G-Force: Guardians of Space (partially found Media360 Group dub pilot; 1985)
G-Force: Guardians of Space was the second English adaptation of the series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. It came about when Sandy Frank Entertainment, license-holders behind the previous adaptation (Battle of the Planets), sought a new way to market the series. However, production of G-Force itself was to be handled through Ted Turner's company Turner Program Services.
In 1986, Fred Ladd and his studio Sparklin' Entertainment were hired to produce the adaptation, which would air briefly in July 1987 on WTBS to clear a contractual agreement. The dub was then shelved for eight years until Cartoon Network put it in their line-up in 1995.
However, before Fred Ladd was ultimately hired as the director of the dub, Turner Program Services had previously commissioned a test pilot in 1985 as the first attempt at getting G-Force off the ground. This pilot was produced through an Atlanta-based company called The Media360 Group and took 30 days to write and record. The pilot sourced off of Gatchaman episode 26, "The God Phoenix Reborn", and Media360 was purposely not supplied with Tatsunoko Productions' simple English script in order to come up with their interpretation of the plot and dialogue. The entire background score was also replaced, and several characters' names were changed.
Character Name Changes
- Ken Washio/G-1 - Lucas
- Joe Asakura/G-2 - Jason
- Jun/G-3 - Rachel
- Jinpei/G-4 - David
- Ryu Nakanishi/G-5 - Quintin
- Dr. Kozaburo Nambu - Professor Nicholas
- Berg Katze - Commander Zol
- Enemy Commander - Commander Tiros
- Seiji Nakanishi - Timmy
- Lucas - Don Spalding
- Quintin, Commander Tiros, Narrator - Doug Paul
- David, Commander Zol, Timmy - John Ferguson
- Jason, Professor Nicholas, Newsman - Barry Stoltze
- Rachel - Faith Salie
While pleased with the pilot, Turner Program Services felt that Media360's pitch would be too expensive and declined to have them produce a full series. To date, only a few minutes of the opening of Media360's pilot has been seen. Copyright issues with Tatsunoko Productions and Sentai Filmworks (current USA license-holder of Gatchaman) may complicate the full pilot being released.
The G-Force dub by Sparklin' Entertainment is also considered lost media for the most part, with many episodes unreleased and hard to come by outside of poor-quality bootlegs from Cartoon Network recordings, or poor-quality DVDs of the few released episodes.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 122–124. ISBN 978-1476665993.