The Planet-Splitter was the fifteenth episode of the first season of the Super Friends. Like it is with much science fiction, The Planet-Splitter was a very well-layered story, laced with metaphor and lessons commonly associated with the human condition. In fact, for a Saturday morning cartoon that was intended to be kid's show, it was likely the closest Season 1 ever got to telling such an intelligent story, likely more suitable for adults. This wasn't something common for animation in the 1970s, especially during season one of this show.
The plot isn't as essential to the story as the overall message. The message was that things aren't always what they seem. In the story, the "main antagonist" was presented as Doctor Lucius LeRoy LeBon, who planned to cut a planet in half and steal it's natural resources and bring them back to Earth. It wasn't revealed whether or not the world was inhabited, but it was implied that destroying the planet would be immoral, as Marvin White compares destroying an alien world to the destruction of the planet Krypton. He even tells him this would make Superman angry.
But as evil as that may sound, he did have a pure motive, to help the Earth before it runs out of resources. The secondary antagonist, Wilbur; was portrayed quite differently however, he was shown to be a very nice man, with a strong admiration of the Man of Steel, who he calls his idol. The viewers are made to believe that he feels bad about stealing diamonds in order to power the Planet-Splitter, and especially outwitting the Superfriends. The audience is made to believe that he is just going along with Doctor LeBon, since it will ultimately benefit mankind. However, by the end of the episode we learn that his motives were far from pure, as he was clearly greedy, and had no interest in powering the device that was to be used to cut the planet in half at all, but rather was interested in keeping the diamonds for himself. This was something that even surprised LeBon, who trusted him as his assistant.
For a kid's show of the '70s, this could be viewed as a surprising twist, since the entire episode made him seem like such a likable character, only to end up showing that he was really a disreputable individual. But that's not the only thing this episode is about, it also touched on problems a society can face based upon it's own political system, such as the bureaucratic nature of the Kryptonian civilization, which was shown in the Science Council. Like it was for LeBon with the people he presented his experiments to, the Science Council refused to listen to a certain group of scientists' experiments relating to the imminent destruction of their homeworld just due to the fact that one of them suggested breaking their laws related to constructing spacecraft, and because of that, they all died. This was actually not only quite dark for a Super Friends episode, but also a very real world problem.
This episode was best-known for showing the Destruction of Krypton for the second time in the series and also the first time we see the Origin of Superman. These events are shown again in the episodes Secret Origins of the Superfriends and The Krypton Syndrome. An episode of the Superman series from 1988 also shows his origin story, and a character from this episode reappears in that one, Director Warner, although he wasn't named in this episode, and would not be until that one, which aired in 1988. This episode features the first appearance of Jor-El and Lara of the House of El, and also the first appearance of Superbaby. (Superman as a baby)
Jonathan and Martha Kent make their first appearance in the series as well, although they did previously appear in the Filmation cartoons. The corruption of the United States Government was touched on during their appearance in this episode, which is why they decided to keep the rocket they found their adopted son in a secret, since they were afraid that government scientists would want to get their hands on the boy, and run tests on him as well as the rocket. Specifically mentioned was that greedy people would wish to profit from him, and they'd never get to keep him.
A number of characters from DC Comics were referenced in this episode, although only indirectly, such as John and Mary Grayson, the parents of Dick Grayson aka Robin; Tony Zucco, who killed them; C.C. Haly, of Haly's Circus; and Jax-Ur, a Kryptonian whose crime led to the forbidding of space travel on Krypton. Morgan Edge was also indirectly referenced, because his company Galaxy Communications was mentioned.
However it is later revealed in the Hall of Justice by the TroubAlert that the diamond was indeed stolen. Superman, Batman and Robin go to investigate, and one of the security guard's reassured the Super Friends there must have been some sort of mistake, but Batman tells him that the TroubAlert makes no mistakes. They asked if anything suspicious had happened, and he admitted that there was some sort of unexplained light shining on the diamond, and at first they thought it disappeared, but it wasn't gone. But immediately Superman is able to tell that the diamond now in the case was a fake.
Back at the Hall of Justice, Colonel Wilcox is talking to the Super Friends over the Justice League Monitor. He tells them basically what they already know, that the real Star of Persia was stolen, and replaced by a relatively worthless zircon. He asks if they have any clues to its' disappearance. Batman tells him the only thing they know, is that a red light was shining on the diamond when it was replaced by the zircon. Wilcox realizes that he sees a pattern, indicating he had seen something like that before, and Aquaman even admits that he recalls that the previous week on the cruise ship Lorelei the hundred and ten karat Mandalay diamond was stolen from the captain's safe. Wilcox then says that all occurred after the appearance of a mysterious red light. Wonder Woman then tells them that in Amsterdam the Holland Jewelry Company reported the theft of its' one hundred and twenty karat Pride of the Zuiderzee. Marvin White tells everyone that if they find the red light they'll find the precious stones that were stolen. Wilcox tells them they must be found; and Superman says he takes it that the government doesn't believe that these were simple robberies and that they were in fact part of a larger plan. Wilcox confirms this, telling him that other governments in the world believe that as well.
