Eagle Riders

Eagle Riders (also known as Saban's Eagle Riders) is an American animated television adaptation of the Japanese anime series Gatchaman II and Gatchaman Fighter, which have been combined.[2] It was produced by Saban Entertainment.[3][4] All 65 episodes aired in Australia on Network Ten from August 14, 1997, to December 4, 1997.[5] In the United States, 13 episodes had previously aired in first-run syndication during the fall of 1996 and 1997.[6][7]

Eagle Riders
Also known asSaban's Eagle Riders
Based onGatchaman II and Gatchaman Fighter
by Ippei Kuri
Written byR.D. Smithee
Marc Handler
Dayna Barron
Melora Harte
Michael Sorich
Richard Epcar
Ronni Pear
Steve Kramer
Tom Wyner
Winston Richard
Voices ofDena Burton
Richard Cansino
Lara Cody
Bryan Cranston
R. Martin Klein
Heidi Lenhart
Mona Marshall
Greg O'Neill
Paul Schrier
Peter Spellos
Theme music composerShuki Levy
Kussa Mahchi
Jeremy Sweet
ComposersShuki Levy
Kussa Mahchi
Larry Seymour[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes65 (list of episodes)
Executive producerEric S. Rollman
ProducerRita M. Acosta
AnimatorTatsunoko Production
Production companySaban Entertainment
DistributorSaban International
Original networkFirst-run syndication (1996)
Network Ten (1997)
Original releaseSeptember 9, 1996 (1996-09-09) –
December 4, 1997 (1997-12-04)


Earth is under siege from the alien menace known only by the name Cybercon and its legion of android forces, the Vorak. The Global Security Council convenes to address this problem, and calls upon Dr. Thaddeus Keane for assistance. They remember the aid they had received from Keane's special force, the Eagle Riders, in years past. Keane assures them that the Eagle Riders are still together, still strong, and armed with brand new weapons.


Saban first trademarked the show's name in 1995,[8] and recorded their dub afterwards.[9] In a 2006 interview, one of the writers, Marc Handler, stated that Eagle Riders was "not a good rendition", and that the scripts often lacked continuity with each other.[10] Several episodes were credited as being written by R.D. Smithee, a pseudonym similar to the Alan Smithee pseudonym that has been used when writers and directors are too ashamed to have their names credited in projects they have worked on.[11]

Adaptations and changesEdit

Both series were heavily edited when it came to the adaptation process, with controversial elements removed, as well as the entire soundtrack being replaced with a new one by Shuki Levy and Larry Seymour.[12] As with previous English adaptations of Gatchaman, character names and terms were also changed in the localization.

One notable example of the changes made to the series is the removal of Mallanox (Gel Sadra)'s origin and transformation, which happened in the premiere episode of the original Gatchaman II. The character was also changed from female to male, though her correct gender and origin were reinstated in later dub episodes.

Another change, made to segue the two series together, involved the finale of Gatchaman II and the first episode of Gatchaman Fighter being merged, as well as the death of Gel Sadra being cut. Instead, Mallanox is said to have been transformed into a new form, named Happy Boy (originally, the Gatchaman Fighter villain Count Egobossler).

The final eight episodes of Gatchaman Fighter were never translated, due to the objectionable content involved. Instead, the 15th episode of Gatchaman Fighter served as the series finale.

Release and receptionEdit

During its 1996–97 syndication run in the US, the show was being aired alongside the first season of Dragon Ball Z, another anime that had been adapted in conjunction with Saban Entertainment.[13][14] At the time, the two programs attracted minor controversy. A 1997 report on violence in television by UCLA stated that "Eagle Riders and Dragon Ball Z both contain images of mean-spirited, glorified fighting. One episode of Eagle Riders shows a hero viciously throwing metal stars in the faces of different villains."[15]

Even after the syndication run had ended, the initial 13 episodes were still being aired on certain local stations as late as summer 1997,[16][17] before the remaining 52 episodes saw a release in Australia from August 1997 to December 1997.[18] They aired at 7.30am Mondays to Thursdays on the morning cartoon block Cheez TV.[5] Some episodes that never aired in the USA were shown at the 1997 GachaCon fan convention, which had Eagle Riders producer Rita Acosta as a guest.

