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Series
Series Episodes
Ultraman: Towards the Future
Ultraman: Towards the Future is the 10th entry in the Ultra Series
TOWARDS
Format: Tokusatsu, Sci-Fi
Created by: Tsuburaya Productions, The South Australlian Film Corporation
Starring: Dore Kraus, Ralph Cotterill, Gia Carides, Rick Adams, Lloyd Morris, Grace Parr, Robert Simper, Steve Apps
Opening Theme: ULTRAMAN, We Are Great
Ending Theme: The Earth Has Been Waiting For You
Country Of Origin Australia, Japan
Number Of Episodes 13
Running Time 25 mins
Original Channel First-run syndication, Tokyo Broadcasting System
Original Air Date United States: 4 January - 28 March 1992
Japan: 8 July - 30 September 1995
Preceded by Andro Melos
Succeeded by Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero

Ultraman: Towards the Future (known also as Ultraman Great (ウルトラマンGグレート Urutoraman Gurēto)) is a Tokusatsu SF/kaiju/superhero TV series produced in 1990 in Australia by the South Australian Film Corporation and Tsuburaya Productions (the creators of the original Ultraman character), making it the tenth series in the franchise. There were 13 episodes filmed (the first 6 episodes were the "Gudis Threat" story arc). At the time, eco-awareness was at a high, and many episodes included environmental themes. Ultraman's three minute time limit is also attributed to "Earth's polluted atmosphere" in this version.

Although simply called "Ultraman" in the original Australian version, the series was titled Ultraman Great for its Japanese release; the 13-episode show was originally featured on home video and Laser Disc there on 25 September 1990, and was later broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System from 8 July to 30 September 1995. The show was distributed in the United States by Sachs Family Entertainment, and broadcasted in weekly syndication from 4 January to 28 March 1992.

The series generated a merchandise line including toys, comic books and a video game.

Story

Jack Shindo and Stanley Haggard are members of the first manned expedition to Mars, and on the red planet find a giant slug-like monster, Goudes/Gudis. Suddenly the giant warrior, Ultraman, arrives and fights Goudes, but is knocked down for a period. Shindo is pinned by a rockslide and Haggard tries to escape in their ship but is blown up by Goudes. It is then that Ultraman gets up, and when he is on the verge of victory Goudes changes into a virus and travels to Earth, where it plans on corrupting all life, mutating other creatures into monsters and awakening existing ones. Needing a human host to survive on Earth, Ultraman joins with Jack, allowing him to become the mighty alien when all seems lost. He joins the Universal Multipurpose Agency, or UMA, in order to help them battle the monsters.

Halfway through the series Goudes reappears, more powerful than before. It imprisons Ultraman, but Jack distracts it by ultimately showing it the futility of its mission. Even if it does manage to corrupt all life, eventually there will be nothing else to corrupt. The distraction allows Ultraman to break free and destroy Goudes once and for all. For the rest of the series the environmental themes are stronger and the monsters usually arise from human pollution.

In the series finale, a doomsday scenario begins with the appearance of three powerful monsters: Kilazee, Kodalar, and the Earth itself, which tries to wipe out the human race for abusing it. Ultraman is defeated by Kodalar, but Jack survives. Ultimately the humans use an ancient disc to destroy Kodalar by reflecting its own power at it and Ultraman defeats Kilazee and carries it into space, separating Jack from him and restoring him on Earth as a normal human. The victory is seen as another chance for the human race.

Characters

UMA (Universal Multipurpose Agency)

Main article: UMA (Universal Multipurpose Agency)

Pronounced "Yuma", the Universal Multipurpose Agency is a high-tech defense force with a huge base situated on an island off the coast of Australia.

