December 19, 2015


(CBS, September 9, 1967-January 6, 1968)

Hanna-Barbera Productions

Mike Road – Zandor, Zok, Igoo, Tundro, Narration
Virginia Gregg – Tara
Ted Eccles – Domo
Don Messick – Gloop, Gleep

On the distant planet of Amzot, a family of barbarians and their creature friends protect the planet from various threats. They are: The Herculoids.

Herculoids designs by Alex Toth.

Created and designed by Alex Toth, The Herculoids was Hanna-Barbera’s most original foray into the action-adventure field that had begun to rise in popularity on Saturday mornings, as well as the newly-developing fascination with monsters. It featured a variety of lifeforms co-existing and aiding each other in the common goal of seemingly keeping technology from corrupting the primitive planet. All of the Herculoids’ foes, both indigenous and invading from other worlds, used technology of a kind pitted against the Herculoids’ basic weaponry like slingshots and exploding rocks. 

Tara, Zandor and Domo.

Leading the Herculoids was Zandor (Mike Road), along with his wife Tara (Virginia Gregg) and their son, Dorno (Ted Eccles). They were the humanoid members of the group, and the only ones of the regular characters who could fully communicate in English. Despite preferring to use non-technological tools and weapons, Zandor and Tara both had working knowledge of various devices and spacecraft. 

Zandor with Igoo, Zok, Gloop, Gleep and Tundro.

The creature members of the group featured Zok, flying space dragon who could fire laser beams from his eyes and tail as well as breathe fire; Igoo, a giant rock-ape with a gentle temperament and an affinity towards Tara; Tundro (all Road), a ten-legged hybrid of a rhino and triceratops who could extend his legs to great lengths, spin his head at great speeds to allow his horns to act as a drill, and fired energy rocks from one of his horns; and Gloop and Gleep (both Don Messick), a larger and smaller protoplasmic creature who could stretch themselves into any shape and absorb/deflect laser blasts, often shielding the others from harm.

The Herculoids meet Space Ghost.

The Herculoids debuted on CBS on September 9, 1967, around the same time the characters made an appearance in the three-part series finale of Space Ghost (where the planet’s name was first established). It ran for a total of 18 episodes, each broken up into two 11-minute segments, written by Joe Ruby, Ken Spears and David Scott. The series’ theme was composed by Ted Nichols and featured a narration by Road introducing the characters to the audience. Alternate openings omitted the narration or featured completely new scenes over a jazzier theme. The rest of the series’ music was recycled from the earlier Johnny Quest. A second season of reruns ran the following year before it was removed from CBS’ schedule. In 1978, the series went to NBC as part of the rerun series Go Go Globetrotters alongside episodes of The Harlem Globetrotters and C.B. Bears. 11 new episodes would be created for the 1981 series Space Stars

The 1976 reprint of a Herculoids comic story.

From 1968-69, the Herculoids appeared in four issues of Gold Key ComicsHanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes. In 1976, two of those issues were collected into a single edition published by the K.G. Murray Publishing Company, resurrecting Gold Key’s old Hi-Adventure Heroes title. In 1978, they were featured in the third issue of Marvel ComicsTV Stars. The Herculoids would return to comics beginning in 2016 as part of DC ComicsFuture Quest franchise; which featured updated reimaginings of Hanna-Barbera’s action properties. In 2007, Toynami released three box sets of action figures featuring the main characters of the series. Warner Archive released the complete series to DVD in 2011 as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection

“The Pirates / Sarko the Arkman” (9/9/67) – Pirates land on the planet to bury their treasure and take Domo captive. / Sarko comes to Amzot to find animals to experiment on and takes Igoo captive.

“The Pod Creatures / Mekkor” (9/16/67) – The Herculoids investigate a ship dropping large pods on the planet, which then release pod creatures. / Mekkor and his army of robots invade the planet and overpower the Herculoids.

“The Beaked People / The Raiders” (9/23/67) – The Herculoids have to rescue the flying monkey people from Krokar and the Parrot Men. / Sta-Lak wants the riches of Amzot and captures Tara to get his way.

“The Mole Men / The Lost Dorgyte” (9/30/67) – Markon and the Mole Men plan an invasion of the surface. / The Herculoids must rescue a Dorgyte from the clutches of a vulture and return him home.

“The Spider Men / The Android People” (10/7/67) – Zandor and Domo are captured by the Spider Men. / Zandor is captured by the Android People in order for Gorvac to create android duplicates of him.

“Defeat of Ogron / Prisoners of the Bubblemen” (10/14/67) – After their home is destroyed, the Herculoids take on Andropon and his champion, Ogron. / Brotak has the Bubblemen capture Zandor and Tara for experimentation.

“Mekkano, the Machine Master / Tiny World of Terror” (10/21/67) – Mekkano is freed from prison and seeks revenge against the Herculoids. / A mad scientist captures and shrinks the Herculoids.

“The Gladiators of Kyanite / Temple of Trax” (10/26/67) – Tundro is captured by the Gladiators to participate in their games, leading to a rescue by the others. / Stumbling upon an abandoned city causes the Herculoids to be attacked by stone gargoyles.

“The Time Creatures / The Raider Apes” (11/4/67) – Time creatures from the future desire to destroy everything in the past. / The Herculoids have to protect villages from pillaging by Gorton and his Raider Apes.

“The Zorbots / Invasion of the Electrode Men” (11/11/67) – Konar and the Zorbots plan to drain the planet’s atmosphere. / Photon attacks the Herculoids with the Electrode Men.

“Destroyer Ants / Swamp Monster” (11/18/67) – Lightning causes giant ant eggs to hatch, releasing the ants to ravage the countryside. / A meteor crashes in the swamp and creates a monster.

“Mission of the Amatons / Queen Skorra” (11/25/67) – Amak and the Amatons plan to use collars to control the Herculoids. / Queen Skorra plans to exile the Herculoids.

“Laser Lancers / Attack of the Faceless People” (12/2/67) – Defeating the Laser Lancers only leads to more of them renewing their attack against the Herculoids. / The Herculoids have to protect a refugee princess from the Faceless People who conquered her planet.

“The Mutoids / The Crystalites” (12/9/67) – Zandor tries to help an alien who crashes on the planet but discovers it’s a Mutoid bent on planetary domination. / Zandor investigates a meteor crash and is taken captive by the Crystalites.

“Return of Sta-Lak / Revenge of the Pirates” (12/16/67) – Sta-Lak returns to the planet with a mechanical version of the Herculoids. / The Pirates return for revenge against the Herculoids.

“Ruler of the Reptons / The Antidote” (12/23/67) – Tara is captured by the Reptons and brainwashed into being their queen. / The Herculods have to retrieve an antidote from the Spider Men for the poison infecting Zandor.

“Attack from Space / The Return of Torrak” (12/30/67) – Amzot is under missile attack by neighboring planet Luvanuum. / Torrak captures Tara as bait for a trap for the Herculoids.

“The Island of the Gravites / Malak and the Metal Apes” (1/6/68) – The Herculoids head to Gravite Island to rescue it from Lotak. / Malak sicks his metal apes on the Sea People.

Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2019.


LTYSON said...

A cool action cartoon with great characters. It was before my time but I loved watching the reruns in the 70's & 80's.

LTYSON said...

A cool action cartoon with great characters. It was before my time but I loved watching the reruns in the 70's & 80's.