The ExoSquad FAQ: TV Show


Q: Where can I watch ExoSquad? Where can I acquire copies of episodes?

A: ExoSquad episodes are currently (June 2005) being made available at http://www.smartbombstudios.com/public/Exosquad/.

It had last been televised on the cable network USA at 10:30 AM ET on Sundays and 11:30 AM ET on Saturdays, but it is now off the air. The first season episodes have been released on video and laserdisc by Universal, however, and are available at the Universal Studios Store or Yahoo Shopping or Amazon's Store.

There are a few sellers of ExoSquad DVDs at eBay. Some general fan sites, such as Rewind Online, Toons 'N Live Action, Moondog's Video Trading, USF Video Collectibles, Alien Animations, and GracefulCobra claim to offer copies of episodes. But I've not dealt with any of them and thus cannot vouch for them.

I keep a list of people who seek tapes of the episodes, so that people who have tapes and are capable of creating copies can contact them. There is also a mailing list at exovideo@lists.stwing.upenn.edu to make it easier to contact those searching for tapes. If you wish to join the list of fans waiting to be contacted by someone willing to copy tapes of episodes, you should send a message to exovideo-subscribe@lists.stwing.upenn.edu

To download episode files, try file sharing sites such as iMesh or KaZaa [look for 187259; cdyu626 has the rare file "Exosquad - Episode 46 - Art of War" among others] or Morpheus [at which you should look for Corntcoboy]. Any questions regarding these sites should not be asked of me. Fellow ExoFan Glen Sissak (shark075) is willing to make episodes available, and can be contacted on irc/dalnet in the evening. When doing so, be patient and wait for his response. SpyBrent2067 has volunteered to be contacted on AIM. 'dat iz bodder' likewise volunteered and he can be reached on ICQ #13691983 Also, in mid-June 2003, many of the episodes were posted to alt.binaries.multimedia.cartoons.

Be aware that some episodes (e.g. #39, 41, 43, 46) are difficult if not impossible to find because the fan who initially created and distributed most of the files did not have all the episodes on tape.

If you want to see ExoSquad made available on DVD, e-mail your polite request to universalstudios&dreamworks@leemarketing.com



Q: Why was the show canceled?

A: Michael Edens (story editor for the second season of ExoSquad) has commented as follows: "The main reason no third season or movie was ever produced was the sudden and almost complete collapse of the tv syndication market in animation. There was rapid change in the business in the mid-90s. There was a lot of media consolidation and synergies being created between in-house production companies and growing networks like the WB and UPN. A lot of independent stations were eaten up and taken into the new nets, who wanted to supply them with their own product. The weekday afternoon syndication times remaining were often filled with Oprah clone talk shows, which could be cheaply produced and were very successful -- at least for a few years. If you remember the time, it seemed like anybody who could ask a reasonably coherent question had their own talk show. Weekday afternoon animation blocks almost completely disappeared -- unless like the WB net they were filled with exclusively Warner Brothers animation. Universal syndication scrambled and actually sold the show broadly, but the times were almost all terrible -- there were a couple of places where we were on at 4 in the morning. In the few decent time slots we got, the show drew a good audience. It was an old tv problem -- the few people who actually saw ExoSquad liked it a lot, but most people didn't even know it existed. Overall, the numbers for ExoSquad were disappointing, which in turn led to a less-than-enthusiastic drive by Universal to commit to a movie. Jeff Segal, who aside from being executive producer and one of the creators of ExoSquad was president of Universal Family Entertainment and its off-shot, Universal Cartoon Studios, tried to keep the movie idea alive, but Universal's feature film division was cool to the idea. When the ratings numbers finally killed a third season, that also killed the movie."


Q: How was the series supposed to end?

A: It seemed that an alien race was going to invade the solar system, arriving in response to the alien transmitter that resulted in the destruction of Mars ("Call of the Unknown", "Heart of Mars"). Since it was foreshadowed by Simbacca's video trading card (at the end of Winfield's narration: "I've joined with a man who was once my enemy to fight an evil that threatens both of us. Someday perhaps we'll unite with the Neo sapiens against an enemy more terrible than Phaeton.") and the Homeworlds Congress' decision after the war to support Marsala's plan to create a brood of Neo sapiens that could procreate, I think that Terrans and Neo sapiens would have joined forces to attempt to repulse any incursion. The last episode (that I saw) had Marsh running into some alien craft on the edge of the solar system ("Beyond Chaos").

