In terms of concept, it seems kinda cool and avant-garde: take the old cartoon Space Ghost, hire some writers and voiceover guys to interview some guests as part of a talk show and see what happens. The result, being Space Ghost Coast to Coast eventually did turn into a cult following and captured an older (read: 18-30) demographic for the Cartoon Network.
Though Space Ghost is a superhero, in this series he has kidnapped a couple of his villains to be a part of his talk show. You have …orak, essentially an animated praying mantis that serves as the Paul Shaffer of the show. The producer is Moltar, who looks like he should work as part of a hazardous material recovery team. And in the middle of it all, you have a 15 minute, disjointed conversation between a varying group of eclectic guests and a seemingly detached masked hero and show host. The guests over the course of the season include Jon Stewart, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, Jimmy Cliff, Beck, Ice T, Goldie Hawn and Colin Quinn, to list very few.
The surprising thing about shows like this is that they are able to stick around and be a part of your TV viewing schedule. This show lasted several seasons, and Warner Brothers has gradually been releasing them on DVD. This is the 3rd group of DVDs to hit the streets, and it essentially comprises the 4th season of episodes, a full 24 season run.
The only animated series on Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is The Simpsons, and Space Ghost is far from that. The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is more than capable, and is on all episodes, except for “Boatshow.” And the 5.1 soundtrack isn’t too noteworthy on that for that matter. It’s still a decent sounding show nonetheless.
For a show that uses some recycled animation clips, the full frame video of this show really looks vibrant, and the colors are reproduced vividly. Black levels appear to be OK too, but there aren’t too many dark colors that recur a lot to notice.
Fans of the show will definitely get a kick out from the decent amount of extra material on this set. There are 5 episode commentaries for this season, recorded by the creators of the show. You can’t get into too much over the course of just 15 minutes (witness the mini-commentaries on the South Park), so the men do what they can, while getting beered up in the process. There’s nothing too special here. The complete, extended interview footage with Odenkirk, Cross and Stewart is included here (Odenkirk and Cross covers about 15 minutes, Stewart’s is about 5), needless to say Bob and David get more fun out of more time. Spread over both discs, there are some deleted scenes and alternate takes which are sparse and not too entertaining.
It’s dark in nature, and the awkward pauses in comedy don’t translate as well as other shows that manage to pull them off, but fans of the show will enjoy this release like they have the other two. I believe these are repeating on the animated network now, so please give this a try, you might enjoy it.
Special Features List
- Alternate ending for the Zorak episode
- Commentary on 5 episodes
- Featurette: Space Ghost’s Mysterious NASA Experience
- Interviews with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross
- World Premiere Toon In
- Southern Regional Emmy Presentation
- The Captain & Commander
- A Moment With Jonn Stewart