|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||65 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Original network||First-run syndication|
|Original release||September 8 – December 5, 1986|
SilverHawks is an American animated television series developed by Rankin/Bass Productions and distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1986. The animation was provided by Japanese studio Pacific Animation Corporation. In total, 65 episodes were made. It was created as a space-bound equivalent of their previous series, ThunderCats.
Currently, Warner Bros. (which purchased Lorimar, and Telepictures, in 1989) owns the rights to SilverHawks and other TV series made by Lorimar and/or Telepictures.
Production and development
Rankin/Bass followed up their successful ThunderCats series with this series about a team of human heroes in the 29th century who were given metal bodies and hawk wings to stop organized crime in the Galaxy of Limbo. SilverHawks featured many of the same voice actors who had worked on ThunderCats, including Larry Kenney, Peter Newman, Earl Hammond, Doug Preis and Bob McFadden.
Launching from their satellite base, Hawk Haven, the SilverHawks flew into battle five days a week for one season. The series was closely associated with ThunderCats, sharing the same production company, the same style of story lines, and virtually the same voice cast. Mon*Star, the main villain, has a voice similar to that of Mumm-Ra, the main villain of ThunderCats, who is also voiced by Earl Hammond.
A bionic policeman called Commander Stargazer recruited the SilverHawks, heroes who are "partly metal, partly real," to fight the evil Mon*Star, an escaped alien mob boss who transforms into an enormous armor-plated creature with the help of Limbo’s Moonstar. Joining Mon*Star in his villainy is an intergalactic mob: the snakelike Yes-Man, the blade-armed Buzz-Saw, the "bull"-headed Mumbo-Jumbo, a weather controller called Windhammer, a shapeshifter known as Mo-Lec-U-Lar, a robotic card shark called Poker-Face, the weapons-heavy Hardware, and "the musical madness of" Melodia; this last uses a "keytar" that fires musical notes.
Quicksilver (formerly Jonathan Quick) leads the SilverHawks, with his metal bird companion TallyHawk at his side. Twins Emily and Will Hart became Steelheart and Steelwill, the SilverHawks’s technician and strongman respectively. Country-singing Colonel Bluegrass played a sonic guitar and piloted the team’s ship, the Miraj (pronounced "mirage" on the series, but given that spelling on the Kenner toy). Rounding out the group is a youngster “from the planet of the mimes,” named "The Copper Kidd" and usually called "Kidd" for short, a mathematical genius who spoke in whistles and computerized tones. Their bionic bodies are covered by a full-body close-fitting metal armor that only exposes the face and an arm, the armor is equipped with a retractile protective mask, retractile wings under-arm (except Bluegrass) thruster on elbows, and laser-weapons over the body. At the end of every episode, the Copper Kidd was quizzed (along with the home audience) on various space facts by Col. Bluegrass.
- Commander Stargazer (voiced by Bob McFadden) - A tough and grizzled old cop with bionic capabilities, he captured Mon*Star several years ago and had him imprisoned. Older than the other SilverHawks, he longs to return to Earth for either a vacation or for retirement. He chiefly serves as the SilverHawks "eyes and ears", keeping them apprised of their current situation. His first name is apparently Sinman. Stargazer's weapon-bird is Sly-bird. In the Silverhawks' first adventure, Stargazer is depicted as being the original keeper of Tally Hawk, who from the pilot movie onwards was teamed with Quicksilver. His armor is gold, covering the upper left portion of his head as well as his body, and his left eye has been replaced by a telescopic lens. In addition, he dresses as a typical plainclothes police officer (white shirt, loosened necktie, suspenders, slacks).
- Quicksilver (voiced by Peter Newman) - Captain Jonathan Quick was the former head of the Interplanetary Force H and is the field leader of the SilverHawks. He has a cyborg/bird companion called Tally Hawk. Known for his quick reflexes (and even quicker thinking), Quicksilver is an accomplished tactician and athlete. His armor has the lightest silver-shade.
