Season 2, Episode 5, Storyline C – “Planet of the Neanderthals”
Original Airdate: October 15, 1977
Where should I start? This episode had everything – time travel, cavemen, highly ridiculous dialog, dinosaurs, and animation mishaps. It was stupid, but in that perfectly wonderful way. Does it make any sense? Of course not! We’re talking about THE SUPER FRIENDS doing a TIME TRAVEL episode. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Short Synopsis: “Another sunny day welcomes the busy city of Metropolis, one of the world’s most modern cities. But, unknown to the citizens of Metropolis, a mysterious force has changed evolution so that today’s cities are primitive” – Narrator
BUT, in addition to the changed people, there are also Neanderthal cavemen that came from some other place, who show up and boss all the new primitive people around. They also happen to speak perfect English. STOP QUESTIONING, it makes complete sense.
“What is this incredible transformation that is changing the Earth into a prehistoric caaave society and can the Super Friends do anything about it?” – Narrator, who is really chatty during this episode.
The Littlest Astronauts
Batman and Robin help out the space station, which conveniently has scientists aboard – remember that as it will be important to the “plot.”
“Later, in the primitive cave that used to be the super-sophisticated Hall of Justice.” – Narrator
They determine that the mastermind behind this whole debacle is a guy named Barko? Barkle? Varko? I dunno, one of those. I’ll go with Barko.
The Super Friends decide to split up and look for Barko. The narrator then says that the Super Friends “streak into action.” Poor choice of words, Narrator.
Why, Barko? WHYYYY?
Batman, Robin, Zan, and Jayna are all captured and taken to Barko to face charges of crimes against civilization. This gives us the opportunity to hear about how the hell Barko managed all this:
“Modern man has had his chance and made a mess of the world. I tricked the top scientists of the world into building me an enormous time tunnel, and an electronic device that would physically alter the evolution of man. Once completed, I took the huge device back in time where it sent out beams of energy, changing the evolutionary process of man, allowing primitive man to control modern man.”
So, Barko told the top scientists that he’s got their nose and they built those things as ransom? That’s what it sounds like to me.
Barko then tells them, in no uncertain terms, they are to mess with his time tunnel, which he then conveniently informs them is hidden under the building they’re in, because we all know there’s no way the Super Friends could have figured that out themselves.
Batman and Robin end up in an underground cell (what luck!) and Zan an Jayna are sent to the quarry to join the other slaves.
Zan and Jayna bring the episode into uncomfortable territory.
Long story short, Zan and Jayna become and elephant and water, and Jayna is swimming around in the water. Doesn’t that mean that it’s like she’s inside her brother?
Then, she tells him, “Thanks for saving me you wonderful wonder brother, for that you get a kiss.”
You know what, let’s just move on.
“Our only course of action is to build another time machine, return in time, and change the past back to the way it was.” – Wonder Woman
But HOW, how can they build another time machine without any modern equipment since all scientists are now primitives or whatever? Yep, the tiny scientists on Skylab.
I don’t want to get too technical and bog you own with all this scientific jargon that is completely made up bullshit, so I’ll just say that Superman transmits x-ray images to the Skylab, where they make “blueprints” for a new time machine, and it requires him to dress like this:
Blah blah blah, they get their own time machine.
“The three of us will go back in time one million years!” – Superman
Superman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman go back in time. Then, they look for that other device, the one that sent out beams of energy and changed the evolutionary process of man.
What an amazing time that never happened.
Superman deals with the dinosaurs, and the device goes back to modern time and then everything is fixed again. Hooray!
It was a crisis of wardrobe malfunctions.
This week the Super Friends really couldn’t quite get their uniforms right.
Get it together, Super Friends!
P.S. I’m posting Super Friends outtakes on the Cannibalistic Nerd Facebook page. So, if you need a mid-week Super Friends pick-me-up, that’s the place to get it.
If you would like to see these shenanigans for yourself, Season 2 is available on DVD.