Elsewhere, in a strange laboratory, two men are excited about the diamonds they had stolen, they look at a photograph of outer space that shows the star system of Cygnus Magnum; focusing their attention at the planet known as Cygnus-Uno, which is located in that system. They know their mission, and will do what must be done, and then they shall see who has the last laugh.
Back at the Hall, the TroubAlert sounds again, this time looking for background information about other diamonds that are more than 100 karats. Wendy Harris reads the printout, stating there are only four other diamonds in the world that are more than 100 karats. One which is in the vault of the Bank of London, which Wonder Woman checks out; another is in the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhset in Cairo, Egypt, which the Dynamic Duo check out; the third is on the yacht of multimillionaire Howard Small, in the Mid-Atlantic, which Aquaman goes to check out. The final diamond was located in a pendant worn around the neck of the wife of Jason Cadwalader, who is conducting a Benefit Circus for Deprived Children. Marvin is excited at the prospect of going to the circus, but Superman tells him that he'll have to take that responsibility, but he tells them he might be able to use their help. Robin then tells them he would have liked to check out the circus for old time's sake, since he use to be in a circus act until his parents were killed and Batman took him in. Batman admitted that he remembered Robin teaching him a few trick on the trapeze. But he tells everyone they have their assignments and they better get to them while the diamonds are still there.
While outside the Hall of Justice, at the runway and hangar, Wonder Woman takes off in her invisible jet for England and Batman and Robin take off in the Batcopter, heading for Egypt. And Aquaman swims in the Atlantic Ocean, heading toward Howard Small.
While at the circus, Superman in his disguise of Clark Kent, TV commentator for Galaxy Communications, arrives at the circus grounds with the kids and Wonder Dog. Clark tells them there won't be any action under the Big Top until Mrs. Cadwalader presents the plaque to the ringmaster. He asks the kids if they would like to go on some rides first, and Wendy said the Roller coaster looks fun. Marvin then tells him that he wants to throw some baseballs and win some prizes.
While Wendy enjoys her roller coaster ride, Marvin plays his carnival game by trying to throw balls at some bottles to knock them over, but he doesn't succeed, and therefore doesn't win the Kewpie Doll. The Carny invites others to step right up to give it a try, three tries for 25 cents, and Marvin decides to give it another try, pulling out another quarter.
Meanwhile, a circus truck driven by the two men who stole the diamonds, is driving through the circus grounds. They stop the truck, and the bald man, who was the driver, hands balloons to the other guy and tells him that the red balloon must be focused on the Big Top. He walks to the back of the vehicle and sits in a chair with a hydraulic lift.
Back at the carnival game, The carny assumes that Marvin is out of quarters, but Marvin tells him he's going to try one more time.
While inside the Big Top, Clark Kent asks Mrs. Cadawalder if she's worried about what might happen to her diamond, but she tells him she is not, since she has with her three of the greatest detectives in the world.
Outside the Big Top, the two proclaim that the balloons are in place, and that they are ready for the theft.
Outside, the balloons are activated, and a series of rays similar in look to lasers shine down on the Big Top, the doctor tells Wilbur to activate the hydraulic lift, and he does, and it lifts him over the truck, and he aims the ray directly at the diamond pendant. Clark then transforms into Superman when no one was looking, and the woman notices the ray shining on her diamond. Wendy in the Roller coaster also notices, and she sees that it is coming from the circus wagon.
Back under the Big Top, she worriedly asks what is happening to her beautiful diamond. Superman tells her it's being stolen. He flies off to see what's going on, while outside, the hydraulic lift is retracted, and brought back down into the truck. The decoy balloons are sent up into the air, and the situation causes the elephants to panic, and they pull their stake out of the ground, going on a rampage through the Animal Compound and breaking a gorilla out of his cage. The gorilla makes his way to the carnival game that Marvin was playing, and the carny asks Marvin if he'd like to have another go, but Marvin, looking at the gorilla tells him to let the guy "in the fur coat go first." The gorilla grabs the ball and tosses it, knocking over every single bottle. He is then handed a Kewpie Doll. It is just then that Marvin realizes that he is actually a gorilla, and he runs off in fright. Overhead, Superman collects all of the balloons, and heads back to the Hall of the Justice League, leaving the kids to enjoy the circus.
