Exosquad is an American animated television series created by Universal Cartoon Studios for MCA TV's Universal Family Network syndicated programming block as a response to Japanese anime. The show is set in the beginning of the 22nd century and covers the interplanetary war between humanity and Neosapiens, a fictional race artificially created as workers/slaves for the Terrans. The narrative generally follows Able Squad, an elite Terran unit of mecha pilots, on their missions all over the Solar System, although other storylines are also abundant. The series ran for two complete seasons in syndication from 1993 to 1994, and was cancelled after one third-season episode had been produced. Reruns later aired on USA Network. The music from the show was used in the third season of the paranormal series Sightings as additional background score.
Title screen of the first season
|Created by||Jeff Segal|
|Written by||Mark Edward Edens|
|Directed by||Graham Morris|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Will Meugniot|
|Running time||21 min (per episode)|
|Production company(s)||Universal Cartoon Studios, AKOM|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
Universal Family Network
|Original release||September 11, 1993 –|
November 3, 1994
The series is set in the years 2119–2121 AD, several decades after humanity ("Terrans") has expanded its presence beyond Earth, terraforming and colonizing Venus and Mars. These three planets are "the Homeworlds", the core first of the Terran interplanetary state and later of Neosapien Commonwealth. Not all Terrans are affiliated with the Homeworlds, however: the Pirate Clans, descendants of Terran criminals exiled to the Outer Planets who live off looted Homeworlds' space freighters, are a major independent faction in the show. The first episode opens with the Earth Congress dispatching the entire Exofleet, humanity's space-based military, to counter the Pirate threat.
With war with the Pirate Clans looming, an uprising begins among the Neosapiens, an artificial humanoid race coexisting with Terrans. In the back-story, the Neosapiens were used primarily as slaves during the colonization of Mars and Venus and therefore have been engineered to be physically stronger and better adapted to hostile environments than humans. Their mistreatment by Terrans led to the First Neosapien Revolt fifty years before the series' begin, which was mercilessly crushed but had brought some positive changes into their lives. Still not content with his fate, the Neosapien Governor of Mars, Phaeton, sets a new insurrection, codenamed "Operation [Neosapien] Destiny", in motion as soon as the Exofleet leaves to chase after the Pirate Clans. The absence of the Exofleet is also a part of Phaeton's plan as it enables the Neosapiens' capture of the Homeworlds without much effort.
The two seasons that the series was on the air follow the progress of the Neosapien War, as seen through the eyes of Able Squad, an elite E-frame unit, composed of J.T. Marsh, Nara Burns, Maggie Weston, Kaz Takagi, Alec DeLeon, Rita Torres, Wolf Bronsky, and Marsala. Their exploits unfold against the backdrop of the ongoing war, as the squad participates in events often crucial to turning its tide. The show features a realistic outlook on war: many characters die in combat, military operations are carefully planned and reconnoitered in advance, and psychological effects of warfare are explored. For example, separate episodes detail Exofleet's reconnaissance of Venus prior to its recapture, the actual liberation, and the repulse of the first Neosapien reconquest attempt. Moreover, even after Venus is retaken by Terrans, several episodes deal with the remaining Venusian resistance and Neosapien forces who hid across Venus, refusing to surrender and awaiting reinforcements.
The second season draws to a close with the defeat of the Neosapiens and the liberation of Earth, but it ends with a cliffhanger suggesting that a third season would describe a war against a new alien race, and that the Terrans and the Neosapiens would be forced to ally with each other. However, the series was cancelled soon after the end of the second season so a third season was never made.
Exosquad features an ensemble cast that portrays eight members of the Able Squad.
While the main focus of the show is on the Able Squad, individual episodes and story arcs are frequently dedicated to other characters as well. For example, the C5 Jumptroop Squadron, several Homeworlds Resistance cells, prominent Pirates, and high-ranking Neosapien officers are all given much screen time.
Exosquad had a very serious approach to the plot with several intertwined narrative threads and a number of characters displaying a full spectrum of human emotions, relationships and experiences, such as friendship, love, hatred, personal tragedies, treachery and taking responsibility for others. Michael Edens, the story writer and editor in the second season, credited the show's realism for much of its success. Prejudice and racism are recurring themes in the series, as both Terrans and Neosapiens are shown to harbor hatred and a sense of superiority towards each other. Interplanetary politics and space war typical for military science fiction were presented with an assumption of the fictional future history of the Solar System up to that point. The Able Squad's duties became more spread out as the second season unfolded, and there were separate story arcs on Mars, Venus, Earth, and in space. Espionage and intrigue were often featured instead of straightforward battles.
