Even if you were alive in the 1980s, you might not have paid much attention to The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. For one outstanding season in 1986, the show drew influence from a diverse range of westerns and science fiction movies. There are also surprisingly many allusions to Top Gun, considering that the legendary Tom Cruise film came out just a few months earlier.
In our most recent video, which was just published on our channel today, we take a close look at the odd concept, odd cast, and catchy theme music of Galaxy Rangers. However, “No Guts, No Glory” by Johnny Vancouver is our current favorite song. The opening sequence of the play did a great job of setting the scene. Aliens came to Earth in 2086 and offered humans advanced interplanetary technology in exchange for keeping them safe from the Crown Empire.
Zachary Foxx, the leader of the Galaxy Rangers, appeared as the series’ primary character. He was joined by Walter “Doc” Hartford, Shane “Goose” Gooseman, and Niko, a female ranger who did not conform to the 1980s damsel in distress cliché. Together, they took part in activities you may have seen in a Western, but with robots instead of horses, such gambling at robot casinos and riding robot horses. Despite having a toy line, Galaxy Rangers, unlike many other 1980s animated series, did not seem to exist solely for product promotion. There were only 65 episodes total, but they were all excellent.
What The Cartoon Television Series Is All About
The plot of the series is mainly laid out in the voiceover that introduces it. The main characters of this interstellar sci-fi/western are the Galaxy Rangers, which also consist of bionic Zachary Foxx, super soldier Shane Gooseman, clairvoyant Niko, and swashbuckling computer genius Walter Hartford. The Series-5 Brain Implant, a cutting-edge piece of technology that each of them possesses, has improved their natural abilities.
They fight the evil Crown Empire, along with other threats to those who have travelled to the furthest regions of space. This animated series, which debuted in the middle of the 1980s, distinguished itself from other cartoons by catering more to the midday viewing audience. It also introduced the essence of anime to American television. This programme should be investigated by fans of animated science fiction since it combines western and sci-fi themes with a humorous narrative that appeals to viewers of all ages.
Numerous animated programs fought for the attention of younger audiences in the middle of the 1980s. A surge of animated programs based on toy franchises like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and others resulted from the relaxation of regulations for children’s television earlier in the decade. The Galaxy Rangers entered the fray in 1986, but it aimed to do more than just advertise goods and offer a tidy lesson at the end of each show. The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers’ afternoon television premiere began with this.
It was much more of a science fiction adventure with storylines that took it to another level and were enjoyable for both adults and children. Additionally, the animation was superior to the typical afternoon entry of the time, approaching the aesthetic appeal of anime, plus the blend of western, science fiction and noir themes gave the film a distinctive atmosphere.
The Galaxy Rangers has been essentially a lighthearted science fiction adventure that provided plenty of compelling genre stories. The show featured a very rich cosmos of realms and races to base its plots, and the personalities had better growth than the standard animated series at the time. In addition, it was imaginative and didn’t take itself too seriously. Also, the beginning theme tune from the 1980s, “No Guts, No Glory,” quickly sticks in your brain.
Even though it occasionally lapsed into copy-and-paste, it managed to outperform the majority of the midday television competition. Sadly, the series has not been acknowledged as the genre gem it actually is, and it is not readily available to go back and rewatch. Those who did see it during its original run have great recollections of the show.
The series ran for a significant 65 episodes, which was about average for an animated tv show at the time, but it was canceled soon after it premiered. This was due to the fact that it debuted in an era when the animation business was oversaturated and lacked the product sales to remain competitive.
The animated series that fared the best at those moments were the series that were consistently raking in toy sales, and the Galaxy Rangers show did not have its own toy line. The show at least had a complete initial run; possibly, more episodes could’ve been produced if it had attracted more viewers. Sadly, the concert did not have a lengthy encore run, which caused it to get forgotten.
If fresh actors voiced the original characters, this show might resume where it left off. Alternately, a follow-up series that honors the original squad while introducing new Galaxy Rangers might be created. Even while there may not be much nostalgia for the 1980s series, there would still be a market for it today.
The anime entries Detective Conan, Lupin the Third, Magic Knight Rayearth and the Monster Rancher were all animated by the Japanese company Tokyo Movie Shinsha. Batman: The Animated Series, The Real Ghostbusters, Spiderman: The Animated Series and the Animaniacs, among others, would be produced by that company in the future with an eye on the American market.
