The defeat of Ultraman came as a surprise and definitely had an enormous impact on us kids at the time.
It’s a well-known story that children looked up at the night sky to say goodbye to Ultraman going back home when the final episode was aired.
I feel it exactly shows a sense of unity between the creators and viewers as Satoshi (Bin) Furuya mentioned in his newspaper contribution.
What defeated Ultraman?
It was Zetton in the story, but it’s said to have been due to the tight shooting schedule to meet the deadline for the weekly broadcasting.
In fact, the final episode was broadcast just 10 days after the shooting of the SFX part was finished.
I hear, in the script, Zetton was to be beaten with Spaceum Beam shot by Zoffy from the sky initially.
The script also seems to have included a scene in which Zetton trample and crush Ultraman’s Color Timer, but killing a children’s hero cruelly was avoided eventually. (It’s a great relief!)
Ultraman’s Color Timer appears to have been crushed (or melted) in the scenes with Zoffy though it was not like that when he fell down before Zetton.
That shows the trace of the above plot with a strip of wrinkled plastic wrap placed on the Timer for the shooting. (No one in the suit as Mr. Furuya played Zoffy as well.)