Title: Starcom: The U.S. Space Force
First aired: 1987-09-20Overview: Starcom: The U.S. Space Force is an animated syndicated series in the 1980s that spawned a successful motorized toy line franchise in Europe and Asia for Mattel, despite its failures to succeed in its U.S. domestic market. The plot was based on the adventures of an American astronaut brigade as they fought off attempted invasions by Shadow Force, a nasty collection of aliens and robots led by the nefarious Emperor Dark. The show was developed with the help of the Young Astronauts’ Council with the original intention of sparking young viewers’ interest in the U.S. NASA Space Program. However, Starcom did not get much of a chance to make kids want to join the space program as it was cancelled off the air after one brief season. It was revived for a short run in the early 1990s, but no new episodes were aired. It was produced by DiC Enterprises and distributed by Access Syndication. The plot was classic Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers fare. The evil members of Shadow Force, led by Emperor Dark, were trying to take over the cosmos, and it was up to Starcom to stop them. Young hero Col. James “Dash” Derringer, an ace Starcom pilot, was the star of the series, and several of his teammates were family members. He was also backed up by the resourceful ace pilot John “Slim” Griffin, whose niece was yet another Starcom pilot. Other heroes on the Starcom side included Col. Paul “Crowbar” Corbin and Admiral Franklin Brinkley. The show had very high quality production, with top notch animation and relatively mature subject matter and dialog.