April 29, 2017

MOBY DICK AND MIGHTY MIGHTOR

MOBY DICK AND MIGHTY MIGHTOR
(CBS, September 9, 1967-January 6, 1968)


Hanna-Barbera Productions


MAIN CAST:
Paul Stewart – Mightor
Bobby Diamond – Tor
Patsy Garrett – Sheera
John Stephenson – Pondo, Tog, Ork, Bolo
Norma MacMillan – Little Rok
Don Messick – Moby Dick, Scooby the Seal
Bobby Resnick – Tom
Barry Balkin – Tubb


            Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor was a dual-feature science fiction adventure show produced by Hanna-Barber Productions. The characters would first appear in cameo roles in the final episodes of Space Ghost shortly before and after their own series began.

Combined character models for both segments of the show.

            Mightor (Paul Stewart) was a prehistoric superhero. His alter-ego was the teenaged Tor (Bobby Diamond) who was given a magical club as a reward for rescuing an old man. Whenever danger would attack his village or loved ones, he could raise the club to the sky and transform into the masked, muscular Mightor. As Mightor, he had super strength and could use the club to fly and fire energy beams.

Model sheet showing the size differences between Tor, Tog and their heroic alter-egos.

            Amongst the denizens of the village was its chief, Pondo (John Stpehenson), his beautiful daughter, Sheera (Patsy Garrett), and young son, Little Rok (Norma MacMillan). Little Rok was Mightor’s biggest fan and often pretended to be him; particularly in dangerous situations. Each of the main characters also had their own pet in similar fashion to The Flintstones: Tor had a winged dragon-like creature named Tog, Sheera a small wooly mammoth named Bolo, and Little Rok a large bird named Ork (all Stephenson). Typical plots of the episodes would generally revolve around someone from the village (be it Sheera, Little Rok and his friends, or entire genders) being abducted by a strange creature or rival village, or the village itself being attacked either for simple conquest or as revenge against Mightor.

Tubb ends up a snack.

            Moby Dick (Don Messick) bore little resemblance to the character that appeared in the novel by Herman Melville. In the novel, Moby had bitten off Captain Ahab’s leg, which led to the obsessive quest to find and kill him. While still a white whale, Hanna-Barbera’s Moby was a more heroic figure; having rescued teenaged boys Tom (Bobby Resnick) and Tubb (Barry Balkin) from a shipwreck. From that point, they explored the seas together with the boys’ pet seal, Scooby (also Messick), encountering a variety of mutated sea and alien life. Moby’s segment, particularly the movements of the whale, boasted more movement than the typical Hanna-Barbera effort at that time.

Ad for CBS' 1967 line-up.

            Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor debuted on September 9, 1967 on CBS. Despite his name being first, Moby’s segment was actually sandwiched between two Mightor segments every episode. Like Hanna-Barbera’s other action-oriented properties, the character designs were handled by Alex Toth. The show’s music was composed by Hoyt Curtin and Ted Nichols. Despite only lasting for 18 episodes, it remained on CBS’ schedule until the fall of 1969.

Mightor and Moby featured prominently on the 1977 Annual cover.

            Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor was one of the featured properties in the anthology comic series Hanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes published by Gold Key Comics from 1968-69. Brown and Watson would republish selected strips from the run overseas in two hardbacked annuals in 1976 and 1977. Mightor returned to comics in 2016 without Moby as one of the characters appearing in DC ComicsFuture Quest series; which combined several of Hanna-Barbera’s action franchises into a shared universe. The original Mightor made a cameo appearance, but the Mightor featured regularly in the series was a modern boy who had found the club amongst various artifacts while looking for a weapon against a threat. Birdman served as his mentor.

Mightor on Harvey Birdman.

            Moby would make a cameo appearance in the TV film Yogi’s Ark Lark and a guest-appearance in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law voiced by Wally Wingert. Tubb and Scooby appeared in Sealab 2021, renamed Chubby Cox and Stinky Pete, respectively. They were joined by Tom for an appearance in an episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated where Moby was reimagined as a submarine the kids piloted. Mightor had a recurring role in Harvey Birdman as Judge Hirman Mightor, voiced by Gary Cole. He and Moby later shared a cameo in the direct-to-video film Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon.

The DVD set.

            Whitman released a coloring book and puzzle based on Moby Dick. When Hanna-Barbera superhero cartoons gained prominence in France in the 1970s, French Mego Distributor Pin Pin Toys commissioned Mego to make a Mighty Mightor figure. In 2011, Warner Archive released the complete series to DVD as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection.


EPISODE GUIDE:
“The Monster Keeper / The Sinister Sea Saucer / The Tiger Men” (9/9/67) – After he’s banished, Korg uses an army of animals to attack the village and make himself the new chief. / The boys and Moby investigate a space capsule containing information Manta Menace wants. / Tor is captured by the Tiger Men and made to fight in their arena.

“The Serpent Queen / The Electrifying Shoctopus / The Bird People” (9/16/67) – Sheera is kidnapped by the Serpent Queen and turned into her slave. / Captain Squid captures the boys in order to get the treasure map they found. / Sheera is captured by the Bird People and taken to a volcano to serve as a sacrifice.

“The Giant Hunters / The Crab Creatures / Mightor Meets Tyrannor” (9/23/67) – The Giant Hunters come to Chief Pondo’s village and capture Tor and Tog. / Tubbby is captured by crab creatures while exploring a sunken ship. / Grok threatens the village with a giant t-rex unless Mightor fights him.

