Question: There was a sci-fi show that appeared on afternoon television in either 1976 or 1977 (and this may have been repeats) that featured a young, Asian boy who could control a giant robot through a wrist-watch communicator. I was only 5 or 6 at the time I was watching it, but from the vague memories I have, it was a live-action production most likely set in Japan. I believe the robot was built by Japanese scientists, but I cannot recall why the boy would have the ability to control it as he does. Can you identify the show? — Scott B., Monroe, La.

Televisionary: You're thinking of the legendary (to me, anyway, 'cause I loved it) Giant Robo, the live-action Japanese kids' show from Toei Co., Ltd. that was broadcast in 1967-68 under that name in Japan and was syndicated here as Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot in the late '60s and early '70s.

The setup was that young Johnny Sokko was aboard a cruise ship destroyed by a giant monster. Turned out the monster was controlled by the evil Gargoyle Gang, who worked for the equally evil Emperor Guillotine, an alien bent on conquering earth. Johnny and Gerry, a guy he met on board, were the only survivors and they managed to swim to the Gargoyles' secret island, where they were imprisoned. There a scientist showed them the latest weapon he'd created for the Gang (not of his own free will, of course), a giant robot with a sphinx-like head. As luck would have it, Johnny spoke into the robot's voice-imprint device before anyone else, giving him exclusive and permanent control of the robot.

Johnny and the robot then went on to work for the do-gooder agency Unicorn, which Gerry just so happened to be an agent of. From there they defeated every giant monster thrown at them (the monsters had to be big enough to pose a challenge to the robot, of course) until, eventually, the robot sacrificed itself defeating the evil Guillotine in a tearjerker finale worthy of Old Yeller.

The only mystery: why the scientist created a robot that could only be voice-imprinted once. What if Johnny had gotten stepped on and squished? Or screamed too loud at a concert and lost his voice? Luckily, these things didn't occur to me when I was a lad.