  • Colonel Arthur Grant (Ralph Cotterill, voiced by Akiji Kobayashi) - The head of UMA. When General Brewer arrives at UMA headquarters, Grant contests command and triumphs. Grant also serves as the narrator of the story.
  • Jean Echo (Gia Carides, voiced by Yoshiko Sakakibara) - One of the two female members of UMA and a love interest for Jack Shindo.
  • Lloyd Wilder (Rick Adams, voiced by Kōichi Yamadera) - The toughest member of UMA. Also the most skeptical member of the team, especially when it comes to Shindo's behavior.
  • Charles Morgan (Lloyd Morris, voiced by Shingo Yanagisawa) - UMA's scientific/technical expert and the team's comedy relief. Has a thing for Jean.
  • Kim Shaomin (Grace Parr, voiced by Fumi Hirano) - An Asian girl, one of the two female members of UMA. An excellent pilot.
  • Jack Shindo (Dore Kraus) and Ultraman (Great) (Robert Simper and Steve Apps, voiced by Matthew O'Sullivan; both are voiced by Masaki Kyomoto in the Japanese dub) - An astronaut who, on his expedition to Mars, lost his partner Stanley Haggard in a fight between Goudes and Ultraman Great, who, after defeating the monster (who escapes to Earth), combines with Shindo to save him from being stranded on Mars. After mysteriously returning to Earth, Shindo joins UMA as a member, although his astronaut work was somehow related to UMA, to help the team with the Goudes threat, among other monster/alien-related calamities, since he shares Great's psyche. Although somewhat reluctant to be combined with Great, as he does not like being constantly under his teammates's suspicion, he nonetheless takes this responsibility. Shindo transforms into Ultraman Great by activating the Delta-Plasma pendant which is shaped like Great's Color Timer warning light.

Ultra

  • Ultraman Great: Simply called "Ultraman" in the original English version.

Ultra-Monsters/Kaiju and Seijin

All the Ultra Kaiju in Ultraman: Towards The Future/Ultraman Great were operated by Australian stuntmen Mike Read and Johnny Halliday. When the series was released in Japan, the names of some of the monsters were changed.

Merchandising

Soundtrack

The music was composed by Sinsuke Kazato and released by Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd (COCC-9745) in 1992. The soundtrack is very rare, it went quickly out of print and can now only be found used. The music was performed by The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Theme Songs

Toy Line

The series also received an equally short-lived toyline from DreamWorks toys. The figures were 10" tall and included Ultraman, who came with a mini Jack Shindo, as well as his enemies Bogun, Barrangas, Majaba, Gerukadon and Kilazee. Also released was a toy of the Hummer vehicle which included a mini figure of Charlie Morgan. A toy of the Saltop was advertised on the back of all boxes, though it was never released or produced according to a Bandai representative. Despite their unique size, the toys were not without their problems. Jack, Charlie and the Hummer were well out of scale with the other toys, while the Ultraman figure lacked articulation. Also, despite being the main villain for the first story arc, neither version of Gudis was released as a toy in the DreamWorks line (although one did appear in Bandai's Japanese vinyl Ultraman line). However, Gudis was mentioned on the packaging of all the figures.

Video Releases

ULTRAMAN (1990) Trailer

ULTRAMAN (1990) Trailer

There were two video releases in the West. In 1990, New World Entertainment distributed two feature versions - Ultraman - The Alien Invasion and Ultraman - The Battle For Earth, which were released in Canada by Malofilm Video. They were slightly letterboxed and some limited post production video effects were added as well as replacing the original narrator John Bonney with Gus Mercurio. In 1993, L.A. Hero released the entire series in 13 voulmes. Some of the releases were taken from the television syndication video masters and still had the commercial bumpers.

Emotion released the entire series on Laserdisc. In Japan, Ultraman Great's voice was replaced with the standard Ultra kiai, with his Color Timer's sound being reused from the original's.

In 2017, the entire series was released on Blu-Ray in Japan, with both English and Japanese dubbed language tracks, and a total two versions of the TV show: English Hardsubbed, and Japanese broadcast. The release also features two compilation movies also in original English, non-hardsubbed release. In terms of picture quality, all of the Episodes are upscaled and slightly modified from the original broadcasts, due to the lack of master tapes.

Video Game

Main article: Ultraman: Towards the Future/Video Game

A video game based on the series was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is thought to have awkward controls and an unfairly high level of difficulty by many. It was based around the same engine as a Japanese Ultraman game based on the original series. In the game Ultraman fights Gudis, Bogun, Degola, Barrangas, Gudis II, Zebokon, Majaba, Kodolar, and Kilazee.

Comic book

A comic book retelling of/sequel to the series, published in early 1993 by Harvey Comics' short-lived "Nemesis" label, was printed in the United States. However, the comic treats Ultraman Great as the same Ultraman from the original 1966 series. The comic has also been known to confuse Ultraman: Towards the Future with the subsequent American-produced series, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (which was released as Ultraman Powered in Japan), of which the comic had included plenty of full-color publicity pictures in many issues to generate interest. After 8 issues (most of these issues had different collectible cover variants, a trend prevalent in the "Speculator Boom" at the time), the comic series was canceled once Harvey Comics went out of business the next year.

