Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:29 pm Post subject: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger
I watched this wonderful show when I was a kid back in the 1950s. About the only thing I remember clearly are those cool scenes of the Orbit Jet landing majestically on its fins. Those scenes still look very impressive. The rocket descends smoothly, and the thrust flame emits no smoke which would make the rocket look like an obvious miniature.
This show is available on very low quality DVDs, but even these are extremely enjoyable for fans like me. Our hero and his loyal crew cruise around the solar system in their gorgeous rocket, and visit various planets. They fight to preserve the United Federation of Planets (the same used in Star Trek). They solve problems with brains rather than brawn (whenever possible).
If you’re old enough to remember this show, or you’ve become a fan more recently by watching the less-than-perfect DVDs, please share your views. _________________ Is there no man on this earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?(I mean, other than me.)
Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
You know, I have never seen a single episode, but I do have a couple of them on DVD which I do plan on popping into the ol' player before too long. I will let you know what I think then...but looking forward to them.
Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 2:18 pm Post subject: Yes, I remember!
I remember! Well . . . I remember one of them, anyway. Ruff and Ready was a show I watched as a kid. I even remember a bit of the theme song melody. But I don't remember much else about it. Afraid I don't remember Johnny Jupiter.
There's a bit of info on Ruff and Ready at the site below.
Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 5:41 pm Post subject: Johnny Jupiter
First broadcast on the Dumont Network, JJ's premise was a human janitor in a TV station who could talk to Jovians. On the ABC version, it was a store clerk who dabbled in electronics. All the Jovians were puppets.
Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:54 pm Post subject: Still hoping for a miracle
I'm still hoping that somebody will discover high-quality prints of this show and release them on DVD. I can only imagine how much I would enjoy a good DVD with a clear picture and good sound and no scratches. Sigh . . .
Bud _________________ Is there no man on this earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?(I mean, other than me.)
Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 7:17 pm Post subject: Jack, we've found our common ground . . .
I'm sure you'll enjoy the less-than-perfect DVDs you'll get from any of the vendors who offer this great show. I've purchased every version of them which is currently available, and I've compared them carefully, hoping to find good versions amidst the bad.
Sadly, there seems to be nothing but bad versions . . . amidst even worse versions.
When you get your DVDs of this great show, don't be afraid to experiment with your TV's settings in hopes of finding a "sweet spot" which helps correct the badly flawed picture of these neglected and unappreciated gems from the past.
Bud Brewster . . . Space Ranger . . . Space Ranger . . . Space Ranger . . . _________________ Is there no man on this earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?(I mean, other than me.)
A couple of Rocky Jones featurettes, culled from the tv show, showed up on the Sci Fi Classics 50 Movie Pack, Crash of the Moons and Menace From Outer Space.
Despite its humble origins, there are some pleasant surprises. Some of the sfx are amazing intricate for a seminal science fiction tv show, particularly shots of a rocket landing strip on one of the moons viewed against a gaseous sky full of rocking and rolling clouds.
The space wheel in the first scene looks like a plastic toy from Woolworths Department Store, for which every 10-year old science fiction junkie in 1954 would have traded his entire collection of Red Ryder comics to own.
In the center of the space station is a tower, topped with a hollow tube like a handle on the aforementioned toy. In one of the most deliriously hilarious sequences, the space station encounters massive turbulance and Rocky Jones is forced to maneuver his rocket ship into the hollow tube so he can drive the space station away. You are never going to see anything comparable in a big budget feature.
There are two things I don't do. The first is kick a dog for any reason. The second is kick the memories I have of my early years when the world was new and everything was an exciting adventure.
3 out of 3 people found the following comment useful :-
Classic 1950s TV Sci-Fi Schlock Adventure, 29 August 2007
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan
Had this been a 1940s Sci-Fi serial, there would be no question about its place in sci-fi cinematic history. Instead, Crash of Moons - an assemblage of episodes from the 1954 Rocky Jones TV series - sits firmly in the 1950s sci-fi schlock category. Crash of Moons, and the rest of the Rocky Jones adventures, has a very strong serial feel to it, and is enjoyable for many of the same reasons the 1940s serials are still entertaining. For info on the original 1954 series from which this comes, see http://pro.imdb.com/title/tt0046639/
Jones (Richard Crane) is a space-ship captain who flies around the solar system with his improbably named navigator "Winky" (played by the ill-fated child prodigy Scotty Beckett) representing the United Worlds - an interplanetary political entity which has a very strong resemblance to Star Trek's federation. In Crash of Moons, Jones and Winky find themselves trying to deal with a pair of "gypsy moons" whose eccentric orbit is going to collapse, destroying them both. Of course, both moons are inhabited (I assume, by people who do not require consistent sunlight, food, energy sources, and an atmosphere), and one is presided over by dictator Cleolanta (Patty Parsons). Jones has a number of support personnel - an elderly science professor, The United Worlds' Secretary of Space, a lovely and smart young woman, and a child prodigy. They all pool their resources to avert the crisis, but Cleolanta has other plans.
Star Trek fans will find more than the United Worlds concept interesting - the Rocky Jones series also consistently cast women in positions of considerable power and responsibility - a bold move for 1950s TV.
The special effects are not at all bad for their time. Mostly, the effects involve miniatures and some creative imagery which merely suggest what they are meant to represent, but the effects scenes are all sewn and filmed together in a surprisingly classy way. The cinematography and directing are quite good for early TV.
The script is predictably silly, very inventively deploys technobabble, and has nothing whatsoever to do with science, or even real technology. It is therefore what one might expect had Star Trek Voyager been produced in the 1950s by the same writing team which created it in the 1990s.
The acting is serviceable for its intent - family TV viewing. Characterization is a bit light - even for heroes Jones and Winky - but this is not surprising since the film is really just an excerpt from a TV series.
I heartily recommend Crash of Moons for those interested in Sci-Fi TV history and B film addicts. Keep what this is intended to be in mind and keep your expectations low, and you just might have a good time with it!
I totally agree with your statements concerning the merits of this poor, "lost" show. I'm sure that all of us -- the ardent fans and the casual viewers -- would enjoy the show much more if the prints of it weren't in such horrible shape.
Hopefully our technology has progressed to the point were we no longer loose shows simply because somebody was too damned lazy to take care of them. _________________ Is there no man on this earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?(I mean, other than me.)
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