Tom Corbett Radio Shows Restoration ProjectThe
Academy receives a lot of requests for information about the Tom Corbett Radio
shows as well as requests for copies of the shows. The poor sound quality of the
recordings and the confusion about the titles of the shows in circulation made
it difficult to obtain a good set of recordings of the shows. Through a cooperative
effort between the Academy and fellow cadet and OTR (old time radio) enthusiast,
Jeff Quick, the sound quality of 44 of the 52 TC shows have been restored and
recorded as MP3 files . We combined our collections, reviewed titles to make sure
there were no duplicates and corrected the sound problems using Cool Edit 2000.
to correcting the sound problems of the radio shows, Jeff produced a PowerPoint
salute to the Tom Corbett show that is included on the CD. You will see some familiar
items from Cadet Roy Coker's ROARING ROCKETS,Cadet Elliott Swanson's excellent
collection of Kids 1950's Space Records -KIDS IN SPACE and the radio log
of the TC shows and related material from the SOLAR GUARD ACADEMY. The
restoration project is an effort to get these shows out to a new group of fans
and to build interest in the space opera shows of the 1950's . To that end the
shows will be part of a 2 CD gift set to those who attend the Solar Guard Reunion
at the Williamsburg Film Festival this March 2003 ( See
Reunion information page). There will be additional material on the Williamsburg
Festival CD's that will not be available until next March at the Festival.
those who can not wait till March, the shows and TC salute will be available for
trade from Jeff for an exchange of 6 blank CD's to replace the CD's used for the
programs and to help cover Jeff's postage. Please use good quality CD's for the
trade, not generic silver topped media that have no protective covering. Any name
brand media, 700 Mb 80 minute blank CD-R is acceptable. The generic CD's have
a high percentage of defectives that result in useless media and are not reliable.
You may contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org
with your requests.
Don't be in a hurry to bid on the TC shows that have
popped up on E-bay. This offer is given in the spirit of OTR, to share a little
of the past with current and future fans of radio. Jeff has worked very hard to
provide fans with good quality shows and
it's always best to get your shows from an original source. Spread the word to
fellow cadets that the shows are now available and where to get them, that's the
best way to put the shows back into circulation with fans who will enjoy them
thanks to Jeff for his hard work and dedication in returning these shows to a
better sound quality for all fans to enjoy. You can help with the project.
We are still missing several shows. Click
here for date and title of missing shows).
Check the Solar Guard radio log for descriptions of
the shows. If you think you have one of the missing shows, please contact Cadet
Ed or Jeff .
may be other 50's radio shows that may benefit by this type of cooperative effort
by fans. Can't promise, but there were quite a few Space Patrol radio shows out
History Channel's " Fantastic Voyage: Evolution of Science Fiction"
broadcast 8 am EST, September 28th, 2002 on the History Channel.
2 hour show dedicated about 4 - 5 minutes of air time to SF shows of the 1950's.
Ed Kemmer had a one minute spot where he discussed how important the cereal premium's
were to the sponsors of the show. For those who taped the show and need to find
it is about 1 hour and 23 minutes into the broadcast, that time
includes the commercials.
was contacted in late September 2001 by the producers of the show and asked to
come to New York for an interview. I had to pass on the invitation but I did send
the producers Ed Kemmer's email and the email of several other fans who lived
in the New York Area (see Cadet Dale Ames story below). Of which, I have
apologized for doing so :-)
was disappointed but not surprised with the History Channel's presentation. David
Kyle's 1976 PICTORIAL HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION appears to have been a guide
for the structure of the documentary. The program glossed over the 1950's ( as
has so many other media projects ) and followed the "common" knowledge
that the "kids" shows of the 50's aren't really that important. It's
a snobbery side of SF that I have always disliked.
Kemmer was interviewed for about twenty minutes. He felt the interviewer didn't
do their homework and was just looking for a brief moment that could be used in
the show. Which explains a lot about the final structure of the show.
was a misleading statement about the Tom Corbett series that implied the Heinlein's
removed themselves from the production of the show because of poor production
values. I have a letter from Virginia Heinlein and cosigned by RAH from 1977 that
confirmed the series was based on RAH's SPACE CADET, but Mr. Heinlein had nothing
to do with any writing or production of the show.
closing credits did list Virginia Heinlein and James Gifford as contributors ,
so maybe I missed something along the way. There is a lot of evidence that the
structure of the Space Cadet unit used for Tom Corbett was developed by Joseph
Greene. Joseph Greene's contribution to TC is documented on the site at http://www.solarguard.com/greene1.htm.
