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Western Animation / Goldie Gold and Action Jack

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A Saturday-Morning Cartoon from 1981, this was Ruby-Spears' attempt to follow the lead of then-upcoming film Raiders of the Lost Ark (which came out before the show was released, but the show started production before that), by using the "mismatched couple has globe-trotting adventures" theme that would become popular during the 1980s.

The premise of the series, as spelled out in the opening, is that 18-year-old Goldie Gold, the "world's richest girl", founded her own newspaper, "The Goldstreet Journal". She and her companion, daredevil reporter "Action" Jack Travis, go on adventures across the globe solving crimes and reporting on them to the paper's editor, Sam Gritt. The series featured a new villain and caper each week, and an array of fantastical and improbable gadgets that helped Goldie and Jack in essentially any situation. The Richie Rich comparisons were inevitable, though despite many jokes about the sort of things Goldie could buy, the focus was more on the action and adventure while the gadgets simply appeared to keep the plot moving. The show also tended to follow some fairly familiar tropes of contemporary series, particularly shows on which Joe Ruby and Ken Spears had worked for Hanna-Barbera.

The show ran for a single series of 13 episodes on ABC, reran until September 1982, then faded into relative obscurity as Ruby-Spears quickly shifted to selling shows based on licensed properties.

As a side note, Jack Kirby did the character designs, and Steve Gerber served as the show's story editor. (as well writing the first episode, "Night of the Crystal Skull". Goldie Gold walked so Indiana Jones could run.)

This show has examples of:

  • Busman's Holiday: "Curse of the Snake People" starts with Goldie and Jack sightseeing in India, then having to save the world from a snake-worshiping cult when an escapee literally runs into them.
  • Canine Companion: Nugget, who is also the Team Pet.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Every other thing Goldie owned was, well, gold. From the simple things like jewelry all the way up to, oh, the building her newspaper was headquartered in.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: In a few episodes the bad guys tied the heroes to these to try to kill them.
  • Cool Car: Goldie drives her own limo, the appropriately named "Goldster".
  • Crimefighting with Cash: Goldie had people hired to make gadgets she could use, though it was more to get a scoop than save the world (which it could still do).
  • Crystal Skull: The villain of the first episode disguised himself using one of these.
  • Damsel in Distress: Goldie, something even shown in the opening as she stares in awe at all the times she's shown being tied up by the bad guys.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jack got to spout a lot of the show's one-liners.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: There are three different episodes to have "Doom" in the title: "Red Dust of Doom", "Prophet of Doom", and "Night of the Walking Doom".
  • Dramatic Unmask: Happened in a couple episodes. Remember who made this show.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Goldie uses her pearl necklace as a replacement seal for a magic box.
  • Fanservice: The shot of Goldie and Jack at the pool, with far more emphasis on Goldie's rather skimpy (for the timeslot) bikini. In other clothes, Goldie's curvy figure is still shown off by her Form-Fitting Wardrobe.
  • Fiction 500: Goldie is the "world's richest girl". Which means she can apparently afford hover bikes, indoor weather machines, and even a space shuttle and a space mansion. All coated in gold, of course.
  • Flying Car: Goldie's limo can turn into one.
  • Gem-Encrusted: Goldie has a few items laid with jewels, just for the hell of it, like a nail clipper.
  • Just for the Heli of It: Goldie sometimes flies her helicopter in her house, often for a chase scene.
  • Just Friends: Goldie and Jack. Despite all the crazy experiences they share, their relationship always stays platonic.
  • Lady of Adventure: Goldie is part of an Old Money family, but they still have a history of members being adventurers.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Understandable with Jack, but all that money and Goldie has just five main outfits. She has her ensemble with the gold pants and fur coat, her swimsuit, her evening dress, her winter gear with the ermine parka, and her safari gear. Everything else is just disguises or costumes.
  • Lizard Folk: One villain goes back in time and uses a virus to turn all his relatives into these, so he'll be the only one still around to inherit the family fortune. He Didn't Think This Through, though, and when he's unmasked he finds out that turning his ancestors into lizards means he's become a lizard too. Luckily for him, Goldie and Jack develop a cure and turn him back to normal along with everyone else.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Whenever she and Jack get put in a deathtrap Goldie usually gets them out of it because she just happens to have an outre gadget that can resolve this situation hidden in her shoes, jewelry, lipstick tube...
  • Non-Idle Rich: Goldie could have just sat down and let other people run her paper. Instead, she runs around and does her own reporting. In one episode she basically admits she does this for fun.
  • Ojou: Goldie Gold is the western version.
  • Pretty in Mink: Goldie has at least a white fur coat and her ermine-trimmed parka. The latter is worn when it's really cold, if still an extravagant item. The former is worn even in warm weather, so it's just to show off that she can afford to dress expensively while going on adventures.
  • Right-Hand Cat: The eponymous "Pirate of the Airways" had one.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Goldie's gadgets are often set up earlier.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: With all the fantastic stuff and outlandish gadgetry that was real in this show, it was more unusual when this situation turned out to be the case. Such as in "Goddess of the Black Pearl".
  • Sewer Gator: They're menaced by a herd of them in "Prophet of Doom".
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Her red evening dress has no fancy trimmings or accessories, but still wouldn't be something just bought off a regular clothing store.
  • Sky Pirate: "Pirate of the Airways" is very clear in its title. Some air pirates are causing trouble, and Goldie and Jack have to stop them.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: The villains of one episode are a cult that worship a giant cobra, that can turn people they don't like into mindless cobra-men.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Goldie gets captured this way a few times.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Goldie's family name.
  • Strapped to a Rocket: Goldie is shown this way, in a clip, in the opening.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: Goldie's winter parka is trimmed with ermine.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: You'd think that with all of Goldie's cash for crazy inventions and gadgets in her day job, she might spend some of it on security gadgets to stop just any old run-of-the-mill thug from being able to waltz into her home through the front door.
  • Table Space: Goldie's dinner table is so long, that passing something takes about half a minute. Jack just quips that "the food's already cold".
  • Team Pet: Nugget, Goldie's dog.
  • Time Travel: In one episode the duo follow a villain back in time, who is trying to harm his own family (at least those not his direct descendants), in the past.
  • Touch of Death: One episode involves a crook trying to steal a radioactive meteor, and getting the power to obliterate anything by touching it.
  • Aunt Pennybags: Goldie Gold isn't stingy or greedy, despite her wealth.
  • Walking Wasteland: One episode's about a thief trying to steal a radioactive meteor and getting the power to melt anything with his touch. He plans to use it to rob everything in Las Vegas, except soon it spreads to the rest of his body and he threatens to blow up like an atomic bomb.
  • Where Does She Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: It's rare for anyone in the actual stories to comment on the insane level of technology Goldie apparently has at her disposal. Not even the space mansion.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Despite not being much of an Action Girl (other than by US cartoon standards at the time), Goldie is naturally the one that tries to actually hit the Countess in "Menace of the Medallion".