For a kid in India in the '80s, there wasn't much choice as to what to watch on TV.
We had only doordarshan(The Indian national channel). You could count the number of kids'
shows on your fingers.One of the most popular of these shows was an old '60s Japanese series
called Giant Robot.Its Actual name was Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot.
Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot was a Japanese Live action show from Toei productions.
The English dubbed version was written by Reuben Guberman and produced by Salvatore Billitteri,both who worked on the Prince Planet series. Bobbie Byers was the voice of Johnny Sokko (and Prince Planet). Manuel San Fernando directed the series and was released in the U.S through American International Television in 1969. It aired in Australia in 1973 – 1974. Two Adelaide fans George Sclauzero and Kelly Lannanremember it screening there over the XMAS period at 8am on Earlybirds weekdays, hosted by Jane Reilly.It aired in other parts of Australia around the same time.
The series begins with the splashdown of a flying saucer in the Pacific Ocean. On board is the evil Emperor Guillotine from the planet Gargoyle; his plans to conquer the Earth. Authorities are led to believe that the saucer is destroyed on impact into the ocean. During this time Johnny Sokko – a boy with shorts, long white socks and a jacket (a daggy look!) and Gerry Monno, a unicorn agent pretending to be a writer, meet each other on board a cruise liner, when out of the ocean depths comes one of Guillotine's monsters – DRACOLON.
Johnny and Gerry jump over board before the ship is destroyed and wash up on a remote island, captured and taken prisoners in an underground lab. They get away and find a huge 100ft robot underground. The robot is the invention of Dr Lucious Guardian, forced to make the robot by the Gargoyle gang to help Guillotine conquer the world. The robot just finished now only needs atomic power to activate his brain and a voice pattern to command it.
Whoever talks first into the miniature transmitter in the form of a fob watch will control the Giant Robot.
The Doctor plants an atomic bomb to destroy the Gargoyle gangs headquarters and the robot so it cannot be used for evil. The Doctor fights off the gang while Johnny and Gerry escape before the explosion, but the Giant Robot survives, his brain activated by the atomic explosion and is under the control of Johnny who is the first to talk into the miniature transmitter.
Giant Robot is the name Johnny uses. It is a mechanical giant which follows Johnny’s commands. It has jet propulsion and an egyptian pharoah looking head.
Under Guillotines orders the Gargoyle gang and their leader ‘Spider’ instruct the Dracolan to attack and destroy Tokyo, but Johnny and Gerry fly to the rescue on the palm of the hand of the Giant Robot with the command "Giant Robot, Destroy Dracolon". Rocket missiles come out of his fingers, destroying Dracolon, but they will face the Gargoyle gang again.
Some of the other monsters the Giant Robot defeats throughout the series include the Two headed monster, Tentaclon an electric monster, Drakulun the vampire monster and Opticon - a giant eyeball with tentacles.
After defeating a whole batch of monsters by Guillotine and defeating them all, Giant Robot finally battles with Guillotine himself. The robot has used up all his nuclear energy and has no strength left. Guillotine increases his size to that of the robots, but his body is a mass of atomic energy. If a bullet hits him, his body will explode and the entire Earth will explode with him. Johnny activates Giant Robots auxillary power source and fights Guillotine. He disobeys Johnny’s commands to stop attacking and flies into Space with Guillotine colliding with
a meteor and destroying them both. Johnny Sokko breaks down into tears and as Johnny, Gerry and the rest of the
Unicorn Agency salute the Giant Robot we are left with the words
" And so the saga comes to an end Giant Robot sacrificed himself to save the
Earth from the terrible Guillotine but who knows when Johnny desperately needs
him again, perhaps like a miracle he will come back out of the sky"
Johnny Socko Episode Titles - English & Japanese.
1. Dracalon the Great Sea Monster
Dakolah - The Giant Sea Beast
2. Neucleon, The Magic Globe
Globar - The Giant Devil-Ball
3. Gargolyle Vine, A Space Plant
Satan Rose - The Space Plant
4. Monster Ligon-Tyrox (A Strange Monster)
Lygon - The Magic Beast
5. The Gigantic Claw
Gangar - The Colossal Hand
6. Dragon, The Ninja Monster
Dorogon - The Ninja Monster
7. Scanlon the Starfish monster
The Enemy is Monster Ikageras
8. Challenge of the 2 headed monster
Challenge of Doubilion - The Turning-Face Monster
9. Tentaclon- An Electric Monster
Spaaki - The Electric-Current Monster
10. The Transformed humans (The Giant Lagorian)
The Reconstructed Man
11. The Terrifying Sand Creature
Terror of the Man-Eating Sand
12. Amberon the Synthetic Monster
Unbalan - The Combined Monster
13. Opticorn Must be Destroyed
Ganmons - Eye of the Devil
14. The Monsterous Flying Jawbone
The Monstrous Fangs of Iron
15. Igganog, the Iceberg monster
Icelar - The Freezing Monster
16. Torozonn, an enemy robot
Mysterious Robot - GR-2
17. Destroy the Dam
Destroy the Aka-Fuji Dam
18. A Mysterious Enemy Agent
The Riddle of Double-Agent X7
19. Metron, The Mysterious spaceman
Metro-3 - The Man From Andromeda
20. Captured by the Radion Globe
S.O.S. Giant Robot
21. The Terryfying Space Mummy
The Mummy Mutants
22. The Robot called Cleopat
Calamity - The Murderous Weapon
23. Dr. Engali, Master Of Evil
Dr. Gelma - The Space Goblin
24. Hydrazona, a Terryfying Bacteria
Hydrazone - The Germ Spore
25. Drakulan, Creature of Doom
The Space Vampire
26. The last of Emperor Guillotine
The Last Day of Emperor Guillotine
GIANT ROBO (Jyanto Robo). Network: NET [TV Asahi]. Episodes: 26.
Format: Colour. Broadcast Dates: 10/11/67 - 4/1/68. Timeslot: Wednesdays 7:30 - 8pm
[#1 - #16]/Mondays 7:30 - 8pm [#17 - #26]. Created by: Mitsuteru Yokoyama & Tohru Hirayama.
Writers: Masaru Igami, Hisashi Abe, Teio Matsuda, Hisashi Abe, Jo Hichi.
Directors: Minoru Yamada, Itaru Orita, Koichi Takemoto, Katsuhiko Taguchi, Michio Konishi.
Music: Takeo Yamashita.
Cast: Mitsunobu Kaneko, Shozaburo Date, Akio Ito, Mitsuo Ando, Matasaburo Tanba,Hideo Murota,
Koji Miemachi, Tomomi Kuwabara.
Produced by: Toei Tokyo Studios.
Kaiju Productions: [http://monsterzero.org/henshin]