Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show
“Can you feel the thunder inside?
Make the lightning crack as you 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.
Though it was the last to arrive on U.S. airwaves, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs actually predated the other two by a few years. Released under the original title Bismarck the Star Musketeer, the series hit Asia and Europe back in 1984. Three years later, Calico brought it into stateside syndication, accompanied by a toy tie-in that allowed viewers to interact with the Star Sheriffs’ talking badges.
The show itself centered around the title characters, a group of outer space lawmen in the late 21st Century. In the wild extraterrestrial world of New Frontier, the Star Sheriffs kept the peace under the direction of Earth’s Calvary Command. Saber Rider was the group’s leader, a dashing young man who rode a flying mechanical horse named Steed. The rest of the posse included hot rod hero Fireball, marksman and master of disguise Colt, and April Eagle, the spitfire daughter of Calvary Command’s big man, Commander Eagle. April was also the resident tech whiz and the inventor of the group’s ultimate weapon, the Ramrod Equalizer Vehicle. Each of the Star Sheriffs rode around in a component piece of the Ramrod, but when big trouble lurked, the team could combine into one supremely powerful vehicle. On top of that, the Ramrod itself could transform, taking on the role of “Big Sheriff”—a humanoid figure ready to brawl with whatever the enemy threw at it.
And the enemies had plenty to throw, since they were no technological slouches themselves. Hailing from The Vapor Zone, an alien race called the Outriders had mastered the technique of “dimension jumping,” enabling them to teleport back to safety any time they were shot. It was a clever twist on the old “magic parachute” gimmick from G.I. Joe—Saber Rider and pals could blast away enemies from now until doomsday, and since no one ever really died, there was nothing that disapproving adults could do about it. This band of vaporous thugs was led by Nemesis, who delegated most of his on-site duties to a human co-conspirator named Gattler.
Originally produced in Japan, the series featured some of the familiar touches of traditional anime—would-be heroes who fell from grace (Jesse Blue), budding love stories (April and Fireball), and more action-packed violence than most U.S.-produced series could get away with. Unfortunately, the battle for control of New Frontier lasted only a single season of 52 episodes, capped off by the appropriately-titled “Happy Trails.”
Release History1987 syndicated
TV Sub Categoriesanimated
TV StudioCalico, World Events
Television CastVoices Jack Angel
Voices Alison Argo
Voices Michael Bell
Voices Art Burghardt
Voices Townsend Coleman
Voices Peter Cullen
Voices Brian Cummings
Voices Pat Fraley
Voices Tress MacNeille
Voices Pat Musick
Voices Rob Paulsen
Voices Diane Pershing
Voices Neil Ross
Voices Hal Smith
Voices B.J. Ward
Voices Len Weinrib