|Promotional poster for the game.|
Space Ace was adapted into cartoon form by Ruby-Spears Productions for the second season of their video game-based umbrella program Saturday Supercade on CBS. Ruby-Spears already had an association with Bluth as they also produced a Dragon’s Lair cartoon that aired at the same time on rival network ABC. Some liberties were taken with the source material. Ace (Jim Piper) and Kimberly (Nancy Cartwright) were members of Space Command working under Space Marshall Vaughn (Peter Renaday). They continually fought against the evil alien commander Borf (Arthur Burghardt) and his plans to try and conquer the Earth. Unfortunately, being hit by the Infanto Ray caused Ace to constantly revert into Dexter (Sparky Marcus) at inopportune times. Ace and Kimberly attempted to keep Ace’s “wimping out” a secret by claiming Dexter as Kimberly’s little brother until the effects wore off. Borf’s primary minions included the cat-like Groots, amongst a variety of humanoid agents.
|Promotional flier for the Space Ace cartoon.|
Space Ace debuted as part of Supercade on September 8, 1984, with William Woodson providing the opening narration for the segments. Plots generally centered around Borf’s latest plans to conquer Earth and destroy Space Command, and typically involved the Infanto Ray modified for some specific purpose. As with the Dragon’s Lair series, the character designs were made to closely resemble their game counterparts, but lacked Bluth’s distinctive styling and the fluidity found in the game. Also, Kimberly was less of a damsel in distress and more on equal footing with Ace during their adventures; more so whenever his transformation hit.
|Ace and Kimberly in the show.|
Although Space Ace ran its course with the cancellation of the Supercade, it would soon make a return in rerun form after Turner Entertainment purchased the Hanna-Barbera library, which by then also included the Ruby-Spears library as both studios were under the same ownership. Space Ace was shown on Cartoon Network late nights in the 1990s and as filler between shows on its sister station, Boomerang.
|Borf overseeing repairs to the Infanto Ray.|
Originally posted in 2017. Updated in 2020.