- Lt. Colonel Bluegrass (voiced by Larry Kenney) - He is second-in-command of the SilverHawks and the chief pilot of the group as well as a cowboy at heart. He is the only SilverHawk who cannot fly (other than Stargazer), but he is the one that flies the team transport vehicle "the Mirage". He likes to use his weapon/instrument (portrayed in the toyline as his weapon-bird with the name Sideman) and his lasso, has an interface with the Miraj's advanced dynamic piloting system, which he has affectionately dubbed "Hot Licks". His armor has a blue-silver shade, and he wears a red bandana around his neck along with a cowboy hat.
- Steelheart & Steelwill (voiced by Maggie Wheeler and Bob McFadden) - Sergeants Emily and Will Hart are twin siblings. They became Steelheart and Steelwill respectively when they joined the SilverHawks. They are the "gearheads" of the team. They share an empathic bond in that when one sibling feels something, the other feels it as well. Physically, they are the strongest members of the Silverhawks team. They are the only SilverHawks who have had real stainless steel hearts implanted during their transformation. Their weapon-birds are Rayzor (for Steelheart) and Stronghold (for Steelwill). Their armors have the same dark steel tone shade.
- The Copper Kidd (vocal effects provided by Pete Cannarozzi) - He is the youngest member of the SilverHawks, and the only one not a Terran (Earthling). A mathematical genius from the Planet of the Mimes, he "speaks" in mathematically calculated tones and whistles. His skin is azurine except the face that is white (similar to a mime). His armor is copper-colored but the wings have a silver-like appearance that is similar to those of the other winged team members. At the end of each episode, he was quizzed in several astronomy lessons by Bluegrass as training to become the reserve Miraj pilot (sure enough, he was called in to fill Bluegrass's shoes, albeit infrequently). A natural acrobat, the Copper Kidd has two razor-edged discs (one mounted on each hip) which he throws like Frisbees. His weapon-bird is Mayday.
- Hotwing (voiced by Adolph Caesar in earlier episodes, Doug Preis in later episodes due to Caesar's death in 1986) - A gold Silverhawk of African American heritage who was added in mid-season. He is a magician and skilled illusionist. Hotwing receives his powers from a mystical energy force that 'chose' him to bear the powers to fight against injustice. He has to recharge these powers every 14 years, otherwise he will die. One notable time was when Zeek the Beak tricked the mystic force into giving him these powers which would have resulted in Hotwing's death. Hotwing has a weapon-bird named Gyro.
- Flashback (voiced by Peter Newman) - A green time-traveling Silverhawk from the far future. When he meets the 'much older' Stargazer who tells him of the fateful day the SilverHawks died, Flashback travels back in time to save them from an exploding sun. He also traveled back in time to stop Hardware from destroying the SilverHawks (when the mad inventor sabotaged the Miraj during the S-Hawks hyperspace-sleep to Hawk-Haven from Earth, which would have caused the autopilot to fly them straight into the sun). Flashback's weapon-bird is Backlash.
- Moonstryker (voiced by Larry Kenney) - A turquoise Silverhawk. He can propel himself through space by a powerful cyclone generated from propellers that emerge from his waist. He is cocky but an expert marksman, as demonstrated when he shot a pen out of Stargazer's hand when they first met in the episode "Battle Cruiser". His fighting hawk is Tailspin.
- Condor (voiced by Bob McFadden impersonating Humphrey Bogart) - An old ally of Commander Stargazer, whom Condor calls "Gaze". Condor left the Silverhawks to become a private detective before the series, but eventually returned. Instead of wings, he has cybernetic bodyparts similar to Stargazer's, and also a jetpack. Condor always talks like Humphrey Bogart. His weapon-bird is Jet Stream.
NOTE: Only TallyHawk appeared in almost all of the episodes in the series. All the other "weapon-birds" only appeared in a handful of episodes. Per the episode "The Fighting Hawks", the Hawks for the Steel Twins were accidentally switched in the toy versions.
