Star Fleet (Ｘボンバー Ekkusu Bonbā) is a marionette tokusatsu TV series. It was created by manga master Go Nagai, and produced by Cosmo Productions and Jin Productions.
X-Bomber, as the series was originally known, was retitled Star Fleet for the English language dub produced by Leah Productions. Apart from the character name changes, there was relatively little changed from the original Japanese version in terms of story and editing. A reportedly damaged soundtrack necessitated a new soundtrack composed by Paul Bliss. The overly-literal translations provided by the Japanese studio were adapted by American writer Michael Sloan (who would later go on to create the popular TV series The Master and The Equalizer).
The English dub aired on ITV from October 23, 1982 to April 16, 1983. Whereas the show failed in its native Japan, it managed to become a sleeper-hit in the UK due to it dealing with topics not common in Television at the time. The show was popular enough that there were plans for the UK Licensee to finance the original studio to do a second season, with those plans only to fall with the news that the puppets and sets were mostly destroyed in a warehouse fire. The dub of show also managed to gain the attention of Queen artist Brian May, who did his own cover of the English theme with Eddie Van Halen in his 1983 solo-album Star Fleet Project.
|Image||Character||Original Name||Seiyū||Dub Actor|
|Dr. Benn Robinson||Mikio Terashima||Peter Marinker|
|Shiro Hagen||Shiro Ginga||Toshio Furukawa||Jay Benedict|
|Barry Hercules||Bongo Heracles||Shigeru Chiba||Constantine Gregory|
|John Lee||Bigman Lee||Naoki Tatsuta||Mark Rolston|
|Lamia||Mami Koyama||Liza Ross|
|P.P.A.||P.P. Adamsky||Yūji Mitsuya||John Baddeley|
|Sean Barrett (eps 7-10)|
|General Kyle||General Kuroda||Hidekatsu Shibata||Kevin Brennan|
|Captain Carter||Captain Custer||Norio Wakamoto||Garrick Hagon|
|Professor Hagen||Professor Ginga||Mikio Terashima||Al Matthews|
|Number One||Officer A||Hideyuki Tanaka||Jay Benedict|
|Number Two||Officer B||Masaharu Satō||John Baddeley|
|Captain Halley||Katsuji Mori||Garrick Hagon|
|Commander Makara||Bloody Mary||Rihoko Yoshida||Denise Bryer|
|Captain Orion||Kozlo||Reizō Nomoto||Sean Barrett|
|Caliban||Doctor Gedora||Kenichi Ogata||Al Matthews|
|Termoid Soldiers||Gelma Soldiers||Masaharu Satō||John Baddeley (eps 1-3)|
|Jacob Witkin (eps 4-24)|
|The Imperial Master||Emperor Gelma||Banjō Ginga||Jacob Witkin|
|Narrator||Yuzuru Fujimoto||Peter Marinker|
|Makara's Symbiote||Masaharu Satō||Jacob Witkin||1, 8-9, 17, 21|
|Communications Officer||Naoki Tatsuta||Jay Benedict||1-2, 4, 6|
|Communications Officer 2||Masaharu Satō||Jay Benedict||2, 4, 23|
|Ocean Fleet Pilot||Banjō Ginga||Sean Barrett||2|
|EDF Officer 1||Shigeru Chiba||Jay Benedict|
|EDF Officer 2||Banjō Ginga||John Baddeley|
|EDF Officer 3||Rihoko Yoshida||Denise Bryer|
|Commander Vargas||Banjō Ginga||Constantine Gregory||3|
|Princess Keeli||Mami Koyama||Denise Bryer||11|
|Callinean Aide||Kenichi Ogata||Jacob Witkin||20-21|
|King of Callinean||Mikio Terashima||Sean Barrett|
|Queen of Callinean||Mami Koyama||Denise Bryer||21|
|Imperial Officer 1||Kenichi Ogata||John Baddeley||22-24|
|Imperial Officer 2||Masaharu Satō||Jacob Witkin|
- John Baddeley
- Sean Barrett
- Jay Benedict
- Denise Bryer
- Constantine Gregory
- Garrick Hagon
- Mark Rolston
- Jacob Witkin
- Episode 18 was undubbed, as it was the third recap episode that offered nothing new to the plot. This doesn't seem unique to the English dub, as the French, Italian and Arabic dubs don't dub it either. It seems that the episode is excluded from international distribution packages.
- Al Matthews' role was not credited due to the end credits being the same used since Episode 1. His first voice appearance on the show was Episode 19. His voice was confirmed via e-mail correspondence with Louis Elman.
- Star Fleet was heavily influenced by the works of Gerry Anderson (primarily Thunderbirds) as well as Star Wars. The English casting has some interesting connections echoing these influences.
- Denise Bryer, the voice of Commander Makara was a voice actor on early Gerry Anderson series (The Adventures of Twizzle, Four Feather Falls) and would go onto work on Anderson's Terrahawks the following year as Captain Mary Falconer and Zelda.
- Garrick Hagon and Jay Benedict played Biggs and Deak, two friends of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on Tatooine in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Post-production cuts however reduced Hagon's role significantly, while removing Benedict's role altogether.
- The sound editor for the English dub was Tony Lenny, who had previously worked as the sound editor for 8 episodes of Thunderbirds and previously as music editor for its predecessor series Stingray. He would also go on to direct and edit for Terrahawks.
- The English dub also utilized sound effect tracks from Anderson's live-action series Space: 1999.
- In the UK, VHS tapes of the series were only released as highly edited compilation films titled The Thalian Space Wars (consisting of Episodes 1, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 4) and Space Quest for F-01 (consisting of Episodes 2, 3, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 23 and 24). The lone exception is a tape released by Thorn EMI of Episodes 4 and 5 edited together.
|MY-TV||1983||Compilation Films||PAL||United Kingdom|
|Thorn EMI||1984||Episodes 4 & 5|
|Master Vision||1987||Compilation Films|
|Classic Family Entertainment||1988||The Complete Series||NTSC||United States|
|Fabulous Films||2009||The Complete Series||2|
|Umbrella Entertainment||The Complete Series||4|
|Discotek Media||2017||The Complete Series||1|