“Brutor, the Barbarian / The Sea Monster / Return of Korg” (9/30/67) – Brutor leads an army of monsters in an attack against the village and take down Tog. / As Moby saves Tom and Tubbb from sharks, Tubbb accidentally swims into the mouth of a giant fish. / Sheera is captured bya giant ape and is taken to Korg.

“Kragor and the Cavern Creatures / The Undersea World / The Tusk People” (10/7/67) – Tor sets out to rescue Sheera from Kragor and his cavern creatures. / An undersea earthquake sends Moby and the boys into a strange and dangerous world. / The Tusk People kidnap Bolo and Sheera sets out to find him.

“The People Keepers / The Aqua-Bats / The Snow Trapper” (10/14/67) – Mightor rescues Little Rok from a dinosaur only for him to be abducted by humanoid insect creatures. / Tom and Tubbb are captured by Aqua-Bats. / Little Rok doesn’t believe in the legend of the Snow Trappers until he goes searching for and ends up captured by them.

“The Vulture Men / The Iceburg Monster / The Three Pygmies” (10/21/67) – The Vulture Men plot to capture Mightor in a giant stone vulture in order to take his powers. / An iceberg interrupts Tom and Tubb’s water skiing and they discover a creature frozen inside of it. / Survival training is interrupted by the Tree Pygmies, who manage to capture Tor and lose his club.

“The Stone Men / The Shark Men / Charr and the Fire People” (10/28/67) – Tor attempts to trade himself for Sheera, but the Stone Men take them both without Tor’s club. / The Shark Men capture Tom and Tubbb and trap Moby in a cave. / Seeking to escape a cave in a storm leads Tor and friends into the clutches of the Fire People.

“Cult of Cavebearers / The Saucers Shell / Vampire Island” (11/4/67) – Mightor protects the village from the Cavebear Warriors when all of the men go on a hunting trip. / The boys try to protect dolphins from some Saucer Shells, which gets Scooby captured. / A water rapids race lands Sheera and Little Rok on Vampire Island and in trouble.

“Revenge of the Serpent Queen / Moraya, the Eel Queen / Attack of the Ice Creatures” (11/11/67) – The Serpent Queen has Tor kidnapped to serve as bait for Mightor. / After seeing Moby fight a giant squid, Moraya wants him to test her trained fighters and has Tom and Tubbb captured as bait. / The Ice Creatures move their glacier to the lowlands to conquer the village and enslave Mightor.

“The Scorpion Men / Toadus, Ruler of the Dead Ships / Rok and His Gang” (11/18/67) – While exploring, Little Rok finds the Temple of the Scorpion and is captured by the Scorpion Men. / While exploring a ship graveyard, Moby and the boys are accosted by its ruler: Toadus. / Little Rok and his friends decide to go rafting down a dangerous river.

“A Big Day for Little Rok / The Cereb-Men / The Sea Slavers” (11/25/67) – Little Rok decides to get the egg of the dangerous Terrible Beaked Bird to become famous in the village. / Moby and the boys have to rescue a prince from the Cereb Men and save his kingdom. / Numo and his sea slavers kidnap the women of the village as they were repairing fishing nets.

“Tribe of the Witchmen / The Vortex Trap / The Plant People” (12/2/67) – The Witchmen abduct Sheera to be their new queen. / Vortan and his men mistake Moby for a ship and use their vortex to capture him and the boys. / Chasing butterflies through a cave leads Little Rok, Sheera and Tina to a world of man-eating plants.

“The Return of the Vulture Men / The Sand Creatures / Battle of the Mountain Monsters” (12/9/67) – The Vulture Men lure Mightor away from the village so they can attack it freely. / Crockor sends his sand creatures after Moby and the boys so they don’t spoil his plans to control the entire ocean. / Gorg and Borg try to defeat Mightor in order for one of them to become the chief of the Mountain Monster Tribe.

“Vengeance of the Storm King / The Sea Ark / The Mightiest Warrior” (12/16/67) – The Storm King gains extra power from a lightning storm and challenges Mightor to test his might. / Tubbb’s sea pony is captured by the Gill Men and Moby and the boys try to rescue him. / A village mistakes Little Rok for their god and he decides to defend their village from a coming threat.

“Rok to the Rescue / The Shimmering Screen / Dinosaur Island” (12/23/67) – Little Rok claims to be Mightor when a boy from another village comes looking for help. / Moby and the boys follow a Black Manta Knight into another world to rescue a mermaid he chases. / Little Rok and Ork head to Dinosaur Island to try and become the first to capture a dinosaur.

“The Missing Village / Soodak the Invader / The Greatest Escape” (12/30/67) – A visit to the village of the Valley People reveals that the village has disappeared. / Soodak has come to invade Earth and only Moby and the boys stand in his way. / Little Rok and Ork end up captured by insect men after getting lost in a storm.

“The Battle of the Mightors / The Iguana Men / Rok and the Golden Rok” (1/6/68) – A phony Mightor shows up at the village and demands tribute for all his deeds. / Iguanis of the Iguana Men has Tom and Tubbb captured in order to lure Moby into a trap. / Grok steals an object that will let him control any animal, but accidentally drops it on Little Rok’s head.

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