Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
first straightforward superhero project came at the behest of Fred Silverman, head of
daytime programming at CBS. In order to combat
NBC’s strong comedy line-up on Saturday
morning, Silverman decided they needed to go in the opposite direction and
entered the realm of action-adventure. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera handed
the project over to Joe Ruby
and Ken Spears, as well
as designer Alex Toth, which led to the
creation of Space Ghost.
Space Ghost (Gary Owens) was a space-faring superhero
whose costume gave him super strength, stamina, viso penetron eye-beams and the
ability to fly and exist in space without a ship. His primary weapons were two
Power Bands that could perform a variety of energy-based functions by pressing
any of the three buttons located on them. Space Ghost’s belt also allowed him
to become invisible, which in the Hanna-Barbera world was represented by his
turning into a white outline without any color filling, or created a force
field. His chest emblem served as a communicator. Early concept designs by Toth
featured Space Ghost both without his mask, which he never took off on the show
and a gun before he was given the Power Bands. He also
sported red gloves, black boots and blank trunks like a traditional super
Jace, Blip and Jan.
Joining Space Ghost on his missions were his teenaged
sidekicks, twins Jan (Ginny Tyler) and Jace (Tim Matheson). They also had a pet
monkey, Blip (which was also all he said, voiced by Don Messick). They had
their own invisibility belts and jet packs that allowed them to travel through
space. When not flying about, they rode in comfort in their ship, The Phantom
Cruiser. However, the twins weren’t much help to Space Ghost as episode plots
usually revolved around their being put into some kind of peril that Space
Ghost had to rescue them from. Amongst Space Ghost’s most repeated threats were
the praying mantis-like Zorak (originally to be named Torak, voiced by Messick),
the cat-creature Brak (Keye Luke),
the sinister Black Widow aka Spider-Woman (Tyler), robot master Mettalus (Ted Cassidy), the heat
suit-wearing Moltar (Messick), and the animal-controlling Creature King (Vic Perrin).
Like many Hanna-Barbera programs, Space Ghost was broken up into short
story segments rather than a full half-hour episode. For his first outing, he
was paired up with another new creation: Dino
Boy in the Lost Valley. That series followed young boy Todd (Johnny Carson)
who escaped a crashing plane only to land in a perfectly preserved prehistoric
valley. There, he befriended caveman Ugh (Mike Road) and a Brontosaurus named
Bronty (Messick), whom Todd would ride. Dino
Boy segments were sandwiched between two Space Ghost segments and typically featured one of the characters
put in danger by any of the primitive creatures in the valley—Rock Pygmies,
Worm People, Vampire Men, Moss Men, various dinosaurs—and the others having to
save them. The only time the two shows ever met was in a quick bumper segment where
Space Ghost would save Dino Boy from danger.
Ugh, Todd and Bronty.
Space Ghost and
Dino Boy debuted on September 10, 1966 and became a hit, despite only
running a single season of 20 episodes. It led to the popularity and explosion
of superhero cartoons throughout the 60s with its imaginative writing and
inspired designs. The final two episodes, which aired in 1967, were comprised
solely of Space Ghost segments that
spanned a single storyline, where Space Ghost’s foes banded together and formed
the Council of Doom. Those episodes also featured cameos from other
Hanna-Barbera characters with shows in the upcoming season, such as Shazzan and
“The Heat Thing / The Worm People / Zorak” (9/10/66) – Space Ghost
must save Jace from a lava monster on Jupiter. / Ugh must save Dino Boy from
worm creatures. / Zorak escapes from prison and kidnaps the twins.
“The Lizard Slavers / The Moss Men / The Web” (9/17/66) – Lizard-men
enslave the twins. / Moss Men capture Dino Boy and plan to sacrifice him. /
Black Widow lures Space Ghost into a death trap.
“Creature King / The Treeman / The Sandman” (9/24/66) – An emergency
landing puts the twins on a planet of giant animals. / Ugh has to save Dino Boy
from being sacrificed by the treemen. / The Sandman lures Space Ghost into a
“The Evil Collector / The Fire God / The Drone” (10/1/66) – The Evil
Collector collects shrunken people for his amusement. / Ugh has to rescue Dino
Boy from a Fire God. / A robot steals the Phantom Cruiser.
