1) The Accomplice
2) His Maker's Name
3) Remote Control
4) Change Of Heart
5) The Next Gen
6) West Bound
9) Crime Waves
10) Taffy Time
11) Kid Genius
12) Ro's Reunion
The Making of Zeta - How the Character and the Series Evolved
Bonus Batman Beyond Series Episodes Featuring Zeta: "Zeta" and
Synopsis: In this spin-off from the animated series, Batman
Beyond, Zeta is an experimental infiltration robot equipped with
weaponry and a holographic self-projector that allows it to
assume any identity. Unfortunately, his programming also evolves
to the point where he acquires both feelings and a conscience.
He flees the U.S. government, who believe he has been
re-programmed by a foreign power.
On the run, Zeta
encounters Rosalie "Ro" Rowan, a street orphan who is wanted by
the law herself. Initially fascinated by Zeta's criminal skills
and the unlimited-cash and untraceable credit card he has, she
attaches herself to him. The two quickly form a real friendship,
and set out across America to find both Ro's parents, and Zeta's
creator who can prove that Zeta is acting of his own free will.
The NSA, led by Agent Bennet, are in hot pursuit. Originally
broadcast on Kidsí WB! From 2001-2002
Review (James Harvey)
Fans were quick to latch onto The
Zeta Project when the series originally premiered on Kids'WB!
almost ten years ago. Using Batman Beyond as the perfect
springboard, The Zeta Project amassed a cult
fan-following that remains strong even to this day. As strong as
that following was, it wasn't enough to allow the show to last
more than a couple seasons, but it still left an impact on the
DC Animated Universe and its fans. And now, the first twelve
episodes of the show is finally available to own on DVD, which
begs the question of whether or not, after all these years, the
show still holds up as solid and entertaining programming.
Thankfully, it does! We'll take a closer look at this release
after the synopsis below.
From the world of Batman
Beyond comes Zeta, an experimental infiltration robot
designed to be a government agent. With an arsenal od weapons
and technology, including a holographic self-projector allowing
it to assume any identity, Zeta is the ultimate assassin. But
when Zeta's programming evolves, he develops a conscience and
refuses to perform for the government. Now, Zeta is the enemy
and Agent Bennet wants to put this rogue robot down before it
endangers humanity. Zeta tales to the streets and finds a friend
in Ro, an orphan also on the run. These two form a wary alliance
that grows to a friendship as they travel together through
The Zeta Project's 2-Disc Set of 12 exciting Season One
adventures. As pursuer Bennet's anger and persistence grow, the
question becomes: who's the real threat to humanity?
have Batman Beyond to thank for my interest in The
Zeta Project. It wasn't until the first season The Zeta
Project episode "Shadows" that I gave this series a serious
look. I dismissed it early on due to the bright and colorful
look of the series, but, after checking out this episode, I
opted to check out the rest of the season and was really
surprised with what I saw. Thankfully, at the time, reruns were
still quite frequent on Kids'WB! and I was able to catch the
entire first season in reruns. While I wasn't completely blown
away by the series, it did have me hooked to at least see what
was going to happen next. Even if the show wasn't hitting every
episode out of the park, I got invested in the characters so
quickly and that alone fueled me to keep a steady eye on this
For me, the second season of The Zeta
Project is when the show was firing on all cylinders and
really ran with the concept. The first season is a bit hampered
by the broadcast censors at the time, something that even the
"Make of..." featurette included on this set covers, but by no
means is the first season of the show bad, far from it.
Personally, I found that, upon revisiting the first season of The
Zeta Project, the show really embraces the serial format
without forgoing the ability to make every episode accessible.
There's a good chunk of episodes that start with a brief
"Previously on..." montage to keep viewers up to pace and, in
fact, that's kind of how my interest in the series grew when
viewing the Batman Beyond-guest-starring episode "Shadows,"
which opens with a quick montage to get new viewers up to speed.
Of course, the opening credit sequence for the series also gives
a quick rundown of the series premise so fans should be able to
hop on with each episode.
Anyways, what jumps out at me
this time is the hi-tech The Fugitive vibe the series
gives off (something even referenced in the bonus material).
Sure, I noticed this when originally watching the series, but
watching all twelve episodes in one sitting really puts that
side of the show to the forefront and, to me, really boosts the
appeal of the series. The light-hearted aspect to it is still
there, but the the dark, serial aspect nature to it really does
creep around the edges. At times it seems like the show is
intentionally lightened up to counter the darkness of the
series, and it's there. Surprisingly, it's more noticeable now,
as I sit through the first twelve episodes, then when I first
caught it. Sure, the colors are bright and the blacks are never
really purely black, but, boy that covers the sometimes heavy
subject matter of the series. Just consider that the show stars
a reformed robot assassin on the run from the law, and it's
amazing they were able to get that premise on a Saturday morning
cartoon. Viewers who wrote this show off as just a kids show may
want to consider giving it another spin. While the show can be a
bit touch-and-go at times during these first twelve episodes,
there's still a lot of great stuff to be found in here.
