RENEGADE SATELLITE (1956)
(a.k.a. THE TRIAL OF ROCKY JONES)
Article #1623 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-24-2005
Posting Date: 1-21-2006
Directed by Hollingsworth Morse
Featuring Richard Crane, Dayton Lummis, Sally Mansfield
When Rocky Jones lands on a neutral planet that doesn’t have extradition alliances with the other United Worlds, he finds himself framed for assault and piracy by old enemies.
Yes, it’s another feature film version of the Rocky Jones TV series, and I’m sure this was considered a ‘very special’ episode of the series in its day. One of the things I do like about the Rocky Jones series, though, is that certain non-regular characters reappear throughout the series, and this one features three-and-a-half old enemies of Rocky Jones; the half is the now-reformed space pirate Pinto Vortando from SILVER NEEDLE IN THE SKY. So what makes these episodes extra-special? When the trial begins, Ranger Biffen Cardoza (Rocky’s defense lawyer) discovers a law in the books that allows testimony about past events not directly connected to the issue at hand, and before you can say “clips episode”, we are treated to plenty of footage from previous Rocky Jones adventures—really, with an alternate title like THE TRIAL OF ROCKY JONES, I should have seen it coming. I’m sure I saw clips from at least four of the five movies I’ve covered so far. So, what does it say that I found this particularly entry in the Rocky Jones saga to be relatively fast-moving and fun, and consequently the most entertaining of the lot? I don’t know, but for me it was. On a side note, for those of you who like to shoot holes in old aphorisms, ask yourself how well the old saw “Crime Doesn’t Pay” holds up in this series when you consider that the formerly successful space pirate Pinto Vortando only becomes a penniless bum AFTER he gives up piracy and embraces law and order.