One of the greatest movies of all time was Ghostbusters. It was followed up with one of the greatest cartoons of all time, The Real Ghostbusters (one of the most successful Movie-to-TV translations EVER). The mix of comedy, horror, and weird science was white-hot in the Eighties, and still maintains a loyal fan following to this day!!!
September 13, 2006
It couldn't even call itself Ghostbusters because of an obscure Filmation show in the 1970's, Ghost Busters, and a battle for the name. Columbia got to keep the name, but Filmation retained the rights to do a Ghost Busters cartoon (starring a monkey) to cash in on the name Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray made popular.
Top it off, due to likeness issues, none of the Ghostbusters looked like the movie actors. Ray Stantz became pudgy and redheaded. Venkman became younger looking. Winston lost his mustache. Egon became tall, lanky, and with weird blond hair. Bookish secretary Janine got a bit sexier.
Could this work?
You bet your ass it could.
ABC and DiC studios (the company that actually produced the show) hired sci-fi writer J. Micheal Straczynski to be Story Editor, and he kept the staff from cliche's and formulaic storytelling as much as possible in Saturday Morning TV in 1986. JMS himself wrote several scripts for the show, pointing the way to a greater sense of drama, intensity, and intelligence, a sensability never seen in the Saturday Morning ghetto. It was unprecedented, it was groundbreaking. And it was a ratings smash.
To be sure, it didn't last. ABC hired a bunch of "experts" who clearly don't believe in "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" and ordered the show dumbed down for it's second season. Venkman lost half his IQ, and due to Bill Murray's whining about the voice Lorenzo "Garfield" Music was replaced by a lame Murray impersonation performed by Dave ("That Dumb Guy From Full House"*) Coulier. Even worse was the personality lobotomy performed on Janine, turning a gutsy, abraisive, take-no-crap character into just another meek, passive, perky Mommy Figure. And don't get me started on their insistance on centering the show on mascot ghost Slimer...
Straczynski quit the show because of this. Still, what JMS built was strong enough to last six years on ABC and sixty five episodes of first-run syndication, making it not only the most successful cartoon based off a movie ever, but one of the most successful shows in all of television history based off a movie. It was so successful that a generation of kids grew up confused thinking the movies were based off the show! There are still many people who, to this day, regard The Real Ghostbusters as an equal, or even a greater, part of the Ghostbusters phenomenon as the two movies.
It is as part of this celebration I release my eightieth fan fic, Ghostbusters: Gemini Rising, Part Six; the penultimate (I hope...) chapter of this epic, bringing into focus, once and for all, exactly how I see the movies, the cartoons, and their relationship.
So Happy Birthday, RGB. You may be gone from our TVs, but you're far from forgotten.
*--That description courtesy of The Bondo Bandit :)
The Ectozone is a member of GBComm, the Ghostbusters community! Created by Brian Reilly, a contributor to the Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline. Check it out!!!
Everything you didn't even know you were afraid to ask. Click HERE to enter the Ghostbusters Reference Omnibus!
My alter ego, Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, is a member of the Ghostbusters West Coast,a franchise of Ghostbusters International. Click on the logo below to visit the GBWC web site!!!
My own take on the Ghostbusters. Some of my own creations aren't this much fun to write! Click HERE to see the stuff...
Five newest stories (newest on top)
Ghostbusters: Gemini Rising, Part Six
Ghostbusters West Coast: Union of the Snake
Slimer! And The Extreme Ghostbusters: Gemini Rising, Part Five
Ghostbusters 2000: Gemini Rising, Part Four
Ghostbusters Nightsquad: All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Four
"Oh, God, he draws too..." A gallery of profile pictures of numerous teams comprising Ghostbusters International...Click HERE if you dare...
There are other great Ghostbuster sites on the web!!! Click HERE to check out some of them!!!
Do we really need another message board? Probably not. But as you can see here I made one anyway...
Ghostbusters is©1984 Columbia Pictures. Ghostbusters 2 is ©1989 Columbia Pictures The Real Ghostbusters is ©1986 Columbia Pictures Television and DiC Productions. Extreme Ghostbusters is ©1997 Columbia Pictures Television and Adelaide Productions. The 88MPH comic book is © 2004 Sony and 88MPH Studios. Ghostbusters: The Return is © 2004 Sony and iBooks. No use of characters and images associated with the above is intended for profit, or to challenge the copyrights of the above holders. Characters not appearing in the above copyrighted works are to be considered © BG Baugh and/or their respective creators