Canceled due to studio politics, the Silver Surfer animated series is one of the more distinctive parts of the Marvel nineties TV canon. The 13 episode season, the first and only, ran from February 1998 to May 1998 on Fox Kids as part of the ongoing relationship Marvel had with Saban Entertainment. Unfortunately, mid-production of this show, the two companies parted ways, and this cartoon was one of the casualties.
Thanks to Disney+, fans all around the world will be able to watch Silver Surfer online, as Silver Surfer will now be streaming in full. Developed by Larry Brody under the leadership of Vice President of Fox Kids Sidney Iwanter, the series merged CGI and cel-shading animation to some impressive results, even by today’s standards, and in the wake of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, serves a reminder of what’s achievable within comic book adaptations.
Here’s how to watch Silver Surfer streaming online:
How to Stream ‘Silver Surfer’
Silver Surfer is one of the fan-favorite Marvel animated series that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Silver Surfer and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Silver Surfer”
- 5. Tap on “Silver Surfer”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Silver Surfer’: Overview
When Was It On TV: February 1998 – May 1998
Creators: Larry Brody
Starring: Paul Essiembre, James Blendick, Colin Fox, Gary Krawford, Camilla Scott
Synopsis: After managing to cut himself away from the control of Galactus, the cosmic hero searches for his lost homeworld amid the vastness of space.
Silver Surfer Plot
Starting with his birth, the Silver Surfer animated series features the cosmic wandered trying to find his homeworld after Galactus moves it to an untold part of space in a bout of anger. Imbued with the power of the cosmos and unneding of any kind of sustenance, the Silver Surfer explores planet-to-planet, encountering many of Marvel’s space-bound heroes and villains along the way. The series merged cel-shaded animation and CGI to make itself look as futuristic as possible, a technical feat that was incredibly forward-thinking for the time.
How Many Seasons of ‘Silver Surfer’ Are There?
There was exactly one season of Silver Surfer. Running from February 1998 to May 1998, the 13 episodes began, fittingly, with the origin of Silver Surfer, and on an unfortunate cliffhanger that has never been resolved.
Silver Surfer Season 1
13 Episodes | February 1998 – May 1998
The titular hero, voiced by Paul Essiembre, wanders the galaxies of cosmic Marvel trying to find his homeworld, Zenn-La. He encounters a number of trouble situations on his voyages which, with his newfound knowledge of space-and-time, feels duty-found to intervene. There’s a build-up towards a face-off with Thanos, played by Gary Crawford, that never gets resolved due to cancellation.
The Best Silver Surfer Episodes
Only being 13 episodes didn’t give Silver Surfer move room to make an impact, but there’s still some treasures among the stars. The initial trilogy of episodes, showcasing the Silver Surfer’s birth, contain some high-concept writing for a family cartoon, as well as some effects that still hold up. Many of the intermediary adventures before the finale are still compelling, but these are the highlights.
Here’s a list of the best Silver Surfer episodes:
Season 1, Episodes 5 and 6: “Learning Curve, Parts 1 and 2”
The Surfer, and a small cohort of other characters including the Mentor and his servant Drax the Destroyer, try to find the Universal Library of the Watchers so Mentor can learn how to stop Thanos. When successful, they find out why Uatu is the last of the Watchers, and learn more about the secrets of the universe.
Season 1, Episode 11: “The Forever War”
In one of the more solemn episodes, Silver Surfer meets Adam Warlock, whom he helps escape a spatial distortion. Warlock’s master, Supremor, has evil plans for the hero, so Warlock and Surfer escape, and Warlock decides to re-enter the distortion so he may the fake battle there with honor.
‘Silver Surfer’ Voice Cast
Of the many nineties Marvel animated shows, Silver Surfer had one of the strongest casts, with voices that lined up perfectly with the characters being portrayed.
Paul Essiembre as Norrin Radd/Silver Surfer
The namesake protagonist is played by Paul Essiembre, a longtime actor who has 90 credits to his name on IMDb, many of which in TV movies and smaller parts in films. Silver Surfer was one of his first recurring roles, and he’d go onto work with Marvel again in 1999’s Avengers: United They Stand.
James Blendick as Galactus
One of the biggest and most iconic villains in Marvel’s roster, Blendick adds real majesty to Galactus with the deep, bellow-y timbre of his voice. Galactus is crucial to the opening three episodes, and others besides, and Blendick’s presence always makes the character feel huge. Predominantly a stage and movie actor, Blendick also played X-Men antagonist Apocalypse in 1997 in the animated series.
Colin Fox as Uatu The Watcher
Uatu is the last of the Watchers, a race of all-seeing creatures. Uatu narrates parts of Silver Surfer as well as being a character of the show, reflecing his meta-relationship with readers in comics. Colin Fox has a long history of acting in television, yet Silver Surfer is his only comic book-related credit thus far.
