Space Angel

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Space Angel intro card

Space Angel was an animated science fiction television series produced in the United States from early 1962 through 1964. It used the same Synchro-Vox lip technique as Clutch Cargo, the first cartoon produced by the same studio, Cambria Productions.

The series chronicled the adventures of three astronauts who worked for the Earth Bureau of Investigation's Interplanetary Space Force on board the spaceship Starduster: Captain/Pilot Scott McCloud, also known as "The Space Angel" (voiced by Ned Lefebver), Electronics/Communications expert Crystal Mace (voiced by Margaret Kerry), and the immensely strong Scottish born Gunner/Engineer Taurus (voiced by Hal Smith).

Setting and themes[edit]

The character name Space Angel was a secret identity. Scott McCloud had an eyepatch; when he appeared as Space Angel, he would lower bulging sunglasses from his helmet to cover it.

Apart from the use of Synchro-Vox, animation was very limited, but the static panel art by legend Alex Toth was often well-drawn. Story lines were serialized over five episodes which ran five minutes each, the idea being that stations could show one episode per weekday, with the climax coming on Friday. Cliffhangers were sometimes used, as in an episode with McCloud finding a derelict spacecraft beyond the light barrier, looking inside and exclaiming "Oh my God!" Another memorable sequence occurred with the heroes involved in a best two-of-three gladiator battle, using future visions of Roman combat.

There were several episodes involving space combat between the Interplanetary Space Force and various enemies. After the Space Angel and his crew had discovered the villains' plans or forces, he would call in reinforcements made up of one or more squadrons of the ISF. Squadrons were organized by planetary patrol areas such as the Venusian Squadron, Mars Squadron, etc. The identifying squadron symbols on the ISF ships were the ones used in astronomy charts of the time to identify the planets, such as the Female symbol for the Venusian Squadron, the Male symbol for the Mars Squadron and a circle with an enclosed plus sign for the Earth Squadron.

The main antagonists in the show were the Anthenians, who were modelled on a combination of Ancient Rome and Sparta; their home planet is shown in the episode involving the gladiatorial games. The city looks like Rome, including a colosseum. The civilians are dressed in togas and the soldiers are wearing a combination of Greek/Roman armor with Corinthian-style helmets. They are armed with blaster rifles.

Another antagonist is the Evil Queen of Space, who resembled Nefertiti, and her henchmen, "The General" and "The Major", who all spoke with Central European accents. Predating the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror", their claim to fame is an invisible spaceship they use to disrupt interstellar trade.

In the opening sequence of "Space Hijackers (Solar Mirror)" a delta-winged spacecraft, The Starduster, docks with a space station. The ship matches velocity and rotation with the station and is talked in with instrument assist. This sequence foreshadows the space dock sequence of the delta-winged Orion from Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", which would be made seven years later.

The Starduster contains a smaller vessel, a space fighter flown by Space Angel, which looks like the XF-92 and is about the same size, though with a pointed nose. It is called the "Space Dart".

The theme music was written by Walter Greene and was originally used in Roger Corman's film "War of the Satellites" (1958).

Episodes[edit]

Scott McCloud with eyepatch concealed
Crystal
Taurus
  1. Abominable Moon Men
  2. Big Bertha
  3. Crystal's Anti Boy Friend
  4. Power Failure
  5. Space Hijackers (Solar Mirror)
  6. The First Episode
  7. Project Hero
  8. The Frozen Planet
  9. Wizard of Eden
  10. The Plagued Plant
  11. The Donovan Plan
  12. The Plot
  13. Name Rank and Serial Number
  14. They Went That A'Way
  15. Scratch One Chimp
  16. Red Alert
  17. Incident of the Loud Planet
  18. The Day the Earth Went Dark
  19. Once Upon a Rainbow
  20. Welcome Neighbor
  21. Meets a Devil
  22. How to Win a Space Race Without Really Trying
  23. The Gold City Blues
  24. The Not So Mythical Beast
  25. Expedition to a New Moon
  26. Crisis in Orbit
  27. Gopher Broke
  28. Conflict Nova
  29. Cosmic Combat
  30. The Gladiators
  31. The Light Barrier
  32. The Slave World
  33. Dr. Kinkaid I Presume
  34. The Exiles
  35. The Saucer Caper
  36. Death of a Galaxy
  37. The Little People
  38. There Goes Danny
  39. The Visitor from Outer Space
  40. Rescue Mission
  41. Space War
  42. Dragon Fire
  43. Flight of Hotshots
  44. The Fugitives
  45. The Encoder

Space Angel in other media[edit]

Single panel from the Space Angel comic strip. Art by Alex Toth.

Alex Toth drew Space Angel six page story for children's magazine Jack & Jill in 1963 to promote the Space Angel cartoon.

The episode "The Gladiators" was featured on Cinema Insomnia.[1]

In July, 2008, VCI Entertainment released a DVD that contained nine episodes of Space Angel.[2][3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]