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The Power Pirate was the first episode of the first season of the Super Friends series. It introduced the characters Marvin White, who is the son of Daniel and Diana White, and Wendy Harris, who is the niece of Harvey Harris, a famous Gotham City police detective that helped train Batman in the art of criminal investigation. Wonder Dog is also introduced here, and his voice is provided by Frank Welker.
This episode saw the return of Olan Soule and Casey Kasem to the voice roles of Batman and Robin, which they had previously done in The Batman/Superman Hour, The Adventures of Batman, and in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. The Narrator, Ted Knight, also returned from the Filmation series to provide his voice. Bud Collyer, who had provided the voice for Superman in the Filmation shows, had died in 1969, and he was replaced by Danny Dark in this series. Norman Alden replaced Marvin Miller as the voice of Aquaman. Shannon Farnon was also the voice of Wonder Woman, who was previously played by the voice actress Jane Webb in The Brady Kids, making this episode only her second animated appearance.
This episode is the pilot of the series and it introduced the first of more lighthearted adventures of the Justice League of America. Although the Filmation series weren't really any darker, they were still more violent and featured more adult content then what was allowed for Broadcasting Standards and Practices by the 1970s. For example, real firearms were used in the Filmation cartoons, whereas the few times you would see a gun in Super Friends, it would be a ray gun almost always.
Also, the characters rarely engaged in realistic Hand-to-Hand combat in the show, although in the Filmation cartoons, the superheroes are seen punching the bad guys quite frequently. In one episode in particular, Superman actually kills the villain of the story when he defeats him.
With Super Friends, particularly in season one, the violence was toned down dramatically. The "villains" weren't really bad guys. They were barely antagonists, but served more as characters that needed to be taught some kind of moral lesson. In fact most of the bad guys were misguided scientists trying to make the world a better place but going to extreme methods to do so. For the first story, the "villain" is an alien called the Power Pirate, who steals energy from Earth in order to bring it back to his homeworld.
When massive amounts of energy begin to disappear all over the world, the Superfriends must put a stop to whoever is stealing it. But where is the energy going? And how does an inspector from Scotland Yard, who happens to be in every location where energy has disappeared, fit in to the puzzle?
An older gentleman is skiing in ‘Ski Valley’. He falls and hurts his left leg. As he lays there holding his leg, he sees what appears to be an alien. This alien grabs the amulet around his neck and shines it towards the injured man.
Back at the Hall of Justice, the TroubAlert goes off again, and lets them know that a Luxury-liner the Queen Victoria has lost its power and is in danger of being torn apart. Wonder Woman and Aquaman take off together in her invisible jet. They arrive at the troubled ship and Aquaman dives into the Ocean and Wonder Woman continues on to patrol the sea board.
The alien, disguised as the elderly man, is watching Aquaman from a nearby cavern, partially above the water. A renegade, giant anemone diverts Aquaman momentarily. Using his telepathy he is able to summon a few Octopus to free him. He then is able to anchor the Queen Victoria successfully.
Batman, Robin, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog head toward the coast in the Batmobile. But on their way they see that a crane is out of control and it knocks off some construction workers who are holding onto the steel support beams. one of the construction workers is unable to hold on much longer, and he starts to slip and the other construction worker tries to save him. Batman and Robin toss their Batropes up to the beam and catch them.
In a cave near the saved Queen Victoria, Batman, Robin, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog meet Sir Cedric Cedric, special inspector from Scotland Yard. He introduces himself and tells them about his British ships being victimized by a 'power pirate'. They leave him in the cave and head back to the Hall of Justice.
Back at the Hall of Justice the TroubAlert goes off again. They see that ‘the dam’ has no power to close the flood-gate and is in danger of flooding. Batman radios Wonder Woman who informs them she is already there and working to close the flood-gates. They then head toward the dam in the Batmobile but tell Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog to stay behind to monitor the TroubAlert, and tell them to contact them over the Bat radio if necessary. Soon after, Batman, Robin, Superman, and Aquaman arrive to help and after a near-fatal mishap by Wonder Woman, they seal up the power-drained flood-gates.
Later, at the Hall of Justice, they discuss why this is happening. They decide to drop the defensive posture and take a preventative one. They pick potential trouble spots and leave to protect them. Wonder Woman at the Oil Plant, Superman at the space launch, and Batman and Robin at the Geothermal plant.
Wendy encourages Marvin and Wonder dog to go with her to the ‘Electric Generator Plant’ instead of staying at the Hall of Justice as requested. As they arrive, Wendy notices a strange full-moon above the plant. While inside, they run into Sir Cedric Cedric. He explains that although they had scared the power pirate away, he has succeeded in the power. Wendy notices that Cedric Cedric's umbrella is dry, which she finds odd.
