Academy Television Press Kit

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The following is the official information contained within the press kit that was circulated prior to the first showing of the Wing Commander Academy TV show.

Press Release

BASED ON THE PIONEERING, BEST-SELLING COMPUTER GAMES, "WING COMMANDER ACADEMY" BLAZES THROUGH THE GALXAIES TO LAND AS A THRILLING ANIMATED SERIES ON USA NETWORK

Mark Hamill, Dana Delany, Malcolm McDowell and Tom Wilson Headline Cast

Inspired by the wildly successful line of award-winning, top-selling "Wing Commander" interactive CD-ROM computer games, the new action adventure animated series WING COMMANDER ACADEMY soars into a cartoon stratosphere brimming with eye-popping special effects, bold strokes, imaginative character-driven stories, lauded talent and a uniquely futuristic bent. The WING COMMANDER ACADEMY, produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. in association with Electronic Arts/ORIGIN Systems, takes off on its inaugural flight Saturday, September 21, 1996, premiering on USA Network's "Action Extreme Team" block.

As a landmark computer game, "Wing Commander" has sold more than three million units since its debut in 1990. The game revolutionizes the industry by using live actors -- including Mark Hamill, Tom Wilson and Malcolm McDowell, all who reprise their portrayals in the series -- and real sets rather than animated images, and is currently in its fourth incarnation with "Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom." Emmy Award winner Dana Delany (China Beach) joins the cast of the series in a newly created role.

In the animated series WING COMMANDER ACADEMY, the year is 2655, and the stories lay out a "prequel" to the games. For a generation, the Terran Confederation has waged a relentless war against the forces of the Kilrathi, a fierce, savage, feline-like race -- a battle that rages on through the first three video games. During this combat, the very existence of humanity in the galaxy is at stake, along with countless other sentient lifeforms who seek protection by the Terran Confederation. Because of recent heavy losses in battle against the Kilrathi, the 201st Plebe class of the Confederation's Space Naval Academy replaces the regular flight crew aboard the refurbished Tiger's claw spaceship, with Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn commanding. the cadets are supposed to complete their course of instruction while performing routine patrols and flight training. But, in war, anything can happen. WING COMMANDER ACADEMY embarks on the voyagers of these novice, honorable, skill-honing fighters as they test their mettle, bravado and expertise on an itinery of missions fraught with danger. In the Wing commander Academy, 12 cadets hold the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. At the end of their tour, the outstanding cadet leader receives the "Wing Commander" designation and an insignia of gold wings reaching the first step of "flag rank."

Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn (voiced by Malcolm McDowell), the opinionated, argumentative commander who may be a brilliant tactician but -- tortured by inner demons -- may prove to be his own worst enemy, captains the Tiger's Claw and lords over the main characters: Christopher "Maverick" Blair (voiced by Mark Hamill), a patriotic-minded boyishly-enthusiastic pilot with a military pedigree, who constantly competes with honesty and a sense of fair play. Todd "Maniac" Marshall (voiced by Tom Wilson), a raw, impetuous daredevil, who often proves to be a source of irritation and aggravation to Maverick -- and vice versa, and Gwen "Archer" Bowman (voiced by Dana Delany), a serious-minded, endlessly-practicing female pilot on a collision course with perfection.

Universal Cartoon Studios realized that "Wing Commander" game's self-contained universe presented an entire stimulating state of characters, stories and events which consistently tracked with the filmed entertainment of a movie or television show, and a leap to cartoons seemed more than logical. After Universal decided to make "Wing Commander" an action adventure animated series, and secured the rights from the game's maker Electronic Arts/ORIGIN Systems, a production team was assembled with Larry Latham as producer and Michael and Mark Edens as story editors. The group worked to create a seamless approach to the series, one that would draw viewers, but not alienate the games' core fan base.

According to Latham, "Certainly, essential elements for the series were easily drawn from the games: the show would be very cinematic as opposed to cartoony, very stylized in its approach, but still grounded in the convenets of good storytelling. Plus, actors like Mark Hamill, Tom Wilson and Malcolm McDowell would further energize the episodes."

