Too Hot to Handle is the seventh episode of the first season of the Super Friends series. It is the second episode to deal with the problem of pollution, with the last time that theme was covered being in the episode called Dr. Pelagian's War. This time the story centered around the story of another planet called Solar Terrarium, which was dealing with the effects of pollution, and was making an attempt to terraform Earth by moving it closer to the sun to meet their needs, so they can colonize it. Kolbar was the alien that was sent to Earth to see to it that the planet would be ready for colonization.
Probably the most memorable part of this episode was that it introduced the character of Flash. His voice was previously played by Cliff Owens in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, but in this episode he was played by Ted Knight. Subsequent appearances of the Flash after this episode has him voiced by Jack Angel, who also provided the voice of Hawkman and Samurai. In this episode, he uses his super speed to aid the other Super Friends in the major clean up of Solar Terrarium.
The character of Kolbar was played by voice actor Ted Knight, and interestingly, he also played a character in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure episode Target Earth, in which he also plays an alien, and in that episode, the Earth is drawn closer to the sun. Although in that story the character Knight voices was not responsible for the Earth getting moved closer to the sun. Nevertheless, the voice for the character sounds exactly the same.
This episode also has a little bit of education in it, although not much, mostly just about the dangers of pollution, and also Von Knowalot teaches the Super Friends a little bit about astronomy. Also global warming is touched on a bit in this episode. Magnetism is once again used in this episode, just as it was in the last episode, in which the magnetic Shamon U was used for sky mining. In the end, as it is most of the time in season one episodes, Kolbar wasn't really considered all bad, just a man desperate to save his people, but apparently willing to kill for it.
An alien tries to save his world, whose atmosphere has been corrupted by pollution, by pulling Earth closer to the sun to make it more suitable for his people, but in doing so, is dooming the people of the Earth.
Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog are taking a bike ride through the city on Marvin's motor-scooter. There is an intense heatwave and they notice a bunch of cars and other automobiles have overheated and are stopping traffic up. Wendy says that it's always cool at the Gotham City Museum. They then head over there.
Upon arrival, they get off the scooter and Marvin tells Wendy he'll race her inside. She tells him she doesn't want to race in heat like this. Wonder Dog, carrying a picnic basket in his mouth, notices something strange, as he gets the kids attention they are astonished by what they see.
While at the Hall of Justice, the TroubAlert flashes wildly, warning the Super Friends on hand; Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, that the museum is being attacked by a giant plant. A call goes out to Batman and Robin, who are driving near the museum in their Batmobile, Batman answers the batphone, and Aquaman tells them to head to the museum fast. They then take off for the museum, which is being engulfed by an ivy plant. As the Dynamic Duo arrives, they wonder if they will be able to save the museum's valuable art treasures. They then turn the strength of the plant against itself, using mind over matter. The ivy is then tied up into the shape of a ball. Batman tells Robin that the ivy should have been transplanted long ago. Robin then asks what could have caused "this Ivy League monster to freak out like that?" Batman is uncertain. Wendy is glad that they saved the museum. Marvin told Wendy that he could have helped if she wouldn't have stopped him, but Wendy tells him the best help he could have been would have been by staying out of the way. As they walk toward the museum, a strange man in a large coat who is oddly dressed for the heat is present at the scene.
At the world famous Justice League Hall of Fame, and photo exhibit, are the mementos and weapons of the world's most clever criminals, all of whom were unsuccessful in their attempts to defeat the various members of the Justice League of America. Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog are present and Marvin shows Wendy are photo of the giant plant from the museum that came from the SDI screen. He then hangs up the picture and tells Wendy that someday she'll be hanging up pictures of him on that wall. Wendy then asks him if he's planning on transforming into a giant plant sometime soon. Marvin then tells her to go ahead and laugh, but someday him and Wonder Dog are gonna be famous superheroes. But Wendy tells him that if he doesn't spend more time on his homework, that the only thing super he's going to be, is "super stupid." Just then an alarm goes off, just as Marvin notices it's getting awful hot in there. Marvin then says: "Holy smokes!" The two look on and see that the wax figures are melting. Wendy tells him they have to get them out of the costumes before they are ruined. They then hurry to it, and Marvin grabs the Superman wax figure, while Wonder Dog goes for the Flash wax figure, but he gets wax stuck all over him.
