Bravestarr and Thirty-thirty, from a comic book cover.


Original Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Filmation
First Appeared: 1987
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A common complaint about bad science fiction is that it's nothing but a western set in outer space — true sci-fi, its enthusiasts say, requires more than a mere science fictional backdrop. But it would have been hard for …

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… this animated TV show to disprove the charge. Bravestarr wore a cowboy hat, boots and a tin star, and he was the local lawman on a planet called New Texas. The sci-fi scenery included placing New Texas in a three-sun system, but real science fiction would have dealt with the fact that a triple star produces orbital instability, making planets unlikely and human settlement impossible. This was every bit as blatantly a western in sci-fi drag as the previous year's Galaxy Rangers.

Be that as it may, Marshal Bravestarr was of Native American extraction, which, given the clichés of hastily-produced television with sketchy characterization, meant he had a certain mystical bent. This took the form of a relationship with a shaman whose name, imaginatively enough, was Shaman. The clichés also mandated super powers with a nature theme. Bravestarr could call on the strength of a bear, the speed of a puma, the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a wolf. Bravestarr's horse, or rather, equestroid cyborg, was Thirty-Thirty, who could talk and walk upright like a man. The deputy was a diminutive alien named Fuss. The black-hat character was Tex-Hex, leader of The Carrion Bunch, who were always after the kerium (local equivalent of gold).

Bravestarr's voice was provided by Pat Fraley (Buddy Blue in Rainbow Brite). Thirty-Thirty's and Shaman's were Ed Gilbert (Gus in Kissyfur). Deputy Fuss and Tex-Hex were voiced by Charles Adler (Buster Bunny in Tiny Toon Adventures). The show was produced by Filmation (Sport Billy, Quackula, Sabrina the Teenage Witch), for syndication, and first aired in 1987.

Bravestarr: The Legend (aka Bravestarr: The Movie) was released on March 18, 1988, and told the story of how the marshal first came to New Texas, and first met Tex-Hex. There was also a comic book, published by Blackthorne (Nervous Rex, Dick Tracy) in 3-D format. Two issues came out.

Like many cartoons at the time (e.g., He-Man, Jem), the toys and the TV show came close together, and promoted each other so shamelessly, it was hard to tell which came first and which was the adaptation. Neither, however, had much of an impact in the market. The TV show lasted one season (65 daily episodes), and the toys followed it into oblivion.

Bravestarr was the last TV series Filmation ever produced.


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Text ©2004-07 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Filmation.