In crafting the WING COMMANDER ACADEMY series, the producers decided to make the characters young and more accessible, in stories which would see them share similar emotions with audience members. The production crew believed the best way to put the characters in a common arena with viewers was to take the pilots back to their academy days and look at the first missions they took, and the experiences which molded them into the pilots they became in the computer games. Determined to eliminate interference with the current -- or future -- "Wing Commander" games, the premise of a "prequel" was devised to render continuity between the game and the show. One key change was adding a strong female pilot, so Gwen "Archer" Bowman, voiced by Emmy Award-winner Dana Delany, was created for the show.

Taking the series in the direction of a prequel adds another benefit, comments Latham, by "creating a coherent, cohesive universe to continue on with the games as well."

Still, he says, even with the cutting-edge starting point that the games instituted, the series came with challenges, from story to visual presentation. With a pre-existing property that has established characters, the audience expects certain elements. For instance, Latham knew the story arcs would have to be as captivating as the games' components and consistent with the characters. Since the WING COMMANDER ACADEMY stories occur 20 years before the game's origin, the characters would have subtle changes from personality nuances to different haircuts. Latham says, "We didn't want caricatures of the characters, but we did need everybody to be recognizable, earlier version of themselves."

Plus, although they had free reign on the model sheets form the games, putting WING COMMANDER ACADEMY in a world two decades earlier meant, according to Latham, "planes could look like they do in the games, only with all the technology taken backwards a bit."

WING COMMANDER ACADEMY instantly seemed destined to attract kids, but several layers have been added for a point-of-view that will appeal to an older demographic as well. To accomplish this goal, the production team turned to the revered aspects of Japanese cartoons for the show's pacing, which strays from rapid cutting and enjoys more thought-provoking twists. Latham says, "We have more like 310 scenes per show as opposed to the traditional 450 scenes. That difference makes our scenes longer, giving us the chance to focus more on characters."

The stories do tend to be very character-intrinsic, with many shows employing strong arcs that run during several stories. Also, the full complement of popular, well-trained actors who voice the cast gives a boon to concentrating on characters. Further developing the cahracters comes in the actors' direction, which is doled out in a more live-action fashion than a typical cartoon, adding subtext to the action and dialogue.

Story editors Michael and Mark Edens came to WING COMMANDER ACADEMY, looking for a project that he could bring dramatic intensity and a high level of realism. That viewpoint manifests itself in WING COMMANDER ACADEMY's themes and intricately woven plots, which introduce a slew of other races inhabiting the galaxy. As Michael Edens point sout, "There are these multi-cultural, otherworldy intergalactic elements, where, -- as the crew maneuvers to outsmart the Kilrathi race -- they interact with other sentient life forms on other planets, some of whom want to stay neutral, and others who misguidedly support the Kilrathi. We've tried to put together a whole-populated galaxy."

WING COMMANDER ACADEMY operates within the context that, by the 27th century, humanity has spread across a large portion of the galaxy, settling on hundreds of worlds. Many of these worlds are self-governing entities, while others are thinly settled outposts still professing allegiance to the races which settled them. But whatever their status, all Terran-occupied worlds have joined together in the Terran Confederation, which provides a United Nations-like framework for resolving differences and for working towards common goals. However, during the last quarter century of exhaustive conflict with the Kilrathi, the Confederation's central power has grown at the expense of the individual planets in a constant and grueling quest for survival, and now the members of the Wing Commander Academy must do their part to save the world.

Electronic Arts is a leading global publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for personal computers and advance entertainment systems. Electronic Arts, Origin Systems and Wing Commander are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts or its wholly owned subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. is a division of MCA INC., a unit of the Seagram company, Ltd., a global beverage and entertainment company.

Web Press Release

For Immediate Release

Universal Cartoon Studios and Electronic Arts/ORIGIN Systems Team To Create Wing Commander Academy

Animated Series Premieres On USA Network This Fall

(Universal City, CA, May 14, 1996) Universal Cartoon Studios and Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) have joined forces to produce Wing Commander Academy, an animated series based on the award-winning Wing Commander line of PC games from Electronic Arts ORIGIN Systemsî subsidiary, it was announced today by MCA Television Entertainment President Barbara Fisher and Electronic Arts Chairman and CEO Larry Probst. Thirteen initial half-hour Wing Commander Academy episodes are being produced at Universal Cartoon Studios and will premiere Fall 96 on the USA Network (air times to be determined).

