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 the renowned 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 Zorra, 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]

There were 52 Space Angel stories, each in 5 parts, totalling 260 episodes.[1]

List of Space Angel stories
Episodes Title
001-5 Space Hijackers (Solar Mirror)
006-10 The Little People
011-15 The Wizard Of Eden
016-20 Incident Of The Loud Planet
021-25 Expedition To A New Moon
026-30 Cosmic Combat
031-35 The Gladiators
036-40 The Light Barrier
041-45 The Slave World
046-50 The Exiles
051-55 The Saucer Caper
056-60 Death Of A Galaxy
061-65 There Goes Danny
066-70 Visitors from Outer Space
071-75 Rescue Mission
076-80 Space War
081-85 Dragon Fire
086-90 Flight Of Hotshots
091-95 The Fugitives
096-100 The Encoder
101-105 Project Hero
106-110 The Frozen Planet
111-115 The Plagued Planet
116-120 The Donavan Plan
121-125 Cosmic Search
126-130 The Plot
131-135 Name, Rank, and Serial Number
136-140 Crystal's Anti Boy Friend
141-145 They Went Thatta' Way
146-150 Power Failure
151-155 Scratch One Chimp
156-160 Red Alert
161-165 The Day the Earth Went Dark
166-170 The Queen of the Three Suns
171-175 Once Upon a Rainbow
176-180 Welcome, Neighbor
181-185 Space Angel Meets a Devil
186-190 Top Secret
191-195 How To Win A Space Race Without Really Trying
191-195 The Gold City Blues
196-200 The Not So Mythical Beast
206-210 Count Down
211-215 The Abominable Moon Man
216-220 Dr. Kinkaid, I Presume
221-225 Crisis in Orbit
226-230 The Great Plain Robbery
231-235 Take Me to Your Leader
236-240 The Ghost And Crystal Mace
241-245 The National Bank Chase
246-250 Big Bertha Makes Peace
251-255 Gopher Broke
256-260 Conflict Nola

Space Angel in other media[edit]

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.[2]

In July, 2008, VCI Entertainment released a DVD that contained nine Space Angel stories.[3][4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]