Wendy walks toward the Big Top, and points to the spot where the circus wagon was that was firing that beam of light. Marvin rushes toward her and tells her a gorilla is loose, while nervously biting his finger nails. An animal trainer leads the gorilla back to his cage, and Wendy tells Marvin to forget the gorilla, she saw the red beam and a circus wagon, they don't know how to find it, but Wonder Dog, "makes like a roller coaster," as Marvin says, somehow interpreting his movements as being an imitation of a roller coaster; and they all decide to get on the roller coaster so they will be much higher and stand a chance of spotting the truck. They then spot it on a country highway. As soon as they get off of the roller coaster, they get on their bikes, and take off after them. Since they were on their bikes rather than in a motor vehicle, they assumed that they had lost them, but they see tire tracks heading toward a side road. They follow the tracks and find the circus wagon heading toward a building. They cross a draw bridge and approach the building. Marvin asks how they can get in. Wendy suggests they just ring the door bell. Marvin told her they were bad guys, suggesting they may be dangerous or not come to the door at all. Wendy said they looked like kindly gentlemen. Marvin tells her that sometimes things aren't what they seem, and that the button on the door may not even be a door bell. Wonder Dog pushes the button, which buzzes, and then the door opens up. The doctor asks Wilbur to see who is at the door. The kids sneak in passing the truck and what appears to be a spacecraft of some kind. The kids hide behind a stairwell leading up to a door. That door opens and Wilbur welcomes them to the observatory. He then says it costs twenty-five cents to look through the one-inch telescope and fifty cents to look through the three inch one. He then stops talking when he can't find anyone. He tells the doctor no one is there, and he goes on to say that it must be the pesky cat that likes to hang around there. Wonder Dog then began to make a slight howling sound, and Wilbur said that the cat is starting to sound like a dog. He then closes the front door and returns through the door on top of the staircase. Without the sunlight shining through, the room is in darkness.
Wendy notices that Marvin is gone, but since it is dark she can't see him, but he's at the top of the stairs opening the door. He then tells her to "come on." There, they see Doctor LeBon telling Wilbur that they only need one more diamond for his dream to become a reality. He goes on to say that releasing the balloons caused enough confusion to distract any would-be pursuers. Wilbur tells the doctor that it makes him sad that they were able to outwit the Superfriends so easily. The doctor asked him why he would feel sadness. He tells him that he knows he's a great admirer of Superman. The doctor tells him that they will be more admired than Superman once they've accomplished their objectives. He tells him that what they are doing will benefit mankind. He tells the doctor that he's right, as the mineral and fuel resources on Earth are becoming more and more depleted. The doctor then says they will replenish Earth's resources by bringing them down from Cygnus-Uno. The kids are clueless as to what the men are talking about, but they agree they'd better tell the Superfriends. The doctor tells them they need to take a closer look at the planet. They begin to head toward the doorway that the kids are spying on them from, and the kids start running down the stairs before they notice them. They try to get out through the front door, which is like a garage door, but with no success. They then hide inside the spaceship. He tells Wilbur that after they go to the planet, they will go after the last diamond, and then their Planet-Splitter will be complete. The kids are in the control room of the craft, but when they realize the two men are about to board the ship, they hide in the galley. They then raise the door, and the spacecraft starts to roll out of the garage on its' wheels. The wheels retract into the vehicle as the craft begins to take flight into the sky.
While back at the Hall, Superman shines a flashlight through one of the green balloons to show them that there is a miniaturized remote control device in each balloon. Robin then says: "Holy projectors!" Batman says "Exactly" and that the balloons projected six decoy red beams. Wonder Woman said that it was probably a trick to confuse people into learning the location of the seventh beam, which was the real red beam. Superman goes on to say that it was enough confusion to allow the criminals to escape with the Cadwalader diamond. Batman then says that there are still three 100 karat diamonds left that have yet to be stolen. Superman tells Aquaman to get to the North Atlantic to where Howard Small is on his cruise. Wonder Woman tells Superman that she can take Aquaman there in her transparent plane while Superman covers for her at the Bank of London. Batman tells everyone that he and Robin will head back to Egypt. Robin suggests that they would need seven Justice Leaguers to cover each beam to assure that one of them locates the real red beam. Superman tells him he has a simple answer to that. Batman tells Robin it wouldn't surprise him if he was thinking to attach a micro-dot homing device to each diamond, so they could follow the signal to the lair of the criminals. Superman confirms that was what he had in mind. Robin tells Superman he hasn't seen the kids. Superman tells him that he left them at the circus, where they're no doubt having a lot of fun on some "wild rides."
While somewhere in outer space, the flying saucer is heading toward its' destination. In the galley, Wonder Dog is eating a steak and the kids are looking out the window, and Wendy says that this is a fantastic ride. The kids tell Wonder Dog to come over to look at the amazing view outside, and go on to tell him to stop eating, as he is putting on some weight. Wendy tells him he's going on a diet as soon as he gets home. While in the control room, Wilbur asks why the ship is bouncing so much, and the doctor tells him the the gravitational pull of Cygnus-Uno is causing all of the turbulence. He makes a course adjustment to compensate, and the bouncing stops. While below, in the galley, Wendy complains about experiencing claustrophobia from being in such a small room. Wonder Dog howls, and Marvin, about to tell him he doesn't even know what claustrophobia is, is not even able to pronounce the word. He then tells them "let's get outta here."
While above, in the control room, the doctor tells Wilbur that before the go into orbit around the planet, they should have some lunch. They switch on their computer monitor to see what food is available in the galley, and they find that they have stowaways. The doctor tells them to bring them in there. Wilbur comes in and it startles Wonder Dog, who jumps up into Marvin's arms and causes the steak bone to go into Marvin's mouth, and Wendy asks what he's doing with a steak bone in his mouth.