"There is a very broad audience for the vision being realized through the marriage of the Wing Commander PC game and the new animated series," said Fisher. "Jeff Segal, former Universal Cartoon Studios president, had the creative foresight to originally develop Wing Commander Academy with Electronic Arts, and were very proud the project continues Universal Cartoon Studios overall commitment to produce high-quality, story-driven animation for the marketplace."

Adds Electronic Arts Chairman and CEO Larry Probst, "We have long believed the best-selling Wing Commander franchise was the perfect vehicle to move our compelling interactive content to a broader entertainment medium. Partnering with Universal Cartoon Studios has been a superb match, combining our characters and stories with their considerable linear production experience."

Universal Cartoon Studios has secured several of the talented cast members from the Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV PC games to provide voices for the Wing Commander Academy animated series. Reprising their roles from the game are Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations), Mark Hamill (Star Wars trilogy) and Tom Wilson (Back to the Future I, II and III). Joining the regular cast in a new role is Emmy award-winning actress Dana Delany (China Beach).

Electronic Arts is a leading global publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for personal computers and advance entertainment systems. Electronic Arts, Origin Systems and Wing Commander are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts or its own wholly-owned subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Universal Cartoon Studios is a division of MCA INC., a unit of the Seagram Company, Ltd., a global beverage and entertainment/communications company.

WING COMMANDER ACADEMY

FACT SHEET

MAIN CAST:

MARK HAMILL "Blair"
TOM WILSON "Maniac"
MALCOLM MCDOWELL "Tolwyn"
DANA DELANY "Archer"

PREMIERE:

FALL 96 on the USA Network
(air times to be determined)

PREMISE:

The very distant future serves as backdrop for the Wing Commander Academy storyline. Blair (Hamill) and Maniac (Wilson) are space fighter pilots in the Terran Confederation, which is caught in the thick of a brutal war against a cat-like alien menace called the Kilrathi. The Wing Commander Academy animated series will pick up the story early in the pilots careers, while still earning their wings at the Confederation Flight School Academy, where Tolwyn (McDowell) serves as commandant. Things begin to take on a very interesting twist as the young pilots in-training begin venturing out on Confederation patrols.

WING COMMANDER PC GAME INFORMATION:

Wing Commander is one of the most wildly successful computer games in the history of electronic entertainment. More than 3-million Wing Commander games have been sold worldwide since the first Wing Commander landed on store shelves in 1990. Wing Commander games have been created on multiple platforms and have shipped in multiple languages. Since its inception, Wing Commander has taken the gaming experience to new levels, revolutionizing the industry with its move from animated characters to live actors and real sets.

Production Information

PREMIERE: Saturday, September 21, 1996 on USA Network's "Action Extreme Team" block

TIMESLOT: Saturday mornings as part of USA Network's "Action Extreme Team"

FORMAT: In this weekly half-hour action adventure animated series inspired by the critically acclaimed, best-selling "Wing Commander" video games, a spirited, elite corps of novice fighter pilots attends the Wing Commander Academy in the year 2655. Often thrust into battle against the mighty and ruthless Kilrathi race, the crew must master daring maneuvers and veer through constant danger to save the world from the menacing breed. The staid honorable Maverick, devil-may-care and impulsive Maniac, and serious-minded, cautious and competent Archer comprise a quarter of the cadet wing at the academy under their brilliant yet argumentative captain Commodore Tolwyn.

VOICES:

PRODUCED BY: Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. in association with Electronic Arts/ORIGIN Systems

PRODUCER: Larry Latham

VOICE DIRECTOR: Susan Blu

STORY EDITORS:

  • Mark Edens
  • Michael Edens

Wing Commander History

The Computer Games That Started A Revolution

WING COMMANDER ACADEMY is rooted in the phenomenal success of a line of "Wing Commander" computer games initially launched in 1990. Available in multiple languages with sales in the millions, the "Wing Commander" award winning interactive game series for PC CD-ROM consistently defined "state-of-the-art," breaking new barriers in the blending of Hollywood filmmaking and computer entertainment.

