Ultraman 1.38 – The Spaceship Rescue Command

With production on Ultraman winding down, and thoughts at Tsubaraya Productions and TBS most likely turning ahead to the show that would replace it, Ultra Seven, six months later, it looks like the team went all-out on the most special effects-heavy episode of the entire series. “The Spaceship Rescue Command” is a real visual treat, with lots of miniature work with ships, space stations, and moon rover-vehicles, plus two new monster costumes and a great big set to represent Planet Q. It’s called Kralon in the English dub, which is nowhere as fun-sounding.

The Science Patrol even got some new pressure suits to go out and explore Planet Q’s surface, which is of course just a quarry filmed with a red filter, but there’s something new to look at almost every minute of the thing. The dub has its dopey moments – Captain Mura cautions Ito not to touch any radioactivity, which isn’t a warning I’d ever heard before – but this is a really fun half-hour that we enjoyed a lot.

Our son’s favorite bit came when the Science Patrol freezes one of the two monsters and shatters it into fragments, which is a tremendously neat effect. His comment: “They turned him into frozen broken alcohol!”

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