashback: Who remembers these shows?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Dan Szwarc, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Dan Szwarc

    Dan Szwarc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1999
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For some reason, the following shows from my childhood popped into my mind. Who remembers them and tell me what you know about them now?
    These shows aired in syndication on UHF channels across the US in the early to mid-seventies, we Japanese produced, and dubbed in English.

    The first is "Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot".

    The second is "Ultraman".

    According to the "internet" Johnny Sokko is in the public domain. There are lots of schmoes selling VHS and DVD copies on ebay, etc. Can anyone confirm it is public domain? Does anyone know how this happened (what happened to the copyright holders)?

    Ultraman appears to be alive and well in Japan, although only one version (the first) ever made it to the US. Or was there more?
     
  2. Corbin Stirn

    Corbin Stirn Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 1999
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I remember Johnny Socko. Used to watch on our antenna WXON(channel 20) from Detroit. Unfortunately, my parents upgraded to cable......channel 20 wasn't on Toledo cable.....and that was the end of Johnny Socko[​IMG] . After watching this, it's why Power Rangers gives me such a guilty pleasure:b. You don't have any late 20ish guys who watch Power Rangers...but I did watch that religiously for a time. First time I ever saw PR, I was like, "WHOA!" Hey...I remember this kind of cheesy crap:b . And I LIKE IT![​IMG] Power Rangers is the direct descendant of Socko......with (slightly)better acting, no (awful)voiceovers, and more colorful situations and robots. Go Socko!P.S. You had to love the head honcho nuclear bad guy. He took off a fingernail, threw at a mountain, and leveled it. That kinda stuff is quite cool when you're a kid[​IMG] .
     
  3. Robert Floto

    Robert Floto Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 1999
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The first time I saw Johnny Socko was when a few episodes were edited together and presented as a feature called Voyage Into Space. It played in the mid 70's on my local Los Angeles KTLA station every night for a week. (Does anyone else remember the Channel 5 Movie Theatre that played everything six nights in a row?)
     
  4. Dan Szwarc

    Dan Szwarc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1999
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm not the only crazy one!

    I didn't realize until recently that Power Rangers is a decendant of Ultraman (which preceeded Johnny Sokko by a year, 1966).

    Hey Corbin, I watched WXON via antenna! I live in the Detroit area.

    The biggest difference with Power Rangers is they don't dub it, they re-shoot the main characters in english!

    C'mon, there has to be more!
     
  5. LizH

    LizH Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I remember Ultraman well.

    Ultraman was from the same company that produced Godzilla: Toho. In fact, several monsters that UM fought were created from recycled Godzilla suits! [​IMG]
     
  6. Dan Szwarc

    Dan Szwarc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1999
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    From what I found on the net, Ultraman continued in Japan, but the US distributors did not want it anymore, so no more episodes were ever dubbed in English. So while we US kids thought Ultraman was killed at the end of the show to endlessly repeat, the show continued in Japan for many years.

    You can find these shows one the net, but they are Japanese only.

    Each new Ultraman show was tweaked slightly, just like the Power Rangers get tweaked each year today.
     
  7. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Lake Worth, Florida
    Real Name:
    Gaston
    They released the first four episodes of Ultraman on lasderdisc and VHS some years ago, that had an interview with the producer. I could never get the LD but did find the tape. It was just as cheesy as I remembered but fun nonetheless. I wish they would release the set in both original Japanese and dubbed English.
     
  8. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 1999
    Messages:
    1,883
    Likes Received:
    513
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Peter Fitzgerald
    Unlike the VHS, the North American ULTRAMAN LD never happened, though it was announced (in places like Doug Pratt's LASERDISC NEWSLETTER). A DVD was announced also, in the early days of the format, but was also cancelled.

    Though there were several ULTRA series produced over the years in Japan, only a couple of the earlier series made it over here. ULTRAMAN (1966) got the most play, of course, but Ted Turner imported the second series, ULTRA SEVEN (1967), dubbed it into daffy english (courtesy of a Canadian dubbing company), and belatedly aired it on TNT in the early 1990s (though the dubbed versions themselves actually had, I think, a 1985 or 1987 copyright). Early episodes of SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST, and its sister series, CARTOON PLANET, occasionally used alien/monster footage from ULTRA SEVEN for humor purposes. And there have been some of the modern-era ULTRAMAN shows that have gotten some import in the last few years on the American kid networks.

    It's a bit odd that, with the popularity of POWER RANGERS (and live-action superhero movies in general these days), the current owners of the U.S. dubbed versions of ULTRAMAN (1966 version), ULTRA SEVEN, JOHNNY SOKKO, SPACE GIANTS, SPECTREMAN*, and the fun Ultraman rip-off movie, INFRA-MAN (1976-Hong Kong), haven't capitalized on the trend with legit DVD releases. Unless the rights to the dubbed versions have completely lapsed, at this point.

    * Amazingly, SPECTREMAN (the first two episodes, anyway) scored a LD release from Image Entertainment, way back in 1984!
     
  9. Dan Szwarc

    Dan Szwarc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1999
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    According to those selling on ebay, Ultraman was planned as a release in the US on DVD, but it got canned. It WAS released in Japan on DVD, but not with subtitles or the english dub.

    Apparently, no one in the US owns the rights to Ultraman as it is being copied and sold willy-nilly all over the web. I guess the show is being neglected as far as any US distributor is concerned. It will probably be lost to history eventually (for us US viewers, anyway).

    If I could understand japanese, I would just buy the japanese releases and enjoy them in all their undubbed glory. Oh well...
     
  10. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I used to watch "Ultraman" every Sunday morning when I was a kid.

    In that same vein, every day after school, my friends and I used to watch "Space Giants" on TBS.
     
  11. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 1999
    Messages:
    17,391
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    there was a ultraman series o here on fox about a year or so ago.
    it was called ultraman tiga or something like that.
     
  12. KevinWEL

    KevinWEL Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How about Tobar the 8th Man, Astroboy, Gigantor?
     
  13. Dan Szwarc

    Dan Szwarc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1999
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There are many shows inspired by, influenced by, or copied from Ultraman. The Japanese and perhaps worldwide public's fascincation with giant monsters goes way beyond Godzilla.

    Ultraman Tiga is one of many Ultraman follow-ups. According to the Ultraman FAQ it continues to this day. Unfortunately, it still looks like men in suits.

    Even if they improved the technology, even CG just wouldn't be right, although it might help the non-human monsters.
     
  14. Dan Szwarc

    Dan Szwarc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1999
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It seems that some people have mentioned Ultraman as a "requested" title on DVD several times on this board. I wonder if it will ever come out?
     

Share This Page