The first title boasted finely detailed, breathtaking graphics and cinematic sequences, with high-tech starfighters engaging in action inspired by the classic space battle films such as Star Wars. Set in the 27th century, the game finds mankind locked in a grueling war with the daring pilots of the Terran Confederation fending off the Kilrathi, a vicious, militaristic alien race. In the game, the player must employ cunning tactics and expert marksmanship to battle Kilrathi aces in heated deep-space dogfights to save the future of the world.

In 1991's "Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi," rousing new adventures continue with a new generation of starfighters but, in addition to combat with the Kilrathi, a fleet of traitors have infiltrated the Confederation forces creating additional mayhem.

Selling 600,000 units on multiple gaming platforms, "Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger," released in December 1994, merged Hollywood film techniques with computer graphics for a spine-tingling cinematic and space flight experience. Four disks hold full speech, explosive sound, an interactive plot and more than three hours of adrenaline-charged live action video images, and stars Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell and Tom Wilson. Stunning synthetic sets, multiple camera angles and completely interactive player control brought space combat simulation to unparalleled levels of realism. "Wing Commander III" also received countless accolades as "Action Game of the Year and "Game of the Year".

In "Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom," released in February 1996, the bloody battle between the Kilrathi and Terrans has concluded but Colonel Christopher Blair is called back into duty when civil war brakes out on the homefront and he faces a new enemy. Translated into three languages, "Wing Commander IV" promises to uphold the legacy that has spawned a legion of fans, innovative new technology and now an animated series from Universal cartoon Studios, Inc.

Kilrathi History

TALKING PAPERS ON THE KILRATHI

An unsavory, savage feline race, the Kilrathi descended from the predators that roamed the savannas of the planet Kilrah in the distant past. Aside from despicable hairy looks and thorny demeanors, their ancestors passed on a ruthless sense of cunning and aggressiveness. The whole Kilrathi history is an extended chronicle of civil wars so brutal that those in human history pale by comparison. The race remains a predatory species, only now they operate on a galactic level, claiming their prey in the far reaches of space and taking by force those who do not bow to their claim. Their entire culture is based on a sense of war and aggression, elevated to religious levels.

The Kilrathi warriors live by a three-tiered code of honor -- personal honor, the honor of their clan, and the honor of the Emperor. This code of honor is more important to the Kilrathi warrior than his own life.

Kilrathi technological and aesthetic ideals reflect their cultural focus on aggressions. Their starships are designed to resemble ornate cutting weapons, with sharp, blade-like wings swept toward to lethal-looking points.

Females control all religious factions on Kilrah and direct all offering and religious ceremonies. The Kilrathi are polytheistic, with the war-god Sivar being the most important deity.

The homeworld of the Kilrathi is the planet Kilrah, a semi-arid world of rolling savannas pierced by the smoldering cones of giant volcanoes. Huge rift valleys, reminders of the planet's even more active seismic blast, form the "continental" boundaries. There are no oceans, but almost all of the rift valleys contain long and relatively narrow brackish lakes, which help define the perimeters of the ancient clan homelands.

All in all, a terrifying terrain for a frightening race.

Glossary

Flying into the 27th century and the planets, galaxies, races and cultures of distant worlds comes with its own set of terminology. This primer gives a sampling of words and phrases unique to WING COMMANDER ACADEMY.

  • Firekkans, n. -- a bird-like species from the planet Firekka who build their cities among the rocky pinnacles of their planet. Animistic in their religion, they revere forces of nature, particularly the wind, which sustains them in their flight. They hope to maintain their neutrality in the war, but eventually must apply to the Terran Confederation for protection
  • Jump Nodes, n. -- all stars generate these wormhole-like junctures used for interstellar travel, enabling a traveler to move from star to star and leapfrogging across the galaxy to his destination
  • Kilrah, n. -- home planet to the Kilrathi
  • Kilrathi, n. -- the ruthless, rigidly structured, cat-like society that wreaks havoc on the whole universe, and particularly the Wing Commander Academy
  • Piscean Arthrosquids, n. -- the size of small car, these creatures resemble a disgusting cross of a crab, a squid and a sea slug
  • Super Nodes, n. -- pulsars generate these links which send a traveler across immense distances of up to 3,000 light-years to specific pulsars with matching emission frequencies.
  • Terran Confederation, n. -- the protection-giving assemblage of all Terran-occupied worlds which provides the central power to battle the Kilrathi
  • Terra Station, n. -- a city-sized space station/capital to orbit around Earth where the Terran Confederation Congress meets
  • Tiger's Claw, n. -- the aircraft holding the Wing Commander Academy flight crew.
  • Wing Commander Academy, n. -- the 201st Plebe class of the Terran confederation's Space Naval Academy who, because of heavy losses in the battle against the Kilrathi, must replace the regular flight crews aboard the refurbished Tiger's Claw spaceship.