Later, in the control room, Wendy asks them why two nice people like them were stealing diamonds. He told them they were only borrowing them, and that they will return them as soon as they are finished with them. He tells them he can power his planet splitter without the diamonds. Wendy tells him he doesn't have the right to take what isn't his. They tell them that the Super Friends and the Jr. Super Friends won't stand for it. Wilbur excitedly asks if they are friends of the Superfriends. Marvin tells them they are. Wilbur tells them that Superman is his idol, after Doctor LeBon that is. Wendy tells them that if Superman is his idol, he better not break-up a planet, because Superman wouldn't like it. Marvin tells them the reason is because that's what happened to his planet a long time ago. Wilbur tells them he always wanted to know how Superman came to Earth, and the doctor tells him that they have a long trip home, and that they may as well tell them the story. Although hesitant at first, Wendy tells Marvin that he should tell them, so that maybe they'll change their minds about destroying a planet.
Marvin begins by telling them that Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. But then he goes on to ask them the question: How did he get his super powers. He then tells them that a long time ago a planet, orbiting a red sun, was known as Krypton. The world was inhabited by an intelligent race, who among its' most important citizens, were Astro-Scientist Jor-El and his wife; Lara. At a workshop in Kryptonopolis, a man tells Jor-El that the rocket is just about done. "Just the outer shell though." Jor-El responds. But the man tells him it's a beauty. But he tells him that unless Lara comes up with a proper guidance system that it's worthless. She tells him that a few more sessions with the computer banks and she should be finished, and that she had only been working on it for a couple of weeks. A small baby is playing in what appears to be a playpen. Jor-El tells her it didn't take her that long to get him to propose marriage to her. She tells him that he was less of a problem. She then tells Jor-El that she is worried about the Science Council, since they had forbidden the construction of any spacecraft. He tells her that law is five years old, and a different council is in control now. He goes on to tell her that he can convince the council that the time has come for them to once again explore space. He shows her through a telescope a distant star system that he's interested in exploring. She tells him she thought he was interested in Arcto. He tells her that was the case until he discovered this one. He zooms in on one of the planets in that system. He tells her that the planet's atmosphere and climate is close to their own world's, and that it could support life with certain variations. Just then, the baby cries and tremors begin violently shaking the building. And over a loudspeaker, Jor-El and other scientists are called to the Hall of Wisdom, including Lo-Di and Mia.
The people in the laboratory evacuate the building, Jor-El tells Lara to take the baby to the underground zithium tube. The two of them get in their separate cars, and drive off. Jor-El drives his vehicle in the opposite direction on the same street that Lara took, he's heading for the Hall of Wisdom, where he was called to. Inside the Hall, the head of the Science Council, Drygur Ka-Do; apologizes for summoning them away from their laboratories. He then goes on to say that they had panicked, but the danger is now over. Jor-El tells him that he disagrees. The Drygur is shocked by Jor-El's words. Jor-El tells him that Mia and Lo-Di disagree as well. Lo-Di and Mia then explains that three years ago, after the ground quakes that they had experienced at that time, they felt it was their duty -- but before they could finish, the Drygur cuts them off, telling them that they have no duty, except for those assigned to them by the council. Jor-El tells Ka-Do that there's no time for petty protocol, because Krypton is doomed. Ka-Do then asks: "Because of a few ground quakes?" Jor-El tells him that their experiment proved that internal stresses from within their planet has caused instability with the core, which will eventually cause Krypton to explode like a giant bomb. A Science Council member then asks him what he proposes to do about it. Jor-El suggests that they build space arks to safely transplant the population of Krypton safely off-world to another planet. He admits it may be too late, but if they hurry --- however he is once again cut off by the Science Council member and he tells him that he can't comprehend how a man with his intelligence could come up with such a wild idea. Ka-Do goes on to say that maybe Jor-El doesn't remember when another group of scientists planned to build space arks twenty-years ago. The leading scientist of this group planned to exile the Ruling Council in space. Mia and Lo-Di tell him that they weren't suggesting anything about building space arks. Ka-Do tells Jor-El that the council will have to decide whether or not bring charges of treason against him.
Now, driving down a Kryptonopolis highway, Jor-El, Lara and their infant son are on their way back to Jor-El's laboratory in their rocket-powered automobile. Jor-El tells his wife Lara that the council wouldn't listen to him. Lara asks if Mia and Lo-Di helped them any to listen. He tells her that Ka-Do intimidated them, telling her that he "scared them to death." The car pulls up in the drive and the exit the vehicle, going inside, and Jor-El continues, telling her that they were afraid to do anything to save themselves, and so because of that, they'll die.
In the following days, Lara worked hard to fix the guidance system, while Jor-El readied the rocket ship for space travel. Lara is finally finished with the guidance system, and she gives it to Jor-El to install in the spaceship. She then notices that the ship is too small for the three of them, and he tells her it's big enough for her and Kal. She vocalizes that they should build a bigger one, but he tells her there's not enough time. She suggests they could get help, but he tells her that they are lucky they haven't found out about the ship they already built, as they would destroy it if they did know. Just then a voice can be heard over the loudspeaker, telling Jor-El to report to the Hall of Wisdom. Lara tells him she is afraid, but he tells her not to fear what they have no knowledge of yet. He tells her to install the guidance system, and if he doesn't return within two hours, not to wait for him. She begins crying.
