Ultra Q (partially found English dub of Japanese science-fiction TV series; mid-late 1960s)
|Page from United Artists Television's press kit.|
Ultra Q is a Japanese TV series that could be described as a cross between The Twilight Zone and the giant monster genre. It was created by Eiji Tsubaraya, who was the special effects mastermind behind the original Godzilla film (1954).
It was the biggest-budgeted television series of the time, and Tsubaraya saw an opportunity at the time to cash in on the growing popularity of giant monsters in English-speaking countries by having an American producer create an English language dub of the series.
The English dubbing was initially taken up by CBS, who had previously produced The Twilight Zone. The project also included dubbing the series' successor, Ultraman (1966).
Tsubaraya provided English scripts, credits, and custom title cards.
All 28 episodes of Ultra Q were dubbed by Film House in Toronto, Canada, before CBS decided to back out of the project; it was soon thereafter picked up again by United Artists Television, who produced The Outer Limits, on which Ultra Q was also inspired by.
UAT hired Titra Studios to dub Ultraman.
While Ultraman was syndicated on television, Ultra Q was not, due to the series being in black and white. This issue was addressed by a later boxed set of the series, hand-tinted frame-by-frame into color. The prints were then stored in the MGM vaults for a while after Ultraman finished its run.
However, in the early 2000s, Tsubaraya Productions recalled everything that they had lent out to European and American companies for syndication, which included the dubs of Ultra Q.
Currently, the only version available on DVD is the Japanese version with or without subtitles.
However, a print of the English dub of episode 3, The Gift from Space, was found in the hands of a collector. The audio has since been transferred to the color version of that episode, mirrored online.
There have been rumors of other prints surfacing, but none have been confirmed.
Tsubaraya Productions have not said anything about releasing the English dubs. Until they do (and that could be never), the only episode of Ultra Q available in its English dub is the single, aforementioned one.