In its day, Space Patrol was a pretty popular program (Boy, if that isn't the understatement of the year....). It began as a 15-minute television show on KECA in California on March 9, 1950. But six months later, it would become the half-hour Saturday show we remember most today.
The story of the spaceship Terra and its crew, who were all responsible for policing the United Planets of the 30th century, Space Patrol struck an exciting chord with viewers. Every week for the next five years, they tuned in to see how Corry (Ed Kemmer), Cadet Happy (Lyn Osborne) and Carol Karlyle (Virginia Hewitt) fared against mad scientists, space pirates and an assortment of weird extraterrestrial creatures. Their most famously foiled villains included Mr. Proteus, Captain Dagger, the Space Spider and the Black Falcon.
Those who couldn't get enough of the television show had only to turn on their radios twice a week to follow even more harrowing exploits from the Terra crew. And when both the radio and TV shows were over, they could always read Space Patrol comics and collect an assortment of Space Patrol premiums, including space suits, helmets, communicators, signal flashlights, a mini spaceport, a rocket cockpit, Paralyzer Ray Gun, Cosmic Ray Gun and trading cards.
A comic book tie-in, Space Patrol, published by Ziff-Davis in 1952, ran two issues. It featured cover paintings by Norman Saunders and Clarence Doore. Bernard Krigstein illustrated the scripts by Phil Evans. Unlike Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, Space Patrol was never featured in a daily or Sunday newspaper comic strip, nor was there a series of juvenile novels recounting Space Patrol adventures. However, in 2008, Swapsale Magazine produced an online book titled The Original Exploits of the Space Patrol written by Warren Chaney. The book started with Chapter One and continued thereafter with periodic continuing chapters.
Jean-Noel Bassior authored an extensive book in 2005 titled Space Patrol. The book from McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers was well received and created new interest in the television and radio show.
There was a three-issue Space Patrol comic series in the early 90s which purported to be of the TV series, but whose writer and artist admitted they had never seen the show. This adaptation suffered greatly because of this
During the show's five-year run, which ended in the summer of 1955, an estimated total of 210 Saturday TV episodes, 200 radio programs and 900 15-minute shows were produced.
Actor Ed Kemmer attended many of the important film festivals during the late 90s and early 2000s and discovered a renewed Space Patrol popularity that continued up until the time of his death in 2004. The emergence of electronic media during the 90s permitted a greater interchange of Space Patrol Merchandise that heretofore had been closely held by collectors. This stimulated new interest and in turn, production of new publications and merchandise for Space Patrol fans. A rather extensive book written by Jean Noel Bassior furthered interest in the series as did the production of a new set of Space Patrol trading cards, replicas of the program's space craft, clocks, jackets and other period paraphernalia.
TO VIEW VINNIE'S OLD BLOG PAGE CLICK HERE