Character Bios

WING COMMANDER ACADEMY
FLIGHT MEMBER DOSSIER

Name: Christopher Blair
Callsign: Maverick
Callsign Origination: Maverick received his callsign as a joke from Maniac. When after months as the "perfect" cadet of the Academy, Blair actually bent a rule, and Maniac sarcastically told him, "You're a real maverick, aren't you?"
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Pedigree: Since the time of the American Civil War, the Blair family has maintained a tradition of wealth and influence combined with public service. Maverick's grandmother is a member of the Confederation Council, while his father is the chairman of StarPeace, an organization dedicated to promoting understanding among the inhabited worlds of the galaxy.
Flight Pattern: An old fashioned man, a Jeffersonian gentleman, the cheerful innocent, conscientious and boyishly enthusiastic Maverick is motivated by a sense of personal and family honor, without snobbery, greed or petty ambitions. Though highly competitive, Maverick almost always maintains honesty and a sense of fair play.
Personal Behavior: Some pilots dislike Maverick, doubting his sincerity, and mistaking his eagerness to do a good job for a desire to curry favor with his superiors Standard Issue Quote: "I'm a Blair, sir. The Blairs never lie."
Idol: World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker


Name: Todd Marshall
Callsign: Maniac
Callsign Origination: Eager for battle and danger, a little too much so.
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Pedigree: Maniac started flying when he was still in the womb -- his mother is a pilot.
Flight Pattern: Maniac's abilities are prodigious: in raw, seat-of-the-pants flying, he may be the best cadet the Academy ever had -- but that doesn't mean he will make the best officer. For Maniac, the war against the Kilrathi is an opportunity to test his abilities to the utmost.
Personal Turbulence: Maniac is almost too good. Because of his flying skill, he gets away with combat actions that would get an ordinary pilot killed. Unless he learns to temper his daredevil tactics with a little caution, someday the odds may catch up with him.
Standard Issue Quote: "If there wasn't a war going on, I'd have to start one."


Name: Gwen Bowman
Callsign: Archer
Callsign Origination: Straight and narrow, like an arrow... or the one that aims them, a description which just happens to coincide with her last name.
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Flight Pattern: Flying for Archer isn't fun: it's a hard, dangerous job that has to be done well if the war against the Kilrathi is to be won. Archer is a good pilot, but what makes her deadly to the Kilrath is her single-minded determination to do the job right.
Personal Turbulence: Archer's devotion to duty is similar to Maverick's, but she lacks his easygoing nature and sympathy for others' feelings. She is as unforgiving and critical of others as she is of herself. Some pilots consider her by-the-book approach as excessively cautious but she is not afraid of combat -- just determined not to make any mistakes.
High-Flying Strategies: She studies tactics and strategy late into the night, spends her leisure time in a flight simulator, endlessly practicing the dogfight moves that come naturally to Maniac.


Name: Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn
Rank: Captain
Commendation: As captain of the Tiger's Claw, Tolwyn led one of the greatest exploits of the war: the Claw's pursuit and destruction of the Kilrathi dreadnought responsible for the attack on the Goddard Colony.
Flight Pattern: Opinionated, argumentative and critical of his superiors, Tolwyn uses a latitude in carrying out his orders that borders on insubordination. Because of a checkered past with the fleet's High Command, Tolwyn drives the cadet pilots harder than anyone ever has before, relentlessly probing and exploring his sector, and seeking to discover new resources and new races that might prove useful in the war against the Kilrathi.
Personal Turbulence: Like Caesar in Gaul, he attempts to turn a backwater command into a personal springboard to greater power and glory.
Standard Issue Quote: "A pilot is expendable. We all are. That's what it means to be a soldier."


