Wing Commander Academy is a 1996 American animated television series created and produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, along with a team led by Larry Latham.
The show was based on the Wing Commander franchise and loosely served as a prequel to Wing Commander. The Wing Commander film aired in 1999.
The show’s aired from 21 September to 21 December 1996 on the USA Network’s “USA Action Extreme Team” block.
The dramatic adventures of a group of space cadets on the Terran carrier Tiger’s Claw in total war against a hostile, alien, lion-looking warrior race, the Kilrathi.
- Mark Hamill … Christopher ‘Maverick’ Blair.
- Thomas F. Wilson … Todd ‘Maniac’ Marshall.
- Malcolm McDowell… Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn.
- Dana Delany … Gwen ‘Archer’ Bowman.
- Pat Fraley … Dr. Guthrig Andropolos.
- Lauri Hendler … Lindsay ‘Payback’ Price.
- Kevin Schon … Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka.
- Ron Perlman … Daimon Karnes.
- Jeff Bennett … Bokh nar Ragitika.
- Dorian Harewood … Jazzman.
- Joan Van Ark … Dr. Bronwyn Sing.
- Jessica Walter … Admiral Rhea Bergstrom.
- Jim Cummings … Emil ‘Easy’ Zoharian.
- Tom Kane … Kilrathi Pilot.
- Earl Boen … Kilrathi Commander.
- Jennifer Hale … Princess Zukara nar Kiranka.
- Andrew Prine … Vidkun.
- Michael Dorn … Warrior King (uncredited).
Spacecraft Featured in the Series
The series featured many spacecraft introduced in the Wing Commander video games. The Scimitar and Broadsword were the primary fighters and bombers flown by the main characters, with the Dralthi and Grikath fulfilling those roles for the Kilrathi. As in Wing Commander I, the TCS Tiger’s Claw was a Bengal class strike carrier. Individual episodes also featured cameo appearances from ships introduced in later games such as Wing Commander III’s Arrow, Hellcat and Longbow and Wing Commander IV’s Avenger. None of these ships are mentioned by name. A number of new capital ships were introduced by the series including the Achilles class destroyer and the Agan Ra Sivar class dreadnaught.
On 06 March 2012, Visual Entertainment released Wing Commander Academy- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 for the first time. On 15 July 2020, the series became available on the Peacock streaming service.
The episode 8, “Recreation” is the final part of a 4-episode crossover with 3 other shows that aired as part of the US “Action Extreme Team” programming block:
- Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (1996, US, animated): episode 9 “Resurrection” (Part 3).
- Savage Dragon (1995-1996, US, animated): episode 21 (208) “Endgame” (Part 2).
- Street Fighter (1995-1997, US, animated): episode 22 (209) “The Warrior King” (Part 1).
Wing Commander Academy Series
- Episode 01: Red and Blue.
- Episode 02: The Last One Left.
- Episode 03: The Most Delicate Instrument.
- Episode 04: Word of Honour.
- Episode 05: Lords of the Sky.
- 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.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Larry Latham.
- Adam Foshko … creative producer: EA (13 episodes, 1996).
- Larry Latham … producer (13 episodes, 1996).
- Steve Cuden … (1 episode, 1996).
- Mark Edward Edens … (13 episodes, 1996).
- Matt Edens … (2 episodes, 1996).
- Michael Edens … (3 episodes, 1996).
- Shari Goodhartz … (2 episodes, 1996).
- Francis Moss … (1 episode, 1996).
- Richard Mueller … (2 episodes, 1996).
- Ted Pedersen … (1 episode, 1996).
- Chris Roberts … (13 episodes, 1996).
- Ralph Sanchez … (1 episode, 1996).
- Brooks Wachtel … (1 episode, 1996).
- Music: Alexander Bubenheim.
- Editor(s): Jay Bixsen.
- Production: Origin Systems Inc. and Universal Cartoon Studios.
- Distributor(s): USA Network.
- Release Date: 21 September 1996 to 21 December 1996.
- Running Time: 22 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: TV-Y7.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.