Back in the 1980s, Namco’s Pole Position was the premiere racing game series. It set the bar for what the genre could be, having become the highest grossing arcade game by 1983. It was everywhere… even on TV! As a pretty crazy cartoon!
Pole Position appeared during CBS’s Saturday morning lineup in 1984, lasting just 13 episodes. Its links to the game were minimal, licensing just the name and the use of a red car and blue car. The premise of show itself was pretty bonkers: the parents of three kids are killed, leaving the kids and their uncle (and a genetically engineered raccoon-monkey-hybrid thing) to work with the government as spies under the guise of a team of stunt racers. They stopped crime using their cars, which often transformed into hover jets and watercraft, and included Knight Rider style artificial intelligence.
For a children’s sci-fi show, it was actually fairly ahead of its time. It relied on advanced technologies that we’re only now starting to incorporate into our modern world, and social awareness that many current kids’ shows haven’t even tackled.
If only the writing wasn’t so bad.
Like, really bad.
Pole Position was produced by DIC Entertainment in cooperation with Namco.
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