Cancelled Plans

Season 2

As revealed by Sho Aikawa there were plans to make a season 2 of Great. While most information on it is unknown, what is known is that it would've continued after the finale of season 1 with Ultraman Great returning to Earth to protect it from more monsters and aliens. The Alien Baltan were set to appear as alien invaders in a three episode storyline with some other popular Ultra monsters potentially showing up as well. Veronica and Ryugulo were to come back and assist the Ultra in defending Earth, mainly in the Baltan's invasion. The Ultra Brothers were also considered for guest appearances. The season would've had 14 episodes in total or episodes 14 - 27.

Ultraman Great Goes To Japan

There was a movie idea thrown around about Ultraman Great visiting Japan and stopping a powerful villain there. Not much else is known really besides the fact of potential crossovers with Showa Ultras.

Shows and Films
Showa Series Ultra Q | Ultraman | Ultra Seven | Return of Ultraman | Ultraman Ace | Ultraman Taro | Ultraman Leo | Ultraman 80
Heisei Series Ultraman Tiga | Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Cosmos | Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy | Ultraman Nexus | Ultraman Max | Ultraman Mebius | Ultraseven X | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey | Ultraman Retsuden | Neo Ultra Q | New Ultraman Retsuden | Ultraman Ginga | Ultraman Ginga S | Ultraman X | Ultraman Orb | Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle | Ultraman Geed | Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle | Ultraman R/B | Ultraman New Generation Chronicle
Reiwa Series Ultraman Taiga
Outside of Japan Ultraman: The Adventure Begins | Ultraman: Towards the Future | Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero
Original Video and TV Special Ultra Fight | Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider | Ultraman Nice | Heisei Ultra Seven | Ultraman Neos | Ultraman Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Idemitsujin | Ultra Zone
Showa Movies Ultraman: Monster Movie Feature | Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight | The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. The Monster Army | Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle | Ultraman (1979) | Ultraman ZOFFY: Ultra Warriors vs. the Giant Monster Army | Ultraman Story
Heisei Movies Ultra Q The Movie | Ultraman Zearth | Ultraman Zearth 2 | Revive! Ultraman | Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, & Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey | Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact | Ultraman Cosmos 2 | Ultraman Cosmos Vs Ultraman Justice | ULTRAMAN (2004) | Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers | Super 8 Ultra Brothers | Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie | Ultraman Zero The Movie | Ultraman Saga | Ultraman Ginga S The Movie | Ultraman X The Movie | Ultraman Orb The Movie | Ultraman Geed The Movie | Ultraman R/B The Movie
Reiwa Movies Shin Ultraman
Spin-offs Ultraman Tiga Gaiden: Revival of the Ancient Giant | Ultraman Dyna: The Return of Hanejiro | Ultraman Gaia: Gaia Again | Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Hikari Saga | Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Armored Darkness | Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Ghost Rebirth | Ultra Galaxy Legend Gaiden: Ultraman Zero vs. Darklops Zero | Ultraman Zero Gaiden: Killer the Beatstar | Ultra Zero Fight | Ultra Fight Victory | Ultraman Orb THE ORIGIN SAGA | Ultra Fight Orb | Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes
Other Series Captain Ultra | Mighty Jack | Operation: Mystery | Mirrorman | Redman | Triple Fighter | Emergency Directive 10-4·10-10 | Iron King | Fireman | Jumborg Ace | Mirror Fight | Army of the Apes | Pro-Wres no Hoshi Azteckaiser | Dinosaur Expedition Born Free | Dinosaur War Aizenborg | Dinosaur Squadron Koseidon | Denkou Choujin Gridman | Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad | Mirrorman REFLEX | Bio Planet WoO | Mirror Fight 2012
Anime The☆Ultraman | Ultraman Kids | Ultraman Graffiti: Wild! Ultra Country | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Nyan | Denkou Choujin Gridman: boys invent great hero | The・Ultraman: Jackal vs. Ultraman | Kaiju Sakaba Kanpai! | Kaiju Girls | SSSS.GRIDMAN | ULTRAMAN (2019)
Outlaw Space Warriors 2000 | Project Ultraman | Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman | Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman
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