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Thread: Help remembering an old TV Show

  1. #1
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    Help remembering an old TV Show

    Hi all,

    Recently something prompted a very old memory of a TV programme that I watched as a child, and I can't recall the name of it. We are probably talking late 60's (possibly very early 70's).

    It was a child's programme, not animated from memory, but not with real actors (perhaps puppets? Stop motion?). It was set in the future, with tube transport the common way to get around (rather like Futurama). The main thing I recall is that there were residents on the other planets in the Solar System, and people communicated with each other by inserting a (disc?) into a device on their belt which allowed them to talk in the language of that resident. I remember being absolutely enthralled by this idea.

    Not much to go on, I know, but does that description ring any bells with anyone?

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    all I can think of is the Jetsons...bit before my time.
    Formerly Frog march..............

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaxRubiks View Post
    all I can think of is the Jetsons...bit before my time.
    No, I'm almost certain it wasn't animated and it was not comedic or humorous (unless I was too young to understand).

    It was more akin to something like 'The Thunderbirds' (and actually may have been a knock-off of The Thunderbirds - it would have been the same era - I'm thinking it was likely 1968-1970). The part that really sticks in my mind was when the lead character was talking to someone from Neptune, and pulled out a disc or card with an 'N' prominently displayed on it and inserted it into a device that enabled him to converse in 'Neptunian'.

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    Well, here's the IMDB list of Sci Fi shows from the 1960s. Maybe one of these will ring a bell?

    http://www.imdb.com/list/ls000097399/

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Well, here's the IMDB list of Sci Fi shows from the 1960s. Maybe one of these will ring a bell?

    http://www.imdb.com/list/ls000097399/
    Awesome.

    Down in the comments:
    Space Patrol/Planet Patrol (1963–68) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164289/
    Stingray (1964–65) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057786/
    Joe 90 (1968–69) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062573/
    All four were puppetry series, generally aimed at children, and all but Planet Patrol were made by Gerry Anderson ('Supermarionation').

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    I was also guessing Fireball XL5 or Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons if they were marionettes.

    This thread reminded me that I've been trying to recall the name of a sci-fi or fantasy book (or story) from around 1960 or 1961 in which people moved through color-coded tunnels to do whatever was in the plot. I think the story involved a big diamond as the Macguffin, or maybe the core of a planet was a diamond. It's been a few years...

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    I was also guessing Fireball XL5 or Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons if they were marionettes.

    This thread reminded me that I've been trying to recall the name of a sci-fi or fantasy book (or story) from around 1960 or 1961 in which people moved through color-coded tunnels to do whatever was in the plot. I think the story involved a big diamond as the Macguffin, or maybe the core of a planet was a diamond. It's been a few years...
    The Twenty-One Balloons is a children's book about an island that's mostly made of diamonds where people form their own secret community, but it's not futuristic.

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    Now I am not going to sleep. I can picture something very like what you have described - with marionettes etc - that I watched in the mid 1960's as a young kid. I seem to remember that a lot of mention was made of Gamma, or similar, rays.

    Edit: I think "Space Patrol", as mentioned by Grapes, is the winner . Wikipedia says "On other planets, they would use dial-selector translators (dial P for Pluto) to talk to alien beings ---" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_...962_TV_series) And the engine used Gamma Rays.
    Last edited by ozduck; 2018-Feb-16 at 09:17 AM.

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    Yes, the dialable translator was the UK marionette series Space Patrol, which I understand was broadcast as Planet Patrol in the US, which had its own live-action Space Patrol.
    You can buy it as a box set, and I must confesss it's on my Amazon list for the future.

    I recall being puzzled by the idea that the Saturnians had placed the rings to prevent visitors reaching their planet. The Galasphere spacecraft had to go through the rings in order to land on Saturn, and even at a tender age I wondered why they didn't just go around them and land somwhere that wasn't on the equator.
    And I recall an episode in which they tested a faster-than-light drive. As we watched an external view of the Galasphere, and the countdown to the test proceeded, my elder brother remarked casually, "It's going to disappear." And then it disappeared. I was completely stunned by this - he had predicted what was going to happen next on the TV. How on Earth could he do that?
    He shrugged: "Faster than light - light can't reach it." At that moment I was sure he was a genius.

    ETA: Actually, I might just go and order it now. It can sit next to my Noggin The Nog box set, which gave me great joy.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-Feb-16 at 01:36 PM.
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    Thank you so much, everyone. Space Patrol is definitely the show I was thinking of - the description of the translators is just how I recall them.

    I'm interested though to see that it was first shown between 1963-1964, which means I was either watching repeats, or my earliest memories go far further back than I thought! 😀

    Thank you again.

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    Grant, I hope you enjoy re-watching the series. If you get the time at any stage, I would be most interested to hear your thoughts on how it has held up after 55 years. I do recall that I was quite fascinated by it as a young child (particularly the translators - they really sparked my imagination).

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Yes, the dialable translator was the UK marionette series Space Patrol, which I understand was broadcast as Planet Patrol in the US, which had its own live-action Space Patrol.
    You can buy it as a box set, and I must confesss it's on my Amazon list for the future.

    I recall being puzzled by the idea that the Saturnians had placed the rings to prevent visitors reaching their planet. The Galasphere spacecraft had to go through the rings in order to land on Saturn, and even at a tender age I wondered why they didn't just go around them and land somwhere that wasn't on the equator.
    And I recall an episode in which they tested a faster-than-light drive. As we watched an external view of the Galasphere, and the countdown to the test proceeded, my elder brother remarked casually, "It's going to disappear." And then it disappeared. I was completely stunned by this - he had predicted what was going to happen next on the TV. How on Earth could he do that?
    He shrugged: "Faster than light - light can't reach it." At that moment I was sure he was a genius.

