Battle Of The Planets: Volume 3

Battle Of The Planets: Volume 3 (1978)
Cast: G-Force AKA Sciene Ninja Team
Extras: Gatcahman Episodes, G-Force Episode

Rhinomation delivers another quality effort with the third volume in their ’Battle of the Planet’ series. The aspect that makes these DVDs special is the obvious amount of work and care that goes into each one. Instead of simpling presenting the Americanized ’Battle of the Planet’ episodes, each disc also contains the original Japanese ’Gatchaman’ shows, so that the viewer can compare and contrast the two different versions. The Japanese shows are more violent and contain mild profanity, while the ’BOTP’ episodes employ newly created scenes featuring robot mentor 7-Zark-7 to make up for the missing mature content. As if that weren’t enough, we also get the 1980’s incarnation of the show, ’G-Force’.

This DVD contains two episodes of ’Battle of the Planets’. The first is entitled ’Ghost Ship of Planet Mir’ and unfortunately, it isn’t very good. The G-Force team is sent to the planet Mir to investigate a string of shipwrecks. What they find is a fleet of ships being controlled by Spectra. The show features an extended battle and not much else. The second show, ’Big Robot Gold Grab’ is much better, as it contains the classic ’Battle of the Planets’ elements of the team taking on a seemingly endless array of Spectra soldiers. Here, G-Force must stop Spectra from stealing the world’s gold reserves. The corresponding ’Gatchaman’ episodes, ’The Ghost Fleet From Hell’ and ’The Grand Mini Robot’ are essentially the same, save for the fact that on the first show, the action takes place on Earth, not on a distant planet. The ’G-Force’ episode, ’The Strange White Shadow’ corresponds to ’The Space Mummy’ episode from the Volume Two DVD.

The quality of the material presented here varies from show to show. The two ’Battle of the Planets’ episodes, both offer good colors, but the image is slightly blurry. Also, defects from the source prints are evident. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks here offer the same problems present on the Volume One DVD, that is to say that the audio sounds tinny and hollow, offering no bass resonse. For the ’Gatchaman’ shows, the image is sharper and clearer, and the print shows less damage. However, video defects are more obvious here. The 2.0 sound is adequate and the subs are easy to read. Finally, the ’G-Force’ episode suffers from the same blurring as ’Battle of the Planets’, but the dubbed audio sounds fine.