Space Angel

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Space Angel intro card

Space Angel is 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.[1]

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).[2]

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 the dark-tinted visor on his helmet to conceal his identity.

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.[3]

List of Space Angel stories
Title Episodes
Space Hijackers (Solar Mirror) 1–5
The Little People 6–10
The Wizard Of Eden 11–15
Incident Of The Loud Planet 16–20
Expedition To A New Moon 21–25
Cosmic Combat 26–30
The Gladiators 31–35
The Light Barrier 36–40
The Slave World 41–45
The Exiles 46–50
The Saucer Caper 51–55
Death Of A Galaxy 56–60
There Goes Danny 61–65
Visitors from Outer Space 66–70
Rescue Mission 71–75
Space War 76–80
Dragon Fire 81–85
Flight Of Hotshots 86–90
The Fugitives 91–95
The Encoder 96–100
Project Hero 101–105
The Frozen Planet 106–110
The Plagued Planet 111–115
The Donavan Plan 116–120
Cosmic Search 121–125
The Plot 126–130
Name, Rank, and Serial Number 131–135
Crystal's Anti Boy Friend 136–140
They Went Thatta' Way 141–145
Power Failure 146–150
Scratch One Chimp 151–155
Red Alert 156–160
The Day the Earth Went Dark 161–165
The Queen of the Three Suns 166–170
Once Upon a Rainbow 171–175
Welcome, Neighbor 176–180
Space Angel Meets a Devil 181–185
Top Secret 186–190
How To Win A Space Race Without Really Trying 191–195
The Gold City Blues 196–200
The Not So Mythical Beast 201–205
Count Down 206–210
The Abominable Moon Man 211–215
Dr. Kinkaid, I Presume 216–220
Crisis in Orbit 221–225
The Great Plain Robbery 226–230
Take Me to Your Leader 231–235
The Ghost And Crystal Mace 236–240
The National Bank Chase 241–245
Big Bertha Makes Peace 246–250
Gopher Broke 251–255
Conflict Nola 256–260

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.[4]

In July, 2008, VCI Entertainment released a DVD that contained nine Space Angel stories.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part 1: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 262–263. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 568. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ Big Cartoon Database: Space Angel Episode Guide
  4. ^ "Cinema Insomnia: Prince of Space". Google Video. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  5. ^ Lambert, David. "VCI's Space Angel - Collection 1: Box Art, Details and Extras; Available in your galaxy on July 29th". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  6. ^ "Space Angel Collection 1 (Full Col Dol) (1962)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-04-18.

External links[edit]