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Over the course of Star Fleet's 24 episodes a complete story is played out, something that set it apart from Gerry Anderson's shows and undoubtedly kept us tuning in. In the style of the old Flash Gordon serials, each episode ended with a hint at what would be following in the next. This isn't uncommon with Japanese shows, but was certainly something different for British television of the early 80s. If you want to be reminded of the story in full, with plenty of images to jog your memory, then you should have a look at the full episode guide. Otherwise, read on for a brief overview of what the Star Fleet story was all about...

The story begins just outside our solar system as a massive alien cruiser arrives from the Thalian Zone, destroying an Earth scout ship without provocation. The year is 2999, and the solar system has just seen the end of Space War 3. The alien cruiser sweeps through Earth's defences and, hovering directly above Star Fleet Command, issues an ultimatum - hand over the F Zero One (F-01) or face destruction.

Makara's battlecruiser coming in...The battlecruiser parked over Star Fleet Command

Fortunately Star Fleet's last hope, the X-Bomber, manages to repair the damage it suffered as the alien cruiser's forces attacked and lures the cruiser away from Star Fleet Command. X-Bomber's advanced weapons beat off the cruiser, but the question it asked remains - what is the F-01? When a mysterious space sailing ship appears near Pluto and is attacked by the alien cruiser, Star Fleet Command recognises that there is more going on than they realise.

X Impulse firesMakara is taken by surpriseMakara puts a shot across the Skull's bow

X-Bomber sets off into deep space in search of the sailing ship - the Skull. The rest of the story then centres round the X-Bomber crew's continued encounters with the evil Imperial Alliance and the Skull, as they try to uncover both the mystery of the Skull and that of the F-01. Finally, the crew must race back to Earth for a final confrontation which will determine the fate of the universe as the year 3000 dawns.

That's a very shortened version of the plot, and doesn't mention the various sub-plots and surprises along the way - including the deaths of several characters. Not unusual in anime, but this is British TV we're talking about - we couldn't even handle Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles, remember?!

It's also quite funny, watching it now, to see just how much sexual innuendo there was in the series - the lads' comments on first seeing Lamia are hilarious - you can listen to them at the sounds page! As mentioned above, the full episode guide will give you a much fuller picture of the plot which I've taken a step further with my Star Fleet Genesis story.

On the next page, remind yourself of some of the characters from the show. Is it starting to come back to you yet?!

Last updated 14 December 2013

Star Fleet on DVD

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