- Seymour (voiced by Peter Newman) - The television show's comic relief. Seymour is a space cabbie who frequently says "Y'know what I mean?" and speaks in a New York accent. He might be inspired by Space Cabbie, a 1950s science fiction character.
- Harry - He is a robot that works as a bartender in Fence. He appears in many episodes usually serving Limbo drinks.
- Professor Power - He works in the Artificial Sun and controls it. He is friendly with the SilverHawks and helps them many times, like in the amber amplifier episode.
- Sanders - He is the governor in Bedlama, a planet similar to the Earth.
- Monotone - It is Automata's computer that rules the whole planet.
- Grod the Informer - An informant. He appears in episode 32 when he informs the mob of a rock that is supposed to be worth a fortune, the Savior Stone.
- Lord Cash - He is in charge of Dolar planet where there is plenty of Limbo money. Lord Cash is friendly to SilverHawks.
- Gotbucks - Dolar's new security chief.
- Warden Lockup - He is in charge of the Penal Planet 10 where Limbo's criminals are kept. His face looks like a bird. Warden Lockup likes gambling because he is seeing betting in the Mon*star's Great Meteor Race.
- Cell Guard #1 - A rhinoceros-like creature that works for Warden Lockup and controls the corridors of the Penal planet.
- Cell Guard #2 - A one-wheeled robot that works for Warden Lockup and controls the corridors of the Penal planet. He is extremely weak (laser beans destroy him). He`s usually with Cell Guard #1.
- Mon*Star's Mob - An organized crime group that commits crimes throughout Limbo.
- Mon*Star (voiced by Earl Hammond) - The quintillionaire alien mob boss who escaped from his cell on Penal Planet 10. He appears as a feline muscular humanoid with dark hair streaked with red over all the body, a voluminous red mane and beard, and an eyepatch (with the symbol of a black star) covering his left eye. Utilizing beams from Limbo's Moonstar and the use of his Transformation Chamber, Mon*Star's body becomes encased on spiked armor-plating as he recites "Moonstar of Limbo, give me the might, the muscle, the menace, of MON*STAR!". In this state, he temporarily regains his left eye with it able to fire the crimson Light Star beam which has various effects, destructive and stunning. Mon*Star rides a giant "space-squid" called Sky-Runner and has a weapon-bird named Sky Shadow. He has some bad blood with Stargazer due to their past conflicts and extends that animosity to the SilverHawks. Mon*star appears in all the episodes, except in two (Episodes number 15 and 45) where Hardware and the Bounty Hunter are the villains respectively.
- Yes-Man (voiced by Bob McFadden) - Yes-Man is a half-man half-snake creature. He is basically Mon*Star's all-purpose lackey, thrall, and/or sycophant. As his name suggests, Yes-Man is notorious for constantly saying "Oh yess, Boss...yess." As a member of Mon*Star's Mob, Yes-Man operates the Transformation Chamber. Yes-Man once used the powers of the Moonstar alongside Mon*Star, but did not change form. The Moonstar primarily gave him increased mental abilities and ambition. This led to a feud between himself and his boss until the powers faded.
- Hardware (voiced by Bob McFadden) - Hardware is the weapons specialist for Mon*Star's Mob. An extremely intelligent, short but bulky, light purple-skinned pink-haired creature who carries an over-sized rucksack full of self-engineered weapons and equipment. Hardware has the uniquely honed talent for invention, and can devise devilishly effective machines. Mon*Star considers Hardware his most dangerous minion because of this talent. Hardware's weapon-bird is Prowler, a green flying dragon that Hardware usually uses for escaping when he has no other vehicle. On one occasion when Mon*Star was recaptured, he had to use the Moonstar to empower a box that would enable Mon*Star to escape from Penal Planet 10.