While later at the Science Council, Ka-Do informs Jor-El that the Council has decided that he is to be deposed of his title as Astro-Scientist, and he is to cease all scientific activities immediately. He tells them that he begs them to listen to him, and a Science Council member tells him that they did, and what he said was nonsense, but Jor-El tells them that their blindness is condemning billions. He strikes back at him, telling him that it had been weeks since he said Krypton was doomed. Just then, Ka-Do asks Jor-El to take a look about him, asking him "Do you see doom?" Just then more violent tremors happen, this time of an unbelievable level. The building starts to collapse, the Council is in terror, they all begin to run out of the building, Ka-Do tells Jor-El to wait, admitting they were wrong, and begging him to stay and help them. Jor-El angrily shouts at them, telling them it's too late, as there's no help for any of them now.
Jor-El drives back to his laboratory in his rocket car. After arriving, he rushes inside, and asks Lara where Kal is, she tells him that he's in the rocket ship. He vocalizes his regrets that he didn't have time to build a full size rocket ship. Lara tells him that they at least have space in the vehicle to save their baby. Jor-El tells her there's room for her as well, but she tells him she can't go, as her place is at her side. He tells her to get in the ship, but she refuses, telling him that without her weight, the ship has a better chance of reaching Earth. He then tells her that at least their son will outlive his world. Lara bends down to kiss her beloved son twice. Jor-El heads over to the Launch Control, and opens the door of the roof, and launches the ship into the sky. Lara asks her husband if her son will be all right on Earth, and Jor-El tells her that the planet is so tiny, that he will be incredible strong, due to it's much lesser gravity. And also the greater energy of Earth's yellow sun will give him other fantastic powers. As the rocket clears the gravitational pull of Krypton, the planet explodes like a giant bomb.
The ship then lands somewhere on or close to a farm near Smallville. Kal begins crying. A red pickup truck closes in on the scene, and inside the truck is a couple known as Jonathan and Martha Kent. They notice the spacecraft and Martha asks Jonathan what it is, and he tells her "By George, it looks like a rocket ship right out of the funny papers." They then realize that something is inside of the ship when they hear Kal's cries. Jonathan notices that the hatch must have spring open when the ship crashed. Jonathan pulls him out of the rocket ship, as they were fearing he may be hurt, but he wasn't, and Martha says he's a darling. Martha tells him that he's like the child they always wanted, implying that she or her husband is infertile. Jonathan seems slightly agitated by her statement and he says: "Now, Martha..."
Later, after loading the rocket in the bed of the pickup, they get back on the road and drive their truck toward Smallville, arriving at the County Orphanage. Inside the place, Jonathan tells Director Warner that he's aware that anyone who finds an abandoned child is supposed to take it to the orphanage. Warner tells them they did the right thing, he then informs his nurse, an attractive young woman with brown hair, to take the child to the dispensary. Martha tells him that they were interested in adopting him, and the director tells her they first must investigate all of their applicants carefully. She asks how long that would take, and he tells her it shouldn't be too long. He tells them they will let them know as soon as possible.
Back on the road, the Kents are on their way back home. Martha asks her husband why they didn't tell the truth about how they found the baby, and he tells her that it's for the same reason they're going to hide the rocket, because there'd be a million different questions from scientists and promoters that take an interest in the child and the rocket. Martha goes on to say that they'd likely never be able to keep the baby, as someone would likely find a way to use him for profit. He tells her she's right, and so they are better off keeping the story to themselves.
Back at the orphanage, Doctor Brown is attempting to vaccinate the baby, but his needle breaks. The nurse tells him his skin is like steel. The baby, now having the ability of flight, zooms into the air and hangs from the ceiling light fixture. Doctor Brown tells his nurse he's going to discuss the situation with Doctor McCarthy. As he begins to leave, the nurse notices the baby hanging from the light fixture. She calls the doctor back, who upon seeing the sight, is shocked, and he runs over to him, asking the nurse how he got up there. The nurse tells him she doesn't know. He then tells her "let's get him down!"
While in the office of the director, Mr. Warner receives a call from the nurse, telling him to come to the dispensary, as it is an urgent matter.
Back in the dispensary, the baby is holding the doctor over his head, demonstrating a remarkable feat of super strength. Doctor Brown then says: "Do something, Nurse!" She tells him she just called the director, and he tells her to forget the director, call the army. The director enters the room and is shocked by what he sees, asking Doctor Brown what he's doing, and the angry doctor tells him "I'm not doing it, HE'S DOING IT!!"
At the orphanage, the director nervously tells them that they can have the child, who is sitting on his desk and breaks his pen. Jonathan tells him that they sure worked quick on their investigation of them. The director told them that in special cases they do move very fast. Martha shows her gratitude. He looks at the broken pen and tells them that he sure is strong. Jonathan tells him that they'll pay for the pen. He tells them not to worry about that, just get him out of there...then he softens his voice, telling them he means they want to get the "dear child to his new home right away." He then waves his hand "good-bye." They start walking away from the office toward the outside, and finally arriving at their pickup truck, while walking there, Martha told her husband that they finally have their own child, and she asks what they should call him. Jonathan says they should name him after Martha's family. And that's the whole story Marvin told them. Wilbur tells Marvin that it was a fascinating story, and LeBon asks him what they did end up naming the child. Marvin then tells them that such information is top secret.
