Atom Squad

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Atom Squad
Genre Science fiction
Written by Paul Monash
Theme music composer Miklós Rózsa
Opening theme "Tumult and Commotion"
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
Production
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 15 mins.
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run July 6, 1953 (1953-07-06) – January 22, 1954 (1954-01-22)

Atom Squad was an American science-fiction series that was broadcast live by the NBC network, July 6, 1953 to January 22, 1954, Monday-Friday, 5:00 to 5:15 PM EST.

Synopsis[edit]

The Atom Squad is a secret government agency which dealt with Cold War threats to US security involving radiation and nuclear weapons. The Atom Squad scientists, Steve Elliot and Dave Fielding, were played by Robert Courtleigh and Bob Hastings, their chief by Bram Nossem. Bob Hastings played "Hal, the Ranger's brother" on Captain Video and was the actual brother of The Video Ranger, Don Hastings, while Bram Nossem had played the first incarnation of Captain Video's nemesis, Dr. Pauli. The last actor to play Dr. Pauli was named Stephen Elliott, not to be confused with "Steve Elliot," the leading Atom Squad agent. Bob Hastings also appeared on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

The Atom Squad's secret New York City headquarters lab also looked very much like Captain Video's secret mountain headquarters control room, except that the Atom Squad, with an NBC rather than DuMont Television Network budget (DuMont having been the network that aired Captain Video), had many more controls and flashing lights on their panels. The program's opening sequence showed a man in a "radiation suit" lumbering very slowly toward the camera.

Production notes[edit]

Storylines were usually completed in five, or sometimes ten broadcasts. Paul Monash was the chief writer for the series and possibly its creator. The foes of the Atom Squad were usually mad scientists and evil Communist spies and saboteurs. However, the Squad ran into aliens from outer space in at least three different storylines.

Atom Squad originated from the studios of WPTZ in Philadelphia. The director was Joe Behar, and producers were Larry White and later Adrian Samish.

The theme music for the series was "Tumult and Commotion", an excerpt from Miklos Rozsa's orchestral work "Theme, Variations and Finale, Op. 13".[1] The opening theme music (man in "radiation suit") was taken from original music by Serge Prokofieff for the Sergei Eisenstein film Alexander Nevsky.

Episode status[edit]

While Atom Squad kinescopes were probably made for West Coast rebroadcast, none are known to survive today. The series did not appear to have a sponsor and no tie-in toys or premiums are known to exist.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ classic themes.com, 50s TV Themes

External links[edit]