Silverhawks: Volume 1 (TV)
R1 - America - Warner Home Video
Review written by and copyright: Rob Fields (27th November 2008).
The Show

I remember back in the 1980's when I would get out of school and head on home to watch cartoons while I waited for my uncle to get home from teaching school and fix dinner. That’s usually how things were at my house. Anyway, there were plenty of afternoon cartoons between 3:00pm – 5:00pm on various channels. One of the cartoons that I caught on occasion was “Thundercats” (1985-1987). I only caught it, because I had seen a TV movie that eventually launched their series. I had no idea who the "Silverhawks" were. I just happened to be flipping through channels and saw a clip from this series. Sorry to say that I was not an avid watcher of the series. I guess a lot of people weren’t, because it only lasted one season. Anyway, I know right away that it was from the same people who created “Thundercats”. For one thing, the animation was the same. Also, some of the voices sounded familiar. I guess the reason it didn’t catch on with me was because it just didn’t peak my interest after a few episodes. But now I can see that the 1980's have again caught up with me. Not that that’s a bad thing, since I loved the 1980's. Now Warner Brothers has revived this 1980's classic. Let’s see if it holds up to par.

“Silverhawks: Volume 1” presents the series created as a follow-up to the successful “Thundercats” TV series, “Silverhawks” pits a cybernetically engineered team of heroes – Quicksilver, Tally Hawk, Blue Grass, Super Twins Steelheart and Steelwill, Commander Stargazer and The Copper Kid – against the universe’s most dangerous villain Mon-Star and his ruthless band of criminals. Starring “Thundercats” voice actors Earl Hammond, Larry Kenney, Peter Newman and Bob McFadden, this action-packed weekday series launched into battle for the first 32 episodes of that golden time.

I enjoyed how well the "Silverhawks" got along and worked together in order to stop Mon-Star and his band of villains. I guess that’s probably one reason why they always won at the end of every episode. The stories were well written, with the plot lines easy to follow. Some of them were definitely predictable since they were used in other shows in the past, while some of them are probably still being used now.

The downsides? The heroes winning at the end of every episode is a double edge here. While it’s nice to see that the good guys win, this gets boring after so many episodes. I like to see the bad guys win every now and then. At one point, one may tend to ask oneself, why do these people bother trying to be bad guys since they know they haven’t got a snowball’s chance in the middle of summer of winning? Still, the series wasn’t meant for junior high kids, which is what I was at the time. It was more for the younger elementary school kids.

My final word: If you are an avid collector of classic nostalgic cartoons, then this will be a perfect piece for your collection. Oh, and don’t forget that Volume 2 will eventually be out. If you want to get a series for your kids to see, then this would be perfect for them. Otherwise, I would suggest looking for something else if you’re not interested in these types of shows.

There are 32 episodes from the first season presented here and include:

- "The Origin Story" (22:14)
- "Journey to Limbo" (22:17)
- "The Planet Eater" (22:07)
- "Save the Sun" (22:18)
- "Stop Timestopper" (22:09)
- "Darkbird" (22:10)
- "The Backroom" (22:09)
- "The Threat of Dritt" (22:15)
- "Sky-Shadow" (22:11)
- "Magnetic Attraction" (22:15)
- "Gold Shield" (22:12)
- "Zero the Memory Thief" (22:08)
- "The Milk Run" (22:07)
- "The Hardware Trap: Part 1" (22:15)
- "The Hardware Trap: Part 2" (22:15)
- "Race Against Time" (22:15)
- "Operation Big Freeze" (22:09)
- "The Ghost Ship" (22:17)
- "The Great Galaxy Race" (22:17)
- "Fantascreen" (22:15)
- "Hotwing Hits Limbo" (22:12)
- "The Bounty Hunter" (22:16)
- "Zeek’s Fumble" (22:17)
- "The Fighting Hawks" (22:19)
- "The Renegade Hero" (22:14)
- "One on One" (22:16)
- "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (22:16)
- "Music of the Spheres" (22:16)
- "Limbo Gold Rush" (22:15)
- "Countdown to Zero" (22:14)
- "The Amber Amplifier" (22:17)
- "The Saviour Stone" (22:15)

Video

Each episode is presented in its original Fullscreen broadcast format (1.33:1 ratio). Warner Brothers went the extra mile to make sure that the picture looked as good as it was going to look, at least for this day and time. While the picture doesn’t look like High Definition, it certainly looks like it was cleaned up for the DVD release. The colors are bright and vivid and the animation looks smooth. In fact, it looks better than when I first watched those few episodes on TV back in the 1980's. When it comes to the episodes, you can watch them individually or play them in a continuous marathon using the ‘Play’ option. Although there are no chapter selection menus, there are chapter stops for each episode. They are probably where the commercial breaks were located back in the day.

Audio

Each episode is accompanied three Dolby Digital 1.0 mono soundtracks (English, French, Spanish). I will definitely be using the original English audio for this review. Unless I’m listening really carefully, I could swear that it was a 2.0 mono. That’s definitely paying these soundtracks a compliment. In fact, I think the audio also sounds better than when it was originally aired. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles available.

Extras

Warner Brothers has released this series with two featurettes and some bonus trailers. The extras are all presented on the second side of the fourth disc. Read on for a further insight into these.

There is a featurette “Partly Metal, Partly Real: Remember Silver Hawks” which runs 10 minutes and 36 seconds. It starts out with writer/script supervisor Lee Dannacher who talks about her relationship to fellow writer/script supervisor Peter Lawrence and series creators Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. Lawrence and Dannacher talk about the character development. The concepts were developed before “Thundercats” aired, even though the latter series aired first. Maggie Wheeler, the voice of Steelheart, also shares some of her experiences. Also, the episode epilogues in which Bluegrass quizzes the Copper Kid while in a simulator comes up. Even the toy line is discussed. It is in English audio with optional Spanish subtitles.

There is a "Sneak Peek at Wonder Woman" featurette for the new animated Wonder Woman movie on the disc, which will be available in February 2009. It runs 10 minutes and 29 seconds. You will see interview segments from some DC Comics personalities, creators of the animated movie, as well as many of the voice actors. You learn that she was first introduced in 1941, a time when women were expected to have their place at home only. However, you only get to see concept sketches and voice recordings. You do not actually get to see any actual footage from the movie itself. Sorry, but you’ll have to wait until a trailer is release or February of 2009. It is in English audio with optional Spanish subtitles.

There are preview bonus trailers for:

- "Thundercats: Season 1, Volume 1" runs for 53 seconds.
- "Thundercats: Season 2, Volume 2" runs for 1 minute 8 seconds.
- "Spaced" runs for 1 minute 2 seconds.
- "Ben 10" Alien Force" runs for 32 seconds.
- "Warner Brothers Blu-Ray" spot runs for 1 minute 8 seconds.
- "Anti-piracy" spot which runs for 50 seconds.

Packaging

“Silver Hawks: Volume 1” is a 4-DVD set with all four discs packed into an clear Amaray keep case, with an outer cardboard slip cover. The cover art has the episode titles and Special Features listed on the inside.

Overall

The Show: B Video: A Audio: B Extras: C Overall: B

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.