While in the Hall of Justice, the JLA are also busy. Superman learns that glaciers are crumbling and if he doesn't stop them, disaster could ensue. And while looking at the Justice League Monitor, they see Dairy Land, and see that it looks like a desert. Wonder Woman tells them that Dairy Land use to be the greenest and lushest farmland in America. The heat has dried up all of the water. Robin tells her that the animals need water. Wonder Woman then leaves to handle the crisis in Dairy Land, just as the kids come in, asking where everyone is going. Batman tells them that the heatwave is causing problems all over the world. Marvin then tells Batman that the air conditioner in the Hall of Fame broke down. Batman tells the kids that something strange and unnatural is going on.
In the Pacific Ocean, Aquaman is transported on the back of a dolphin to an island in danger by rising waters caused by the melting glaciers. He uses his mental telepathy to summon creatures of the deep. A bunch of whales respond to the call, and form a breakwater.
While in the Dairy Land, in the heart of America, the clear blue lakes have dried up, replaced by parched mud. Its' corn fields lie barren and wasted, reduced to desert sand. But Wonder Woman arrives in her transparent plane. As she gets out of the jet a Farmer approaches her and tells her that the valve on their water tower has fused, making it impossible to open. She then lassos the valve with her magic lasso but after breaking it open, the people of Dairy Land see that the water has completely evaporated, and one man says that "It's bone dry!" She then tells them to get back into their homes and be calm and quiet and preserve their body moisture until she gets back. She then summons her airplane telepathically and hops aboard and flies away.
At the North Pole, the intense heat his melting the ice of the Polar Ice Cap. While above, Superman uses his telescopic vision to spot a group of Eskimos fleeing their village, which is right in the path of an avalanche. They then retreat in their kayaks. Superman saves the village from the falling icebergs caused by the avalanche. Wonder Woman then arrives telling him of the situation in Dairy Land. He then uses his super strength to smash the Arctic glaciers into giant ice cubes. Wonder Woman then uses her magic lasso to grab the cubes and Superman tells her he'll meet her back at headquarters. Wonder Woman ties the other end of her rope to her invisible plane and says this is the first time she's ever played cowgirl with a bunch of ice cubes. She then says: "Let's go gift of Hera. It's going to take all your strength to haul this icy payload."
She then flies back toward Dairy Land and drops the ice in the dried up lake, which immediately begins to fill up as the ice begins to thaw. The cows immediately begin drinking and the farmers begin filling their pales up with water. Wonder Woman then thanks Athena that she arrived in time. The natives of Dairy Land are quite grateful, and as Wonder Woman leaves, they wave good-bye and thank her over and over. Meanwhile, in the crowd, the same oddly dressed man that was at the museum is present.
Back at the Justice League Hall of Fame, Marvin is looking at himself in the mirror wearing one of Robin's masks. Wendy tells him he's been wearing it all morning, and she asks him to stop messing around and give her a hand. The thermometer in the room reads 120%, and Wonder Dog is lying down on a large rectangular chunk of ice, fanning himself. Wendy tells Marvin they need to pack up the wax figures costumes before something else happens to them. Marvin asks her what else could possibly happen to them. Just then, the automatic fire sprinklers turn on and Marvin thinks it's raining inside the room. Wendy deduces that the heat must have set off the automatic fire sprinklers. Marvin then tells her he can stop the sprinklers by using his super automatic auto jack. He tells her that the "Super Genius" you see before you is going to be raised to the ceiling and he will then turn off the sprinkler heads. Wonder Dog begins pumping the jack and Marvin says: "Up, up and away!" At the top he is about to plug the sprinkler heads, but Wonder Dog let's go of the jack to clap for Marvin's heroics, and he falls off the jack which comes back down. And then Wendy told him all he had to do was shut off the sprinklers with a valve on the wall, which she tried to tell him but he wouldn't listen. Just then, a CDQ on the SDI screen reveals the face of Colonel Wilcox, who tells the Justice League that he needs to see them as soon as possible at the city observatory at Mount Whitmore. He tells them they are facing a terrible catastrophe.
