I watched a lot of Spectreman as a kid. Brought into my home via a Chicago UHF channel, this was even better than when Son of Svengoulie showed Godzilla Versus the Smog Monster because Spectreman episodes showed up Monday through Friday to appreciative adoration from lil rug rats like myself. There were also some other Japanese television imports that served up programs with similarly schlocky effects, roughly synced English dubbing and giant robots and monsters such as The Space Giants or Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, but my youthful preference remained with Spectreman.
As often is the case, the villains are more interesting than the good guys. Banished and jail escapees from the peace loving "Planet E", Dr. Gori and his loutish lackey Karras are from an alien race of over gesticulating ape-like creatures. Dr. Gori quickly becomes enamored with the Earth but like Iron Eyes Cody, he is incensed by the pollution and damage done to the planet by us humans and vows to get rid of the pesky populace so he and his buddy can claim the planet.
Representing the white hats are the nice folks at Nebula 71 Star, a huge UFO that keeps an eye on Earth but stays hidden in the stars. They see what Dr. Gori has got planned and in response they send the magical, super robot Spectreman. When not battling creatures Spectreman is able to take the form of a human named Jôji Gamô who works for a government group who are an anti-pollution X-Files squad whose duty is investigating pollution and related giant monsters.
The series ran first in Japan from 1971 to 1972. For the English language version, Little Shop of Horrors actor Mel Welles directed, helped produce, co-wrote and voiced characters for the show. The US version also had three song writers put their heads together to produce a theme song that immediately brings The Who's "Pinball Wizard" to mind.
"Gori Targets The Earth" - Episode 1
"Smash Hedoron, The Pollution Monster" - Episode 2