Aquiring the original Television film prints of a cartoon is to me the highlight of collecting, while alot of older cartoons are not difficult to obtain, 8th Man prints are quite scarce - To the best of my knowledge in North America the 8th Man series was strictly limited to Major TV markets in the U.S. & Canada, and it was also televised in Austrailia & Brazil. Not many prints were produced...if a station was showing one episode every weekday afternoon, then in about 13 weeks the whole series was run from beginning to end, after another complete run all the episodes had been shown twice in roughly 6 months. By the early 70's 8th Man had about disappeared from American living rooms.

If anyone has additional information about distribution of prints drop me an email please.

Although I said I wasnt going to focus much on production, this page is a good place to explain somewhat, without going into great detail about how the English-dubbing was performed.
Usually a 35mm print with separate Voice and M&E tracks (music and effects) is sent along with translated scripts...Japanese is very different when translated into English, I guess its a very "image" oriented language, for instance the name Jiro Kuwtata is translated into English as: mulberry tree rice field Jiro, the name of Chief Tanaka (Fumblethumbs) also contains a "rice field" character that you can see on his desk nameplate (looks like 4 squares).
Anyway, this isnt supposed to be a lesson in Japanese, but you get the picture of how difficult it is to translate Japanese without a person to place the sentence structure in proper order AND explain the different meanings of the words. The meaning and train of thought contained Japanese sentences translated literally into English for the most part, is totally lost.

But, if you look on my episode list you see that most of the English episode titles are very much alike to the Japanese/translated-into-English titles. The meanings are better retained and understood in single words and short phrases.
Plus in the original Japanese episodes many English words are utilized in the dialogue; the word - "salamander", for instance in "The Steel Salamander" or "Salamander Manuevers" in Japanese is pronounced in just that way in English, or something close to it. This was an episode that was fairly easy to name - :)

Knowing this, now we can truly appreciate the tremendous effort that was put forth by the team at Copri Studios - for even with the scripts it was undoubtedly difficult to produce an English-speaking version.

Mr. Jerry Berke, the voice-actor who provided the voice of Tobor, is a definite authority on the subject of how
"8 Man"... became 8th Man...

"As for the technical side, I was involved a bit on that end because I actually wrote a few of the episodes.
It was more difficult than dubbing 52 half hours because the dialogue had to match the characters' lip movements and also make some sense.
Ruben (Guberman) was wonderful at that".
"I can tell you that any of the scripts I wrote (and I'm sure this was true for Ruben as well) took a considerable amount of time. I recall having a very crude English-language script as a guide, but having to literally reconstruct plots and dialogue not only scene by scene but frame by frame.
It was, of course, just as important to write dialogue in which the character's words matched the lip movements on the screen as closely as possible. The dubbing itself was done in "loops" of film about 10-15 seconds long, and repeated over and over until the actors' lines matched the lips and the action of the characters.
I believe we took about nine months in the studio to do 52 half-hour episodes.
If you tack on writing, mixing and stuff like that it was longer".

Photocopy of original Prince Planet script
(the #'s on the left are the "loop" sequence numbers)

Now going back to the process, the voice and M&E tracks are stripped from the 35mm print and a reduction to 16mm is made omitting the original voice track and replacing it with the English language dialogue and the M&E track. I suspect that the 35mm print supplied was with a Magnetic sound track rather than optical because in comparing original Japanese with English-dubbed versions, there have been some minor changes done in the background music and this is acheieved much easier with Mag sound than Optical.
So, with the dialogue replaced and the desired changes in M&E completed, the needed prints for broadcast were struck and distributed and an 8th Man suitable for American/English speaking audiences was born!

This is a very simplified digest of a quite complicated process, if any of you detail-orientated folks out there want to write-up the nitty-gritty details and email it to me, feel free...I'll find a place to put it here somewhere!

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