Will Meugniot, the executive producer of the series, once compared anime series Mobile Suit Gundam and Exosquad to the Pacific and the European Theaters of World War II, respectively. Michael Edens recalled in an interview that the plot was supposed to remind of the Second World War, too, for example with the Neosapien reconquest attempt of Venus, capture of the Moon and battle for Chicago paralleling the battles of the Bulge, Okinawa, and Berlin, respectively.
The series owes its title to the Exo-Frames (commonly referred as E-frames): multi-purpose mecha-like powered exoskeletons mostly utilized as armored combat vehicles or reinforced body armor by the characters.
The show was conceived in 1989 by Jeff Segal, who had been head writer and story editor of Challenge of the GoBots for Hanna-Barbera Productions prior to joining Universal as President of Universal Cartoon Studios. Segal intended to create another robotic boy-action property. The show was originally entitled Exoforce. It was modified in 1993 and the title was changed to Exosquad (as a result of a trademark conflict) when Playmates Toys made a deal for the Master Toy License. Segal receives "Created by" credit on the show, however Will Meugniot contributed immensely to the look and style of the show, and Michael Edens, as story editor, supervised development of episodic stories and helped to guide the story arc.
Exosquad was among the first animated series by Universal Animation Studios (then known as Universal Cartoon Studios) and was created under influence of anime imported from Japan. As a result, its complex story line covered a large number of topics from war through romance to genetic engineering and was able to appeal to a broad audience. Although the first season ran for only thirteen episodes in 1993, the rising popularity of the show allowed Universal to make the second one three times as long. In its second season, Exosquad was put together with another action series form Universal, Monster Force.
As the second season progressed, some characters, according to Michael Edens, "took on a life of [their] own": for example, Nara Burns killing Phaeton and the Neosapien Thrax becoming a major recurring character after his initial appearance were not pre-planned. Another character, Alec DeLeon, was supposed to perish in the destruction of Mars but the Universal executives strongly opposed it, so he was killed several episodes later, on the Moon, only to be promptly resurrected in a Neo Mega body.
The show was purportedly cancelled after 52 episodes because at that time, many independent production companies were being taken over by larger networks, who wanted to produce their own content. Exosquad was eventually moved to poor time slots, such as 4 a.m., until the ratings were no longer sufficient to sustain it. The final episode detailed the post-war political and social climate prevalent in the Exosquad universe, and closed with J.T. Marsh engaging a group of alien space vessels, whose exact nature was to be explained in the third season or a feature movie. Michael Edens later remarked that the staff originally planned the aliens to be insectoid and that the Pirates' dark matter, Dr. Ketzer's experiments, and the unactivated clone of Phaeton would have played a great role in fighting them. The idea of a movie based on Exosquad was being promoted by executive producer Jeff Segal, and it was also planned to expand the fictional universe with a spin-off series, then codenamed Exo-Pirates. Both initiatives were scrapped with the cancellation of the third season.
The first season of Exosquad was released on seven VHS cassettes shortly after its original run, and in 2007, it was made available on Hulu video on demand service. The complete second season was published on Hulu in February 2009. The first season has been made available on Zune Marketplace. Bootleg copies have been circulating through online stores. On December 23, 2008, Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced the 13 episodes comprising the first season of Exosquad would be published on DVD on April 14, 2009. It was released on the announced date as a two-disc set. Curiously, only three episodes in this set ("Seeds of Deception", "Resist", and "Betrayal") have the actual Season One opening; the other ten episodes are incorrectly shown with the Season Two opening.
Between 1993 and 1996, Playmates Toys produced a line of action figures and model kits of E-frames and spaceships featured in the television series. The descriptions of the toys are a major source of Exosquad universe lore. The toys were often compared to the popular Robotech franchise, and Playmates acquired the license to Robotech to produce both toy lines under the same label, spawning rumors of a possible crossover. This possibility was considered by the authors but later abandoned.
A Sega Genesis video game under the same title was developed by Appaloosa Interactive and published by Playmates in 1995. A comic book adaptation was published by Topps Comics in 1994. Additionally, an interactive movie book and a board game based on the series were released.