Although there were just four episodes in each volume, and I think only four in total were issued, the series did receive a limited DVD release. A few individual episodes were also published on VHS, but both those formats are now out of print and selling for a premium on online marketplaces. Only sixteen episodes of the series are included with the VOD purchase. On YouTube, the complete series is presently accessible for free (albeit with advertisements). But the video is of poor quality and is not an authorized release.
Main Characters of The Cartoon Series
The captain of the Rangers of Series-5 is Zachary Foxx. His whole left flank is rebuilt with bionics, granting him superhuman strength and enabling him to shoot energy blasts with his left hand. The implant’s sole purpose in Captain Zachary Foxx’s life is to serve as an energy source.
Pressing the badge triggers a series of occurrences that turbocharge his left-flank cybernetic implants and facilitate either bolstering up the myomere tendons and muscles or channeling of the bio-electrical power generation through the bioengineered amplifiers to yield an energy discharge that can be as powerful as 16 conventional carbine shots, making him competent enough to blow a wall off, spot-weld circuit elements or conceivably pound through a yacht’s hull. He is married and has two children. The Queen of the Crown took his wife’s consciousness and housed it within a “psychocrystal.” Seasoned performer Jerry Orbach voiced Foxx.
As a fragment of a federal congenital experiment to develop a corps of improved mutant troops known as “Super troopers,” Shane “Goose” Gooseman was biologically created in a test tube. The Super Troopers were given a gas by a civilian advisor to hasten their modification and increase their strength, but it also made them more violent and emotionally unstable. Goose, who was at the shooting range then and managed to evade the gas, ended up being the only trooper who was still unharmed. Some of the other warriors managed to flee the cryogenically frozen jail. Goose was offered the choice to evade cryogenic chilling, but only if he agreed to unite with the Galaxy Rangers and find the Super troopers who had fled.
The Series-5 cybernetic implants give him restricted control over the molecules in his body, enabling him to recover, soak energy, and adjust to different environments by momentarily changing the structure of his physique to suit the circumstance.
Goose’s implant boosts his innate bio-defenses, allowing them to respond very quickly instead of taking minutes or even more, as is typical. He is now almost on par with the rebel “Super Troopers” and is the singular one qualified to engage them in close-quarters battle. Clint Eastwood greatly influenced his persona. As stated in the show’s laurels, Goose seems to be the sole Supertrooper with kindness.
Niko is a psychically gifted archaeologist who specializes in prehistoric societies. She is skilled in martial arts and carries a big gun. She possesses foresight and the ability to move items and construct shields, thanks to the Series-5 implant. This shield can stop all attacks, although it cannot be kept up for very long.
The radiation from Niko’s implant is transformed into a telepathic boost that extends her psychic range from essential touch to several lightyears away, amplifying her natural psychic talents. However, it may be strengthened by contacting the rest of the rangers as well as absorbing their energy. She could also create an ambient energy barrier, significantly depleting her implant. She and Goose have a romantic fling that lasts the entire season.
Ariel discovered her from the safe haven world of Xanadu after her colony was destroyed. Niko was born in the doomed colony world of Alspeth and moved to her latest home, where she was brought up and her supernatural powers were developed.
She was recruited by the Galaxy Rangers when she turned 19, and was ready to go back to her people in Xanadu. She was approved for the pilot Series-5 project after she graduated from the institute. As a result of the numerous missions the Rangers of the Series 5 undertook that involved unfamiliar cultures and diverse belief systems, she was subsequently assigned to them as their mystical and archaeology specialist.
Swashbuckling figure Walter “Doc” Hartford uses his fists, a sword, and a rifle to combat. He is an expert in computers and, together with BETA Researcher “Q-Ball,” is in charge of much of the robotic processes which the Galaxy Rangers employ on a regular basis.
The Series-5 implants give him the ability to interact with and command specialized software packages known as “tweakers,” which take the form of airborne, three-dimensional, computer-animated angular objects. The consequences of Ranger Hartford’s graft are the strangest, and they even have no adequate explanation. Only Commander Walsh explained it the best when he said, “Doc Hartford, your implant makes you a computer wizard, able to conjure fantastic programs.”
