Minorities in cartoons: “The Zeta Project”

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is “The Zeta Project,” a series that ran on Kids’ WB from 2001-2002.

Background

The series was set in the same future as “Batman Beyond.” “The Zeta Project” was largely in its own setting well away from futuristic Gotham City, though Batman appeared in a few episodes.

The show’s overall plot was about Zeta, a robot assassin used by the US government (specifically, the NSA) to carry out covert assassinations. Zeta’s aided by an array of weaponry and his ability to holographically disguise himself as a human. However, Zeta soon realizes what he’s doing is wrong, and (after dropping most of his weaponry) flees his government “bosses.” This leads the NSA to assume he’s been subverted by enemies/gone rogue and is a dangerous threat.

Subsequently, the NSA sends a team to track down and capture Zeta. Joining Zeta on the lam is Ro, an orphaned teenage girl. Zeta and Ro attempt to find Zeta’s reclusive creator to try to prove his innocence, before the NSA can capture Zeta. Along the way, the two have various adventures.

One of the NSA officers includes Agent Lee, a level-headed agent compared to her boss, Agent Bennet (the head of the NSA team sent to capture Zeta). At first, Lee pursues Zeta, but eventually realizes he’s not a threat and decides to quit. She’s soon replaced by the more compliant Agent Rush.

Another government official that appeared in the series was Colonel Lemak, Bennet’s supervisor.

On TV/home video

“The Zeta Project” ran for two seasons of 26 episodes. It’s since turned up in occasional reruns, though it’s not as popular as its companion show “Batman Beyond.”

There’s only been a DVD/digital video release for the first season so far.

Voice actors

Diedrich Bader voiced Zeta. He’s also the voice of Batman in “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.”

Julie Nathanson voiced Ro.

Lauren Tom voiced Agent Lee. Tom’s an actress who appeared in “The Joy Luck Club.” Her other voice work includes Amy on “Futurama” and Angela Chen on “Superman: The Animated Series.”

Agent Rush was voiced at first by Erika Alexander and then by Dominique Jennings; Alexander played Maxine in the Fox sitcom “Living Single”; Jennings appeared in the late 90s NBC soap opera “Sunset Beach.”

Michael Dorn voiced Colonel Lemak. Dorn played Worf on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Opening credits

Finally, here’s “The Zeta Project”‘s opening credits.

(Updated 11/25/16)

One comment

  1. Is it possible for them to do a Zeta Project 2 the first Zeta project was a pretty decent cartoon with a great storyline! this may even rebuild a strong Foundation for other decent cartoons which our children can finally watch…. you would be surprised at how big of a turnout these decent cartoons will accomplish.. and I’m quite sure some of the parents would be appreciative of this as well

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