Star Fleet Star Fleet is an 80’s Children’s TV puppet show. Go Nagai was the creator and co-writer of Star Fleet, or X-Bomber as it was known in Japan. He wanted to make a series in a similar vein to Star Wars, but was limited by budget. So to cut costs he thought of using puppets to enable him to tell his story. Previously he had made a number of animation shows with robots, so this was the first and only time he ever used puppets, which is one of the reasons why Star Fleet has a special place in his heart. Trying to get funding was his his biggest hurdle, so he marketed it as a new Thunderbirds / Star Wars show to gain budget from TV Stations. Even before the show was given the go ahead, Go Nagai and Mr Fujikawa (co-Writer) visited the USA to view real space rockets and gain ideas. Eventually they were given the go ahead to produce 24 shows. One of Go Nagai's regrets about the show is that he would have liked to have included more elaborate action scenes (such as an Imperial Alliance Robot to oppose the Big Dai-X Robot). He would liked to use modern special effects techniques on the show, as during the making of the show they had to repeat similar battle patterns to conserve money.   The puppets were only 25cm tall and their skin was made of thin rubber, but they looked much bigger on screen. One of the issues in using puppets, at the time, was getting lifelike movements out of them. So they concentrated on their upper bodies for most of the shots. For Thunderbirds, the puppeteers had painted out the wires for each shot (depending on the colour of the background), but for Star Fleet they used rods from underneath to control the puppets, which gave them different problems. The model of X-Bomber was in fact a lot larger than the Imperial Battle Cruiser, even though the Battle Cruiser was supposed to be much bigger. X-Bomber was approximately 2 meters long and the Battle Cruiser was about half its size. They used real gunpowder for some of the explosions, but the downside was that once in a while some of the sets caught fire.   For the the English Language version of the show, LWT (London Weekend Television) was contacted by the agent of Anuki Films. They in turn asked Louis Elman to become the English Dubbing Director for the show. He was given a free reign for the show, so started to assemble a team around him. Tony Lenny was drafted in to edit the shows to the correct length and to try give the show more pace. He also suggested the end title should be a song, not an instrumental. Tony also created every sound effect heard in the series. For the script, Louis had received a bad 'literal' translation of the Japanese script. So Louis gave the translation to a colleague, Michael Sloane, who tidied it up and added some of extra terms such as Quantum Speed, Hyper Speed etc. Next the Lip Sync writer had to make slight changes to the script to enable the lip movements of the puppets to match the audio.   When Louis began casting the voices for the show, he cast his friend Peter Marinker (a Canadian living in London), as Dr Benn, who supported him throughout the series and even took on the responsibility for the last 6-8 episodes of the show, as Louis had other commitments. For the music, Paul Bliss was asked to compose it, which is something that he'd never done before. He had the chance to listen to the Japanese version of the music, so couldn't use it as a reference for the show, which was probably a good thing as the music he created fitted in perfectly. Paul hadn't known that Brian May (Queen) and Eddie Van Halen had made a cover version of his title music (Star Fleet Project), until he received a copy and a personal message from Brian, who was a big fan of the show (together with his son). Paul was delighted to receive such recognition from such a high profile artist as Brian, who even made a music video to accompany it.   Even Gerry Anderson, the creator of Thunderbirds, called them up, to check how good the show was. The person Gerry got through to was Louis (he didn't know that at the time), who obviously sang the praises of the show. LWT was shown a private screening of the first episode, who loved it. When it was released in the UK the ratings were very good. On the back of this, Louis asked Peter Marinker to write a synopsis for a second series, which was shown to LWT, who agreed to finance a second series. But then they received the bad news that a fire at the Japanese studios had destroyed all the sets and puppets, so plans for a second series was shelved.   Story >>  Character Profiles >> Star Fleet - Big Dai-X Star Fleet T-Shirts - NONE Star Fleet DVDs Region 2 (Europe) - Star Fleet DVDs Region 1 (USA) - NONE Star Fleet Video Star Fleet - X-Bomber's Crew
Star Fleet Episodes Series 1 (1982)  1. Scramble X-Bomber!  2. The Super Powerful Imperial Alliance  3. Find F-01!  4. Wipe Out The Transport Fleet  5. The Mysterious Ship 'Skull'  6. X-Bomber Goes Forth  7. Mortal Combat In The Gravity Graveyard  8. An Attack Beyond Tears  9. Target: The Commander  10. Galaxy Adrift  11. Farewell, The Eternal Battlefield  12. Our Mortal Enemy Is Captain Carter  13. Battle To The Death:             X-Bomber Vs. The Imperial Alliance  14. Lamia: Girl Of Destiny  15. X-Bomber: Death On Planet Morphane  16. Lamia Kidnapped  17. Asleep In The Ice Prison  18. Commander Makara's Promotion             / Destroy The Prison  19. F-01: Assassination Plot  20. Callinean: Full Frontal Attack Begins!  21. Callinean: A Battle With No Tomorrow!  22. Board The Imperial Alliance Flagship!  23. The End Of Earth  24. A New Beginning For The Galaxy Star Fleet - Shiro Star Fleet - John Lee Star Fleet - Dr Benn's prep talk Star Fleet - The brainwashing of Captain Carter Star Fleet - Lamia and Kirara Star Fleet - The Imperial Fleet attacks Star Fleet - Time for Big Dai-X Star Fleet - Maraka talks with the Imperial Master Star Fleet - X-Bomber Star Fleet - X-Bomber covered in vines Star Fleet - Titles Star Fleet - Captain Halle Star Fleet - PPA Star Fleet - Get up John Lee!! Star Fleet - Lamia's in trouble Star Fleet - Lamia imprisoned Star Fleet - The Crew Star Fleet - The Imperial Master Star Fleet Images (click to enlarge) Star Fleet - Makara Star Fleet - Imperial Battle Cruiser Star Fleet - Captain Orion is mortally wounded Star Fleet - Imperial Master threatens Star Fleet - F01 emerges Star Fleet - Imperial Master's Fortress Star Fleet - Dubbing Director, Louis Elman Star Fleet - X-Bomber snared Star Fleet - Earth Defence Force Star Fleet - Gerry Anderson comments on the show Star Fleet - Brian May (doing a cover of Star Fleet) Star Fleet - Peter Marinker (voice of Dr Benn) Star Fleet - Go Nagai (creator of Star Fleet) ©
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