Williamsburg Film Festival
And Solar Guard Reunion
March 8 - 11, 2006

Williamsburg Festival


Video and Events

Picture Highlights
March 9,2006
March 10,2006
March 11, 2006

Radio Play

Play action 1
After the show
Solar Guard On Stage

X-RC Cockpit

Past Festival

Academy Pages
Tom Corbett
Space Patrol
Solar Guard
Site Map


Special thanks to Bruce David at Swapsale.com for his work in preserving and contributing many of the Tom Corbett and Space Patrol Shows seen at this year's reunion. Check out his website at Swapsale.com for some excellent buys. Tell him Cadet Ed sent you.

Thursday March 9, 2006

Frankie Thomas in his Offical 1950,s Tom Corbett Uniform uniform3 PM - 5 PM:
3 PM- Movie Nancy Drew Reporter -Frankie Thomas as Ted Nickerson in one of four Nancy Drew movies from 1938 - 39 that Frankie appeared in. The series is enjoyable to watch and showcases Frankie's talent.

4:08 PM- Tom Corbett Space Cadet - ASSIGNMENT: MERCURY --- February 26, 1955. On a trip to Mercury, the cadets are assigned to Major Connel, the roughest, toughest, meanest officer in the entire Solar Guard. Major "Blastoff" Connel appeared in many of the early Space Cadet radio and TV episodes.

In the Kraft commercials Frankie Thomas, as Tom Corbett, explains how we can order a Space Cadet Membership Kit from Kraft. The Kit included an Academy Ring with the Space Cadet rocket insignia, an official shoulder patch and a membership certificate with the Universal Space Pledge.

4:40 PM-After the Tom Corbett Video, Frankie Thomas will be available for about 20 minutes to meet and answer questions from fans, an event you don't want to miss. After Tom Corbett, Frankie became a renowned Bridge Master and author of Sherlock Holmes novels which have been published worldwide. Frankie still attends festivals and conventions across the United Sate meeting his fans from film and print. He is a Guest of Honor at the upcoming 2006 World SF Convention in California.

Solar Guard Session 1

5 PM - 7 PM
I'm sad to say that Jean-Noel Bassior will not be able to attend the reunion this year. We hope she will be able to make it next year. However, you can review a sample of her "Mission of Daring in the Name of Early Television - Space Patrol" book on her Space Patrol Book web site.

Space Patrol Rocket Ship CockpitThe four Space Patrol adventure listed below contain commercials for the Space Patrol Rocket Ship Cockpit that will be on display at the Solar Guard display in the dealers room.

SPACE PATROL - Theft of the Rocket Cockpit (X-RC)- # 192 - Oct. 23, 1954. Buzz and Happy are transported back to 1950s Nevada, on an A- bomb test site just as a bomb is about to be tested.

SPACE PATROL - Danger Radiation - # 194 - Nov. 6, 1954. The story continues (with a one episode laps), as the evil Garth Stanger and his henchman (contaminated by a bomb blast in the previous, missing, episode) look for a cure for their radiation sickness in the 1950s.

SPACE PATROL - Space Patrol Periscope # 186 - Sept. 11, 1954. Buzz and Happy are trapped by Monza, an invisible alien who uses a "pain whip" to keep his subjects in line.

SPACE PATROL- The Defeat of Monza - # 188 - Sept. 25, 1954. Continues the Manza storyline (with a one episode lapse) as Buzz allies himself with a human looking alien group to overcome the Manza.

Solar Guard Session 2

9 PM - 11 PM

Captain Video Lobby Still 1951

"Matinee at the Bijou" - Remember the Saturday afternoon at the movies, with Coming attractions (1950's SF of course), a chapter in a movie serial, a main movie and an extra added attraction.

1-Coming Attractions of 1950's SF movies. Favorite supporting SF actor of the 1950's William Schallert appears.

2- Chapter 1 of Captain Video Master of the Stratosphere Columbia movie serial starring Judd Holden and Larry Stewart. Captain Video and the Video Rangers battle the evil Vultura on the planet Atoma.

3-DESTINATION SPACE- A TV pilot for CBS-TV from the late 1950's. The pilot is a spin off from the classic CONQUEST OF SPACE based on the book of the same name by Chesley Bonestell and Willy Ley. Both the pilot and the movie are produced by Paramount and have great Chesley Bonestell space vehicles. Instead of going to Mars in the CONQUEST OF SPACE , DESTINATION SPACE is attempting the first trip to the moon. An interesting bridge movie between the big screen to the little screen. Stars Harry Townes as Benedict.

