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Ultra Q

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Ultra Q
Ultra Q title card
Format: Horror, Science fiction, Supernatural
Created by: Tsuburaya Productions
Starring: Kenji Sahara, Yasuhiko Saijou, Hiroko Sakurai
Opening Theme: N/a
Ending Theme: N/a
Country Of Origin Japan
Number Of Episode 28
Running Time 24 minutes (per episode)
Original Channel Tokyo Broadcasting System
Original Air Date 1966, January 2
Preceed by None
Succeed Ultraman

Ultra Q (ウルトラQ Urutora Kyū?) is a tokusatsu SF/kaiju series made in the tradition of Toho's many tokusatsu sci-fi/horror films.

Produced in black and white by Tokyo Broadcasting System/Tsuburaya Productions, this is actually the first of the long-running Ultra Series, and was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System from January 2 to July 3, 1966 (the final episode was preempted until December 14, 1967), with a total of 28 episodes. This series was followed a week later by the more popular Ultraman (Urutoraman, 1966-1967), the second Ultra Series.

Ultra Q can be described as a half-hour Toho kaiju film. Although series creator Eiji Tsuburaya intended this series to be more like The Twilight Zone and focus less on the monsters, TBS convinced Eiji to add more monsters onto the show, as Godzilla (Gojira) and Gamera were very popular at the time (the first "Kaiju Boom" was already born).[1] This series predates The X-Files with continuing characters who investigate strange supernatural phenomena, including giant monsters, aliens, ghosts, and other assorted calamities. Perhaps the closest parallel in American TV is The Outer Limits, which in its original form generally featured a monster each week.

Regarding the monsters, some of them were modified versions of Toho movie monsters (since Eiji owned the costumes). They include Godzilla (as "Gomess " in Episode 1, "Defeat Gomess!"), King Kong (as "Goro" in Episode 2, "Goro and Goro"), Manda (as "Mystic Dragon" in Episode 6, "Fly, Turtle!"), Baragon (as "Pagos" in Episode 18, "The Rainbow Egg"), Maguma (as Todola in Episode 27, "Flight 206 Vanishes"), and the Giant Octopus from King Kong vs Godzilla (1962) (as "Sudar" in Episode 23, "Rage in the South Seas").

The original planned title of this project was UNBALANCE, and was subsequently renamed Ultra Q (inspired by "Oba-Q", the nickname of the title character of the then-popular anime series Obake no Q-Taro, and "Ultra C", a popular term used for women's gymnastics during the 1964 Summer Olympics, where a Russian gymnast created an extremely difficult maneuver called the "Ultra C"). The series was produced beforehand all through 1965 (it went in production as far back as 1964) and was broadcast at the beginning of the next year. At the time, this was the most expensive TV series in Japan.[2]

In 2012, the series was released in DVD & Blu-Ray in Color, to commemorate the series' 47th anniversary. On May 11, 2013 Shout! Factory announced they will release the DVD set in the US on August 13, 2012.

CharactersEdit

MonstersEdit

List of Ultra Q monsters
Gomess

The monster Gomess from episode 1. The monster was brought to life with a modified Godzilla suit from the films Mothra vs Godzilla and Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster.

Because Eiji Tsuburaya had a high standing with Toho, he was able to use various suits and props from the various Toho Kaiju films for his series. The Manda prop was used for the dragon Kairyuh as well as the head being used as the front portion of a Viking ship seen in episode 12, the giant octopus prop from King Kong vs. Godzilla was used to portray Sudar, while the Maguma suit from Gorath was used to portray Todora. As well, various other suits and props were refurbished to play some of the monsters such as Godzilla for Gomess, King Kong for Goroh, Baragon for Pagos, and a small Rodan prop for the birds Largeus and Litra.