The Superfriends head over to the Gotham City Observatory, there Wilcox introduces them to Professor Von Knowalot. The professor tells them he's pleased to meet all of them, and he tells them they must work quickly. Wilcox then tells them there's more to the heat wave then was previously realized. The Earth has been moved from its' natural orbit. Robin then says: "Howling hurricanes, Colonel Wilcox!" But then Wilcox tells Robin that the force being exerted on the planet is a billion times the strength of a hurricane. Wilcox tells them they are searching to figure out the cause of the Earth being pulled from its' orbit, but they do not know why just yet. So Batman and Superman determines that the temperatures are just going to continue to rise, unless they find a way to stop the drift of the Earth.
Back at the Hall of Fame, Marvin is examining the photos related to the heatwave disasters. He notices the man dressed in a coat. He realizes that it's much to hot to be wearing such a warm coat. Wendy then realizes that he is in multiple photos related to the heatwave disasters. She then realizes that he's probably responsible. She then tells him they have to go bring this to the attention to the Super Friends.
Speaking of the Super Friends, they are still at the observatory observing a model of the solar system that Professor Von Knowalot is showing them. He puts his pointer to the models of the sun, Mercury, Venus and finally the Earth, Mars and the rest of the planets. He goes on to explain how all of the planets revolve around the sun, due to a delicate balance between the sun's gravitational pull of the planets and the centrifugal force trying to pull the planets away as they speed around the sun. He then tells them that the earth is getting hotter because the delicate balance has somehow become upset, causing the earth to fall closer to the sun. Robin then says: "Holy cosmic crisis!"
Outside the observatory, Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog arrive on the scooter. They race inside to show Superman the photos, but Superman tells them just a moment, because the professor is explaining something very important. The professor goes on to explain that although the Earth was in its natural orbit twenty four hours ago, it is now being drawn much closer to the sun, and that by this time tomorrow the average temperature on Earth will be 115 degrees. Wonder Woman then asks him what the average temperature would be the day after tomorrow. He then tells them that if the Earth continues its' decaying orbit, it will be burnt up by the sun. They then realize they have to think of something fast. Wendy asks if there have been any clues. Professor Knowalot tells her there's none. He tells them he's been doing some experiments, and he takes them to the computer room.
While in the computer room, Wonder Dog is looking through a telescope, and looking through it he sees the strangely dressed man again, who is in the room with him, he runs over to get the kids, who are paying attention to Knowalot's experiments, but he signals them to follow him, they ask him if he has seen a little mouse or perhaps a big one, or fat one, or cold fat one. Wonder Dog shakes his head "No." Wendy finally guesses correctly that it's the man in the photos. Marvin tells Wendy they better go find him but Wendy says the better tell the Super Friends or they'll just get into more trouble, but Marvin tells her there's no time. They walk up to the telescope and look through it and see him, and Marvin notes the temperature must be nearly 90 in there, and yet he's wearing a coat. They then pursue him.
Meanwhile, Superman asks the professor if magnetism is a possibility. The professor then checks for magnetism in his computer's Data Collector. He then determines that it is indeed magnetism that is drawing the earth closer to the sun. Marvin and Wendy are stealthily following the oddly dressed man who seems to possibly assume he knows he's being followed. He escapes out a door, and they follow him out, but see that they are in some sort of botanical garden, with an old fashioned fire engine. But they see that he got away. They then head to the Pendulum Room, where the Super Friends, colonel and the professor are studying magnetism. The professor says that in order to reverse the magnetic force, they would have to send a coil of copper wire around the earth at tremendous speed, to create a counter-magnetic force. But Colonel Wilcox tells him that there aren't even any planes that could move that fast. Aquaman then tells him that Flash could do the job. Wilcox tells them they have to find him immediately. Batman tells Wilcox that he believes that Flash is in India, where he was responding to a call for help. Superman takes off to find him.