Doc travels with a Computer Distinct Unit, a portable computer with sophisticated diagnostic and maintenance features as well as the capacity to connect to sensors and other computers. The CDU serves as both a center for Doc’s graft power and a repository for the “tweakers” (Tripwire, Pixel, Pathfinder, Firefly, Lifeline and Searchlight). His “tweaker” computer programs, which are an integral part of his psyche, are capable of doing things that no other virus, worm, or computer program could. His implant allows him to verbally command his “tweakers”, who allow Doc to control any computer technique.
Born to wealthy parents, Hartford, a native of the Isle of Jamaica, received a private education that culminated at Mrs. Abercrombie’s Finishing School and Charm. After successfully registering with a few biochemical businesses to assist him in creating better computer projects, he saw that his talents were not much being tested, so he left and joined the Ranger Corps.
The Cartoon Cast
The Galaxy Rangers had a terrific casting in respect to that time. Jerry Orbach played the role of Zachary Foxx, who led the Rangers of Series-5. Bobby Bottone played the role of Brappo. Laura Dean played the part of Aliza Foxx, while Doug Preis played the amusing role of Bubblehead, The Memory Bird. Hubert Kelly played Walter “Doc” Hartford, Earl Hammond played Captain Kidd and Corinne Orr played the role of Kiwi Kids. Henry Mandell played the intriguing character of Crown Agent, and Maia Danziger played Annie Oh. Ray Owens played the role of Macross, Sandy Marshall played Buzzwang, and Lucy Martin played the uncredited role of Darkstar.
What To Expect from The First Episode?
The opening narration of the series sets the mood right at the start: “In 2086, two peaceful aliens journeyed to Earth, seeking our help. In return, they gave us the plans for our first hyperdrive, allowing mankind to open the doors to the stars. We have assembled a team of unique individuals to protect Earth and our allies. Courageous pioneers committed to the highest ideals of justice and dedicated to preserving law and order across the new frontier. These are the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers!”
To elaborate the opening narration well, I have tried to simplify the meaning behind it for you all, which says, the Crown Empire, which is an intergalactic dictatorship led by the despotic Queen of the Crown, is endangering various worlds, which the gentle aliens represent. With the help of the hyperdrive, Earth starts to communicate with other planets and colonize far-off worlds, creating a society that reflects a futuristic Wild West.
Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of encountering space-dwelling bandits and The Crown Empire that aims to subjugate any species it comes across, especially humans. To defend Earth against these dangers, the crime-fighting agency BETA, also known as the Bureau of Extra-Terrestrial Affairs, is established.
The Galaxy Rangers, a group of four courageous “space cowboys” (one is actually a cowgirl) with unique abilities, thanks to Series Five brain implants, are BETA’s most well-known operatives. The Rangers are the transdimensional Cowboy Police, Shane Gooseman, the psychic Action Girl, Niko, the cyborg squad commander, Zachary Foxx, and the wisecracking Cyber Wiz Walter “Doc” Hartford.
The episode opens with the standard plot where obnoxiously adorable aliens ask for assistance from humans and, in return, offer a faster-than-light drive. Like all of us, Earth, too, finds this wonderful and begins investigating.
Zachary Foxx is given the task of observing a tiny population of people who already have settled on the planet called Kirwin. In order to defend Kirwin from extraterrestrial invasion, the people of Kirwin are developing a planetary force shield alongside Andorians and Kiwi.
Zozo and Waldo, two extraterrestrial ambassadors, accompany Zachary to Kirwin. Eliza, Captain Foxx’s wife, and both their kids also journey with them. Their spacecraft, the Phoenix, is taken hostage by an extraterrestrial criminal starship piloted by Captain Kidd while it is in space.
Captain Kidd keeps the prisoners in return for a bounty from the Queen of the Crown, the ruler of an intergalactic kingdom. She desires human subjects for the psychocrystal trials in order to produce slave masters. Zachary, along with his children, is helped to flee by Zozo and Waldo. But Zachary sustains injuries and Aliza is taken by none other than Captain Kidd, and the Phoenix gets ruined as well.
Zachary is sent to Earth and given a bionic body reconstruction at the BETA, also known as the Bureau for Extra-Terrestrial Affairs headquarters. A digital chip is also implanted in Zachary’s brain. Zachary and Commander Walsh concur that BETA requires a specialized squad of the Galaxy Rangers having unique skills to combat the extraterrestrial invaders. To improve each of the Galaxy Rangers’ unique skills, they each get a Series 5 graft, an experimental computer implant. Zachary swears to save his wife from the Queen.
