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The Terrible Tribunal
Review and Media by Jon T

Episode #19 - The Terrible Tribunal
Original Airdate - September 14, 1968

An alien ship from deep space approaches Earth and abducts the Fantastic Four. The robotic crew take the super-team to their world, where Reed is informed that he and the rest of the Four are being charged with crimes against evil, with the team's accusers being Klaws, Molecule Man, and Blast Starr. The Court of Evil observes Reed's own memories of the team's battles against Klaws, Molecule Man, and Blast Starr, while the rest of the team escape their confinement. Reed is judged guilty and sentenced to disintegration, but Ben, Johnny and Sue rescue him. The Four then have to face the three super-villains in addition to the planet's evil judge and robot army.

Notes: This episode is a clip show, with segments from "Klaws", "The Mysterious Molecule Man", "Blast Starr, The Living Bomb-Burst", "Invasion Of The Super Skrulls", "Danger In The Depths", "Galactus", "The Micro World Of Dr. Doom", and "Rama-Tut".


Review: Like most people I suspect, I'm not a big fan of clip shows. I can see where they have their uses for viewers however, as in the days before VCRs such episodes would have been a helpful opportunity for people to see what has happened on previous episodes. I just don't think that such a show serves any purpose in this series after just 19 episodes.

The story by necessity is a totally original one, and while it does have some neat ideas, the difference between this and the Lee-Kirby based episodes is immediately noticeable. I do like the idea that an alien society could consider good deeds a crime against evil, as simplistic as it is.

As for the Council of Evil themselves, well I could just about imagine Klaw and Molecule Man together as seen in this series, but Blast Starr's previous appearance showed him to be extraordinarily belligerent towards everyone and everything. I just can't buy that the same Blast Starr would be content to simply sit at a trial and wait for a verdict to be found on the Fantastic Four.

A contrived episode that serves only to save the show's budget.


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