- Melodia (voiced by Maggie Wheeler) - A musical mistress who serves as a nemesis and counterpart to the SilverHawks' Bluegrass, Melodia is the only female member of Mon*Star's Mob. Melodia is usually seen cruising around in the Limbo limo, causing havoc and assorted acts of terror as diversions. Melodia almost always carries a musical synthesizer called a "Sound Smasher" as a weapon. Her usual dressing are an exaggerated costume of a rock-singer: two-shaded green hair; a short black dress; red belt with plug up battery pack for "Sound Smasher"; long red gloves; half dark purple, half light pink tights and; dark blue glasses with a red 'music note' frame (in contrast to Bluegrass' blue 'music note' frame). In "Switch", while both Melodia and Bluegrass were under effect of a gas that temporarily turns good people into bad people and vice versa, Bluegrass was the one with a red music note frame and Melodia had a blue one. It's not specifically stated if that was another direct effect of the gas or if the weapons/instruments could be regulated into different colors.
- Windhammer (voiced by Doug Preis) - An eco-terrorist member of Mon*Star's Mob with a huge "blasted" tuning fork that enables him to manipulate or generate destructive weather patterns either on a planet or in space. Examples of the weather that he has manipulated have included lightnings and tornadoes. He is a muscular humanoid with azurine skin, long blonde hair, and large elf-like ears.
- Mo-Lec-U-Lar (voiced by Doug Preis) - A molecule-themed shapeshifter whose primary form is a humanoid body composed of many spheres in various copper shades. He serves as the master of disguise and leading hitman of Mon*Star's Mob. Besides shapeshifting, Mo-Lec-U-Lar one time became invisible in order to infiltrate the Silverhawks' base. His weapon-bird is Volt-ure.
- Buzz-Saw - A totally cybernetic (and independently sentient) war machine of a light copper-shade that is a member of Mon*Star's Mob. Buzz-Saw has razor sharp circular saw cutting blades over its body that can be used as projectile weapons. It speaks with a high-pitched metallic voice. His weapon-bird is Shredator.
- Poker-Face (voiced by Larry Kenney) - The robotic sunglasses-wearing money man of Mon*Star's mob who has slot machines for his eyes and carries a cane decorated with playing card suits. He is the owner of the Starship Casino. Poker-Face always charges Mon*Star billions for new inventive ideas against the Silver Hawks.
- Mumbo Jumbo (voiced by Peter Newman) - Mumbo Jumbo is a copper-skinned robotic minotaur who is basically the grunt for Mon*Star's Mob. He is aided by his ability to "bulk up", growing larger and more muscular, increasing his strength by doing so. He speaks in metallic grunts which his associates seem to understand (though he usually pronounces Mon*Star's name properly) and appears to be on the low scale of the intellectual spectrum. His signature attack is a quadrupedal charge at an opponent. Mumbo Jumbo is a sworn enemy of Steelheart because of Steelheart's strength and skill which takes him down easily. Mumbo's weapon-bird is Airshock.
- Timestopper (voiced by Larry Kenney) - A cocky 14 year old juvenile delinquent nyctophobe with a chest device that has the ability to suspend all ambient motion and kinetic energy around him (freeze time, as it were) for one Limbo-Minute. He is often in the services of Mon*Star, but has no qualms about getting in his way if he isn't paid for the job. His nyctophobia is most likely from the fact his chest device is light-powered.
- Zero the Memory Thief - A long-nosed shady character who steals memories using a cattle prod-like weapon and records them on cassettes. He occasionally did business with Mon*Star's gang when the opportunity suited him. While he can steal memories, they don't teach him how to use the memorized data the way his victims know.
- Smiley - A mummified boxer robot that is brought back to life by Poker-Face. He was once stopped by Commander Stargazer. Smiley is the heavyweight champion of Limbo. Poker-Face (and then Mon*Star) use a remote control to tell Smiley what he has to do. In the Starship Casino, Smiley defeats easily both Mumbo Jumbo and Buzz-Saw, but later on could not beat the SilverHawks.
