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Trivia / Ultra Q

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  • Cut Short: Due to Executive Meddling seeking to pave the way for Ultraman as soon as possible, the series ended on an unimpressive (though not terrible) note despite its popularity.
  • Follow the Leader
    • Considered by western fans to be this to The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone, but a better comparison is found in Quatermass. Which makes it funnier that the unaired English dub was made by the producers of The Twilight Zone, and acquired by the producers of The Outer Limits. Ironically, in Japan, Ultra Q's popularity helped to boost the ratings of its American counterparts.
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    • Also, it was the popularity of the Godzilla franchise that led to the giant monsters taking center stage and the Ultra Series that followed being all about heroes vs. kaiju. Eiji Tsuburaya didn't want it to be this way at first, but was talked into including more kaiju by Executive Meddling.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: Gorgos' roars are those of Godzilla and King Kong, while Namegon's roar is that of Varan.
  • Production Posse: Most of the people who worked on this show were members of Tsuburaya's Toho SFX team. Most of them, and many of the writers, directors, and the like would also work on Ultraman and Ultraseven.
  • Prop Recycling: Many of the kaiju suits were recycled from Toho as Eiji Tsuburaya owned the suits.
    • The first monster, Gomess, was quite clearly a repurposed Godzilla suit (specifically the Mothra vs. Godzilla suit) while Litra was Rodan (specifically the puppet used for Rodan's flight scenes in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster).
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    • Goro the giant monkey was simply the King Kong suit from King Kong vs. Godzilla with a tail.
    • The Kai Dragon was made from Manda.
    • Litra was remade into Larugeus, and was in turn reused as the Giant Condor from Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.
    • Baragon was made into Pagos.
    • Sudar was the Giant Octopus prop used in King Kong vs. Godzilla when Kong fights it (Toho used live octopuses for the non-fighting scenes).
    • Todola was made out of Maguma from Gorath.
    • Several of the suits were reused for Ultraman. Baragon/Pagos was remade into Neronga, Magular, and Gabora, Peter was remade into Gesura, Kemur and Ragon's appearances were reused, Peguila and Garamon became Chandler and Pigmon respectively, and the Cicada Man was modified into Alien Baltan.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • A young Ryusei Nakao and Toru Furuya appear in "Garadama" as some of the kids who find Garamon's meteor.
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    • Several of the main cast in Ultraman appear in bit roles throughout the series. Masanari Nihei appears in "Kanegon's Cocoon" and "Goro and Goroh", Akiji Kobayashi guest stars in "Challenge from the Year 2020", Susumu Kurobe appears in "Terror of the Sweet Honey", and Akihide Tsuzawa guest stars in "I Saw a Bird".
  • Schedule Slip: The 28th and final episode "Open Up!" was delayed for many months, due to the premiere of Ultraman.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Despite only running for 27 episodes from January 2 to July 3 in 1966, Ultra Q was one of the most popular television series of its day and continues to influence Japanese popular culture, including spawning the even bigger hit Ultraman and the rest of the Ultra Series.
  • Unfinished Episode:
    • A number of episodes of Ultraman were made from unused Ultra Q scripts, notably "Oil S.O.S.", which had a manta-like creature named Clapton instead of Pestar as seen in Ultraman.
    • The intended series finale would have featured a villainous bird-like alien named Bemlar trying to conquer Earth. The Bemlar character would later be recycled as the first concept for Ultraman.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original draft for the series was called WoO, starring a comical, bug-eyed alien named Woo who befriended a news reporter named Joji Akita, but had to fight monsters and avoid the armed forces who saw him as a threat. The alien's name was recycled for a monster in Ultraman and the concept was revived in 2006 with Bio Planet Woo.
    • Ultraman was originally going to be in an Ultra Q episode, where he was going to be an alien villain, instead of a superhero. More specifically, he was to be a bird-like warlord called Bemlar, and when work began on Ultraman, they recycled Bemlar as the first concept for Ultraman.
    • Eiji Tsuburaya wanted episodes where monsters from earlier ones would fight each other, but the show ended before he could ever get around to that.
    • Jun was originally meant to own a flying car while Dr. Ichinotani was supposed to narrate the beginning and the end of each episode a la Rod Serling. The former was dropped in favor of the character being a pilot while the latter was replaced with a disembodied narrator (Koji Ishizaka) as Tsuburaya felt they were too derivative and ruined audience immersion.
    • The ape-like artificial lifeform M1 from "The Underground Super Express Goes West" was originally going to be accompanied by an M2, which would have been an insectoid lifeform instead.
    • There were plans to air English-language episodes of Ultra Q on American television, but they ultimately never came to be, and the only episode that can be found dubbed is the third episode "The Gift from Space". The rest were feared to be lost for decades until MGM discovered them in their archives. No word on release plans though.
  • Working Title: Unbalance. The name change came from the popularity of the term "Ultra" in Japan due to a well-known gymnastic maneuver called the Ultra-C that was used by gymnasts at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.


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