Gary Krawford as Thanos
Before Josh Brolin took on the Mad Titan, Gary Crawford had a swing at it. Thanos here is much the same as he ever was, hungry for power at any cost. The final episode sets up a major confrontation ebtween Thanos and the Silver Surfer that was never put together. Before Silver Surfer, Krawford lent his talents to Resident Evil 2 in 1998, and The Neverending Story TV series in 1995, to name but two.
Camilla Scott as Shalla-Bal
Norrin Radd’s love interest and the Empress of Zenn-La, their homeworld. She is the thing that beckons Surfer to find his planet the most through-out the series. Scott led a short-lived career that included stints on the soap Days of our Lives, as well as some stage work, before going into multimedia marketing.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on ‘Silver Surfer’?
Several actors had bit parts over the course of Silver Surfer’s one season, to cover the extended roster of Marvel characters that appeared on the show. Some of these, such as Nebula, are now well-known to Marvel fans thanks to the MCU, while others are still mostly unknown to a wider audience.
Here’s a list of the most important Silver Surfer guest stars:
Nebula, a daughter of Thanos, features in the ‘Learning Curve’ two-parter as another being trying to find the library of the Watchers. She succeeds, but things don’t work out like she’d hoped. Jennifer Dale has many TV credits to her name, also voicing Mystique in X-Men: The Animated Series.
Ego is introduced within the first over-arching adventure of the season, Galactus using him to infect the Silver Surfer’s mind. Lewis plays the talking planet, and it was the only comic book related role the actor took in his career.
Typically associated with Thor and the Nose pantheon – he wields Mjolnir at one point – Beta Ray Bill is something of a fan-favourite for Marvel readers. His story is substantially altered here since Thor isn’t in this universe, but Beta Ray Bill is still as ferocious as ever in the episode ‘Innervisions’ when Surfer convinces him to battle against Thanos. An actor until 2010, Silver Surfer was one of few animated roles Pruner took.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind ‘Silver Surfer’?
Silver Surfer was developed in collaboration between Marvel and Saban Entertainment for Fox Kids. It was created by Larry Brody, a career TV writer who mostly worked in the crime and sci-fi genres. Larry wanted the series to be more adult-oriented, and credits that with the series’ overall success.
Unfortunately, a dispute between Marvel and Saban nixed the project while season two was in development, and it was canceled. Here’s the major players in Silver Surfer’s creation.
Larry Brody: Silver Surfer Creator and Showrunner
Brody had left television due to insider politics before being asked to return by Vice President of Fox Kids Sindey Iwanter to create and showrun Silver Surfer. As a Marvel comics fan, Brody took the offer and made the series.
Roy Allen Smith: Silver Surfer Director
Having worked in animation, and Marvel animated shows, since the eighties, Roy Allen Smith took on a directing role for all 13 episodes of Silver Surfer. Still in the industry, his recent credits include Care Bears and Counsin, and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H
Avi Arad: Silver Surfer Executive Producer
As one of Marvel’s most prominent multimedia ambassadors, Avi Arad had a hand in just about every Marvel TV or film project during the nineties, including this.
‘Silver Surfer’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Like many shows of this era, there’s very little in the way of press or reviews cataloged online. Larry Brody claims the show was successful in terms of viewership, and the reaction on forums today suggests that perhaps reaction at first airing was strong.
Where Silver Surfer Ranks in the Television Pantheon
It’s unfortunate Silver Surfer only had one series, because the show had a lot of promise. The character drama had depth, the storylines were complex and the animation was pushing boundaries. Brody wrote in a blog on his site that the series was a hit before studio politics destroyed it, and in an interview with Marvelite, he put down the positive reception to the adult-oriented writing. If nothing else, the series is unique within the Marvel animated series canon.
‘Silver Surfer’ Theme Song
Shuki Levy, who provided music for the likes of The LEgend of Zelda animated series, Robocop: The Animated Series and The New Adventures of He-Man, composed the sweeping opening song for Silver Surfer.
‘Silver Surfer’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
1. Eight episodes of the second season were written
Larry Brody had eight episodes of a second season, which would have set up Mephisto as the villain, ready to go into animation when the cancellation occurred.
2. Lady Death was re-written for Fox
Rightly or wrongly, Fox doesn’t like death being used on their daytime TV, so Lady Death, the character Thanos is trying to win over, was re-written as Lady Chaos.
3. Many other characters were also changed
Silver Surfer wasn’t made to be apart of a wider universe, so several characters, like Adam Warlock and Beta Ray Bill, were altered so their origins didn’t overlap with other heroes or villains.
4. Mentor was changed because of a typo
In regular comics canon, Mentor is Thanos’ father, however, because of a typo in a script, Mentor became Thanos’ brother. The mistake was noticed too far into development to change.
5. The Kree-Skrull war would have been a focus of season two
As hinted in the first season, the Kree-Skrull War, now a cornerstone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, would have become the center of the drama of the second season of Silver Surfer.