Meanwhile, on the streets of Gotham City, the mysterious man, whose name is Kolbar, is driving in his automobile. He then gets a call from a man named Lupis, who asks him how is assignment is going. He tells him it's just as they planned. He goes on to tell him that he just came back from the observatory, and he knows that the Earth is continuing to be drawn closer to the sun. Lupis then tells him that what he has reported is good news, and that Kolbar is their only hope. He then pushes a button which terminates the transmission. He continues driving in the old firetruck toward his destination.
Meanwhile, back at the observatory's botanical garden, Marvin and Wendy show Wonder Woman where the man disappeared. Wonder Woman thinks it truly does seem suspicious. She asks them to show her the photos, but the kids seem to have misplaced them. They walk back inside to try and retrace their steps and figure out where they might have dropped them, but Marvin notices something his missing in the garden, although he couldn't quite figure out what it was, because he had forgotten, that before, a firetruck was parked outside.
Meanwhile, on the streets of Gotham, Kolbar is continuing his drive toward his destination. He slams on the brakes to take stop for a moment and look at the photos of himself that he stolen from the kids unknown to them. He looks at each of them and says: "Not a bad likeness I think."
Meanwhile in India, the intense heatwave causes a thermo geophysical shockwave. The resulting earthquake is dangerously shaking the Indian sacred shrine, the Taj Mahal. Flash arrives, and is greeted by Mr. Singh, who tells him to hurry. Flash tells him that's what he does the best. The whole building collapses, but the Flash rebuilds the building at super speed. Superman then arrives and tells Flash they need his help. The two of them leave together, unknown they are being observed by Kolbar, who is hiding behind a statue.
Back at the observatory, the Super Friends and the professor explain to the Flash why he has to run around the earth with copper wire. He then understands what he has to do in order to generate the necessary magnetic force they need. So Superman gives him some copper wire and he begins running around the world, increasing his velocity until he's nothing more than a blur to the naked eye. The Earth begins to return to its' normal orbit.
Meanwhile, at a small Pacific volcanic island, where Kolbar's laboratory is located, Kolbar calls Lupis, to give him a progress report. He tells them that everything is going according to plan, and so Lupis tells them that he will now prepare his people for the journey to Earth. Kolbar tells them they can head over in three days, by then, the temperature will be hot enough for his people to live comfortably. Lupis asks Kolbar what Earth's temperature is now, but as he looks he sees that the temperature is dropping.
At the observatory the Super Friends observe that the temperature is dropping as well.
Lupis asks Kolbar what's wrong, and he tells him the temperature is still dropping, and he's trying to find the cause.
Flash returns to the observatory and they all tell him he did a great job. Wilcox even tells him that he has the thanks of the entire department.
Back at the island, Lupis tells Kolbar he had better do something. But Kolbar tells him that the solar robot is running at full magnetic power. Lupis tells him to switch to the quadratronic nth-degree charge. He does so, and his hand shivers from being so cold.
Marvin and Wendy are riding on his motor scooter and the road is so hot it's practically cooking the tires. The get off the bike, and in the process they see the same firetruck from the garden that was missing. It was parked in front of the United States Weather Bureau office. Marvin uses a piece of paper he finds in the fire engine, and writes a note and entrusts it to Wonder Dog. He tells him he's counting on him to take that note to the Justice League. The two of them climb into a compartment of the firetruck, unseen by the alien who gets in his truck and drives off. He then makes sure no on is looking, and then he puts his foot down on the gas pedal and then pushes a button which transforms his truck into a spacecraft, which takes to flight toward the island.
Meanwhile, Wonder Dog is taking the note to the Justice League, running as fast as he can, but in the heat, he stops to get a drink of water from a fire hydrant. The paper then gets washed down the road by the hydrant's water...Wonder Dog remembers what Marvin said, and races after it. Just then, a bird swoops down and grabs the paper with its' beak, but it drops the paper and it lands in the back of a dump truck, and Wonder Dog jumps on the dump truck, which at that moment goes into its' dumping cycle. Wonder Dog and the note are buried by the junk from the dump truck.
