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Space Patrol (1950s)
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Space Patrol was a science fiction adventure, aimed at juvenile audiences of the early 1950s via television, radio, and comic books.

The television show ran for 210 network episodes from September 1950 to February 1955. The series was patterned unabashedly after Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and its TV rival, Captain Video. A local weekday 15-minute version of the program also aired live in Los Angeles and was seen via kinescope in a few other cities.


The stories followed the 30th-century adventures of Commander Buzz Corry (Ed Kemmer) of the United Planets Space Patrol and his young sidekick Cadet Happy (Lyn Osborn) - yes, Cadet Happy - as they faced nefarious interplanetary villains with diabolical schemes. Not surprisingly for the time, some of these villains had Russian- or German-sounding accents. Cmdr. Corry and his allies were aided by such nifty gadgets as "miniature space-o-phones" and "atomolights." Episodes had such pulp-magazine titles as "Revolt of the Space Rats" and "The Menace of Planet X."

The special effects used in the live half-hour TV episodes had to be performed in real time. For example, pistols that shot invisible rays necessitated pre-positioning a small explosive charge on the wall. An actor would point the prop at that spot, whereupon a special effects worker would throw a detonation switch. These effects could not have been superimposed on film for the series was done live. For distribution to distant stations, an image of a tiny, bright TV monitor was filmed to make kinescopes, and most of the Saturday half-hour TV broadcasts are available in this form today. The 15-minutes-every-weekday version of the program was at first seen mainly in the Los Angeles viewing area, but also was later distributed nationwide via kinescopes; it was not carried by ABC-TV but was presented in syndication.

The show played directly to kids, and each episode shamelessly merchandised various toys and mail-order premiums tied into the series during their commercial breaks. Even the ads for corporate sponsor Chex Cereals used the show's space opera motif in their pitches. A unique feature of the TV and radio adventures was that the premium of the month was often worked intricately into the action of the live adventures.

Many if not all of the 30-minute TV episodes are also currently available in various video formats.


The success of the TV show spawned a radio version, which ran for 129 episodes from October 1952 to March 1955. The same cast of actors performed on both shows. The writers, scripts, adventures and director were quite different in radio versus TV incarnations.

Naturally, the series lacked the adult sophistication of such shows as X Minus One, which focused on adapting short fiction by notable genre names as Robert A. Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. But as a throwback to the sort of Golden Age space opera popularized in the 1930s, the days of science fiction's infancy, by pioneering magazine editor Hugo Gernsback, Space Patrol is prized by OTR collectors today as one of radio's most enjoyable adventures.

Listen To Space Patrol 24/7
If you are a real Space Patrol fan, you may enjoy the following link! You can listen to 97 Space Patrol Episodes at your leisure!

bullet OTR Network Library: Space Patrol (97 episodes)





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