FANDERSON-riffing Japano-European puppet-driven Saturday Morning epic responsible – with BATTLE OF THE PLANETS – for introducing an entire generation to the murky delights of ‘anime’. Rod-enabled crew of X-Bomber (or, in old yen, ‘Bomber-X’) in full – intense beardy boffin Dr. Benn, irritating ear-flapping hoverdroid PPA (‘Perfectly Programmed Android’, apparently), archetypal Japano-European puppet space hero Shiro Hagen, Shaft-esque foam-haired bad boy Barry Hercules, and comedy ginger fatso John Lee – were charged with transporting cross-galactic princess type Lamia (and her Honey Monster Gone Feral protector Kirara) across, well, the galaxy, for the purposes of her ascending to the status of F-01, whatever that was exactly, at a predetermined point in time. Somewhat misleadingly-named ‘Imperial Alliance’ aimed to prevent them doing this, with the aid of gender-ambiguous Commander Makara and ‘her’ talking eyepatch thing, hapless Dan Quayle-esque second-in-command Captain Orion, mad silver-headed weapon developer Dr. Caliban, and big bug-like battle cruiser manned by comedy-panic-prone insectoid types. Insectoid-comedy-panic largely inspired by X-Bomber’s being kitted out with X-Impulse (massive cross-shaped beam of white light with apparent main collateral effect of causing people to go “AIEEEEEE!”) and three miniature fighters that famously combined, Transformers-predictingly, to form Dai-X, gigantic narked-looking red robot capable of smashing anything in its path and dominating playground natter for weeks on end. Also on hand to complicate matters were mysterious X-Bomber-aiding galleon-shaped battleship ‘The Skull’, and rock-faced Imperial Master, so massive in stature he was actually played by a human in a costume. Bonkers FM -friendly soft-metal theme song famously covered at ‘squiggle’-overloading length by Brian May and Eddie Van Halen.