Meanwhile, Kolbar's craft approaches the island, and lands right outside his lab. He then opens the door to his cavern lab by pushing a button in his vehicle. Marvin and Wendy look on wondering how he made the mountain open up like that. They get out of the truck/spaceship, and realize that they are on an island. "Jumping Jupiter!" Marvin says. They then note a volcano and assume it must be active, since it's probably the only place that strange man can keep warm. Marvin tries to move the rocks to get in the cave, but is unsuccessful.
And while Wonder Dog is digging through the junk to get the paper, the Data Collector is hard at work at the observatory, and the professor learns that once again, the Earth is moving on a direct path toward the sun. The professor tells Flash that a few more times around the world won't work, because this time it is not magnetism, it is some other strange type of power unknown to them. The professor tells them that the force is coming from the far side of the sun. And so Superman tells him he'll take a look, and takes to flight to the far side of the sun.
While at the mountain hideaway, the teens try to find a way inside, but they are unfruitful. Just then Marvin realized that it opened like a garage door. He tells her it's just like the garage door he has at home, where his father pushes a button in his car that opens up the garage door. So they realize their must be some button in the spaceship that will open the door.
While inside, Kolbar is talking to Lupis through a video transmission and tells him that everything is back on schedule again. Lupis is pleased, and he tells him he knew it would work. And then Kolbar tells him how ironic it is that beings such as their selves that can make such incredible instruments of technology can so easily fall prey to disasters of their own making. But Lupis reassures Kolbar that now that they have learned their lesson, they won't screw up their second chance, and they will find a more careful way of living. Just then, the solar robot warning alarm goes off, because it has detected something in its' vicinity, Kolbar cuts transmission with Lupis to see what's up, and on the screen, he sees Superman approaching the robot. The robot then blasts energy blasts at Superman, but they have little effect, and he recovers quickly. Superman then flies up to the robot and grabs it and tosses it into the sun, where the heat destroys it. This is devastating to Kolbar.
While outside, Marvin and Wendy located the button that opens the doors and they hurry inside. As they walk a little bit, they see a light up ahead. It is there that Kolar's lab is located. Here, Kolbar tells Lupis the robot is malfunctioning. Then Lupis tells him to fix it, and Kolbar tells him he's trying. Lupis asks him if he knows what will happen if he fails. He tells him he knows, and that's why he's been on this icy planet freezing his bones off. Lupis tells him failure is not an option. He then cuts transmission. But Kolbar is devastated, because he knows he already has failed, because the robot was destroyed. He then begins weeping. And Marvin and Wendy, still unseen, observe him weeping.
Back at Justice League Headquarters, Superman tells of his encounter with the solar robot, and that now that it's destroyed Earth will return back to its' natural orbit. But they have to figure out who put that robot up there. Wonder Woman suggests that it could be the oddly dressed man from the photos that Marvin and Wendy told them about. Aquaman then realizes that Marvin and Wendy are missing, and Wonder Woman said she hadn't seen them since this morning. Just then Wonder Dog arrives with the note. Robin looks at the note and reads it to learn that Marvin and Wendy followed the man in the overcoat. Superman notices something written on the back of the paper, which is some sort of time schedule. Superman looks at it and he said it could be airport, train or steamship departures and arrivals. They then run it through the Justice League Computer's data-processing machine. But the readout on all times is negative, so they realize that's not it. Batman then examines it, and places it under the spectral analyzer to see if there's anything unusual about the paper. It reads out as standard paper, however, there is some unusual dust on the paper, which is volcanic ash. Also, coral particles is detected. Because of this, they realize it must be the Pacific Ocean, because that's where coral grows. Aquaman looks at the schedule again and realizes that the schedules are all three hours and ten minutes apart. He goes on to tell them of a volcanic island south of Bora Bora which the natives call Malaba. He goes on to tell them that Malaba is the only volcanic island in the world to erupt every three hours and ten minutes. Flash then deduces that his hideout must be Malaba. They then decide to go check the island out. Superman picks up Wonder Dog and tells him they're going for a ride.
