Space Command (TV series)

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Space Command
Genre Children's science fiction
Written by Alfred Harris[1][2]
Directed by Murray Chercover[2]
Starring Bob Barclay
James Doohan
Austin Willis
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 150
Production
Producer(s) Murray Chercover[1]
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBC Television
Original run 13 March 1953 – 29 May 1954[1]
Chronology
Preceded by Tales of Adventure[1]

Space Command was a Canadian children's science fiction television adventure series, broadcast on CBC Television in 1953 and 1954, the first time the network aired its own dramatic series.[3]

Each program presented life on the fictional space station XSW1[4] operated by the worldwide Space Command,[5][6] featuring the activities of Frank Anderson (Bob Barclay). Another character, Phil Mitchell, was portrayed by James Doohan, who gained international attention as a regular on the 1960s television series Star Trek.[5][7] William Shatner, the leading actor on Star Trek, also appeared on episodes of Space Command.[2][8] Other series cast members included Andrew Anthony, Joe Austin, Harry Geldard, Cec Linder, Aileen Taylor and Austin Willis.[1][2] Harold Wright was technical advisor to the series.[6] Actors appearing in episodes included Barry Morse later of the TV series The Fugitive and Space: 1999.[9]

Production details[edit]

John Lowry provided special effects for the series, including presentations of rockets and weightlessness, although modern audiences would now reject the techniques used at that time.[3] Models were created at producer Murray Chercover's residence, then rocket propulsion material was obtained from T. W. Hand Fireworks.[3]

Scheduling[edit]

The series was initially seen on Friday evenings at 19:30 Toronto time. The debut episode on 13 March 1953 featured the topic of sunspots.[6] This first run continued until 17 July 1953.[1] Other topics planned for the series included asteroids, space medicine, meteorites and evolution.[3]

From 17 October 1954, the series moved to Saturdays at 18:30, but came back to CBC's Friday schedule on 8 January 1954 for the 18:00 time slot. The final run of the series returned to Saturdays on 1 May 1954, again at the 18:00 time slot.[1]

Although short-lived, Space Command proved to be a hit dramatic program for CBC's earliest years.[3]

Preservation status[edit]

Nova Scotia media historian Ernest Dick lamented the loss of recordings of nearly all the series episodes, despite the production of kinescopes for distribution to CBC stations across Canada. The only known extant recording is that of one November 1953 episode.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Allan, Blaine. "(Seven to Sprockets) Space Command". CBC Television Series 1952 to 1982. Queen's University. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Dick, Ernest J. (7 July 2006). "Vanishing Media: Space Command" (pdf). AVTrust. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Rainsberry, F. B. (1988). A history of children's television in English Canada, 1952-1986. Scarecrow Press. pp. 117, 118. ISBN 0-8108-2079-X. 
  4. ^ "CBC CA Image of the Day: Space Command". 
  5. ^ a b CBC Arts (7 July 2004). "TV's 'Scotty' has Alzheimer's". CBC News. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  6. ^ a b c "Television / CBLT-TV Channel 9". The Globe and Mail. 13 March 1953. p. 35. 
  7. ^ Hayward, Anthony (22 July 2005). "James Doohan (obituary)". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  8. ^ Corcelli, John (April 2002). "Space Command". Canadian Communications Foundation. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  9. ^ Morse, Barry (2004). Pulling Faces, Making Noises: A Life on Stage, Screen & Radio. iUniverse, Inc. p. 159. ISBN 0595321690. 

External links[edit]