Meanwhile, at the Bank of England in London, Superman and the directors of the place watch as the technician places the homing device on the diamond. While in Egypt, the Batman and Robin observe the same operation happening. As the technician brings the Egyptian diamond back to the crypt, the Dynamic Duo begin their patrol, riding on camels. The heat is very intense, as they are on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Robin tells Batman they should have rented air-cooled camels. The two laugh.
Meanwhile, North Atlantic, on the yacht of Howard Small, Aquaman, having supervised the placement of a homing device on the diamond, Aquaman protects the boat in his own natural habitat, the ocean. While above, Wonder Woman, in her invisible plane, lends a vigilant eye, as she wings through clear skies.
But over the skies of London, LeBon's flying saucer hovers overhead, concealed by the clouds that are quite a normal sight in London. Wilbur tells LeBon he's ready, and LeBon asks Wilbur if the gyroscopes in the balloons are all set, which he answers affirmatively. He then asks him if the directional equipment is all in order, but Marvin cuts in to ask him if he's about to steal another diamond. But he tells him he's just borrowing it, but Wendy disagrees. Wonder Dog then barks, and the doctor tells Wonder Dog "watch your language." Wendy tells him they have to protest, as them being there makes them accessories to a crime. Marvin tells them that's a 314. Wilbur asks what a 314 is and Marvin tells him he learned about that in police shows. Wendy tells the doctor to land immediately and take them to a bus depot. He refuses, telling her he can't until the job is done. He orders Wilbur to begin releasing the balloons, Superman is down below counting the balloons as he sees them. He then activates the red beam and the decoy beams, and they shine on the diamond, replacing it with a zircon. Superman is aware that it was stolen, but the men in the bank don't agree at first until taking a closer look. He then asks if he could use the communications room.
And while in the communications room, Superman calls Batman and Robin with the radio in that room. They answer in their Batplane, and Superman tells them the diamond was stolen, so they take off in the Batplane, going into action and following the homing signal. Robin then says "Holy high-pitched noises, Batman!" since the homing signal was so loud, that he found it almost surprising that they need any instruments to detect the signal at all. Batman tells him that Superman's super hearing would be able to pick it up without any instruments. Speaking of Superman, he then calls Wonder Woman, whom he brings up to speed, and then she follows the homing signal with her invisible plane, after she picks up Aquaman.
While in London, a man at the bank tells Superman if he waits much longer the thieves will get away with the diamond. He tells him he wants them to have a little bit of a head start...he then takes off in the sky: "Up, up and away!!", he says. And in the spaceship, LeBon and Wilbur admire their catch...the London diamond, which LeBon says looks like it is the purest of them all. Wilbur says it must be worth a million dollars. Then Marvin tells him it might also be worth 10 years in jail. LeBon then says there are times when he finds young people very distressing. Wendy then tells him that in that case, he doesn't have to worry about seeing them anymore, and she further tells him that he can set them down in any city in the United States. He apologizes to her and tells her he can't do that. Wonder Dog then growls. The doctor then goes on to say that there are times when he finds young dogs very depressing. Marvin tells him that the only thing they are going to find depressing is when Superman finds them. Wilbur tells his boss that they probably should drop them off at the nearest bus station, otherwise they might make Superman angry. But LeBon doesn't give in to all the pressure. He tells them that he will personally deliver them to their homes, but only after the planet is split. Wilbur tells the kids to be patient, since they have all the diamonds, it will all be over soon. Just then, Wonder Dog's impressive canine ears are able to pick up the homing signal coming from the diamond. Superman also can hear the signal, and he closes the distance between him and his objective. Batman and Robin, leaving Egypt, notice that the signal they detect with the Batplane's equipment is coming in strongly. Batman tells Robin to keep a sharp look out, as he doesn't want them to spot them. While at sea, over the Atlantic, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are on their way as well in her plane. Aquaman tells her she better "throttle back" because they don't want to catch them until they lead them to the rest of their diamonds.
At the lair of LeBon and Wilbur, the garage door opens up and the ship flies inside and parks. And a short while later, in the doctor's workshop/laboratory, the doctor shows the kids a picture of the planet Cygnus-Uno, he then asks Wilbur if the is ready, Wilbur was at a control panel making a few adjustments, he then tells him that they are almost ready. The doctor tells the kids they are about to witness an historic event. He raises his pointer and says that he will have his Planet-Splitter directed at Cygnus-Uno, he then shows them a simulated duplication of what is to occur. He begins narrating, telling them that with his secret formula concentrating the full power of the diamonds, he will then split the planet. Then he will again use the same power to pull half of that planet, into orbit around the Earth, making it a second moon. He tells them the new moon will have enough natural resources to replenish all that mankind has wasted on Earth. He tells them that the world will be eternally grateful to him. Wendy then says they might get mad because bringing half the planet so near Earth would cause floods and avalanches. Marvin agrees, since the moon itself causes high tides, so bringing another moon close to Earth is a terrible idea. Wilbur has been observing them converse nervously, seeming anxious about something, but this goes unnoticed to the kids and LeBon. LeBon tells the kids that he has had success with his scientific experiments with his partner Wilbur. He then notices that Wilbur is gone. He then begins calling out his name. He then asks where he could have gone. But unknown to LeBon, Wilbur is elsewhere in the building looking out the window, seeing Superman outside. He then says: "Oh no!" and runs off in another direction.
