|In through these worlds of unknown danger they ride…”
The Western didn’t really die in the 1980’s—it just moved into outer space. The mid-80’s brought not just one, but three Western/Sci-Fi cartoons to the syndicated market: The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, BraveStarr and Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs.
First to the airwaves were the Galaxy Rangers, a daily syndicated show with the kind of deep cast and complex story usually reserved for Japanese anime. Doling out frontier justice in the late 21st Century, the Galaxy Rangers were formed in response to the threat of the Crown Empire, led by the evil Queen of the Crowns. Waldo and Zozo, ambassadors from the planets Andor and Kirwin, respectively, traveled to Earth to recruit help for their fledging League of Planets. If the humans agreed to help, the League would deliver advanced technology to help the fight, including a powerful “hyperdrive.”
Heading up the Rangers was clean-cut family man Captain Zachary Foxx. The straight-laced captain’s happy home life was interrupted when notorious pirate Captain Blood hijacked his starship, which at the time held both alien ambassadors, Zach himself, his wife Eliza and children Jessica and Zach Jr. Nearly everyone managed to escape, but Eliza was held captive and sold to the Queen, who sapped her life-force into a Psychocrystal. With her assortment of Psychocrystals, the Queen formed an army of mind-controlled Slaverlords, foot soldiers in her conquest of the universe.
Back on Earth, Zach was treated for the severe wounds he received in the escape. The left half of his torso was replaced with bio-technology, giving him a super-strong arm that could fire powerful blasts. Thus outfitted, Zach became the leader of the “Series 5” Rangers—four crimefighters who could access superior powers by pressing the badges on their chests. The rest of the group consisted of psychic alien Niko from the planet Xanadu, genius hacker Walter “Doc” Hartford and the crew’s pilot, Shane “Goose” Gooseman. Goose was a “Supertrooper,” part of an android army that went berserk and turned on their human creators. Still sympathizing with the human cause, Goose was allowed to join the Rangers, but only on the condition that he hunt down his fellow Supertroopers.
The Rangers worked under the authority of BETA—the Bureau of Extra-Terrestrial Affairs—which was led by Commander Joseph Walsh and tactician Dr. Nagata (whose body was gone, but whose brain was preserved). Riding into battle on talking “Cybersteeds,” the Rangers fought off the power-mad Queen, her advisor Lazarus Slade and other villains like Supertrooper Ryker Killbane and renegade MaCross’ Black Hole Gang.
Over the course of the show’s 65 episode run, new characters were introduced, new enemies were thwarted, and the quest to win back Eliza’s life force went on. Unfortunately, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers was cancelled after a single season, leaving viewers to imagine their own conclusions to the ongoing saga.
“Rangers are forever!”