Essentially, this series follows Jerry Orbach as he travels across space on a mechanical horse while wearing a cowboy hat and a robotic arm. However, it does a good job of laying out the basic idea in a concise manner, and it introduces a really memorable theme tune.
Three out of the four key protagonists are not actually present in the first episode. The audience won’t know who the handsome black man, the long-haired psychic lady or the youthful Clint Eastwood aper is, for a while, though. Eventually, the man with the prosthetic arm is introduced.
A few ideas are swiftly offered to us. The Kiwi is an absurdly adorable race that enjoys growing things. The Andorians, who have black, pupilless eyes and resemble slightly sanctimonious elderly folks (Waldo and Zozo, the two ambassadors, are Andorian and Kiwi, respectively.) The Kiwi are cultivating “enough food to supply the whole League of Planets” on Kirowan, a shielded planet that is crucial for the “League of Planets”.
Pros and Cons
The unusual reality that no endeavor is made to explain the show’s genuinely puzzling Old West tune catches on the inexperienced viewer immediately, even before the powerful Galaxy Rangers opening song has nearly finished. The compulsory expository voiceover in the title tune provides a brief synopsis of the program’s main idea.
They do have the name Rangers, which conjures up memories of, for instance, Texas Rangers. But it was soon realised that the basis of Marshall Bravestarr, another illustrated space cowboy from the same period as Galaxy Rangers, as well as Joss Whedon’s Firefly, was a fusion of the sci-fi and western genres.
It may be a little surprising initially that the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers also had a similar cowboys-and-spaceships premise because the opening sequence of each episode is just a big, jerky orgy of science fiction imagery, including lasers, spaceships, alien life forms, and vast, empty stretches of space. Then, when our narrator reveals some of the heroes we’ve put together, this valiant group of technologically advanced cowpokes burst onto the screen on mechanical horses.
The pilot episode features a creepy, superficially endearing character named Zozo of the species Kiwi, who looks like a purple Dobby with a terrible brunette wig and unnerving, lidless tangerine orbs for eyes. He seems to be intended to be the Orko of this universe— a charming, funny mascot created to cater to the younger audience members. Keep in mind that I had already formed this sad bargaining chip during the episode’s opening scene.
I’ll say it again since perhaps only another 1980s kid can really understand what I’m saying here: I was forced to concede to myself about The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers being considerably superior to such mainstays as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, The Transformers and the G.I. Joe but for you laypeople, this is a significant revelation.
While The Transformers cannot make the same claim, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers features animation that, despite occasional hiccups, would typically not seem out of order, in terms of quality, in the midday cartoon listings of 2008.
In contrast to Galaxy Rangers, the same can’t be true for Masters of the Universe, where the individuals are not replaceable gimmicks, with characterization being replaced by gimmickry. Finally, in contrast to G.I. Joe, Galaxy Rangers comes through as an accurate serial tale instead of a collection of protracted product ads because it is so audacious and self-assured. I almost added that Galaxy Rangers never really owned a toyline in order to sustain, but I decided against it.
Zozo is undoubtedly a contender for the title of Most Bizarre Character. Still, Captain Kidd, a relatively standard pirate villain with a disfigured bird’s head who is unsurprisingly concerned with getting plunder (cough), could also be mentioned. Oh, and Captain Kidd’s shoulder is home to an exasperatingly bizarre monkey creature that resembles Monchhichi rather than a parrot.
Wikipedia says that the Brain Implant of the Series-5 is likely the closest humankind will ever come to replicating with telemechanics the talents that gene biologists can extract from the human DNA. Owing to its remarkable transformation of bio-mechanical power produced by alpha rays and contained within the Galaxy Rangers’ badges, the S5 implant permits a significant amplification of natural skills.
As somebody who lately watched an epoch G.I. Joe fable where the heroes annihilated Cobra’s doomsday apparatus by yodeling, I surely can attest that although at its corniest, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is far more intriguing, credible, and moody than any of its ’80s-era rivals. Admittedly, some of the dialogue is pretty silly (“Their life force will be mine!”). It is quite a mind-blowing stuff, given that it dates back to the time when Prince Adam would brandish a sword and exclaim, “By the power of Greyskull!” to transform into He-Man.