    ETA: Actually, I might just go and order it now. It can sit next to my Noggin The Nog box set, which gave me great joy.

    Grant Hutchison

    Never a big fan of Noggin. I was an Ivor fan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Grant, I hope you enjoy re-watching the series. If you get the time at any stage, I would be most interested to hear your thoughts on how it has held up after 55 years. I do recall that I was quite fascinated by it as a young child (particularly the translators - they really sparked my imagination).
    Well, I watched the first few episodes, which did not fail to entertain. Here are a couple of video clips that may bring back memories of the style and content:
    The introduction to the pilot episode.
    The take-off sequence, which is repeated with minor variations most episodes. I particularly enjoy the "yobba rays".

    There's also a stereotypical comic Irish scientist and his comely daughter (Begorrah!), which I'd completely forgotten about.

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    My favorite sci-fi show as a toddler was Astroboy. It was shown on the Captain Penny show in Cleveland at 5 PM on Channel 5 WEWS-ABC. I have the whole dubbed series and the final episode subbed on DVD.
    I loved rewatching the episodes...anyone know where I can get subbed versions of the other non-dubbed episodes?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

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    If it is the show I remember one of the characters kept saying "Im hungry". By a Roberta Leigh I think. Gave Gerry Anderson his first work. Twizzle, Torchey, Four Feather Falls. Now that was good. Heck Im going back again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteshimmon View Post
    If it is the show I remember one of the characters kept saying "Im hungry".
    That was Husky, the Martian crew member.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Grant, my sincere apologies. I hadn't seen your post from the 26th February until just a minute ago, so I missed your very kind post of those links and failed to thank you for providing them.

    I'm at work at the moment, but looking forward a great deal to watching those links when I get home tonight!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Grant, my sincere apologies. I hadn't seen your post from the 26th February until just a minute ago, so I missed your very kind post of those links and failed to thank you for providing them.

    I'm at work at the moment, but looking forward a great deal to watching those links when I get home tonight!
    They'll be dead at the moment, I'm afraid. I took the videos down a few weeks ago, feeling they'd have served their purpose. It'll be a while before I can restore them, but I'll post again here when I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    They'll be dead at the moment, I'm afraid. I took the videos down a few weeks ago, feeling they'd have served their purpose. It'll be a while before I can restore them, but I'll post again here when I do.

    Grant Hutchison
    Ah nuts! I came home ready to relive some memories.

    Please do - I will keep a closer eye on this forum looking out for it. Thanks in advance. 👍🙂

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    A web search for "Space Patrol" and/or "Planet Patrol" might turn up an episode....
    Selden

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Ah nuts! I came home ready to relive some memories.

    Please do - I will keep a closer eye on this forum looking out for it. Thanks in advance. 
    OK, files are back up again, at different URLs.
    Introduction to pilot episode.
    Take-off sequence.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Definitely the show. So good to see it again after about 50 years!

    Thanks all all for the assistance, and in particular to Grant for the links.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Definitely the show. So good to see it again after about 50 years!

    Thanks all all for the assistance, and in particular to Grant for the links.
    You're welcome. Thanks for reminding me it was still on my "to watch" list. I'm still trickling through the box set (I'm more of a frugal watcher than a binge watcher), but it's interesting to compare and contrast with Fireball XL5 - the producers on Space Patrol had previously worked with Gerry and Sylvia Anderson (who made Fireball XL5), and XL5 was broadcast while Space Patrol was still in production.

    The most obvious similarity is between Space Patrol's "hover jets" and Fireball XL5's "hover scooters" (which one did Larry Niven steal for his "skycycles"?), and the idea of robotic autopilots. The most striking divergence is in music - Space Patrol's ambient electronic noodling versus Fireball XL5's overblown torch song. But there's also Space Patrol's use of space helmets (tricky, on a marionette), compared to Fireball XL5's "oxygen pills" (which, even at the age of five, I found physiologically questionable).

    Grant Hutchison
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    The thing I now notice about Space Patrol is that the 'Space City' set at the end includes a model of the London GPO Tower (apparently made of Perspex). When the series was made this building was still at the planning/construction stage. I wonder if Roberta Leigh obtained an architect's model from somewhere.
    Last edited by eburacum45; 2018-May-20 at 10:26 AM.

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    It's as if Lady Penelope got the Cher treatment.

    I prefer the high-end quality of Thunderbirds.

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    The one episode that I found (about an asteroid about to crash into Mars) seemed to include a surprising amount of valid, although simplified, astronomy and physics.
    Selden

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    Quote Originally Posted by selden View Post
    The one episode that I found (about an asteroid about to crash into Mars) seemed to include a surprising amount of valid, although simplified, astronomy and physics.
    Interestingly, it was effectively the same story-line but it preceded Armageddon by about 40 years, had more realistic physics and FAR better acting (even marionettes were able to convey more genuine emotion than Ben Affleck's character....)

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    Thanks Grant. That brought back some memories of my early childhood.


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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Interestingly, it was effectively the same story-line but it preceded Armageddon by about 40 years, had more realistic physics and FAR better acting (even marionettes were able to convey more genuine emotion than Ben Affleck's character....)
    But did they have a Liv Tyler puppet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    But did they have a Liv Tyler puppet?
    Those are illegal, you know.

    Grant Hutchison
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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

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