Outside, the batplane lands, and Superman tells Batman and Robin that he can turn off the homing signal now. Unknown to the Super Friends, Wilbur is sneaking off, carrying a handbag, walking on tip-toes. Back outside, Robin suggests they go in, but Superman tells him they'll wait on Wonder Woman and Aquaman to land, and land they do. While inside, LeBon decides he can't wait on Wilbur any longer, and decides to begin the operation. The dome doors open up and the large ray gun points into the sky toward its' target. While below, at the garage door entrance, Robin suggests breaking the door down, but Superman tells him there's no need for destruction, as his x-ray eyes can find the simpler answer. He then finds the lifting control device. Back upstairs inside the building, the kids plead with him not to go through with splitting the planet, and that he should wait and let the Superfriends know what he's doing, because if he is really wanting to do something to benefit mankind, the Superfriends might be interested in helping. The doctor then tells them he's had nothing but obstruction from the so-called "well-wishers." He goes on to say that the scientific community told him that his experiment was doomed to failure, the civic leaders laughed at him, the businessman refused to finance his efforts. He then activates the Beam Timer on his planet-splitter. Wendy tells him that the Super Friends don't laugh at people, and he tells her in a few moments, no one will ever laugh at Lucius LeRoy LeBon again. He then asks her why he needs "Superfriends." The device is locked onto its' target. Wendy tells him they should at least have the Superfriends on hand, just in case something goes wrong. He tells them to stand back, as the Planet-Splitter is ready to fire. Just then the Superfriends arrive, demanding that they have a word with him. He tells them he doesn't have time. Wendy tells them to hurry because he's about to split a planet in half. Robin then says: "Holy supernovas! We gotta stop him!" But Superman tells him there's no need for that, as he'll get very little power from his control panel. He then breaks the glass marked "Emergency," and then tells them to watch as they see enormous power. But unfortunately, the Planet-Splitter would not turn on. He told them that he doesn't understand what went wrong, as his plan for concentrating power from diamonds was foolproof. Superman tells him "Perhaps, but those are not diamonds." He told him they have to be, because he stole them himself. Superman told him that someone made a switch for zircons. The doctor said nobody could do that. He tells them nobody was at this control panel but himself. Wendy tells him Wilbur was too. He can't believe that his trusted assistant would do that. Wonder Woman asks where Wilbur is, but he doesn't know. Aquaman says that if Wilbur took the diamonds then he's nowhere around here, but Batman tells him that one of the diamonds has the micro-dot transmitter on it, and he'll be easy to locate. Robin then activates the homing receiver, which points straight down. The doctor tells them he's trying to escape through the tunnels of the underground coal mine beneath the building. Marvin tells them "let's go after him." Batman tells the kids to wait with Wonder Dog in the Batplane. The doctor told the Superfriends that he'll show them where he is. But Superman tells him sorry, because he's going to take him to the police station where he can explain about the diamonds. But he tells them that Wilbur will get away, and Superman tells him "Not with the Superfriends after him." While underground, Wilbur is riding in a minecart, with Batman and Robin in a minecart tailing him and Wonder Woman and Aquaman in a minecart behind them.
While above, Marvin and Wendy are talking about how Wilbur seemed so nice, but they both agree, that as Batman always says: "You can't always trust the obvious." They see the circus wagon and Marvin tells Wendy he never got a close look at a circus wagon before. And below, Wilbur pulls the minecart's brake, jumps out and jumps in an elevator, which begins to move up. The Super Friends right behind him looking as the elevator rises. He runs to the circus wagon, not realizing that the kids are in it, and Marvin is behind the wheel, saying how much fun it is, but Wendy tells him not to touch any of the controls. Wilbur is hiding behind the backseat, as he entered through the rear door. Marvin starts messing with the controls of the truck and the hydraulic life begins to go up, with Wilbur in it. Wonder Dog, standing on top of the roof of the truck, directly over the hydraulic lift, is lifted up as well, and quite shocked by the sight of Wilbur. The other Super Friends arrive, even Superman, who apparently returned from the station. He then says: "I don't know who treed who, but Wonder Dog has the lid on the situation." Marvin is very proud of his dog.
Back at the Hall, the kids are talking about how the planet is still in once piece, and how despite being a greedy man, Wilbur did do some good, when he took the diamonds, he destroyed the Planet-Splitter's power. The Super Friends then tell them that the Planet-Splitter would have never worked, because the experiments that the two of them engaged in were actually unsuccessful, but Wilbur gave LeBon false reports, making him think it would work, because he wanted the diamonds for himself so bad that he lied to him, but now, thanks to Wonder Dog, Wilbur has reported to the authorities. Wonder Dog then sneaks out of the room to the Justice League Commissary just as Marvin is about to tell him how proud he is of him. But when he realizes he's gone Wendy tells him that she put a homing device on his favorite steak bone because she's had suspicions of him ever since they returned and he started his diet. She then follows the homing signal.