Ken Innes of Absolute Anime wrote in his review, "The first thirteen episodes were a nearly straight translation of Gatchaman II with a few embellishments [...] If there is any hope for a further US release, it will be on cable. Unfortunately, it appears this is as good as it gets. I had the opportunity to preview some of the later episodes in July 1997. They were a major disappointment."[18] He also states that "the new background music is intrusive and doesn't compare to Hoyt Curtin's work in Battle of the Planets, but it is an improvement over the original G-II background music."[18]


City Station
Boston WLVI 56[19]
Chicago WFLD 32[20]
Cincinnati WSTR 64[21]
Fort Pierce WTVX 34[22]
Fort Myers WFTX 36[23]
Hartford WTIC 61[24]
New York WPIX 11[25]
Orlando WKCF 18[26]
Pittsburgh WPTT 22[27]
Portland WPXT 51[28]
Providence WNAC 64[29]
Salinas KCBA 35[30]
San Francisco KOFY 20[31]
St. Petersburg WTTA 38[32]

Home videoEdit

Eagle Riders has never been released on home video or streaming, and only exists via US and Australian television recordings. The current American ownership of the series is unclear. All of Saban's rights to the Gatchaman property were originally set to expire on September 7, 2004.[33] However, in 2001 Saban was purchased by Disney, with Disney presumably losing the rights in 2004.


Character variationsEdit

Team variations in different versionsEdit

Gatchaman Battle of the Planets G-Force Eagle Riders OVA (Harmony Gold dub) Rank Bird Uniform Weapon Mecha Voice actor (Gatchaman) Voice actor (Gatchaman OVA) Voice actor (BOTP) Voice actor (G-Force) Voice actor (Harmony Gold OVA dub) Voice actor (Eagle Riders) Voice actor (ADV TV/Sentai OVA dub)
Ken Washio Mark Ace Goodheart Hunter Harris Ken the Eagle G1 Eagle Razor boomerang Airplane Katsuji Mori Masaya Onosaka Casey Kasem Sam Fontana Eddie Frierson Richard Cansino Leraldo Anzaldua
George "Joe" Asakura Jason Dirk Daring Joseph "Joe" Thax Joe the Condor G2 Condor Pistol Race Car Isao Sasaki Kōji Ishii Ronnie Schell Cam Clarke Richard Cansino Bryan Cranston Brian Jepson
Jun Princess Agatha "Aggie" June Kelly Jennar June the Swan G3 Swan Yo-yo Motorcycle Kazuko Sugiyama Michiko Neya Janet Waldo Barbara Goodson Lara Cody Heidi Noelle Lenhart Kim Prause
Jinpei Keyop Pee Wee Mickey Dugan Jimmy the Falcon G4 Swallow Bolo Dune Buggy Yoku Shioya Rica Matsumoto Alan Young Barbara Goodson Mona Marshall Mona Marshall Luci Christian
Ryu Nakanishi Tiny Harper Hoot "Hooty" Owl Ollie Keeawani Rocky the Owl G5 Owl Pistol God Phoenix Shingo Kanemoto Fumihiko Tachiki Alan Dinehart Jan Rabson/ Gregg Berger Richard Epcar Paul Schrier Victor Carsrud

Other character variations across different versionsEdit

Gatchaman Battle of the Planets G-Force Eagle Riders OVA (Harmony Gold Dub) Voice actor (Gatchaman) Voice actor (Gatchaman OVA) Voice actor (BOTP) Voice actor (G-Force) Voice actor (Eagle Riders) Voice actor (Harmony Gold OVA dub) Voice actor (ADV TV/Sentai OVA dub)
Dr. Kozaburo Nambu-hakase Chief Anderson Dr. Benjamin Brighthead Dr. Thaddeus Keane Dr. Kozaburo Nambu Tōru Ōhira Alan Dinehart Jan Rabson/Gregg Berger Ikuya Sawaki Michael McConnohie Greg O'Neill Andy McAvin
ISO Director Anderson President Kane Anderson / Cmdr. Todd (some episodes) Anderson Director Anderson Teiji Ōmiya Michael Rye Jan Rabson/Gregg Berger Yonehiko Kitagawa Michael Forest Marty Fleck
Red Impulse /
Kentaro Washio
Col. Cronos Red Impulse / Kendrick Goodheart Red Impulse / Harley Harris Red Spectre / Kentaro Washio Keye Luke Cam Clarke Unshō Ishizuka Bob Papenbrook John Tyson
Berg Katse Zoltar Galactor Lukan Solaris Mikio Terashima Keye Luke Bill Capizzi Kaneto Shiozawa R. Martin Klein Edwin Neal
Sosai (Leader) X O Luminous One /
The Great Spirit
Computor Cybercon Lord Zortek Nobuo Tanaka Keye Luke Jan Rabson/Gregg Berger Nobuo Tanaka Ralph Votrais Peter Spellos Winston Parish
Gel Sadra Mallanox Masaru Ikeda R. Martin Klein
Sylvie Pandora-hakase Dr. Francine Aikens Dr. Sylvie Pandora Miyuka Ieda Lara Cody
Announcer Hideo Kinoshita/Shūsei Nakamura William Woodson (Main) / Alan Young (Zark) Norm Prescott George Manley