- Bounty Hunter - A muscular monster with a face resembling a Bulldog with high, pointed ears. He has a sparkling laser on his head and a red star on his belt. He was imprisoned by Stargazer for 200 years but escaped twice from the Penal Planet 10 (broken out once by Mon*Star in episode 22, and the second time on his own, in episode 45). He can absorb energy directed at him, and use it to sustain his physical form as well as grow larger and more powerful. He can only be defeated by the solar energy bazooka that Commander Stargazer has. He is extremely dangerous and powerful, as he has easily defeated all the original Silverhawks twice. He was stopped by Commander Stargazer and by the new golden Silverhawk Hotwing.
- Uncle Rattler - Yes-Man's uncle. He appears in only one episode.
Three Outlaws from Fence
They appear in many episodes and are friendly to Melodia and Poker-Face, though the three are usually betrayed by the Mon*Star's minions.
- The Space Bandit - He is most of the time on Fence (Harry's planet) playing cards with his two friends, Rhino and Cyclops.
- Rhino - A rhinoceros-like mutant who spends most of this time on Fence playing cards with the Space Bandit and Cyclops.
- Cyclops - A balloon body creature that is very weak because whenever he was shot, he started to fly around and to lose his air like a balloon. Cyclops also spends most his time on Fence playing cards with the Space Bandit and Rhino.
The Galaxy of Limbo
During the show the galaxy looks peculiar. It's got breathable air and some type of gravity because characters fall down off their vehicles. During the series various planets are shown:
- Hawk Haven - The Silverhawks' Planet. It's like a satellite of Bedlama.
- Brimstar - The Planet where Mon*Star's Mob operates.
- The Artificial Sun - A sun that is artificial and needs to be fueled frequently.
- Penal Planet 10 - This is where most criminals are kept. The Bounty Hunter and Smiley are most of the time there. However, Hardware and even Mon*star have been in its cold cells.
- Starship Casino - Poker-Face's planet where gambling takes place. It run outside of the "Lightyear Limit" and was the extent of the SilverHawks' jurisdiction
- Bedlama - A planet similar to Earth. Hawkhaven is its satellite.
- Automata - Controlled by a supercomputer named Monotone.
- Dollare - A bank planet
- Fence - A small planet with a bar in which there are card games.
- Hanging Rock - This is The Bounty Hunter's planet. It is full of mountains and it has dangerous electro-rocks that absorb anyone's energy and feed the Bounty Hunter.
- Moonstar of Limbo - This is not a planet, but a moon. It gives Mon*star his powers to transform.
- Earth - The only planet shown outside the galaxy of Limbo.
On October 14, 2008 Warner Home Video released Silverhawks: Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. The 4-disc set contains the first 32 episodes of the series.
On October 4, 2011, Warner Bros. released Silverhawks: Volume 2 on DVD in region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com. The 4-disc set contains the remaining 33 episodes of the series.
