Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Morning Sci-Fi

Rocky Jones, Space Ranger was next at 10 AM Saturday morning. This show looked a little different from the others--it was shot on film, while others were broadcast live and then rerun on kinescope, a pre-tape method. But the mix of science fiction, adventure heroics and morality plays was the same.

The Space Rangers were the exploratory and police service of United Worlds. The stories unfolded over three episodes, and some were later collected into movies, like "Crash of Moons." There was some attempt to mix science in with the derring-do, and there was strong emphasis on the rule of law, and violence only as a last resort. Despite the spacegun displayed on this cover (that's Vena Ray with Rocky), there was little weapons fire--but a fair number of fistfights.

The series also bequeathed the automatically opening doors, the view screen and video phones to later sci-fi TV and movies. Some of the adventures preserved on DVD are still fun to watch. There's even a little secret humor, such as the bureaucratic dictatorship on the planet Officious. The only stuff I remember having from this show was a Rocky Jones writing tablet.
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