WCA is a must-have for all Wing Commander fans: the series follows the adventures of the TCS Tiger's Claw and crew through a very exciting year in Wing Commander history. The show is coming out on DVD on May 29, 2012.
A spirited and 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 manoeuvres and veer through constant danger to save the world. Sedate and honorable Maverick, devil-may-care and impulsive Maniac, and serious-minded, cautious and competent Archer make up a quarter of the cadet wing at the academy under their brilliant, if argumentative, captain, Commodore Tolwyn.
- Episode 1: Red and Blue
- Episode 2: The Last One Left
- Episode 3: The Most Delicate Instrument
- Episode 4: Word of Honor
- Episode 5: Lords of the Sky
- Episode 6: Chain of Command
- Episode 7: Expendable
- Episode 8: Recreation
- Episode 9: Walking Wounded
- Episode 10: On Both Your Houses
- Episode 11: Invisible Enemy
- Episode 12: Price of Victory
- Episode 13: Glory of Sivar
Perhaps you're probably asking yourself, what order should I watch these episodes in? The question isn't as easy as it seems... as there are three distinct schools of thought!
This is the order in which Academy originally aired on the USA Network in 1996. The show was run Saturday mornings at 11:30 AM (except for "Recreation", which was shown at noon) and then rerun on Sundays at the same time (the Oct. 26th showing was a rerun).
- Episode 01 - Red & Blue - Sept. 21st, 1996
- Episode 02 - The Last One Left - Sept. 28th, 1996
- Episode 03 - The Most Delicate Instrument - Oct. 5th, 1996
- Episode 04 - Word of Honor - Oct. 12th, 1996
- Episode 05 - Lords of the Sky - Oct. 19th, 1996
- Episode 06 - Chain of Command - Nov. 2th, 1996
- Episode 07 - Expendable - Nov. 9nd, 1996
- Episode 08 - Recreation - Nov. 16th, 1996
- Episode 09 - Walking Wounded - Nov. 23rd, 1996
- Episode 10 - On Both Your Houses - Nov. 30th, 1996
- Episode 11 - Invisible Enemy - Dec. 7th, 1996
- Episode 12 - Price of Victory - Dec. 14th, 1996
- Episode 13 - Glory of Sivar - Dec. 21st, 1996
This is the order in which the series occurs within the context of the Wing Commander universe. It's noticably different, but probably best for watching the show in order... as, for instance, Chain of Command references the events of Expendable. Stardates are rough, and could be within a few days off in each case.
- Episode 01 - Red & Blue - 2654.072-.073
- Episode 02 - The Last One Left - 2654.094
- Episode 03 - The Most Delicate Instrument - 2654.155
- Episode 04 - Lords of the Sky - 2654.162-163
- Episode 05 - Word of Honor - 2654.169
- Episode 06 - Expendable - 2654.176
- Episode 07 - Chain of Command - 2654.177
- Episode 08 - Walking Wounded - 2654.183
- Episode 09 - Invisible Enemy - 2654.184
- Episode 10 - Recreation - 2654.185-.186
- Episode 11 - On Both Your Houses - 2654.190-.191
- Episode 12 - Price of Victory - 2654.292
- Episode 13 - Glory of Sivar - 2654.292-.293
Last, and probably least, is the production order. There's no real reason to watch the show in the order in which it was made (as animated shows are generally produced out of order), but it's an important historical footnote!
- Episode 01 - Red & Blue
- Episode 02 - The Last One Left
- Episode 03 - The Most Delicate Instrument
- Episode 04 - Lords of the Sky
- Episode 05 - Word of Honor
- Episode 06 - Chain of Command
- Episode 07 - Expendable
- Episode 08 - Recreation
- Episode 09 - Walking Wounded
- Episode 10 - On Both Your Houses
- Episode 11 - Invisible Enemy
- Episode 12 - Price of Victory
- Episode 13 - Glory of Sivar
Extra: Saga of the Warrior King
The strangest TV crossover ever imagined! Four separate animation studios agreed to pool their efforts and have Michael Dorn travel as a space viking through their shows (Street Fighter, Savage Dragon, Mortal Kombat and Wing Commander). Find out more: Saga of the Warrior King.
2012 DVD Release
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.
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
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: Mark Hamill as Christopher "Maverick" Blair Tom Wilson as Todd "Maniac" Marshall Malcolm McDowell as Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn Dana Delany as Gwen "Archer" Bowman
PRODUCED BY: Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. in association with Electronic Arts/ORIGIN Systems
PRODUCER: Larry Latham
VOICEDIRECTOR: 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.
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.
They 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" boundries. 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.
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.
Biography: Susan Blu
Biography: Larry Latham
- Original Press Kit
- Series Bible & Scripts
- Ships Guide
- Background Artwork
- Production Jacket
- DVD release dates
Pages in category "Academy Television"
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Media in category "Academy Television"
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