Sunday, February 4, 2018

Samson And Goliath!

Samson and Goliath (also known as Young Samson, but I prefer the original title) was as stripped down as it's possible for a superhero yarn to get.

Samson and his dog Goliath roam the Earth on their sleek upscale motor scooter and end up becoming heroes to fight monsters or criminals or both together. Samson clinks together two wristbands and he becomes a larger version of himself also called Samson who then clinks the bands together again to make his dog Goliath become...wait for enormous lion named Goliath. Why the dog became a giant cat was always the thing about this show which befuddled me, but nonetheless I really enjoyed it then and still do.

Hanna-Barbera was rushing out all sorts of superheroes after the success of Space Ghost such as Birdman, Herculoids, and this show. And this show had elements of the other three. Already mentioned are the wrist bands which have a similarity to those of Space Ghost and even in some few episodes can send out power beams. 

Goliath is not unlike Birdman's partner Avenger but more so. He's rather like the Herculoids who assist Zandor, an enormous beast (Tundro) with powerful eye beams (Zok) and a deadly iron-like rock-hard paw (Igoo).

What these two are doing at any given time is speculative. They roam around, apparently independent of any need to make money meeting people they are interested in. But mostly they are just always in the right place at the right time to help solve some crime or help stop some giant monster.

As far as we can tell Samson and Goliath just are, no origin is ever offered up. Where the powers come from is never explained, but I assume it must be mystical given the classic names and the fact that yes, the dog does become a lion. Why not a wolf? It's always bothered me.

Apparently when this show was first made there were twenty-six episodes, but later when it was cribbed together for other formats, six episodes went missing for all time. What a shame that such carelessness could lose so much fun material. But it speaks to the nature of such pop culture.

Samson and Goliath appeared in two comic book stories in the Gold Key series which featured the Hanna-Barbera heroes. That adds a bit to what we know about them, but it's still tenuous.

There seems to be very little ephemera for the series, though I did stumble across the handsome coloring book above.

The series is now available in tandem with The Space Kiddettes The shows, nothing alike in nearly any respect, were cobbled together and that's the form in which they survive. Better to have them in that shape than none at all, but what a loss those missing episodes are.

In the final analysis Samson and Goliath are just two heroic characters who seem to want to help mankind with the great powers they have and are more than willing to put their lives on the line. It's stripped down heroism at its most basic and fun to watch.

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