List of episodes
- The Origin Story 09/08/1986
- Journey To Limbo 09/09/1986
- The Planet Eater 09/10/1986
- Save The Sun 09/11/1986
- Stop Timestopper 09/12/1986
- Darkbird 09/15/1986
- The Backroom 09/16/1986
- The Threat of Dritt 09/17/1986
- Sky-Shadow (09/18/1986)
- Magnetic Attraction 09/19/1986
- Gold Shield 09/22/1986
- Zero The Memory Thief 09/23/1986
- The Milk Run 09/24/1986
- The Hardware Trap, Episode 1 09/25/1986
- The Hardware Trap, Episode 2 09/26/1986
- Race Against Time 09/29/1986
- Operation Big Freeze 09/30/1986
- The Ghost Ship 10/01/1986
- The Great Galaxy Race 10/02/1986
- Fantascreen 10/03/1986
- Hotwing Hits Limbo 10/06/1986
- The Bounty Hunter 10/07/1986
- Zeek's Fumble 10/08/1986
- The Fighting Hawks 10/09/1986
- The Renegade Hero 10/10/1986
- One on One 10/13/1986
- No More Mr. Nice Guy 10/14/1986
- Music of the Spheres 10/15/1986
- Limbo Gold Rush 10/16/1986
- Countdown to Zero 10/17/1986
- The Amber Amplifier 10/20/1986
- The Saviour Stone 10/21/1986
- Smiley 10/22/1986
- Gotbucks 10/23/1986
- Melodia's Siren Song 10/24/1986
- Tally-Hawk Returns 10/27/1986
- Undercover 10/28/1986
- Eye of Infinity 10/29/1986
- A Piece of the Action 10/30/1986
- Flashback 10/31/1986
- Super Birds 11/03/1986
- The Blue Door 11/04/1986
- The Star of Bedlama 11/05/1986
- The Illusionist 11/06/1986
- The Bounty Hunter Returns 11/07/1986
- The Chase 11/10/1986
- Switch 11/11/1986
- Junkyard Dog 11/12/1986
- Window in Time 11/13/1986
- Gangwar, Episode 1 11/14/1986
- Gangwar, Episode 2 11/17/1986
- Sneak Attack, Episode 1 11/18/1986
- Sneak Attack, Episode 2 11/19/1986
- Moon*Star 11/20/1986
- The Diamond Stick-Pin 11/21/1986
- Burnout 11/24/1986
- Battle Cruiser 11/25/1986
- Small World 11/26/1986
- Match-Up 11/27/1986
- Stargazer's Refit 11/28/1986
- The Invisible Destroyer 12/01/1986
- The Harder They Fall 12/02/1986
- Uncle Rattler 12/03/1986
- Zeek's Power 12/04/1986
- Airshow 12/05/1986
The SilverHawks action figure collection based on the animated series was produced by Kenner and first released in 1987. LJN, the makers of the ThunderCats figures, originally were to produce the SilverHawks figures but decided to pass on the project at the last minute. Each figure was packaged with a companion bird and, similar to the popular Super Powers Collection, had an action feature of some type. The second series of figures is harder to find than the first with Ultrasonic Quicksilver being the most difficult. The MonStar with Laser Lance, Copper Kid with Laser Discs, and the Copper Racer vehicle were not produced but were shown in the 1988 Kenner toy catalog. The Season One Hawk Haven Fortress was never produced either, due to the high production costs it would incur. Figures for many recurring characters, including Yes-Man, Melodia and Poker-Face, were never made.
Several other pieces of SilverHawks merchandise were released in the 1980s including a board game, puzzles, bed sheets, and a plastic pencil pouch with the main characters on one side with a metal zipper. A set of pajamas were also produced which included wing flaps under the arms to more resemble the characters while wearing them.
In the 2011 ThunderCats remake, Mon*Star briefly appears in a cameo in the episode “Legacy”. He was seen on a monitor in the bridge of Mumm-Ra's ship.
- "DVD Review of SilverHawks: Season 1 Vol. 1 DVD". Mania.com. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "SilverHawks: The Amber Amplifier Episode Summary". TV.com. 1986-10-20. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "SilverHawks: Countdown to Zero Episode Summary". TV.com. 1986-10-17. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "SilverHawks: The Saviour Stone Episode Summary". TV.com. 1986-10-21. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "SilverHawks: Gotbucks Episode Summary". TV.com. 1986-10-23. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "Silverhawks - Formal Press release for Season 1, Volume 1 DVD Set".
- "Silverhawks - Update for the 4-DVD 'Volume 2' Set: Date, Cost, Final Art and Pre-Order Link!".
- "Silverhawks (Marvel comic book) - 7 issues". Comicvine.com. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- 'Silverhawks' at the Grand Comics Database
- "ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry murdered". Sci Fi Online. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
- "EXCLUSIVE: ThunderCats Episode 7 Clip 'Legacy' Reveals SilverHawks And TigerSharks!". MTV. Retrieved 2011-08-31.