Uchuu Keiji Gavan (宇宙刑事ギャバン,Uchū Keiji Gyaban?), translated in English as Space Sheriff Gavan, is the first of the Metal Hero Series. It aired on TV Asahi from 5 March 1982 through February 25, 1983.
For distribution purposes, Toei refers to this television series as Space Cop Gabin.
Earth is invaded by the Makuu Empire (literally "demon space"), led by Don Horror, who had first destroyed a space colony near Earth. Don Horror wants to dominate the whole universe, and the Earth represents an obstacle that he has to overcome, but not necessarily destroying it. To do this, Don Horror sends spaceships to create panic on Earth. While the Makuu is trying to impose its domination, Space Sheriff Gavan from the Galactic Union Patrol, arrives in his spaceship, the Dolgiran. He comes from the Bird Planet, the planet where Space Sheriffs are trained and where they are stationed while on call. Gavan is asked to defend the Earth, which is his mother's planet of origin.
Gavan is helped by Mimi, the daughter of Commander Qom, and is given information by Qom, assisted by Marin on his home planet. Gavan goes to Earth to defend it against Don Horror and his devilish schemes. He settles on Earth incognito, using his actual human name, Retsu Ichijouji; he takes a job at the Avalon Youth Club in Japan.
Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Uchuu Keiji Gavan: The Movie (海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャーVS宇宙刑事ギャバンTHE MOVIE,Kaizoku Sentai Gōkaijā Tai Uchū Keiji Gyaban Za Mūbī?) is a film featuring a team-up between Gavan and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. Released on January 21, 2012, the film commemorated the 30th anniversary of Gavan and is part of the 35th anniversary of the Super Sentai Series.
Kamen Rider × Super Sentai × Space Sheriff: Super Hero Taisen Z (仮面ライダー×スーパー戦隊×宇宙刑事 スーパーヒーロー大戦Z Kamen Raidā × Sūpā Sentai × Uchū Keiji: Supā Hīrō Taisen Zetto?) is an upcoming film set to be released during Spring 2013 which will feature the first crossover between characters of Toei's three main Tokusatsu franchises, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, and the Space Sheriff Series representing the Metal Heroes series as a whole. The protagonists of Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger are featured, but the casts of Kamen Rider Wizard, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, and Kamen Rider Fourze also participate in the film. The Space Ironmen Kyodain from Kamen Rider Fourze the Movie: Space, Here We Come! will also make an appearance. The teaser for the film was shown after Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Wizard & Fourze: Movie War Ultimatum.
Uchuu Keiji Gavan was released in the Philippines as Sky Ranger in the early 1990s - years after its sequel Uchuu Keiji Shaider aired in that country. Oddly enough, the series was not as popular as Shaider.
Malaysia's screening of Gavan (translated as Space Cop Gaban) on local TV has gained itself a cult following, and the word 'Gaban' itself has become a meme. It's used after adjectives to give an image of bravery e.g "besar gaban" (epically big) or "gaban betul" (really brave).
The eyecatch for Uchuu Keiji Gavan features an illustration of Gavan with a Shotari Ishinimori-inspired look. This makes Uchuu Keiji Gavan the only Toei show not created by Shotaro Ishinomori to feature Ishinomori-inspired illustrations as an eyecatch.