One is left to wonder how the show failed to draw a crowd. Was it overly ambitious for the minimum requirements of the day? Or is it just too dim? (This series contains fatalities; in the 1980s, deaths were often frowned upon in children’s literature.) Was it overly analytical? Or are young people simply better at taking such oddities at nominal value than elderly dupes like myself who stumble around?
The sound design in The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is clumsy and uneven at best; it is an unexpected, extraordinarily bold, and artistic children’s animation from a couple of decades ago, but it is still a children’s animation that is outdated for now. It is possible that this is due to the animation’s primary foreign production; Batman, along with his foes in Japan’s latest Gotham Knight saga, suffered from equally awkward speaking and banter.
Galaxy Rangers’ speech, while somewhat stiff, as mentioned above, is also occasionally extraordinarily cognizant and sardonic, subverting the show’s dramatic action situations in a funny manner. This makes it all the more unpleasant.
The hit-and-miss nature of the episodes is to be expected. “One Million Emotions,” in which the Galaxy Rangers visit an astronomical art display, and a Sensation Doll being soon robbed by some pirate types, is undoubtedly a highlight. The episode starts with a tremendous throwaway joke. Niko introduces a series of paintings to Ranger Walter, thereby telling him that it is from Nebraska, and Walter replies, “The planet, or the state?”
With that nice joke out of the way, “One Million Emotions” is more provocative than hilarious. For instance, the Sensation Doll, created by beings known as “The Poe Mutants” (or as Shane Gooseman refers to them as “The Edgar Allan Poe Mutants”), is frequently compared to an “emotional electric chair.” The Sensation Doll is described as “An energy storage system; it retains one million sentiments: 100,000 varieties of fear, 25,000 variants of jealousy, anger, and love.”
An individual is made to feel the Sensation Doll in an early scene, and his ensuing scream is genuinely scary. Among the various antagonists responsible for the Sensation Doll’s theft, one of them goes by the distinctive name of Jackie Subtract. One of numerous unexpectedly fantastic tiny bits that litter the whole series.
Then there’s “Psychocrypt,” a horrible acid experience of a chapter wherein Zachary Foxx has terrors about his unconscious wife, Eliza, that make him see things. Incidentally, Foxx’s motive for each journey in the show is to save her life.
When his comrades and the authorities reject his choice to act against the ruthless and cunning Queen of the Crown, he even goes so far as to quit the squad. Disgusted, he abandons the Rangers and assumes the character of the solitary vigilante.The fact that Foxx’s fellow Rangers actually assist in carrying out his unlawful mission may not come as a surprise to you. Still, the episode’s driven, aggressive, and occasionally irreverent tone certainly does.
In the end, even though I can’t appreciate The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers adequately in reference to children’s animated entertainment from the 1980s (I’m especially smacked by the show’s use of crude but innovative and masterful CGI), yet I found my concentration wandering whenever I tried to be seated all throughout a given episode. I would only become excited when Zachary Foxx or Shane Gooseman activated their bionic implants, much like a toddler, to request a theme song attack (“No guts, no glory!”).
Despite all of its improvements, the series may even be derivative. Even with all of its flaws, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers’ authors had a lot of courage, and it seems terrible that their work was not given the credit it deserved.
The Future for The Galaxy Rangers
Now the question arrives whether the Galaxy Rangers should be rebooted or not. Well, to answer that, I feel absolutely yes! Undoubtedly it should be rebooted, but more of a resurrection than a reboot. If fresh actors voiced the original characters, this show might resume where it left off. Alternately, a follow-up series that honors the original squad while introducing new Galaxy Rangers might be created. Even while there may not be much nostalgia for the 1980s series, there would still be a market for it in the present.
No Guts, No Glory
The first of the three cartoon Space Western shows to premiere in America in the late 1980s was this widely praised 1986 show. Galaxy Rangers has gained a surprising level of respect from older fans, especially considering that it was an animated series aimed at children from the 1980s and included a breakdancing robot. Due to the participation of TMS Entertainment and the grandiose plots, the show had an Animesque vibe that few of its rivals could match. It was refined for an American cartoon series of the period. It seems to have a strong following even today. In the late 1990s, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders was another project by the series’ creator, Robert Mandell.