Saturday, February 17, 2007

This is a model of the Orbit Jet, Rocky Jones' spaceship. My cousin Dick remembers how it would fly horizontally, and then "parallel park" to land vertically on a planet's surface.

Richard Crane played Rocky Jones, Scotty Beckett was his comical sidekick, Winky. Sally Mansfield was Vena--probably only a 50s kids show could get away with that name--who was more than just a pretty face, although she was certainly that, and long legs in a short skirt as well. These shows were educational. Robby Lyden played Bobby, the pre-teen surrogate for boys watching, and Maurice Cass played Professor Newton, the old, absent-minded professor type. There were a few cast changes, as when Cass died and "Winky" was locked up for illegal weapons possession.

The aliens and planets were in the Flash Gordon serial mode--stereotypes in goofy costumes. The notable villains (both of whom are in the episodes collected into films that are available now on cheap DVDs) included "the beautiful but evil" Queen Cleolantha, and the suspiciously swarthy space rogue, Pinto Vortando.
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