They go outside, following the signal on their bikes, and they find him in an alley eating his steak bone. Wendy then takes the steak and asks him if that's what he calls being on a diet. Marvin then angrily asks him if he wants to get fat. They then tell him that from now on he's to stick to his diet. As they start to walk away, Wonder Dog waits until they're gone, and then grabs another steak bone that he had stashed away out of sight. He then begins eating it.
Continuity in Other Media
- County Museum of Art
- Cygnus Magnum star system
- Bank of London (in London, England)
- Cairo, Egypt
- Sahara Desert
- Galaxy Communications
- Blinken and Bristol Circus
- Doctor LeBon's Galaxy Observatory
- Kryptonian cars shown in this episode are similar to 60th century Earth rocketmobiles that were portrayed in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen # 28 (April 1958).
- Robin's origin is spoken of for the first time (being a circus trapeze artist, his parent’s getting killed and Batman taking him in).
- The orphanage shown in this episode was referred to as the County Orphanage, rather than the Smallville Orphanage, as it was called in The Adoption (1988). This implies that the orphanage was under the legal jurisdiction of the county, rather than the city. However, since the comics set on Earth-Two and Earth-One have always called it the Smallville Orphanage, and since the orphanage shown in this episode was presented as a story told by Marvin White, who was an unreliable source, we can assume that this is not true.
- Marvin White's description of the Kryptonian Rocket looks much different than it did in other episodes, such as The Krypton Syndrome, Secret Origins of the Superfriends and The Adoption.
- Three famous Superman and Batman villains from the comics are referenced in this episode, but not shown, they are: Jax-Ur, Morgan Edge and Tony Zucco.
- Edge's company Galaxy Communications is referenced, making it only an indirect reference.
- Zucco is also indirectly referenced when Robin mentions how his parents were killed.
- Dick Grayson's parents, John and Mary Grayson are referenced in this episode, although not by name. The parents of both Superman and Robin are seen and/or referenced in this episode, as Robin's parents are mentioned, and Superman's parents are seen, both his biological parents and his foster parents.
- References: Cygnus Magnum system, Security guard # 1, security guard # 2, precious stones, Captain of the Lorelei, Persia, cushion, Zuiderzee, investigate, tiger, elephants, circus wagon, carousel, Mandalay, juggling, Olympic weightlifting, Marvin's bicycle, diaper, Wendy's bicycle, poverty, Mrs. Cadwalader's employee, Cadwalader's Hired Detective, Cadwalader's hired detective, Mrs. Cadwalader's Hired Detective, Plato, Socrates, Phaedus, steak, bread, train 1608, Boron, Thalon, Haron, Mayton, intercom, dispensary, adoption, profit, purse, applicants, investigate, photograph, Kansas State Capitol, Topeka, The Kent's pickup truck, needle, skin, steel, nurse, toy boat, rattle, dice, Rocking Horse, squeaky fish, ball, light fixture, army, telephone, Speedy, pen, horse hood ornament, Clark family, Bank of England, Rule, Britannia!, James Thomson, Thomas Arne, British technician, Egyptian technician, camel, hot, Sahara Desert, air-cooled camels, Yacht of Howard Small, Howard Small diamond, ocean, eye, clouds, Big Ben, Palace of Westminster, gyroscopes, language, protest, accessory, 314, crime, police shows, bus depot, Bank of England Director, Bank of England director, Bank of London director, Bank Of England director, Bank Of London Director George III of the United Kingdom, communications room, young people, 10 years in jail, city, United States, depression, ears, canine, Superhuman Ears, stakeout, compass, simulated duplication, floods, avalanches, high tides, books, Test 98, handbag, X-ray eyes, lifting control, civic leaders, businessman, scientific community, power, Beam Timer, Jack (device), Lucius LeRoy LeBon, laughing, supernovas, subterranean coal mine tunnels, Batplane, coal mining, minecart, elevator, gas, hydraulics, fuzz food, meat balls, chow chow, steak bones, sausages, Micro-dot homing device, Justice League Commissary, Wonder Dog's Food Storage, wrench and jet car.
- "Zonkers!" --- Marvin White
- "Holy high pitched noises, Batman! --- Robin
- "Holy supernovas! --- Robin
Gulliver's Gigantic Goof
|Season 1: SuperFriends (1973)|
- ↑ With the first time being in The Menace of the White Dwarf However it should also be noted that the Destruction of Krypton was also shown in Filmation's The New Adventures of Superman opening theme.
- ↑ This was a reference, although indirectly; to Jax-Ur, although it should be noted this is conjecture, as he wasn't actually referred to as the leader of the scientists, as they were mentioned as a "group of scientists," the leader was not mentioned, but we can assume confidently that it was Jax-Ur, if we are to go by Earth-One continuity, which is quite similar, as it was Jax-Ur's actions that lead to the outlawing of space travel.
- ↑ Referenced only, not shown.
- ↑ For more information about that DC comic book, click here.