“Homing Device / The Mighty Snow Creature / The Robot Master”
(10/8/66) – Metallus holds Earth hostage in exchange for Space Ghost. / Dino
Boy and Ugh rescue a tribal girl from a snow monster. / Metallus conquers Space
“The Iceman / The Wolf People / Hi-Jackers” (10/15/66) – Zeron uses an
ice ray against Space Ghost. / Dino Boy has to rescue Ugh from the wolf people.
/ The twins are kidnapped after witnessing a hijacking.
“The Energy Monster / Valley of the Giants / The Lure” (10/22/66) –
Dr. Soonev accidentally creates a monster in his lab. / Dino Boy and Ugh must
save Bronty from a giant. / Brak holds Jan hostage to prevent interference
against his plans.
“The Cyclopeds / The Ant Warriors / The Schemer” (10/29/66) – Cyclo
and his robots kidnap the twins. / Dino Boy sets out to rescue Ugh from ant
warriors, but ends up needing to save them as well. / Schemer plots to kill
“Lokar – King of the Killer Locusts / The Bird Riders / Space
Sargasso” (11/5/66) – Lokar lures the twins into a trap. / Dino Boy and Ugh
protect a bird rider from rock pygmies. / The Lurker and One Eye attack the
“Brago / Giant Ants / Revenge of the Spider Woman” (11/12/66) – The
twins hold off Brago’s attack until Space Ghost arrives. / Fleeing a volcano
leaves Dino Boy stuck in a valley of giants. / Spider Woman returns to kill
“Attack of the Saucer Crab / The Rock Pygmies / Space Birds”
(11/19/66) – Space Ghost faces a UFO from another galaxy. / Dino Boy must save
Bronty from rock pygmies. / An evil genius attacks satellites with metal birds.
“The Time Machine / Danger River / Nightmare Planet” (11/26/66) – Jace
accidentally sends Jan back in time. / Dino Boy and Ugh try to return a boy
they rescued home. / Dr. Nightmare wants Space Ghost’s brain.
“Space Armada / The Vampire Men / The Challenge” (12/3/66) – Space
Ghost faces Metallus’ new missiles. / Dino Boy’s kite invention ends up getting
him captured by vampire men. / Space Ghost’s power bands stop working when Zorak
sends a metal monster after him.
“Jungle Planet / The Terrible Chase / Ruler of the Rock Robots”
(12/10/66) – The Mind Taker steals people’s knowledge. / The Sun People hunt
Ugh. / Space Ghost battles Zorket’s rock robots.
“Glasstor / The Sacrifice / The Space Ark” (12/17/66) – Glasstor
enslaves the twins in his mines. / The Sun People plan to sacrifice Ugh. /
Space Ghost must protect Jupiter from Creature King.
“The Sorcerer / The Marksman / The Space Piranhas” (12/24/66) – The
Sorcerer challenges Space Ghost. / Ugh must save Dino Boy from a pteranodon. /
Piranor plans his revenge on Space Ghost with space piranhas.
“The Ovens of Moltar / The Spear Warriors / Transor – The Matter
Mover” (12/31/66) – Moltar plans to conquer the universe. / Dino Boy and Ugh
are arrested for attacking a Spear Warrior. / Transor wants the twins for his
“The Gargoyloids / Marooned / The Looters” (1/7/67) – Space Ghost has
to stop a rogue planet full of troublemakers. / Dino Boy has to gather the
antidote to save Ugh from poison. / Brak steals gold using sleeping gas.
“The Meeting / Clutches of Creature King / The Deadly Trap” (9/9/67) –
Space Ghost’s enemies team-up against him as the Council of Doom. / Space Ghost
is forced onto Creature King’s world. / Zorak sicks monsters on Space Ghost.
“The Molten Monsters of Moltar / Two Faces of Doom / The Final
Encounter” (9/16/67) – Space Ghost and the twins are captured by Moltar. / Brak
and Spider Woman take turns against Space Ghost. / The heroes confront the
Council of Doom.