The next day the power pirate is successful in causing havoc all over the globe. An experimental plane is about to wreck and Superman saves it from crashing. At the same time Aquaman speeds to rescue a nuclear sub that has lost its power. He uses his telepathy and summons whales to help him free the sub. While this is occurring Batman and Robin use their batropes to get to top of a tall skyscraper in Gotham and use their Batlights as a replacement for a warning beacon that has lost its power.
Despite all their work, the SuperFriends, feel defeated because factories and offices have been shutdown and freeways are packed with cars that have lost power.
Wendy begins to think that it seems like a strong coincidence that Sir Cedric Cedric is always present at many of the disasters. The SuperFriends agree and go to the Big Eye to find out exactly who Sir Cedric Cedric is. They discover that he is a real person and an Inspector for Scotland Yard. They also find out that he has been in the hospital for the last week after he had a skiing accident.
Soon after, courtesy of Superman, they arrive at ‘Central Hospital’ in Ski Valley. Upon arrival they ask if he can recall anything unusual. He relays a story which he thought was due to delirium. He tells them about a space-ship landing and an alien who approached him, who after scanning him becomes a twin of him. The alien then takes him to the hospital. Batman tells him that that it was a real encounter. He then receives a radio call from Wonder Woman who tells him that the Big Eye has just reported that a UFO has been spotted over the new Nuclear Generator Plant.
They arrive at the plant as the opening ceremony is about to begin. As suspected, they meet Sir Cedric Cedric. As the speaker announces that he is about to ‘turn on the plant’, Sir Cedric Cedric tells them that he left something outside and that he’d return in a moment. When he steps outside, Wonder Woman, throws her golden-lasso around him and apprehends him. He shrugs off the lasso and freely explains that he is actually Anthro, from the Traum.
They arrive back at his space-ship. Here he explains the he has been stealing Earth’s energy because his people ignored the warning of his planet’s conservationists, because without it his planet is doomed. He explains how he used his umbrella to beam the energy he stole from earth up to his ship. He apologizes on behalf of his people.
Wendy, feeling sorry for him, asks Batman and the rest of the SuperFriends to let him keep the energy he has stolen. Batman says that stealing is never the answer. Then Superman, looking at a monitor of a planet in the space-ship, asks Anthro if this is a picture of his home planet. Superman then points out the smaller celestial body and Anthro tells him that it is his moon. Superman tells him that he can use his super strength and polish the moon to become a power plant that can reflect the power of their Sun, giving them enough energy to save and protect the Planet Traum. Anthro then vows to return all the stolen energy.
While driving away, Marvin has Batman stop at his house. Upon arrival, Marvin and Wonder Dog go inside and unplug everything they can carry. As they leave the house, Marvin tells them that he wants to get rid of everything that uses energy. Batman says that it is not necessary, just be smart and conserve energy by turning off things when not in use.
Continuity in Other Media
The title, The Power Pirate is a play on words. A pirate is traditionally one who steals. In this case he steals power.
- As the four male heroes rush off to join Wonder Woman at the dam. The elevator doors close to reveal a Bat emblem, which makes you wonder if the SuperFriends were meeting at the Hall of Justice or the Bat-Cave.
- The naming of the ship the 'Queen Victoria' was an obvious reference to Queen Alexandrina Victoria, the Queen of United Kingdom during the so-called Victorian era, from 1837 to 1901.
- Wonder Dog pretends to play the bagpipes when he's describing Sir Cedric Cedric.
- The goddess of Athena is referenced in this episode.
- When Marvin and Wendy are in the dark at the Electric Generator Plant, Wendy tries to find a light switch, but instead she finds Marvin's nose.
- Other references: Hand truck, nose, rock, train, boxcar, caboose, octopi, brain, crane, construction, right whale, flag semaphore, Lady Justice, caveman, swordfish, seaweed, whales, cars, Scan report, Big Eye, U.F.O., Scotland, Good Guys International file, tree, Ski patrol, Extra-terrestrial, technology, television, clock, record player, City Dump and Light bulb.
- Wendy reveals the speed of Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet in this episode. The speed is 5,000 miles per hour.
Aquaman says, “With a little help from my friends from the name of the same song.“ With a Little Help from My Friends is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles. It was released on The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.
Batman spoofs several points in Superman media when he states "This is a job for all of us!"
- ↑ The family of Marvin White and Wendy Harris is revealed in Super Friends # 1 of the comic book series.
Episode listing @ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1235509/
The Baffles Puzzle
|Season 1: SuperFriends (1973)|