The reaction of the Academy
cadets was swift. The following is a sample of that reaction. Cadet Chuck posted
the first reaction on the BB which lead to more posts on the Solar Guard Bulletin
Board. Cadet Dale Ames has an interesting take on the whole affair and leads off
with his experiences with the "movie media" followed by Cadet Chuck
and others who posted their comments to the BB. If you would like to add to this
discuss, please post your comments on the BB or email Cadet
I was contacted
by Min Lee who is a free lance advertiser for the History Channel. Min Lee was
given my name by fellow collectors who told Min Lee that I had an extremely large
collection of Sci-Fi of the 1930's to 1950's, including Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon,
Space Patrol, Captain Midnight and many more. Min Lee asked if she and her co-worker
Bill could journey from New York City to Worcester to film my collection for the
TV special. What thoughts of grandeur ran through my mind....my collection and
myself on TV promoting memories of the 1950's space shows and a mention of Galaxy
Patrol Fan Club!
was set for Min and Bill to journey to Worcester. I set up my collection in every
room in the house: on the walls, on every couch, chair, table, on the bed, and
I purchased a new bookcase for display. I filled up five rooms and was all set
for them. A few days before the date, Min and Bill had to reschedule for two weeks
later. As the second date came close, Min and Bill had to reschedule again. Finally,
Min and Bill came to Worcester. The house had been in complete turmoil for two
months waiting. Still, I thought it will be worth it for my collection and I to
be on TV.
Min and Bill
filmed my collection for over four hours in my home. I now learned only my collection,
not "I" was to be on TV. "OK", I said to myself, at least
Galaxy Patrol Fan Club and space collectibles would be highlighted.
Bill and Min left, it took my lovely wife Mary and I several days to put the house
back in order. A special thanks to my wife for allowing collectibles to rule the
house for approximately two months!
waited and waited and waited for word on the TV show and finally was told the
show was to be on on TV. Boy oh boy, now my collectibles were to be on TV. I told
everyone about the show and with great expectations, my wife and I started watching
the show. As time moved on during the TV special, my wife and I were looking at
each other and said "where was my collection and at what time would it be
shown"? While Ed Kemmer (Commander Buzz Cory) was shown on the special, my
collection was shown....all of ten seconds!!! Yes, two months of setting up and
four hours of filming at my home and my TV claim to fame was ten seconds and no
mention of Galaxy Patrol Fan Club or "ME".
it was a great effort put forth to give space collectibles of the 1930's ; 1940's
and 1950's a plug and I came up short. I will not be deterred and will continue
to promote space collectibles.
special note must be made that my collection of space collectibles wouldn't have
grown with out the friendly help of fellow collectors who I extend my sincere
thanks to for help over the years.
Safe Space Travel and Space Man's Luck,
a disappointment! This was merely a boring, disorganized collection of unimaginative
clips and interviews, brought to us by a producer, director, and writers who obviously
know little of, and have no love for, the subject of Sci-Fi in general, and 50's
Space Opera in particular.
was especially sorry to find that Dale Ames' collection of space opera memorabilia
was not included; apparently it ended up on the cutting room floor so we could
"enjoy" more time with Bill Shatner.
I really think it was a shame
that they wasted Dale Ames' time as well as his set-up efforts, filming his collection.
If I were him, I would be hoppin' mad! In fact, I'd be blowing my jets at whoever
was responsible for not using the footage.
hear more reviews from the group. We have more collective knowledge of this subject
here on this Solar Guard Bulletin Board than anyone at the History Channel who
was involved in this debacle can ever hope to claim.
video tape is reusable, and I can delete the History Channel from my TV's programming
Cadet Jack Hagerty:
didn't find it quite that bad, but it was VERY disconnected. It's hard to put
over 100 years of history into less than 90 minutes (with commercials pulled).
I was constantly annoyed that the visual didn't match the supposed subject that
the narrator was talking about. Most glaring example that pops to mind is the
"Twilight Zone" (BTW, I've never really thought of TZ as being SF) section
which was all "Night Gallery" clips. When talking about Jules Verne's
amazing accuracy in predicting the size and material of the Apollo spacecraft,
they show an astronaut floating through the ISS. Then there were the constant
mispronunciations like George "Melees" and Ray "Bradberry"
which made me wonder just who the hell was keeping tabs on this. Also, whoever
was grabbing the clips and graphics must have just picked up anything that was
handy. The quality of most of the older stuff was atrocious! The clips from "Metropolis"
were inexcusable seeing as how that film was restored over a decade ago for Georgio
I, too, was
sorry to see no mention of Dale's collection (since it was mentioned here beforehand).
There is also the annoyance that, according to this program, SF on TV consists
of some "cheap '50s knock off " of Destination Moon, Twilight Zone and
Star Trek. Period. C'mon, they could have at least thrown a bone towards "Lost
In Space"! For a show that was obviously very tight on time, I was surprised
that they left in Shatner's zoning out on one answer where he just stammered along
for about 20 seconds without saying anything.
was clicking off about one major mistake or distortion per segment (not counting
the mismatched visual as mentioned above):
Getting the message from "Day the Earth Stood Still" completely backwards
(not to mention not showing a single shot of Michael Rennie!).
us that Apollo 11 was lifted to the moon on an "Atlas 5" rocket.
