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- DVD: SilverHawks (Season 1 Vol. 1)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Starring: (voices) Bob McFadden, Earl Hammond, Larry Kenney, Peter Newman, Maggie Wheeler, Doug Preis, Adolph Caesar
- Written By: J. Larry Carroll, Bill Ratter, Peter Lawrence
- Directed By: Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr.
- Distributor: Warner Home Video
- Original Year of Release: 2008
- Extras: Thundercats Trailers, Ben 10 Trailer, Spaced Trailer Sneak Peek DC Universe’s Wonder Woman, Partly Metal Partly Real: Remembering SilverHawks The Origin and Evolution of the SilverHawks
SilverHawks: Season 1 Vol. 1 DVD Review
Born of a time beyond time.
By Robert T. Trate
October 20, 2008
The Silver Hawks in flight from Silver Hawks Season 1 Vol.1(2008).
© Warner Home Video
Born of a time beyond time (actually the year 2839), Cmdr. Stargazer (Bob McFadden) and his SilverHawks battle the evil Mon-star (Earl Hammond) for control of the space realm known as Limbo. The SilverHawks are a team of humans and one alien who have undergone a special operation so that their bodies can endure the hardships of space. They are now “partly metal and partly real”.
SilverHawks was produced by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. and along with bringing numerous holiday cartoon specials to television they also developed the syndicated fantasy the Thundercats. The connection to the Thundercats goes beyond its producers. SilverHawks alsostars numerous Thundercats voice over actors including: Earl Hammond (Mumm-Ra), Bob McFadden (Snarf), Larry Kenney (Lion-O) and Peter Newman (Tygra). If you are fan of Thundercats the similarities between these two shows is more than obvious. The big baddie Mon-star looks as if he is the illegitimate son of Mumm-Ra and Lion-O. The voices outside of a few “clever accents” are identical. Close your eyes and you wouldn’t know what show you are watching. Even the Copper Kid sounds like a Ro-Bear Berbil. With all this in mind, SilverHawks does make a bold attempt to stand on its own.
Unfortunately, outside of the pilot, the stories become cops and robbers in space. There is little of a running back story or underlying plot besides defeat the bad guy’s latest scheme. There is even an opening prologue that ruins any surprise for each episode. Here is an example: the Copper Kid is held hostage while spying on Mon-Star. Mon-Star’s planet eater is devouring Limbo and it is up to the SilverHawks to stop him and Rescue the Copper Kid. This wasn’t the only fault with the SilverHawks. The plots were not only standard; bad guys create, steal or destroy a weapon, the SilverHawks themselves were walking, talking stereotypes. Bluegrass was the pilot and played the guitar. Steelwill was an ex football player and his sister Steelheart was the only girl of the group. They shared an empathic bond but little else in the realm of character development. Their team leader Quicksilver was the all American hero and, quite frankly, a total bore. There was little about them losing their humanity in the transformation to become SilverHawks. Never did they battle the emotional strain of being so far from home. Sure the adventures are “thrilling” but after so many “destroy this” and “steal that” plots by Mon-star and his mob SilverHawks becomes a real bore.
The bad guys are the true stars ofSilverHawks. Their insane attempts to conquer Limbo not only outshine the SilverHawks but make you wish that they would finally kill one of these straight-laced heroes. Mon-star is over the top and begrudges his own henchmen as he tells them constantly how to address him. They have, of course, back stabbing plans and their own plots to take over Mon-star’s position as head bad guy of Limbo. If it weren’t for these other characters, SilverHawks would be like nails on the chalkboard. It was strange that their characterization was at times iconic where the SilverHawks were cookie cutter dull.
Warner Brothers split up the entire single season of the show into two volumes. This volume contains thirty-two episodes and looks great as it soars across the screen. However the sound is sub par. Often Bernard Hoffer’s highly addictive theme is drowned out by the shows sound effects. Yet, when the sound effects play into the story they are inaudible, the best example of which is a huge space battle where Bluegrass (Larry Kenney) battles Mon-star’s rock ‘n’ roll henchmen, Melodia (Maggie Wheeler). Each has a special guitar that turns its own brand of music into a highly power sonic beam. The sound effects of their space vehicles over power the music that they making rendering this unique battle pointless.
SilverHawks isn’t even close in comparison to the Thundercats. Perhaps it is unfair to compare one to the other. After watching the SilverHawks though one cannot help but see the similarities and faults that lie within the show. These cookie-cutter good guys with little character and dull stories fall flat compared to their cat counterparts. What would you rather watch? Policemen in space that look and fly like hawks or sci-fi fantasy version of King Arthur as he and his knights fight to survive on alien world. The answer is obvious.