Kamen Rider (仮面ライダー,Kamen Raidā, Masked Rider) is a Japanese tokusatsu television series. It is the sixth program in the Kamen Rider Series. It has the same name as the first series in the franchise, and fans usually refer to this series as The New Kamen Rider (新しい仮面ライダー,Atarashī Kamen Raidā, New Masked Rider) or Skyrider (スカイライダー,Sukairaidā) (after the main character) in order to distinguish it from the original. The show is called Kamen Rider Shin in Japan. The series was broadcast on TBS from October 5, 1979 to October 10, 1980, lasting 54 episodes. The series was a co-production between Toei and Ishinomori Productions, and was created by Shotaro Ishinomori. It aired every Saturday at 7:00 PM.
The New Kamen Rider was intended as a revival of the original Kamen Rider, going back to the basic, essential themes established in that series, as opposed to the more complex and unique ones that preceded it, such as Kamen Rider Amazon and Kamen Rider Stronger.
The average ratings of the series was 13.2%
Doctor Keitarō Shido, an acclaimed scientist, has been kidnapped by the terrorist organization Neo-Shocker in order to exploit his expertise in robotics technology. Desperate to escape, he convinces Neo-Shocker command to allow him to operate on an injured camper. Explaining that he can turn the camper, Hiroshi Tsukuba into a powerful Neo-Shocker warrior, they allow Doctor Shido to operate. However, he quickly turns the tables on them, transforming Hiroshi not into an evil monster, but into the powerful warrior Skyrider, using his new found abilities to combat the evil Neo-Shocker menace.
Halfway through the season, the writers had seemingly forgotten Skyrider could fly, as this ability was never used in later episodes.
One explanation could possibly be due to the technical and budget limitations of that time period for Japanese TV, the production staff being unable to fully simulate Skyrider's flight in the manner Shotaro Ishinomori wanted. More recent appearances of Skyrider in crossover films have solved this problem using CGI and green screen effects.
Another possibility is the change in writing staff being uninformed about Skyrider during the transition from a reboot series to being in-continuity with previous installments.
Skyrider is the first season outside of the original series and V3 to reach or surpass a full year of airing. Aside from one other season, every Rider season after Skyrider lasts exactly one year of airtime.
Skyrider is the only rider to change names mid-season, from Kamen Rider to Kamen Rider Skyrider (or simply Skyrider), and was named by other Showa era riders due to his ability to fly.
Skyrider features the biggest number of appearances of lead actors from previous seasons out of all Showa Rider series. Aside from Hiroshi Fujioka and Tōru Okazaki, who portrayed Hongo Takeshi and Yamamoto Daisuke respectively, every main Rider actor from the shows prior to Skyrider appeared at least once in the show, with several appearing in multiple episodes and separate arcs. In addition to that, several episodes also featured previous Riders portrayed by replacement voice actors, including Rider 1 and Amazon.