There has been some speculation based on the appearance of the alien craft and the creation of a joint ExoSquad/Robotech toy line that the invaders were enemies of Earth in the Robotech series. I have recently been in contact with Ron McPherson of From Art to Design, Inc. He has done work for Playmates Toys, Inc. including art for the toy boxes in the ExoSquad/Robotech series. He responded to me:

"Re: why ROBOTECH was added to EXOSQUAD line. MONEY and Story extensions for the animated series. PLAYMATES Toys needed line extensions and Universal needed more storys so they licensed the old ROBOTECH characters to add to EXOSQUAD because the were an acceptibly close match Up."

The mention of the Robotech story (not just the toys) being liscensed for the sake of the animated series does lend credence to theories that the alien threat was a threat to Earth in the Robotech series (or was in some way related to Robotech). It should be noted, though, that the art often shows Zentraedi Pods and Invid Troopers fighting alongside ExoFleet e-frames, sometimes with Terrans visible inside.

Since I lack inside information, all I can do is speculate. It would be impossible to predict the means by which this threat would be overcome. I am accepting fan-fiction from other ExoSquad fans, so that they may present their theories, and you can be entertained by the stories based on them.

Since the above was written Michael Edens (story editor for the second season) has been kind enough to contribute some comments which can be found at the Cast and Creator Comments page.


Q: Will the series ever be continued?

A: In the past I have heard many rumors regarding the production of a movie. A February 1996 press release by Playmates Toys Inc., who manufacture the ExoSquad toys, stated a full-length, feature film was in development. But in an e-mail exchange with Frank Shin, Executive in Charge of Overseas Production for ExoSquad, during March 1997 I was told that the idea of a movie had been discussed but was apparently not being pursued.

I had also heard rumors that the series might be continued in some altered form, perhaps as soon as early summer, 1996. I've not heard this one recently (and obviously the date wasn't met), and I'd never heard much of it anyway, so it is likely completely false.

In July 1997 I spoke to David Kaye, who provided the voice for Draconis (among others), and he knew of no plans to continue ExoSquad. Further contact with other members of the cast and creative staff has echoed similar sentiments: those who worked on ExoSquad enjoyed doing so and would be interested in continuing it, but nothing is in the works.

At present our best chance to change the situation probably lies in inspiring interest in a DVD release. If you want to see ExoSquad made available on DVD, e-mail your polite request to universalstudios&dreamworks@leemarketing.com


Q: How did Nara Burns get the strange telekinetic powers (i.e., her glowing green hand) that allowed her to kill Phaeton in "Fall of the Neo Sapien Empire Part 5"?

A: The most likely explanation revolves around the events in "Dark River." In that episode Nara is injected with a formula created by Dr. Ketzer, and supposedly no cure existed. The formula was designed to restructure the genetics of a human being to improve his or her physical capabilites. It may be that her telekinetic powers originated from this event. When her hand begins to hurt just before she manifests the strange powers to stop Phaeton, she gasps Ketzer's name.

Although the incident with Ketzer might be the most likely explanation, it would seem an incomplete one. In the course of the episode Ketzer said, "I injected her with the same DNA formula I use on myself," and later, "You will help me destroy the city or watch your Lieutenant Burns slowly become what I am." These two statements would imply that Nara should end up like him, but instead of changing in appearance as Ketzer does, she manifests telekinetic powers, something Ketzer is never shown as being capable of. But in "Beyond Chaos" he does refer to Nara as an "unfinished experiment", so perhaps in the first two quotes he was lying to the exotroopers about what he injected her with.

The big problem is that "Dark River" seemed to be the first episode in a miniseries, as it ended on a cliffhanger. No episodes resolving the situation set up by "Dark River" were ever shown. So perhaps this was supposed to be better clarified, but for whatever reason it never happened. The fact that "Dark River" was televised regardless of the failure to complete production on any intended followup episodes may lend credence to this theory, as the episode was deemed too important to not show, despite of its lack of resolution.