A FEW GOOD CADETS AND MORE... A DEBRIEFING ON THE OTHERS

Guthrig Andropolos -- A civilian analyst employed by the fleet, Guthrig is the much-despised medic in charge of the psychological evaluation of the cadets. And although cold and unemotional, he is ironically subject to a variety of phobias.

Yulan Chang a.k.a. Hyena -- The comedian of the wing, Hyena is a first rate pilot who demonstrates superior gymnast skills and inspires a lack of confidence by his refusal to take anything, even the Kilrathi, seriously.

Maya McEaddens -- The ship's technical specialist, Maya -- her amazing mechanical abilities aside -- still has the personality of a mischievous, fun-loving, practical-joking teenager... which she was only a short time ago.

Garahl Nar Hhallas a.k.a. Renegade -- A crack fighter Kilrathi pilot who eventually defects to the Terran side and requests to be allowed to serve in the Confederation fleet -- often much to the chagrin of the other cadets.

Hector Paz a.k.a. Grunt -- Stubborn and absolutely fearless, he seeks revenge against the Kilrathi for permanently wounding him during the Battle of Repleetah, which he served as a marine.

Lindsay Price a.k.a. Payback -- The restless, rebellious martial expert outsider, Payback has phenomenal hand-eye coordination and also seeks to avenge the Kilrathi -- they killed her entire family.

Talent Bios

Mark Hamill (voice of Christopher "Maverick" Blair)

Reprising his role as Maverick from the "Wing Commander" video games, Mark Hamill gained international fame as the hero Luke Skywalker in the blockbuster film trilogy Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He has also started in films including Corvette Summer, The Big Red One, Slipstream, The Guyver and Guyver II, and Sleepwalkers. Most recently, Hamill has been heard as the voice of the Joker in both Batman: the Animated Series and the theatrical animated feature Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

Born in Oakland, Calif., Hamill began his acting career in television, with guest starring roles in such series as The Partridge Family, Room 222 and The Streets of San Francisco.

His theater credits include Broadway productions and national touring stints in plays including "The Elephant Man," "Amadeus," "Room Service" and "The Nerd."


Malcolm McDowell (voice of Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn)

Malcolm McDowell, who also played Tolwyn in the best-selling "Wing Commander" video games, has built a career of legendary roles in milestone films, including that of a sadistic psychopath punk in A Clockwork Orange, a rebellious British teen in If..., a weary, heroic scientist in Time After Time, and contemporary villains in Tank Girl and Star Trek: Generations, among such other movies as Blue Thunder, The Player, Bopha, Cat People, Sunset and Milk Money.

He has also been featured in the telefilms Arthur the King, The Collection, The Man Who Wouldn't Die, Seasons of the Heart, guest-starred in Tales from the Crypt, and can be seen in the sitcom Pearl with Rhea Perlman.

An alumnus of London's famed Royal Shakespeare Company, McDowell has garnered such stage credits as "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," "Look Back in Anger," "In Celebrate," "Hunting Cockroaches" and "Another Time."


Tom Wilson (voice of Todd "Maniac" Marshall)

Portraying the role he originated in the "Wing Commander" video games, Tom Wilson lends his talents to Maniac. Wilson attracted attention worldwide with his memorable performances as Biff, Griff and Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen in the now-classic Back to the Future trilogy. In between his stints as the infamous bully, Wilson starred in such films as Let's Get Harry, Action Jackson and April Fools Day. Most recently, Wilson has been seen in the features Camp Nowhere, Born to Be Wild, Mr. Write, and the acclaimed Civil War telefilm Andersonville.

A native of Philadelphia, Wilson honed his talents initially as a stand-up comic, while also appearing in roles on the New York stage. After moving to Los Angeles, he soon landed roles in commercials and episodic television, and continuing his work as a comedian on the city's club circuit. He recently developed and starred in his own one-man show Cowboy Tommy's All-American Roundup.


