Ultraman 1.17 – Passport to Infinity

This episode is really fun. Two explorers, one of them with the terrific name “Sir Yesterday,” dig up a matching pair of meteorites, one blue and one red. They are sentient, and have powers to warp space and time. There’s lots of really neat camera tricks, weird lenses, and all sorts of fun as they start screwing with the floor plans of the Science Patrol headquarters. One room is upside down, with the characters walking in to the ceiling, and a staircase suddenly warps outside and leads to nowhere.

Given the first sixteen episodes, you’d think that once the meteorites merge and grow into a giant rubber thing it’s going to get less interesting, but the producers continued to have fun with the resulting monster’s warp power, teleporting jets into the ground and tanks into the sky. The episode is unpredictable and very amusing.

Oddly, you’d think that a great big rubber meteorite isn’t the sort of thing that you could make a returning character out of, but according to the merchandising people, its name is Bullton and it came back for a rematch forty years later in one of the many sequel TV series, this one with the tortuous name of Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle. Those of you interested in purchasing toys of Ultraman and the monsters will probably find this thing collecting dust on toy store shelves.

And for those of you watching for more evidence that Hoshino has more brains and moxie than all the grownups, it’s he who tells everybody that putting the two meteorites together is a very bad idea. Ito spends two scenes with a bucket on his head. Captain Mura’s got the wrong guy on the payroll.

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