Saying that NBC approached Gene Roddenberry asking him to do Star Trek rather
than the other way around (if that were the case, why did he pitch it to CBS first?).
Not a mistake but an omission. How could they go on at such (relative) length
on Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" (even with the awful clips) and not even
mention "Die Frau im Mond?" Especially since the poster art for the
film was behind one of the talking heads the whole time.
It could have been so much better.
sit corrected. Yes, they did have the shot of him with that aggressive-looking
"whatsit" deployed, but my statement still stands that we never "saw"
Michael Rennie. And there was 4x more screen time (4 seconds vs. 1 second) of
Gort carrying Helen Benson up the ramp.
then, that wasn't Gort, either. It was Lock Martin :-) Actually, it was neither
Neal nor Benson. For that shot (of Gort carrying Helen Benson up the spaceship
ramp) a lightweight mannequin was used, since Martin, despite being a giant at
7' 7", was quite frail and could barely carry himself in that heavy costume,
let alone an adult actress. All of this (and more!) is from a subset of the next
"Spaceship Handbook" volume called "The Saucer Fleet," which
I hope to have out by next summer.
Cadet Clyde (Laser):
have considered order the History Channel and still intend to. I thought that
this would be the perfect excuse to finally get on the horse.
as I read the post on the BB. I saw what was there, but loud by its absence was
what was not there. For some, the world of Sci-fi began with Star Trek and I can't
fault the HC for not knowing that there was a world before they were born. Maybe
one of us ought to put together a tape of the REAL good stuff.
The History Channel is definitely worth getting. My 16-year-old
watches it constantly and it leads him to research material on his own. However,
they do have a tendency to screw up royally on occasion. A while back they did
a segment on the development of medicine in the military. My doctor's father had
been a pioneer in battlefield blood transfusions. When they discussed him, they
got the facts right but showed a picture of the wrong person!
nothing else, it's about the only place you can still see Roger Mudd and some
of the other television journalists who covered the '60s space launches.
Cadet Tom Mason:
I stuck around for the full two hours waiting for
the 50s TV Sci-fi comments. A couple clips of Space Patrol showed up briefly and
Ed Kemmer was permitted to say a few words. When he mentioned the premium Cosmic
Smoke gun, they put up a picture of Nu-Age Plastics Smoke Ring Gun...oops.
Too bad Star Trek and Mr. Shatner took up so much screen time.
Cadet Marv Swan:
Sure, I hoped for more Space Patrol items, but
I look at it this way. Most guys in the USA don't give a hoot about Space patrol,
we are the only ones. The documentary was better than nothing at all, therefore
I enjoyed it. Anything I can see on TV about Space Patrol is good. By the way,
Michael Rennie was shown in the documentary in his initial appearance with that
intrinsic problem with all television (and, for that matter, all media) and its
limits of time (or, for paper media, limits of space). Ideally, "The Evolution
of Sci-fi" should have been a 15-hour series -- and, even then it would not
have covered all the essential elements, or used all the best available footage.
As it is, I'm glad the documentary was at least able to cover what it did in two
hours. With any luck, we'll someday get a full-course treatment of the Civil War,
jazz, and baseball documentaries.
All best wishes,
PS -- You folks have a nice Board here.
to everyone who has contributed so far. I recommend that fellow cadets read Paul's
expanded review of the HC's program on his website at: http://sff.net/people/paullevinson/
sad to report that Norm Jolley passed away on Tuesday, August 13th. He was 86.
He gave us the Space Patrol TV shows and was head writer for Wagon Train, The
FBI, Ironside, Barnaby Jones, and did multiple scripts for Highway Patrol, The
Virginian, Laramie and many others.
was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a couple of weeks ago. His wife, Lois, rushed
him to Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he underwent a five-hour operation.
He came through it fine. I spoke with him afterwards and he promised me hed
come back, as he put it. He promised that to Lois, too. He was recovering
well and the doctor told him he could leave the hospital in a few days. On Tuesday
morning, he left early. Theyre still not sure why he suddenly died.
said one day that he always thought hed be remembered for his work on Wagon
Train, and he was so surprised that, instead, it turned out to be Space Patrol
CADET ED- Norm will be missed. He had just discovered his fans on
the Internet and it was apparent he was enjoying the contacts he was making. He
always sent a note of thanks when he received the Solar Guard Newsletter and always
had something positive and complimentary to say about his fans. Our condolences
to his wife Lois and his family. Our thanks to Jean-Noel for the information and
to Warren Chaney for his appropriate salute to Norm as the Master Chronicler.