As I mentioned earlier, I became invested in the characters
quite quickly, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. Zeta and Ro
are excellent main protagonists, and two characters who have
great chemistry with each other. They became increasingly
interesting as we learned more about them, coming across as
surprisingly multi-layered instead of the "mis-matched partners"
cliches that tend to hamper similar series. Even the agents that
chased these two characters had their moments, showing a
testament to the work done on the series.
Zeta Project is a bit of a mixed bag that leans more toward
the positive than negative. It's obvious that the show was
somewhat fighting to find a solid tone in the first season,
having to deal with an admittedly dark premise while trying to
make it a kid-friendly series. Things are glossy and bright,
designs are simple and colorful and the action can be very
stylized at times, but, look past that, and you get a really
ballsy premise for a Saturday morning cartoon. Any problems the
show has in these first twelve episodes do get fixed in the
latter fourteen (coming to DVD later this year), but those
problems pale in comparison to the great character work and
great serial premise to the series. The Zeta Project is a
vastly underrated show that acquired a devoted fan following,
one that's still quite active to this day, and it may be time
for those who haven't checked out this series to give it a shot.
Despite the occasional bump or weak episode The Zeta Project:
Season One comes Highly Recommended to check out.
First off, I feel the need to acknowledge
the great packaging work done by Warner Home Video for this
release. The two-disc Amaray case is housed in a very sturdy
cardboard slipcase, but not the usual slipcase. Instead of the
typical "O-Ring" cardboard slip, we get a thick cardboard sleeve
with access to the disc set from the right side. Much like the
older cardboard digi-pack releases, The Zeta Project: Season
One with the exception that we still get a sturdy Amaray
case instead of cardboard disc holders. Solid work on the
Fans should be just as pleased with what they
find inside. To start off, let's take a look at the audio and
video set-up for this release. While there is some compression
and ghosting noticeable, it's perfectly clean transfer with
barely any noticeable defects to be seen unless you're really
looking for them. The Dolby Stereo Surround audio transfer is
solid affair, as well, so fans should be pleased with what they
both see and hear. Viewers will be pleased to know that this
release also includes chapters stops for each episode.
The main draw for this set, for fans, will be the new bonus
features and, in my opinion, I don't think they'll be
disappointed. The bonus material includes trailers, two episodes
of Batman Beyond featuring Zeta, and an incredibly
enjoyable "Making of..." featurette. Before I go further, if you
have it seen it, I urge everyone to check out the Batman
Beyond episode "Countdown," featured on this release, for
one reason: Mad Stan. An absolutely hilarious villain who
unknowingly puts Zeta in his crosshairs. Anyways, to get back on
track, the "The Making of Zeta" featurette is incredibly
thorough for a 16-minute featurette. We get a look at production
art, early conception art, promo material, episode clips, and
some really interesting backstory information. On top of all of
this, the cast and crew is front and center for this featurette,
discussing their work on the show and how it all came together.
There's a lot of new information about the show itself that fans
should find interesting, including the original episode to the Batman
Beyond episode "Zeta" and the work that had to be done on
the series when new management for Kids'WB! demanded changes.
It's really interesting stuff that production buffs and fans of
The Zeta Project will get a kick out of.
simply and easy to navigate, though I think they could've found
a better picture of Ro to use for the "Special Features" menu on
the first disc, but that's just my opinion.
Overall, the DVD release of The Zeta
Project: Season One is well worth picking up, especially for
die-hard fans who remember the show from when it originally
aired almost a decade ago. But, for those who missed out on the
series the first time around, this collection is well worth
picking up. Not only is it safe to view for all ages, but it
actually has something for everyone. Adults will enjoy the story
and futuristic The Fugitive-vibe to it, kids will enjoy
the action and humor, and everyone will get a kick out of the
well-developed characters. Now, The Zeta Project isn't
perfect, it does have a couple flaws here and there, but it's an
enjoyable show and one that I'm sure fans will enjoy adding to
their collection. The Zeta Project is a vastly underrated
show, one with a dark story perfectly masked by the bright
colors and humors of the series, but a show that I believe comes
Highly Recommended to check out.
Please note Warner Bros. Home Entertainment re-released this title through its Warner Archive label on March 14th, 2017 as a tie in to the Warner Archive "The Zeta Project: Season Two" DVD release.