EpisodesEdit

  1. Defeat Gomess! (ゴメスを倒せ! Gomesu o Taose!?)
  2. Goro and Goroh (五郎とゴロー Gorō to Gorō?)
  3. The Gift From Space (宇宙からの贈りもの Uchū kara no Okurimono?)
  4. Mammoth Flower (マンモスフラワー Manmosu Furawā?)
  5. Peguila Is Here! (ペギラが来た! Pegira ga Kita!?)
  6. Grow Up! Little Turtle (育てよ! カメ Sodateyo! Kame?)
  7. S.O.S. Mount Fuji (SOS富士山 Esu Ō Esu Fujisan?)
  8. Terror of the Sweet Honey (甘い蜜の恐怖 Amai Mitsu no Kyōfu?)
  9. Baron Spider (クモ男爵 Kumo Danshaku?)
  10. The Underground Super Express Goes West (地底超特急西へ Chitei Chōtokkyū Nishi e?)
  11. Balloonga (バルンガ Barunga?)
  12. I Saw a Bird (鳥を見た Tori o Mita?)
  13. Garadama (ガラダマ?)
  14. Tokyo Ice Age (東京氷河期 Tōkyō Hyōgaki?)
  15. Kanegon's Cocoon (カネゴンの繭 Kanegon no Mayu?)
  16. Garamon Strikes Back (ガラモンの逆襲 Garamon no Gyakushū?)
  17. The 1/8 Project (1/8計画 Hachibun-no-Ichi Keikaku?)
  18. The Rainbow's Egg (虹の卵 Niji no Tamago?)
  19. Challenge from the Year 2020 (2020年の挑戦 Nisen-nijū-nen no Chōsen?)
  20. The Undersea Humanoid Ragon (海底原人ラゴン Kaitei Genjin Ragon?)
  21. Space Directive M774 (宇宙指令M774 Uchū Shirei Emu Nana Nana Yon?)
  22. Metamorphosis (変身 Henshin?)
  23. Fury of the South Sea (南海の怒り Nankai no Ikari?)
  24. The Idol of Goga (ゴーガの像 Gōga no Zō?)
  25. The Devil Child (悪魔ッ子 Akumakko?)
  26. Blazing Victory (燃えろ栄光 Moeru Eikō?)
  27. The Disappearance of Flight 206 (206便消滅す Ni Maru Roku Bin Shōmetsu-su?)
  28. Open Up! (あけてくれ! Aketekure!?)

English DubEdit

Page from United Artist Television's Press Kit

Page from United Artists Television's Press Kit

In 1967, Ultra Q was licensed from Tsuburaya and TBS by CBS Films, producers of The Twilight Zone. It was a package deal that not only included Ultra Q, but also Ultraman. For the task of dubbing, CBS hired Film House in Toronto, Canada, what is now DeLuxe Toronto. Tsuburaya provided translated scripts, plus English language opening and closing credits, and a custom, swirling title-card. The series itself was dubbed in its 28 episode entirety. At some point, CBS Films backed out of licencing the series, and it was picked up, along with Ultraman, by United Artists Television, producers of The Outer Limits. With dubbing of Ultra Q complete, United Artists hired Titra Studios to dub Ultraman. Ultraman was syndicated, however, Ultra Q was not, due to being in Black-and-white at a time when most television was switching to color. After Ultraman finished its run in syndication, audio and film masters, and other materials, of both series were stored in the MGM vaults. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, all materials reverted to, and were collected by Tsuburaya. [3] [4]

It is commonly believed that only one episode, specifically Episode 3, was dubbed as a pilot. This has proven not to be true as other episodes have been found either in audio prints, like Episode 3, or film or video prints. From here it can be concluded that this was not the only episode produced.

Radio DramaEdit

Ultra Q's success earned it a weekly radio drama, starring the voices of the human cast from the Original Ultra Q with some of the old monsters, such as Kemur Man, Garamon, Gorgos, and Namegon. Other new monsters included:

LegacyEdit

In the years following the show's original run, a live action film called Ultra Q The Movie: Legend of the Stars was released in 1990. As well, a radio program featuring the voices of the three original stars of the show (playing their classic characters) called The Ultra Q Club aired on Japanese radio from 2003-2004. Also in 2004, a new series called Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy was produced while another series called Neo Ultra Q began airing in early 2013.