Dana Delany (voice of Gwen "Archer" Bowman)

Two-time Emmy Award winner Dana Delaney emerged as one of television's leading ladies with her role as Nurse Colleen McMurphy during three seasons of China Beach from 1988 - 1991. In addition to parts in the telefilms Wild Palms, A Promise to Keep and Donato and Daughter, Delany has segued to film credits such as Housesitter, with Steve Martin, Garry Marshall's Exit to Eden, and Tombstone with Kurt Russell.

On stage, Delany, a New York native, has starred on Broadway's "A Life," and in Off-Broadway productions of "Honor Bright" and "Bloodmoon."

Biography: Susan Blu, Voice Director

From her experience performing a wide range of acting and voice-over credits, Susan Blu brings an extra dimension to her role as director of WING COMMANDER ACADEMY, the new half-hour action adventure animated series based on the best-selling video games and produced by Universal Cartoon Studios in associated with Electronic Arts/ORIGIN Systems.

Blu has directed hundreds of animated series' episodes, but began in cartoons in voice over -- with more than 60 lead characters to her credit.

Born in St. Paul, Minn. Blu first came to Los Angeles while in her last year at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. During that visit, she was spotted by a talent scout from Screen Gems and brought to Hollywood to join the studio's talent program.

Landing voice-over work, Blu went on to lend her talents to such characters as the Pillsbury Dough Girl, Pansy and Granny Smurf in The Smurfs, Stormer in Jem, RC on Transformers, Dreamchip Gemstone on Flintstone Kids, Princess Paw Paw on The Paw Paws, Belfry, Jessica and Futra on Ghostbusters and the voice of Reggie for the live-action series Animal Crackups.

Since branching off into direction, she has become one of the industry's most prolific talents. She has helmed such series as The Tick, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Magic School Bus, G.I. Joe, Dennis the Menace, Where's Waldo?, James Bond Jr., The New Adventures of He-Man, and the upcoming shows VOR-Tech, also from Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc., and Jumanji, Street Fighter, Richie Rich, and Beast Wars. Her other directing credits include the specials The Secret Garden, The Wish That Saved Christmas, Kingdom Chums, and the video The Little Orphan Annie Christmas Special.

In addition to the recognition she has received from her directing, voice and vocal creations, Blu has proven to be an accomplished on-camera actress as well, with numerous television, theatrical and commercial appearances to her credit, including guest starring roles on the series Knight Rider, The Bob Newhart Show, St. Elsewhere and Simon & Simon.

When not acting, voicing or directing, Blu teaches workshops for voice-over, and has co-authored the highly acclaimed and widely read resource book, "Word of Mouth: A Guide to Commercial Voice-Over Excellence."

Electronic Arts is a leading global publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for personal computers and advance entertainment systems. Electronic Arts, Origin Systems and Wing Commander are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts or its wholly owned subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. is a division of MCA INC., a unit of the Seagram company, Ltd., a global beverage and entertainment company.

Biography: Larry Latham, Producer

With more than two decades of animation experience, Larry Latham serves as producer of WING COMMANDER ACADEMY, the new half-hour action adventure animated series based on the best-selling video games and produced by Universal Cartoon Studios in association with Electronic Arts/ORIGIN Systems.

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma near his birthplace of Oklahoma City, Latham initially applied his degree in motion picture production to working in feature with stints as a sound recordist, production manager, still photographer, editor, and even as an actor. Yet his talent and aptitude for art prevailed, and he began drawing storyboards for Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1979. During his tenure there, he segued to writing, producing and directing, with credits including new incarnations of The Flinstones and Scooby-Doo, and The Smurfs, The Snorks and Richie Rich.

Latham joined with Walt Disney Television Animation in 1988, and worked for the studio until 1993 as a producer and director for some of their acclaimed series, such as Talespin, Raw Toonage, Rescue Rangers and Bonkers.

Just prior to his role on WING COMMANDER ACADEMY, Latham became familiar with the medium that spawned the series, as he wrote, designed and produced for CD-ROM on such titles as the interactive cartoon "Mr. Zickerfoose," the interactive history on silent films "Galloping Tintypes," and the educational "Turbo Math 3-D."

Electronic Arts is a leading global publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for personal computers and advance entertainment systems. Electronic Arts, Origin Systems and Wing Commander are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts or its wholly owned subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. is a division of MCA INC., a unit of the Seagram company, Ltd., a global beverage and entertainment company.

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