Star Fleet (X-Bomber) Frequently Asked QuestionsThis is something I've put together because the Overview section has a lot of content to browse. This FAQ should hopefully bring out the main points about Star Fleet, at least from a United Kingdom perspective.
- Can you still buy videos / DVDs of the series?
- So this is a Star Trek/Wars site is it?
- So this is that series with the Brian May music is it?
- Did Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds, Stingray) have anything to do with Star Fleet?
- Why do people still remember it?
- What was the secret of the Skull?
- Can I find wallpapers and stuff to download here?
- How popular was it?
- Are there any plans to repeat the series?
Can you still buy videos / DVDs of the series?You can now pre-order the official release of the UK version of the series from HMV by clicking here. See below for more details of the release. Although there were some commercially released compilation videos of the series here in the UK, they haven't been on the shelves for 15 plus years! However, in America the entire series was put on rental tapes, slightly edited for length - see the more detailed merchandise page. These occasionally appear on American auction sites, but while of good quality are in NTSC format.
Until then you can also frequently find the UK compilation tapes and other merchandise for auction on:
The author of this site does not supply tapes or DVDs personally.
Many moons ago Mollin video, who were releasing Battle of the Planets, were looking into publishing Star Fleet but the deal with Enoki fell through. However, in February 2008 Fabulous Films finally secured the rights for a UK release on DVD from Enoki, and we now look forward to a comprehensive re-release from the firm that is bringing out Mysterious Cities of Gold. You can pre-order the series from HMV by clicking here.
So this is that series with the Brian May music is it?Not exactly, although it's often remembered as that. What actually happened was that Brian May's son watched the series with his father, who then decided to do a cover of the original theme music by Paul Bliss. May's cover (the Star Fleet Project) is very close, lyrically, to Bliss' original so the confusion is understandable. The music links page will take you to several sites which detail how the Star Fleet Project came to pass.
Did Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds, Stingray) have anything to do with Star Fleet?No, although the influence is there - Gerry was apparently a bit worried that Star Fleet would steal the limelight from Terrahawks; read the Louis Elman interview! The puppets in Star Fleet are controlled with rods from underneath, rather than strings from above. Also, Dai-X, the "big red robot", was a bloke in a suit when on the ground - which is a typical Japanese (and Power Rangers-esque) approach to live action robots wreaking havoc. Also, the whole tone of Star Fleet is much darker than any of the Gerry Anderson shows, and plot driven rather than episodic. See Toru Kubo's page for more details on the production of the show - he played the Imperial Master!
Why do people still remember it?As childrens' shows go, it was very action packed and had a very good soundtrack. Although the baddies were typically incompetent, they were actually quite menacing. The effects were very good for their time, and Dai-X, the "big red robot", seems to stand out in people's memories of the show. So too do some of the characters themselves, which says a lot about the quality of the English script. Each episode ended in a cliffhanger, so all in all it really was compelling if you were young enough to overlook the flaws. Perhaps the best way to remind yourself of the show is to visit the Multimedia section of SFXB.
What was the secret of the Skull?The secret of "the mysterious sailing ship the Skull" was its connection to the F-01 - namely that its Captain and crew came from the home planet of the F-01 and were the only ones who knew how to trigger its abilities (the F-01 not being aware of its own powers). The ship itself, other than being a galleon that flew through space (!) wasn't particularly special, although it did help the X-Bomber out of some tight corners. More details elsewhere in the site - the episode guide details the whole story.
So this is a Star Trek/Wars site is it?No, not even remotely. Star Fleet was a puppetry based show, made in Japan, and broadcast in the UK in the early to mid 1980s. It lasted for 24 episodes and told the story of a group of hotshot pilots aboard an experimental battlecruiser, the X-Bomber, who went in search of F-01, an entity which could bring peace to the universe. See the episode guide for much greater detail!
Can I find wallpapers and stuff to download here?Why, yes you can! The Multimedia section of this site contains various downloadable goodies. You can find several examples and sizes of wallpapers for your desktop on the miscellaneous gallery page, and there are various video and sound clips available. Just nose around, basically!
How popular was it?According to Louis Elman Star Fleet beat BBC childrens shows for viewing figures. Certainly many people seem to remember the series, and the fact that I've been sent videos, photocopies of annuals and even scans of jigsaws indicates that others were even more aware of it than I was. Interestingly, a few personal sites have recently linked to my pages, indicating that as shows like Mr Benn come out on video people my age are starting to think back to other childhood shows that captured their imagination.
Are there any plans to repeat the series?Not on television, but coming soon (as at March 2008) to DVD. There has been some intermittent contact with people in the industry who were responsible for the original airing of the show in the Central region, but nothing solid yet. That said, with the resurgence of interest in shows from the 80s it is possible that the series might be resurrected at some point - and some fans are taking matters into their own hands!
Last updated 14 December 2013