The critical reception of Exosquad was generally positive, as it was described as "no ordinary cartoon", "truly a superb piece of work", "a kind show that [one]’ll never forget", and "one of the greatest anime epics ever made". Phil Summers of Shamoozal.com commented that while "the early 90s wasn't exactly the best time for cartoons", Exosquad was "one of the most underrated cartoon series of all time". Summers spoke highly of its "serious, ongoing storyline", complimenting the maturity of raised themes, and denoted the decision to cancel it despite the rising popularity as "weird". Likewise, Thomas Wheeler of MasterCollector.com described the abrupt ending as "a VERY frustrating cliff-hanger". Both Summers and Wheeler praised the quality of the toy line that accompanied the series. TG Moses of Evabeast.com pointed out that the two main strengths of Exosquad are its "phenomenal" story and its characters. Like Phil Summers, he complimented the mature themes (such as racism, religion, and politics), calling the show "thought provoking and inspiring" with "an incredible amount of depth" in it. Moses specifically praised the characterization of the Neosapien characters, which avoided "absolute good and evil" designations, and voice acting in the show, wherein he perceived it "better than everyone else". Both Will Meugniot and Michael Edens commented that Exosquad was the best show they have worked on.
Gord Lacey of TVShowsOnDVD.com reviewed the first season upon its DVD release and likewise praised the maturity and complexity of the show, which subverted his expectations. He criticized the occasionally blurry visuals and too quiet audio of the release, rating them both 7/10. Lacey named the absence of DVD extras as a possible source of disappointment for the fans of the show.
Exosquad is Will's all time favourite show!
The 22nd Daytime Emmy awards were that were held on May 19, 1995 on NBC to commemorate excellence in daytime programming from the previous year (1994). The following list is the nominations. Winners are in bold.Cyberware
Cyberware is a relatively new and unknown field (a proto-science, or more adequately a "proto-technology"). In science fiction circles, however, it is commonly known to mean the hardware or machine parts implanted in the human body and acting as an interface between the central nervous system and the computers or machinery connected to it.
Cyberware is technology that attempts to create a working interface between machines/computers and the human nervous system, including the brain.Examples of potential cyberware cover a wide range, but current research tends to approach the field from one of two different angles: interfaces or prosthetics.Exosquad (video game)
Exosquad is a Mega Drive/Genesis video game based on the animated television series under the same title and developed by Appaloosa Interactive (formerly Novotrade International).List of Exosquad episodes
The following is an episode list for the animated television series Exosquad produced by Universal Cartoon Studios and Will Meugniot. The series first aired in 1993 and ended in 1994. Only the first season (out of two) has been released by Universal on VHS in 1993 and on DVD in 2009.List of animated television series of 1993
This is a list of animated television series first aired in 1993.List of fictional space navies
A space navy is a fictional military service arm tasked with waging battle in or exploring space. It usually has parallels (e.g. ranks, jargon, ship classification) with contemporary ocean-going navies, and sometimes with air forces.
Lensman (1937) - Galactic Patrol
Star Trek (1966)
Imperial Klingon Navy
Romulan Star Empire
Space Battleship Yamato (1974) - Earth Defense Force
Space Navy Series - United Worlds Space Navy
CoDominium (1976) - CoDominium Navy
Star Wars (1977)
New Republic Defense Force
Galactic Alliance Defense Force
Chiss Expansionary Fleet
Zeon Space Attack Force
Earth Federation Space Force
Anti-Earth Union Group
Ballistic Equipment & Space Patrol Armory
Oppose Militancy and Neutralize Invasion (OMNI) Enforcer
Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty (ZAFT)
Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1982) – Both the Galactic Empire and Free Planets Alliance had navies
Imperial Fleet (Reichsflotte) - Anime / Imperial Space Armada - 2016 novel translation
Free Planets Star Fleet - Anime / Alliance Navy - novel translation
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982) - U.N. Spacy
Once Upon a Time... Space (1982) – Both the Omega Confederation and its members, as well as the Republic of Cassiopeia and the Humanoids, have navies.
