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Space Patrol -  On the Space Patrol Set

Cadet Joe Sidore

To Cadet Ed:

I am cadet Joe Sidore. At the age of thirteen and with an intense interest in Space Patrol, I wound up riding my bike to Prospect and Talmadge to check out the site where "Space Patrol" was telecast. ABC TV.

Along the Talmadge street side of the property, which runs north and south, there was a chain link fence. Not a very high chain link fence mind you. It must have been all of 4 feet high. Running north for the last 300 feet of the property to it's end. This fence served to protect the studio's back lot. A fence hoppers dream come true. At that time security was not the big issue that it is today. The only security on the lot that I was aware of was the guard shack at the entrance to the facility.

In checking out this chain link fence more closely, I discovered that at the north west most corner of the property the links on the post were starting to come undone. The next day I returned with a pair of wire cutters and gave it a little help making the hole just big enough to squeeze through.

Daily I would ride my bike to Prospect and Talmadge and lock it up in front of that hole so as to not draw any unnecessary attention. Once through the fence there was no way to be "low profile". I must have stuck out like a sore thumb. I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped no one would notice me. No one ever did!

After many return visits, my confidence strengthened and my treks through the back lot became very routine. It was almost like owning the place. This back lot was used to store old props for reuse or demolition. I can remember seeing discarded Space Patrol props like a big section of the hull of the Terra V used for exterior shots with the outer hatch still intact. Today, this empty lot is occupied by administration buildings and the like.

With these on going daily visits I got to know the cast I so admired. They didn't know who I was, I was just there every day. They must have thought I was the son of someone who worked there. I think I even remember lying to that effect when approached by some suspicious stagehand. The stories go on.

Were there two Terra V's? ... Yes! (actually there were other ships that were in the show series. I've forgotten their names but I can describe them)

With respect to the two "Traveling Terra V" ships used for personal appearances, one on wheels and the other a moveable display (prop), I remember that at one point the show had advertised that the Terra V was going to be at the Hilton hotel at Figuroa and Seventh streets, downtown Los Angeles.

I remember taking a streetcar (Yellow PCC) down, I think it was Seventh street. This was probably the last year the streetcars ran.

In the hotel on one of the floors was this smaller version of the Terra V (I know how big the real one was because of the one on the set). I don't recall this ship having two sides however when entering on the viewable side, once inside, it looked tubular. There were two entrances (adult size doors that opened upwards, which took up most of the height of the ship), one at the rear and one at the front of the ship.

Along the insides were panels with big toggle (rocker)switches (each about the size of the leviton "decora" wall switches of today) and lots of blinking lights. In the front of the ship there were no seats, but as I recall, there was a monitor/screen or some kind of panel with lights. This ship was obviously not the "prize ship" (the one on the trailer) because it would have been very difficult getting it in the hotel. This one seemed to be modular. The entire ship did resemble that of "set builder" quality.

Lyn Osborn made a personal appearance with the ship. When I said hello to him he did a double take and called me by name wondering why I was there.


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