137th Gebirg wrote:
IIRC, Zark was an American invention when it was re-edited as Battle of the Planets, to be a "kid friendly" narrator to the story and to fill in space from editing. Like Yamato, there were some occasional not-so-kid-friendly aspects to Gatchamen that had to be clipped. When episodes came in short, they put in the robot (a very R2-D2/IQ-9 kind of character that kids could easily relate to).
That's true, but there was more to it than that. Gatchaman
was an entirely Earthbound show, but this was just after Star Wars
happened and everyone wanted to imitate it, so they added the R2D2-esque robot and shot bridging material to show the characters' ship flying through space, so that they could pretend that the Earth-based action sequences from the original were happening on various alien planets.
They also did it because the original Gatchaman was considered way too violent for U.S. TV (as they were going for a kids audience); thus they needed ways to fill time for the cut footage that they considered too violent, and in some cases where they cut so much they had to use footage from two original Japanese episodes to come up with a single U.S. version; had to explain WHY the scene situation changed so drastically - so it was easy to just say, "they now traveled to planet X..."