Albedo Anthropomorphics (1983) - Extraplanetary Defense Force
U.N. Spacy (Seen in the series, but never directly referred to)
Robotech Defense Force
Robotech Expeditionary Force
Ender's Game (1985) - International Fleet
Metroid (1986) - Galactic Federation
Vorkosigan Saga (1986) - Barrayaran Imperial Military Service
Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987) - the Royal Space Force
Warhammer 40,000 universe (1987) - Various space navies including the following:
Imperial Navy - Imperium of Man
Kor'vattra - Tau Air caste
Gunbuster (1988) - Earth Imperial Space Force
Red Dwarf (1988) - Jupiter Mining Corps/Space Corps
Intergalactic Military of the Planet Trade Organization (1989) - Dragon Ball Z
Babylon 5 (1993) - EarthForce
Exosquad (1993) - Exofleet
Familias Regnant universe (1993)
Regular Space Service
Royal Aeronautical Space Service
Honorverse (1993) - Various space navies including the following:
Royal Manticoran Navy
Grayson Space Navy
Elysian Space Navy
Imperial Andermani Navy
Solarian League Navy
Silesian Confederacy Navy
Seafort Saga (1994) - United Nations Naval Service
Space: Above and Beyond (1995) - In this TV series the U.S. Navy was operating a fleet of starships.
Crest of the Stars (1996) et seq
Imperial Star Forces - Under the Command of the Humankind Empire of Abh
United Mankind Naval Space Forces - Under the Command of the United Mankind (in the war which encompasses all three parts to the series, "The United Mankind" references the four space "countries" at war with the Ahb Empire pooled together under the conditions of the "Nova Sicily Treaty.") All space navies against the Ahb are thus collectively known, in a general sense as the "United Mankind."
People's Federation Space Forces - Under the command of the "Peoples Federation of Planets."
Hannia Space Naval Forces - Under the command of the "Federation of Hannia."
Space Forces of Alculnt - Under the command of the "Greater Republic of Alcunlt"
Martian Successor Nadesico (1996) Had a Space War for control over Mars, The Moon, The Earth itself as well as some Asteroids contested between 3 Space Navies
United Earth Allied Forces Space Battle Naval Fleets- Commanded by The United Earth Allied Forces
Jovian Lizards/ "The Space Assault Superior Male Forces of the Anti-Earth Corporative Federation of the Jovian Real, and Associated Moons and Asteroids"- Commanded by the "Holy Jupiterian Empire"
High Mobile Space Battle Ship Division- Nergal Heavy Industries, a civilian contractor doubting the effectiveness of the United Earth Allied Command's ability to quelch the Jovian take over of Earth.
Colony Wars (1997) - Colonial Navy
Galactic Terran Alliance
Parliamentary Vasudan Navy
Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance fleet
RCN Series (1998)
Republic of Cinnabar Navy
A Deepness in the Sky (1999) - Qeng Ho
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda (2000) - Argosy (part of the High Guard)
Halo (2001) - United Nations Space Command Navy
EVE Online (2003)
Gallente Federation Navy
Minmatar Republic Fleet
Battlestar Galactica (2003) - Colonial Fleet
Star Wreck (2005) - The P-Fleet
The Lost Fleet (2006) - Alliance and Syndic space navies
Mass Effect (2007) - Systems Alliance Navy, Turian Hierarchy naval forces with its volus auxiliaries, the quarian Migrant Fleet, others.
The Expanse (2011)
United Nations Navy
Mars Congressional Republic Navy
Free Navy (OPA)
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)
Fleet of the United Nations Space Alliance
Fleet of the Settlement Defense Front
The Dragon Never Sleeps (1988) - Canon Space Guardships and the Ku Dire Radiant
Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 - Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202
United Nations Cosmo Force
United Nations Cosmo Navy
Military of the Great Garmillas EmpireList of fictional vehicles
The following is a list of fictional vehicles.Marsala (disambiguation)
Marsala can refer to:
Marsala, fictional character in the animated series Exosquad
S.C. Marsala 1912, an Italian football club
Chicken marsalaMichael Benyaer
Michael Benyaer (born May 25, 1970) is a Canadian-American actor, cartoon and video game voice actor and is probably best known for his roles as Bob in the Canadian CGI series ReBoot, seasons 1, 2 and 4 and Hadji Singh in season one of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.
On playing Hadji, Benyaer stated, "[he] is one of the few roles for an ethnic actor that is not a bad guy. I mean, how many East Indian heroes have been on television? Hadji is for the sensitive kids out there. He is the outsider in all of us." A Star Wars fan, Benyaer relished the opportunity to work with Mark Hamill for the episode In the Realm of the Condor.Benyaer has appeared in feature films including: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, The Hitman and Postal. In 2016, Benyaer portrayed the character Warlord in 20th Century Fox's world-wide hit Deadpool.
On television, Benyaer has guest starred on many TV series including 24, NCIS, Castle, The Shield, Sanctuary, The Last Ship, The Flash and Modern Family. He played the recurring role of "Aknad" on Emily's Reasons Why Not. In 2013-14, he had a recurring role on the daytime soap Days of Our Lives as the nefarious Dr. Chyka.
Among other notable animated series roles, Benyaer was the first actor to voice Ken in Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World. Benyaer has also done voice over work for several animated series such as G.I. Joe where he voiced Airwave and Scoop, in Exosquad, he voiced Kaz Takagi and Praetorious, in Hurricanes, he voiced Stats Hiro and Plato Quinones, in Hot Wheels Highway 35 World Race as William "Banjee" Castillo, in Ranma 1/2 as Hikaru Gosunkugi and Kengyu, and Kanan Jarrus in Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales. He also guest starred several times as various characters on Robot Chicken.
Some notable video game characters Benyaer has voiced: Assassin's Creed: Revelations as Darim Ibn-La'Ahad and the Black Knight, Lieutenant Draza in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Lieutenant Nanib Sahir in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption as Wilhelm Streicher, Star Wars: The Old Republic as Various, Quantum of Solace as Various, The Matrix: Path of Neo as Merovingians, SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs as Various, Need for Speed: Underground as Various, Marvel Heroes as Dum Dum Dugan, Blizzard, and Dark Elves, The Elder Scrolls RPG as Various, Skylanders: Trap Team as Various, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as Various, King's Quest as Mr. Waddles and Tahir (Dying Light).
Benyaer also worked as a scriptwriter for several episodes of Billy the Cat, the Canadian Cult TV series Pilot One, and on the Canadian version of Sesame Street.Michael Donovan
Michael David Donovan (born June 12, 1953) is a Canadian voice actor and director known for his voice on the series Conan the Adventurer where he played the lead role of Conan. He is also known for his work as the voices of Phong, Mike the TV, Cecil, and Al on ReBoot.
Donovan has also provided the voice of Wolf Bronski in Exosquad, Sabretooth in X-Men: Evolution, Grey Hulk in The Incredible Hulk and She-Hulk, and Carnage in Spider-Man Unlimited. He provided the voices of Spike the Dog and Droopy on the hit WB series Tom & Jerry Tales. He also provided the voice for Ryoga Hibiki in the anime series Ranma ½, Suikotsu in InuYasha, as well as Cye of Torrent and Sage of Halo in Ronin Warriors.
He has also directed many animated series and feature films.Monster Force
Monster Force is a 13-episode animated television series created in 1994 by Universal Cartoon Studios and Canadian studio Lacewood Productions. The story is set in approximately 2020 and centers on a group of teenagers who, with help of high tech weaponry, fight off against classic Universal Monsters and spiritual beings threatening humanity. Some of the crew have personal vendettas (e.g., one has the "curse of the Wolfman" that has been handed down through generations and another had a family member taken away from her by Dracula), while others fight for Mankind out of a sense of altruism. The series aired in syndication alongside another Universal animated series, Exosquad. Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the first seven episodes to DVD on September 15, 2009.Richard Newman (actor)
Richard Newman (November 2, 1946) is an American-Canadian actor, voice actor and voice director who is notable for his numerous voice roles in Transformers cartoons.Saturn's moons in fiction
Several of Saturn's natural satellites have figured prominently in works of science fiction.Terrence McDonnell
Terrence McDonnell is an American television screenwriter and producer, best known for his collaboration with Jim Carlson in the first Battlestar Galactica series. The two of them also wrote the 1988 animated feature film Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw.Thrax
Thrax or Thraex (Latin borrowing of Ancient Greek Θρᾷξ "Thracian") may be
Dionysius Thrax (c. 170-90 BC), a Hellenistic grammarian
Maximinus Thrax (c. 173–238), the first "barbarian emperor"
Thrax (mythology), a child of Ares
Thrax, neosapien character in "Exosquad"
Thrax, a virus and the main antagonist in Osmosis Jones
Thrax, a villain from the 15th anniversary episodes of Power Rangers
Thrax, the City of Windowless Rooms from Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun series.
Tony Sampson (born July 26, 1977) is a Canadian former actor and voice actor known for his portrayal of Eddy on Ed, Edd, n Eddy.USA Action Extreme Team
USA Action Extreme Team was a children's television programming block on USA Network from 1995 to 1998. The block aired on Sunday mornings, but it later expanded to weekday mornings beginning in 1996 and took over the USA Cartoon Express block's timeslots as a result. The block ended in September 1998, when the network permanently removed children's programming.