The original concept of the show (when it was going to be called Unbalance) was ultimately used for a 13-episode horror anthology series entitled Horror Theater Unbalance that was produced by Tsuburaya Productions in 1973.

Various Ultra-Q monsters were reused or redressed for various monsters in Ultraman. The Kemur being and Ragon (now giant sized) returned, while the Garamon suit was reused as Pigmon. Other suits were altered to play other monsters such as, Peguila being altered into Chandrah, the Kemur being being altered into Alien Zetton, Pagos being altered into Neronga and later Magular and Gabora, the Semi Ningen being altered into the Alien Baltan, while Peter was altered into Gesura.

Home MediaEdit

Shout! Factory released the complete series of Ultra Q on DVD on August 13, 2013.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters: Defending the Earth with Ultraman and Godzilla, by August Ragone, Chronicle Books (2007), ISBN 978-0-8118-6078-9
  2. Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters: Defending the Earth with Ultraman and Godzilla, by August Ragone, Chronicle Books (2007), ISBN 978-0-8118-6078-9
  3. Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters: Defending the Earth with Ultraman and Godzilla, by August Ragone, Chronicle Books (2007), ISBN 978-0-8118-6078-9
  4. http://www.grnrngr.com/documents/ultraq.txt
  5. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Urutora-Q-The-Complete-Series/18445
  • The Q-Files, Complete Ultra Q Episode Guide by Jim Cirronella & Kevin Grays, Originally published in KAIJU-FAN Issue # 4 November 1996 [1] .
  • Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters: Defending the Earth with Ultraman and Godzilla, by August Ragone, Chronicle Books (2007), ISBN 978-0-8118-6078-9
  • Ultraman Monster Ultra Large Collection (orig.: ウルトラ怪獣大全集), Domdom (1995), ISBN 978-4-09-101411-5
  • So Crazy Japanese Toys!, by Jimbo Matison, Chronicle Books (2003), ISBN 978-0-8118-3529-9

External linksEdit

Shows and Films
Showa Series


Ultra Q | Ultraman | Ultra Seven | The Return of Ultraman | Ultraman Ace | Ultraman Taro | Ultraman Leo | The☆Ultraman | Ultraman 80 |


First phase of Heisei Series


Ultraman Tiga | Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Gaia |


Second phase of Heisei Series


Ultraman Cosmos | Ultraman Nexus | Ultraman Max | Ultraman Mebius | Ultraseven X | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey | Ultraman Retsuden | Neo Ultra Q | Ultraman Ginga | Ultraman Ginga S


Out side of Japan


Ultraman: The Adventure Begins |Ultraman: Towards the Future | Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero


OV・TVSP


Ultra Fight | Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider | Ultraman Nice | Heisei Ultraseven | Ultraman Neos | Ultra Idemitsujin | Ultra Zone | Ultra Zero Fight


Showa Movies


Ultraman: Monster Movie Feature | Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight | Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle | Ultraman (1979 film) | Zoffy: The Ultra Warriors Vs The Giant Monster Army | Ultraman Story


Heisei Movies


Ultra Q The Movie | Ultraman Zearth | Ultraman Zearth 2: Superhuman Big Battle - Light and Shadow | Revive!:Ultraman | Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna: Warriors of the Star of Light | Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna & Ultraman Gaia: Battle in Hyperspace | Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey | Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact (2001) | Ultraman Cosmos: The Blue Planet (2002) | Ultraman Cosmos Vs Ultraman Justice: The Final Battle | Ultraman The Next | Ultraman Mebius & The Ultra Brothers | The Super 8 Ultra Brothers | Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend The Movie | Ultraman Zero The Movie: The Revenge of Belial | Ultraman Saga | Ultraman Ginga S Movie Showdown! The 10 Ultra Brothers!


Other Series


Mighty Jack | Mirrorman | Redman | Triple Fighter | Iron King | Fireman | Jumborg Ace | Dinosaur War Aizenborg | Denkou Choujin Gridman | Bio Planet WoO

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