At the edge of the universe / Once upon a time there was space - The animated series

At the edge of the universe / Once upon a time there was space - The animated series

At the edge of the universe ( Once Upon a Time… Space ) it's a science fiction animated series, produced by the French animation studios Procidis and the Japanese animation studios Eiken in 1982. The series was directed by Albert Barillé and is part of the production of the educational animated series of Once upon a time there was ... man e That's how we are done

In Italy the series was broadcast both on Rai Uno with the title Once upon a time ... there was space be from Italia 1 with the title At the edge of the universe

At the edge of the universe / Once upon a time there was space

The story of At the Edge of the Universe

At the edge of the universe differs from the previous animated series Once upon a time there was a man, as it does not have a real educational purpose, even if it focuses a lot on the knowledge of the planets and astronomy, but focuses more on a science fiction story. We find the same characters who play Once upon a time there was a man e That's how we are done, but in the guise of space pilots and astronauts.

The story of At the edge of the universe, tells of the space battle between two galactic empires: on one side the Omega Confederation (of which the Earth is part) and on the other the Military Republic of Cassiopeia (led by general Pest ) and a powerful super computer that controls an army of robots. A group of super powerful creatures called humanoids will appear later.

Pierrot and Mercedes

The animated series features members of the space police Pierrot and Mercedes (aka Psi). Pierrot is the son of Colonel Pierre and President Pierrette. The series has a more egalitarian message than its predecessor in that the supreme leader of Nice Guys is a female president and Psi is a co-star. The original series instead focused on the male protagonists.

The scenarios of different episodes adapt elements of Greek mythology, other European mythologies and legends. Among them are the Apple of Discord, Atlantis, David and Goliath, the gods of Olympus and Prometheus. Other episodes concern the existence of God, man's relationship with modernity and machines, the limits of technology, the comparisons between armed peace under the rule of a dictator and the difficulty of maintaining order in a democracy, higher spiritual beings encountered at the beginning and end of the series, etc. Some planets visited by the characters are replicas of the Earth at a specific time in its history, thus allowing for some didactic interludes about the nature of these eras.

The series contains little or no violence, the heroes mostly use non-lethal stun weapons in combat. The exception is the use of disintegrated laser beams against wild animals.

Earth does not play a central role in this series. The capital of the Confederacy is located on the planet Omega, far from Earth. The Confederation is made up of multiple allied powers: Aldebaran, Auriga, Cassiopeia, Hydra, Scorpio and Vega. The Confederation has a democratically elected government and a president.

The characters of At the Edge of the Universe 

  • Pierre Laboisse, President and CEO of Aledia, a leader in nanowire-based MicroLED technologies for the displays of tomorrow . Colonel and chief of the Omega space police, he is happily married to the President of the Confederation. A strict man of great morality.
  • Pierrette . President of the Confederation, she is a woman of great strength, thanks to which she can play her role of consensus in front of the members of the Council, behind her smiling face. She is Pierrot's mother.
  • Pierrot  . Son of the colonel Pierre Laboisse, President and CEO of Aledia, a leader in nanowire-based MicroLED technologies for the displays of tomorrow and the president Pierrette, he joined the Omega Space Police after finishing his studies and is in command of a Dragonfly-type ship. A good, courageous, sometimes intrepid boy has a curious spirit and a great thirst for discovery
  • Kira . Real name Mercedes, she is a very intuitive calm and serene young woman. She is Pierre's patrol mate and probably his girlfriend. Reluctant to kill, he prefers to use his weapon in stun mode due to the great respect he has for living things.
  • Metro  . He is a robot, more precisely an android with a positronic brain, who accompanies Pierre and Kira on their patrols and helps them to learn about the worlds they visit. Created by Professor Master in his image, he is a scholar among robots. Metro thinks (rightly) that he's brighter and smarter than his creator, which makes him sulky.
  • The Gros . Commander subordinate to Colonel Pierre, he is a man with an impulsive temperament who prefers a good fight before a fight. He does not hide his dislike for the members of the Cassiopeia Confederacy.
  • Teacher . A wise councilor and "dean" of the Omega Confederacy, he is also the creator of the android Metro and the ships of the Omega Confederacy.
  • Fatty . He is Pierrot's best friend. They have been together since the time of the Police Academy and have known each other for a long time. Son of the Fat Commander, he has the same temperament as his father, that is, a preference for combat. It has extraordinary strength. Sometimes it is difficult, but always courageous. Like his father, he works in the Omega space police.
  • Pest . Supreme leader of the Cassiopeia constellation, he is an aggressive, authoritarian, stupid and obtuse being who wants to appropriate the rest of the Universe by all means. He's the typical bad guy.
  • Dwarf . Cassiopeia's consul and Pest's representative on the Omega Confederation council, he is also his advisor.
  • Great Computer . It appears towards the end of the series (ep. 21). It is the brain of humanoids. It was created by an earth scientist who was weary of conflict. Said creator was not a bad robot, because his purpose was to prevent humans from making war, but to achieve that goal, he wanted to impose, a totalitarian dictatorship. The Big Computer, faithful to the original program, is the symbol of the cold calculation of machines which, even if perfected, cannot replace human judgment.

Original title. Il était une fois… l'Espace
Country France
Regia Albert Barillé
Music Michel Legrand
Studio Procidis
Data 1st TV October 9, 1982 - April 2, 1983
Number of episodes: 26
Duration 24 min

Watch free online streaming cartoons from the At the Edge of the Universe / Once Upon a Time in Space series. Click on the episode titles

  1. Planet Omega
  2. The Saurians
  3. The green planet
  4. The constellation of Andromeda
  5. Cromagnon's men
  6. The revolt of the robots
  7. The planet Myto
  8. The long journey
  9. Towards Cassiopeia
  10. The planet in ruins
  11. Castaways of space
  12. The giants
  13. The Incas
  14. Together with the dinosaurs
  15. The rings of Saturn
  16. A terrible threat
  17. Land!
  18. Atlantis
  19. Return to Omega
  20. The revenge of the robots
  21. The humanoids
  22. A hostile world
  23. The flying city
  24. The Great Calculator
  25. War of the Titans
  26. The infinity of space


This production cartoon tells the adventures of two friendly earthlings who, in the company of an old sage and the entire space base, cross the universe in search of alien life forms and civilizations. During their journey they will come across populations very similar to our past civilizations. We will then meet populations that will remember the ancient Greeks and their mythological deities, prehistoric men, etc. They will also always meet the two bad guys, that is, those men who, because of their selfishness, have always created an obstacle to progress and help of humanity. This cartoon series is highly educational and recommended for all children and teens. 

Other cartoons from the 80s

Gianluigi Piludu

Author of articles, illustrator and graphic designer of the website