Other notable changesEdit

Variations Gatchaman (Japanese) Battle of the Planets Guardians of Space Eagle Riders OVA (English, Harmony Gold) Gatchaman (English)
Identity change command Bird, go!‡ Transmute! G-Force, transform! Eagle Mode, now!
Ken Eagle One, transform!
Joe Shapeshift, Condor!
June Swan Mode, now!
Jimmy Falcon Tracker, transform!
Bird, go!
Enemy planet Selectol Spectra Galactor Vorak Galactor Selectol
Enemy civilization Galactor (Gyarakutā) Spectra Galactor Vorak Galactor Galactor

‡The original Japanese-language version of Gatchaman contains a small amount of words in English.

Production staffEdit

  • Owned and distributed by: Saban Entertainment
  • Executive Producer: Eric S. Rollman
  • Producer & Story Editor: Rita M. Acosta
  • Writer (ADR Script): R.D. Smithee, Marc Handler
  • Voice Directors: Richard Epcar, Steve Kramer, Heidi Noelle Lenhart (uncredited), Michael Sorich
  • Production Assistant & ADR Coordinator: Gregory C. Ireland
  • Executive in Charge of Sound Operations: Clive H. Mizumoto
  • Sound Operations Manager: Xavier Garcia
  • Sound Effects Editors: Keith Dickens, Martin Flores, Zoli Osaze, Ron Salaises, John Valentino
  • Re-Recording Mixers: Michael Beirenger (uncredited), Mark Ettel, R.D. Floyd, Wayne T. O'Brien
  • ADR Recordists: Carl Lange, Kevin Newson, David W. Barr
  • Foley Artists: Susan Lewis (uncredited), Kalea Morton, Taryn Simone
  • Audio Assistants: Brian Densmore, Andrew Kines, Don Sexton
  • Music by: Shuki Levy, Kussa Mahchi
  • Executive in Charge of Music: Ron Kenan
  • Music Supervisor: Lloyd Michael Cook II
  • Music Editors: Barron Abramovitch, Bill Filipiak
  • Music Engineer: Barron Abramovitch
  • Second Engineers: James Dijulio, Frank Bailey-Meier
  • Music Assistants: Jeremy Sweet, Tim Gosselin
  • Offline Editor: Terry Marlin
  • Video Traffic Coordinator: Jerry Buetnner
  • Post Production Audio: Advantage Audio
  • Sound Effects Editor: Robert Duran
  • Dialogue Editor: Robbi Smith
  • Music Editor: Marc S. Perlman
  • Audio Transfer: J. Lampinen
  • Re-Recording Mixers: Fil Brown, Ray Leonard, Mike Beiriger, Jim Hodson, Mellisa Gentry-Ellis
  • Online Editors: Michael Hutchinson, Harvey Landy (Hollywood Digital Inc.), John Bowen, David Crosthwait (Modern Videofilm)
  • Telecine: Lee Ann Went (Varitel Inc.), Greg Hamlin (Film Technology, LA), Larry Field (Editel), Brent Eldridge (Ame, Inc.)
  • Post Production Supervisor: John Bryant
  • Post Production Coordinator: Francesca Weiss
  • Executive in Charge of Production: Dana C. Booton

Voice castEdit


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  3. ^ "RIAP Writes". EX. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
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  17. ^ Hays Daily News, Aug 8, 1997, p. 21
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  20. ^ "Retro: Chicago TV - Fall 1996 - 9/21 - Saturday". Radio Discussions. February 27, 2012.
  21. ^ "Cincinnati/Dayton Sat, Mar 1, 1997". Bluenoser's TV Listings Archive. February 23, 2016.
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  23. ^ "Retro: Tampa Bay/Southwest Florida Sat, July 12, 1997". Radio Discussions. July 16, 2009.
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  28. ^ "Retro: Bangor, ME, Sunday, May 25, 1997". Radio Discussions. August 5, 2017.
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  35. ^ "Interview with Derek Stephen Prince". Film Reference. Retrieved 2009-06-07.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit