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Space Patrol

Entry updated 10 March 2017. Tagged: Radio, TV.

1. US tv serial (1950-1955). ABC TV. Produced by Mike Moser (1950-1952), Helen Moser (1953-1955), directed by Dik Darley. Written Norman Jolley. Cast includes Nina Bara, Virginia Hewitt, Ed Kemmer, Ken Mayer and Lyn Osborn. 210 25-minute episodes. Black and white.

One of the many Space-Opera serials on Television after Captain Video, and possibly the first to feature Faster-than-Light travel to the stars, Space Patrol began as a five-times-a-week 15-minute programme on local television; soon after, it went on ABC Radio (1950-1955) and network television. The patrol leader was Commander Buzz Corry. Viewers were invited to "become space cadets of the Space Patrol" (that it, join the fan club) and to buy special Space Patrol cosmic smoke guns, etc. Like most such programmes of the time Space Patrol was transmitted live, and with some ad-libbing. Special effects were minimal, but a mild attempt was made to keep the stories scientifically plausible.

2. UK tv series (1963-1964; vt Planet Patrol). National Interest Picture Production/Wonderama Productions. Created/written Roberta Leigh, produced by Leigh and Arthur Provis, directed by Frank Goulding. Two seasons, 39 25-minute episodes in all.

This was a Space-Opera series for children produced with animated puppets, not unlike the various SuperMarionation series made by Gerry Anderson, and indeed created by one of Anderson's former colleagues. The main characters were Captain Larry Dart, Slim the Venusian and Husky the Martian in the Spaceship Galasphere 347; also important were Haggerty the genius inventor (see Scientists) and Gabblerdictum the Martian parrot. The series was retitled Planet Patrol for the US to avoid confusion with the 1950s Space Patrol above. [PN]


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