was a frequent guest on Bob's shows Creature Features and Captain
Cosmic, appearing on "Cosmic" about 24 times in its four-year
run. At that time, I was Channel 2's resident "Godzilla"
or "Japanese Film Expert," I was a teenager and had a
great time doing it. If you watched Captain Cosmic, you might have
started Captain Cosmic in the wake of the incredible success of
STAR WARS everyone realized that science fiction was "in"
during a vacation in Hawaii the previous year, Bob had seen a number
of Japanese superhero tv shows which has taken the islands by storm.
Hawaiian kids of every background, were fascinated with the Japanese
heroes, and Bob realized the potential for mass popularity.
the subtitled versions shown in Honolulu were not going to be suitable
for a wider audience (although Bob thought it could work), he also
looked into buying a couple of the series for the mainland, and
having them dubbed into English. Most of his efforts ended up in
dead ends. When STAR WARS broke, then he knew he had to act... he
contacted distributors, and began to find old shows and serials
he could run.
COSMIC & ROBOT 2T2 kicked off with the original FLASH GORDON
serial, and then went into high-gear with the 1966 Japanese series,
THE SPACE GIANTS (Maguma Taishi), which made it's Northern California
premiere. When I appeared as a guest to discuss the premiere of
this Japanese superhero series, Bob asked me for other options for
Japanese and Sci-Fi shows to be aired on Captain Cosmic. I recommended
ULTRAMAN, JOHNNY SOKKO, THUNDERBIRDS, and others. I prepared a list
right at the studio, including the distributors for the shows, and
turned that over to Bob before I left CH. 2 that day (mind you,
I was a young teenager, then!) — and soon, we were watching a number
of Japanese Superheroes . . . when Bob called me to ask what I knew
about SPECTREMAN, I was excited — VCRs weren't common in those
days, and it was rare to see such shows.
Cosmic was a godsend — who else would have broadcast SPECTREMAN,
THE SPACE GIANTS, ULTRAMAN, JOHNNY SOKKO & HIS FLYING ROBOT,
STARBLAZERS, and more? Only Bob Wilkins.
- August Ragone