WORLD BEYOND THE MOON (1954)
TV-Movie made from episodes of “Space Patrol”
Article 3100 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-18-2009
Posting Date: 2-8-2010
Featuring Ed Kemmer, Lyn Osborn, Hannes Lutz
What it is: TV Space Opera
Commander Buzz Corry and Cadet Happy must defeat a mad scientist who is changing people into obedient giants in his sanitarium on Pluto III.
This movie culled from episodes of “Space Patrol” (“The Giants of Pluto III”, “The Fiery Pit of Pluto III”, and “The Man-Hunt on Pluto III” respectively) was so obscure that it didn’t even have a listing on IMDB, and I was ready to consign it to my “ones that got away” list when it suddenly popped up. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a science fiction series of the period, but it does give me a chance to compare it to a couple of other series from the era that I have a passing familiarity with – namely, “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger” (which I’ve covered extensively due to the fact that many episodes were converted to movies) and “Flash Gordon”, which I haven’t touched on at all. Plotwise, it’s pretty basic good guy/bad guy stuff, making the stories somewhat less sophisticated than RJSR and about on the same level as FG, but at least it keeps the action a bit on the lively side, making it less of a chore to watch than either of the other series. The most ominous thing about this series is that there is a character called Cadet Happy, which certainly seems to promise all sorts of painful comic relief, but Lyn Osborn never gets heavy-handed, and it mostly restricts the buffoonery to an ending gag on each episode, and there’s something satisfying in one sequence seeing the other characters perform a mock attack on him after letting loose with a particularly bad pun at one point. My info is pretty sketchy on this one, and the date is a guess; the date my book gave was 1953, but since the episodes weren’t broadcast until 1954, I’m assuming it’s wrong. At any rate, it’s satisfying to get at least one more obscurity out of the way.