4- MEN INTO SPACE - Hand Full of Hours. Episode # 16 -1/20/1960 - Dangers of the moon and some sacrifices made for it's exploration. William Schallert appears as an important scientist.

Friday March 10, 2006

Jan Merlin's Emmy award 19753 PM - RADIO PLAY- PROJECT ENIGMA. An original radio story by Jan Merlin. After hanging up his Space Cadet Uniform and his Western Spurs, Jan began to write. He is a former 1975 Emmy winner and 1979 Emmy nominee. Project Enigma was written especially for the 10th Anniversary of the Williamsburg Film Festival and is based on the original "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" series. Jan continues to write and has several historical novels in publication.

A panel discussion with the Stars follows the Radio Play.

The festival has sponsored two other Tom Corbett radio plays at past festivals with great success. The 2003 festival radio play was based on both Tom Corbett and Space Patrol characters. The original play was written and produced by fellow cadet Jack McKirgan with Frankie Thomas ( in his original Tom Corbett uniform), Jan Merlin, the late Ed Kemmer and Jean-Noel Bassior as Cadet Happy wearing Lyn Osborn's Space Patrol Uniform. Plan to come early to get a good seat, the shows have played to packed houses and are a highlight for everyone.

Solar Guard Session 3

5 PM - 7 PM
1- TOM CORBETT - RUN AWAY ASTEROID - November 6, 1950 - November 17, 1950. An almost complete adventure arch of six 15 minute shows that ran between the Mercurian Invasion and the Pirates of Ganymede episodes. The adventure begins with Tom and Roger in the boxing ring establishing who would be in command of the Polaris Unit. A fourth cadet,a science cadet named Alfie Higgins, joins the unit to help Astro with his Academy lessons. The science cadet is played by the late John Fiedler, who became a well known voice and character actor. He appeared on Star Trek and the Bob Newhart show. Look for a young Tom Poston ringside in the first few minutes of the show. Tom had been both an Academy Officer and a Mercurian Invader in the first TC adventure.

There were two different openings for the 15 minute TC shows - a single cadet opening and the cadet trio opening that become the standard for the Tom Corbett video's released over the years. Thanks to Paul Greene (see Joseph Greene's page) and Bruce David at Swapsale.com, we can compare the two openings. The single cadet opening has Tom standing alone at the beginning and Astro working on the famous "machine" that appears to do everything on the Polaris. The single cadet opening may have been used in 1950's episode and replaced with the cadet trio later that year.

The two different openings of the TC show will be shown at the start of the Run Away Asteroid. The video will not have commercials, openings or closings between the 15 minute shows so there will be little interruption of the adventure. However, there are some great commercials featuring Tom, Commander Arkwright and others from Space Academy that will be seen as a special video presentations later in the film sessions.

The overall quality of these 6 episodes are uneven but they are still viewable. Two of the six episodes in this series have been upgraded to a better video quality.

written by Norm Jolly (Head writer for Space Patrol) and broadcast on October 26, 1951. The first test rocket test flight into space becomes a much different trip then expected by the hero. Stars Lee J. Cobb and Harry Townes as Wilkins, who starred in Thursday nights movie Destination Space. The Executive Producer is Mort Abrahams, who also produced many of the early Tom Corbett episodes.

Many of the same standard film clips used in this episode are used in the Tom Corbett opening ( the earth , stars, V-2 rocket takeoff etc.). Take note of the rocket model that was discarded early in the show ... it resembles the rocket in the MYST game of a few years ago.

Solar Guard Session 4

9 PM - 11 PM:
1- ROCKY JONES-INFERNO IN SPACE - An excellent copy of a hard to find Rocky Jones show in the original 3-part format. Cadet Mike Elmo located a 16mm film of the story and had the DVD made directly from the original film. This may be the cleanest copy in circulation. Jimmy Laydon, another guest at the festival this year, stars in this near to the last of the Rocky Jones filmed series.

2-Ralston Rocket Space Patrol Newsreel announcing the "Traveling" Ralston Rocket and the awarding of the Ralson Rocket NAME THE PLANET rocket to Ricky Walker.