Ultraseven (or Ultra 7 in the US dub) was intended to be the end of the Ultra Series, but a large fanbase meant there was a market for this franchise. When Eiji Tsuburaya passed away his son Hajime took over Tsuburaya Productions, and decided to create Return Of Ultraman, the fourth series in the franchise. (I’m not sure if they’re counting Ultra Q, which we’ll get to next week actually. I was not planning on it but if I have the chance, go for it!) Originally it would feature the original Ultraman returning to Earth to battle new monsters, but out of respect for Eiji he became a new character instead, first “New Ultraman”, and eventually his more well known name of Ultraman Jack. (Not to be confused with Jack Shindo.)
Jack and his host, race car driver Hideki Go, were a bit different than the other two. Go wasn’t given a device to transform like his predecessors and most of his replacements. Instead he transformed through “willpower”, something that would be seen again with a few other Ultras or during emergency situations with the ones who did have items. He also had civilian friends, as he wasn’t originally part of the new anti-kaiju group on the block, the Monster Attack Team (MAT). (Certainly beats the team names from Ultraman Orb.) How did Go first merge with New Ultraman Jack? Tonight’s episode tells that tale. Enjoy!
If you want to see more episodes, as with some of the other Ultra shows that have popped up in Saturday Night Showcase recently, the home video in the US is from Mill Creek Entertainment while the series is available to stream on Shout Factory TV as part of their TokuSHOUTsu brand. One more and then we’ll bid the Ultra’s good-bye for now, but it’s looking like winter is going to be full of Tokusatsu. Wait until you see what I’ll have in two weeks.