The other possibility that I have considered, perhaps in combination with the experimentation on her by Ketzer, is that Nara is an alien of some sort, or that it may relate to her being born on Venus (she would've been one of the first or second generation born on a planet other than Earth). When Phaeton realizes what she is doing to him he exclaims, "You... you aren't human." and her response is, "My mother and my father were... and my brother." This may indicate that she thinks of herself as not human.

It may be that the intention was to make Nara a member of the alien race that invaded the solar system in "Beyond Chaos." Had the show continued, she could have played a role similar to what Marsala had, fighting alongside humans against his own race. It would have made the dynamics of the group interesting.

Since the above was written Michael Edens (story editor for the second season of ExoSquad) has commented as follows: "Ketzer was lying when he said Nara would become just like him. In our minds, he was always tinkering with his process and really didn't know exactly how it would change her. The fact that her DNA might be subtly different because of her birth on Venus might have been a factor, too. We had not completely worked it out yet -- that was to be part of a third season, if it had been done. The general thinking was that Ketzer's "creations" would be important to defeating the new alien menace -- the exact nature of which, we had also not worked out yet."


Q: Is it true that Alec DeLeon is alive again? How?

A: Alec has indeed been brought back to life. The rebirth of DeLeon began, not with his death, but with an e-frame enhancement performed by Professor Algernon. DeLeon's cyberlink with his e-frame was greater than before, allowing him quicker reflexes as well as an enhanced perception of his surroundings. As Algernon said, "More precisely, it is your mind. It joins its own perceptions and insights with those of the pilot."

When DeLeon died on the moon ("One Small Step"), the black box to his e-frame (which, as we saw when they thought Torres was killed, contains the memories of the pilot; "Heart of Mars") was given to Maggie Weston. When the final assault on Earth was to begin, Weston gave the black box to Algernon for safekeeping ("Fifth Column"). Galba took this opportunity to create a Neo mega body that looked exactly like DeLeon (using the procedure through which Phaeton recreated Noretti; "Under the Skin"), and infused it with the copy of Alec's mind as stored in the black box ("Beyond Chaos").

Unanswered questions (more than just "Was his entire mind successfully transferred?") regarding the procedure remain. Galba says that the new DeLeon's internal organs are that of a Neo mega, so it would seem that Alec is essentially a Neo mega; he would not need sleep, much food, and his brain function would resemble a Neo. Another question deals with the fact that Neo megas were not given the ability to reproduce, though the technology to grow a Neo that can procreate exists. Because Weston's interest in Alec was more than professional (and the feeling was mutual), how Alec was reconstructed is something that must be considered in this regard. When the improvements to the e-frame black box were first introduced ("Trial by Combat"), Weston was able to succeed against Alec because, as she said, "I know him better than the e-frame does." Once she overcomes the initial reaction to having Alec back, will she notice that it isn't truly him, or was there enough time before his death for the e-frame to get to know him better?

Since the above was written Michael Edens (story editor for the second season) has been kind enough to contribute some comments which can be found at the Cast and Creator Comments page.

As I tried to show throughout my explanation, there were events that foreshadowed his return. So DeLeon is indeed back, though the fact that it was in the last episode made it somewhat pointless, though I would imagine that he'll be back for the movie, should one ever happen.

Q: How is the name of the jumpship often used by Avery Butler's company spelled?

A: The name of the jumpship is Arnhem, not Arnheim. It has been viewed onscreen for scene establishment (e.g. "Jumptoop Arnhem in Earth orbit"). The longer answer (in case you care) is as follows:

The name of the Dutch city is most often spelled Arnhem. (Arnhem was the site of an important strategic encounter during the close of World War II. August of 1944 was a good month for the Allies, who had overcome the Mortain Counteroffensive to regain most of France. But as they approached Germany's borders resistance stiffened. In late September a British airborne division was dropped behind German lines across the Rhine near Arnhem. The operation incurred heavy casualties: of the 10,000 troops landed, more than 1,000 were killed and at least 6,400 were taken prisoner. The Allied offensive ground to a temporary halt. The use of paratroopers at this battle is most likely the reason why the name is used for a jumpship, which deploys jumptroops in a manner similar to paratroopers.)

Another one of the reasons for believing it to be spelled Arnhem is that it is most often pronounced (as I recall) AR-nem, rather than arn-HYME (long i). The latter pronunciation would be associated with the spelling that I doubt.


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