So far, I've watched only the first disc in the set, consisting of the first seven episodes. There is no superhero in ULTRA Q; the series stars Toho regular Kenji Sahara as aviator Jun Manjomi, Hiroku Sakarai (ULTRAMAN's Fuji) as news photographer Yuriko Edogawa, and Yasohiku Saiju as Jun's comic relief aviation partner, all of whom have an uncanny knack for being around when gigantic monsters suddenly appear. A number of these monsters recycle costuming with Toho's kaiju celebrities: the pilot episode's Gomess is Godzilla with extra hair and horns; Goro is essentially King Kong with a different face; Manda is retrofitted to become a fire-breathing dragon; and so on. The show also launched a few monsters that became beloved in their own right, like Garamon (who later became better known as Pigmon on ULTRAMAN, ULTRAMAN MAX and ULTRAMAN X). Did I say a few? In fact, this series probably launched more original monsters than any other program or film series of its time, besting even THE OUTER LIMITS for quantity if not quality. In its 30-minute presentations, it also showed a gift of prophecy; in its sixth episode, an oddball but endearing children's entry without the usual cast and monster threat, it delved into the imaginations of child characters as Toho would later do in 1969's GODZILLA'S REVENGE/ALL MONSTERS ATTACK. Another reason to like the show is that it resisted its own formula and was never afraid to include stories that stepped outside the book to push in different directions.
In the best news of all, Mill Creek's ULTRA Q sets are selling for less than half the cost of Shout Factory's DVD box set of the same episodes, even in its Steelbook variant (which sells for a couple dollars more than the regular edition).
Speaking of ULTRA series... Since the Mill Creek ULTRA series Blu-rays are not including the English dubs, some of you may want to grab these important variants while they remain available from YouTube - in addition to the official releases, of course. The majority of ULTRASEVEN (due for release next month) is there with the jokey Cinar English dubs produced in Canada, which ran on WTBS and featured monsters with ridiculous double-entendre names like Merkin. They also have four different ULTRASEVEN episodes with the original dubs shown only in Hawaii.
(c) 2019 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.