Fan Writer for the 2002
to Jeff Berkwits, fellow Solar Guard cadet, who has been nominated for Best Fan
Writer for the 2002 (60th) World Science Fiction Convention being held in San
José, California. The World SF Convention is one of the largest and oldest
gathering of SF fans in the World (hence the word WORLD :-) The convention will
be held over the Labor Day Weekend August 29 through September 2, 2002 at the
McEnery Convention Center in San Jose' (See
http://www.conjose.org/index.html for complete details).
holds down the Solar Guard's San Diego chapter of the Solar Guard Academy and
is one of the few SF writers who have placed articles about the early 1950's SF
shows in mainstream Science Fiction magazines such as Starlog. Writing about the
early shows is a difficult job since most Science Fiction genera magazines are
dominated by Star War/Star Trek/ special effects type of productions. He has highlighted
several Space Patrol and Tom Corbett projects in the internet publication SCIFI
Weekly ( http://www.scifi.com/sfw/current/index.html
) and has provided encouragement to fellow Space Opera fans through emails and
research of the early shows. His main field of expertise is the music of SF and
published an excellent fanzine called "ASTERISM-The Journal of Science Fiction,
Fantasy and Space Music."
has always supported the cause of the early 1950's SF TV shows and we would like
to thank him for his support and wish him Spaceman's Luck in San Jose'. No matter
what the ballot may bring, Jeff will ALWAYS be the Academy's Best Fan Writer.
Show your support for Jeff and wish him Spaceman's Luck and support him for the
Best Fan Writer for 2002.
World SF convention in Anaheim
CALLING ALL SPACE CADETS The Southern California Institute for Fan Interests,
Inc. is bidding for the 2006 World SF convention in Anaheim and are using a Space
Cadet theme. Check out the LA Con IV webpage.
It looks like a REAL SPACE CADET event with logo and theme's from the Space Opera
genera. In fact, a supporting membership to the event would be a lot of fun for
all cadets. Check out the site and spread the word that the Space Cadet Spirit
is alive and well in Southern California.
for Dr. DaleCadet Jeff
Bytof forward this posting by Phil Nelson from a genealogy posting Jeff found
while searching for information about Margaret Garland:
am researching the life and career of Margaret Ledbetter, daughter of General
Louis Ledbetter, who came from Oklahoma City. She (and her sister) attended Central
High School, married William Hammerstein (son of Oscar Hammerstein II) in 1941,
and served with the American Red Cross during WWII in England, France and Germany.
After which she pursued a career in acting: stage, radio and television. I last
saw her in the television series: Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (aired: 10-2-50) portraying
the character: Dr. Joan Dale. She left the series in 1952 and possibly show business
altogether. I would like to correspond with anyone who knows about her or her
The search for
Margaret Garland (Ledbetter) has been on for a number of years. Jan and Frankie
lost contact with her many years ago and fans have not been able to find any information
about her since the Tom Corbett show. Anyone with any information about Ms Garland
is urged to contact the Academy with
the radio script, Marooned with Death, signed by Frankie Thomas and Jan Merlin
are available from the Film Committee. Contact the Academy
if you are interested in getting a copy of the signed script. Cost will be $15
plus postage. I don't know how many are available at this time, so contact me
as soon as possible if you are interest Cadet
February 28 - March 2, 2002
Jan Merlin, Frankie Thomas
joined fellow cadets in Williamsburg for the 2002 Film Festival. A great time
was had by all Cadets who attended. Pages and pictures of the event are being
added to the site over the next few weeks. The introduction and cadets comment
pages are on line now, go to the 2001 information
Williamsburg Festival Page to view the fun.
- February 2002 Issue #295 - Letter to the editor by Jack Hagerty. Few items which
fellow cadets enjoy from the 1950's appear in the leading SF magazines today.
We need to write magazines like Starlog when there are stories about the early
SF Shows. You can tell by the response in the letter column that Star Trek and
Star Wars always have a number of letters. How many letters have you seen that
sing the praises of Space Patrol or Tom Corbett?? Let them know we are here, maybe
there will be more articles written for us.
For the 4th Month in a row,Robinson
Crusoe on Mars , the classic SF movie
returns to the American Movie Classics (AMC) Channel - 4 times this month:
April 20 - 9:45 P.M.
April 21 - 3:30 a.m.
April 30 - 11:10 a.m. and 12:15
This classic 1964 movie
is a favorite of many cadets and Robert Skotak's Film documentation of Ib Melchior
film career, IB MELCHIOR MAN OF
IMAGINATION, documents the movie's creation and birth. Information about Robert
Skotak's book can be found on the site at - http://www.solarguard.com/sglibnew.htm#ib