While in the laboratory of Kolbar, the kids are talking to the upset alien, who tells them he is a complete and utter failure. Wendy asks why he wanted the Earth closer to the sun anyway. He then tells them that his home planet, Solar Terrarium, is freezing up. He told them it's so cold there that a decision was made to move all of the people of his world to Earth, because they need a constant temperature of 140 degrees in order to live comfortably. Marvin tells him that Earthlings can't live in that kind of temperature, because they'd roast. Kolbar tells them they meant no harm, but they had no choice. And now he feels there's no hope for his people. He goes on to say that the last report he received from his home world was that the temperature was 85%, which to his species is considered "bone chilling." She asks why his world is getting so cold. He tells them that when his industry was getting into full swing, about like earth is today, the planet's wisest men warned them about exhausting the planet's resources. But the people laughed at them. There was more enough land and water. Then, black clouds of smoke began covering the planet, blocking the sunlight. The planet began to cool off, but still, the people didn't worry, because they still had plenty of resources. And they continued to burn fuel to heat their cities, but the more they did, the colder it got. And now, they've used all of their natural resources. He goes on to tell them that now they shall freeze up just like Popsicles.
While outside, the Super Friends have arrived and find that the spaceship is empty and the volcano is about to erupt. Wonder Dog has Marvin and Wendy's scent, and points in the direction they went. Superman plunges into the lava to gain access to the mountain and Aquaman searches for an underwater entrance, and he passes a dolphin swimming by. He locates an underwater entrance. Meanwhile above, Wonder Dog tries digging to get in the cave. But Flash vibrates at super speed and sends ultra-sonic vibrations into the stone wall, which causes it to crumble.
Back inside, Kolbar explains that since his equipment has failed, he can't contact his people let alone get his spaceship to fly. Marvin asks if he could take a look at it, maybe he could fix it. But Wendy tells him he can't even change a light bulb. She goes on to say that she wishes Superman were there. Just then, three Super Friends, Flash, Superman and Aquaman arrive with Wonder Dog, and Marvin is proud of his dog because he got his message through to the Super Friends. They then introduce them to Kolbar and Kolbar tells them he knows of them and has marveled at them. Marvin tells them the situation.
Later, Superman uses Malaba's molten lava to form a glass bubble which he uses to transport the Super Friends and Kolbar to his homeworld. Upon their arrival on the planet in Kolbar's hometown, Marvin sees a clock tower and the clock reads 12 o'clock, which he assumes to be midnight, since its' so dark, but Kolbar tells him its' actually noon.
They begin working immediately, Aquaman cleans up the waterways, Superman cleans up the air with his super breath. The Flash cleans up the streets with by creating a tornado which lifts the garbage into the sky and into the Solar Terrarium sun. At last, the sun is shining again. And the people of the planet, who are all inside trying to keep warm, return to the streets, to enjoy this new day. The warmth is so overwhelming that Marvin even begins to sunburn. Kolbar offers to hold an outdoor carnival in their honor, but Superman turns down the offer because he has to get his friends off the planet before they become burnt to a crisp. Kolbar then says they will use their resources more wisely. He then apologizes for what they done to earth and promises they won't try that again.
They then return to Earth in the bubble, and while in route they talk about how they must too be careful not to upset the balance of nature. And just like Kolbar's people learned, you can't just leave your planet behind.
Continuity in Other Media
- References: Axe, swords, missile, armor, ray guns, helmet, Sculpture, Angelfish, catfish, freshwater, Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Isaac Newton Agra, Uttar Pradesh, jewelry, soil, Grand Prix, Pizza, Solar Terrarium car, fuel, coal, oil, natural gas, wood and party.
- When Batman and Robin arrive at the Gotham City Museum, the narrator asks the question: "Will Robin and Batman be able to save the Gotham City Museum's valuable art treasures?" What's odd about this, is that this may be the only time in which Robin's name is mentioned before Batman's in the same sentence.
- This is the first appearance of Flash in the Super Friends series. He previously appeared in three Filmation cartoons.
The Shamon 'U'
|Season 1: SuperFriends (1973)|