Final episode date
4 January 1969
Country of origin
First episode date
14 September 1968
Number of episodes
Marvin MillerJane WebbTed Knight
Theme music composer
"Robert Allen""Spencer Raymond"(as credited)
American Broadcasting Company
Journey to the Center of the Earth (TV series), The Hardy Boys (1969 TV series), Lassie's Rescue Rangers
Fantastic Voyage is an American animated Science fiction TV series based on the famous 1966 film directed by Richard Fleischer. The series consists of 17 episodes each running 30 minutes. It was run on ABC-TV from September 14, 1968 through January 4, 1969. The series was produced by Filmation Associates in association with 20th Century Fox. It was later shown in reruns on Sci Fi Channel's Cartoon Quest. A Fantastic Voyage comic book, based on the series, was published by Gold Key.
The complete series was released, as a 3-disc DVD set, in the United Kingdom by Revelation Films on November 21, 2011. But in the United States, as of the middle of July 2015, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment had not formed, much less executed, any plans for release of the series on DVD and/or Blu-ray Disc.
Fantastic Voyage is the story of the C.M.D.F. (Combined Miniature Defense Force), a secret United States government organization that possessed the ability to reduce people to microscopic size.
The main characters were Commander Jonathan Kidd; biologist Erica Lane; scientist Busby Birdwell; and a "master of mysterious powers" known as Guru. The team was reduced in size for its missions, each miniaturization period having a time limit of 12 hours, and it traveled around in a microscopic flying submarine, the Voyager, doing battle against the unseen, unsuspecting enemies of the free world, both criminal and germinal matter. The series featured character voices provided by Marvin Miller, Jane Webb, and Ted Knight. The producers were Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott, the director was Hal Sutherland, and the music was provided by Gordon Zahler.
Changes from the film, aside from the ship's crew, included the duration of miniaturization (60 minutes, or one hour, in the film, twelve hours in the cartoon) and the meaning of the acronym. (In the cartoon, D is "Defense," and part of the phrase "Combined Miniature Defense Force;" in the film, it is "Deterrent," and part of the phrase "Combined Miniaturized Deterrent Force.")
Headquarters: CMDF--Combined Miniature Defense Force. Project: Fantastic Voyage. Process: Miniaturization. Authority: Top Secret, highest clearance. Team: Jonathan Kidd, Commander. Guru, master of mysterious powers. Erica Lane, doctor, biologist. Busby Birdwell, scientist, inventor, builder of the Voyager. Mission: In their miniaturized form, to combat the unseen, unsuspected enemies of freedom. Time limit: Twelve hours.
While the series was in production, Aurora Model Company developed a plastic model of the Voyager, releasing it only months before the series cancellation was announced. Due to the short run of the show, this kit received only one press run, and as a result, it is one of the rarest kits to find of the Aurora line. A contributing factor to this scarcity is that most of the kits were bought for use as toys (by fans of the show) rather than as static display or collectors's items, thus they were lost, broken or disposed of long before they became "collectables."
Unbuilt, in-box kits have been sold on eBay for prices between US$300 and US$700. Assembled and partially assembled models in varied conditions from "acceptable" to "well-worn" have been sold for over $100, depending on condition.
Polar Lights, a company which owned the rights to re-produce the kit, passed on re-releasing the subject. Company director Dave Metzner stated that they had to produce much more in-demand subjects in order to be able to afford even considering the production of such niche products.
However, Moebius Models retooled from an original kit, and went into production on a reproduction Voyager kit, including the original distinctive delta-shaped stand used for Aurora aircraft models.
In popular culture
The show is parodied in episode twenty-five of Rugrats; Chuckie swallows a watermelon seed, and the babies shrink down to retrieve the seed so that it will not grow into a watermelon inside him.