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Space Patrol: Missions of Daring in the Name of Early Television Hardcover – May 15, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0786419111 ISBN-10: 0786419113

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company (May 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786419113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786419111
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Bassior managed to track down every surviving cast member and production staffer who worked on the early science-fiction television series Space Patrol. With a combination of interviews and wry commentary, she tells their stories and, in the process, brings new life to a magical and long-vanished era of televised sf. When the show originally aired, the medium was still in its infancy. There was no videorecording, and most regular programs were presented live, with actors often having to learn scripts just hours before broadcast time. Thanks to Space Patrol's inventive storytelling, its production cohesiveness, and a remarkable camaraderie among the cast, the program became a classic of its kind, inspiring a generation of kids who grew up to become leading scientists and creative artists. By immersing the reader in the dynamics of early television production, Bassior extends the range of what might have been an extremely narrow topic. This is a valuable analysis of a nearly lost part of our cultural heritage. Elliott Swanson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"A beautiful and inspirational glimpse into a world that cannot be recaptured. . . a major accomplishment." -- James J.J. Wilson, Managing Editor, Filmfax magazine

"A loving look back" -- Communication Booknotes Quarterly

"Involving in-depth coverage" -- Midwest Book Review

"It’s finally here! The book we’ve all been waiting for! And was it ever with the wait!...fascinating" -- SwapSale.com

"It’s finally here! The book we’ve all been waiting for! And was it ever worth the wait!...fascinating" -- SwapSale.com

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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To relate all I find admirable about this book, I'd have to write a book about this book!
William F. DRISH, Jr.
The author of "Space Patrol: Missions of Daring in the Name of Early Television" has taken a long and loving look at one of the best Sci Fi programs of the 1950's.
David Moyer
Well written - information on the show, its production, the cast as well as the products that you could get by sending in 'box tops', etc.
Charles A. Escoffery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. Lee on January 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This "labor of love" for Bassior is a must read for those interested not only in "kid vid" but in how "television" was born. The reader quickly realizes that the producers of "Space Patrol" were true pioneers...inventing special effects, developing camera techniques and working up stage settings that defined "live" TV in it's first decade. While operating at the lowest end of the budget scale, "Space Patrol" was live sci-fi drama as good as ABC's "other" futuristic adult-themed drama of the same era: "Tales of Tomorrow." There were no digital special effects, no computer-generated images, and the line between good and evil was always crystal clear. The actors and the story were central, NOT the special effects. Plus there were only three commercials in each half-hour episode! How sweet it was! This book is more than a nostalgic look at a childhood memory, it's a well-documented historical review of how television programs were created and produced at a time when there was no "instruction manual" to follow. You will find it fascinating. Wonderful pictures are included, too.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rory Coker on December 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
One of the ironies of the Golden Age of Television is that some of its most ambitious programming coincided with the primitive infancy of the medium, 1949 -- 1955. Given that all programming was being broadcast "live" as it happened, in "real time," TV directors and producers nevertheless dared to present, in CAPTAIN VIDEO (1949-55), TOM CORBETT SPACE CADET (1950-55) and SPACE PATROL (1950-55), often action-packed science-fictional adventures with complex practical and special effects... and anywhere from 30 minutes once a week to 30 minutes every weekday!

As the casts and crews of these series are steadily taken away from us by time, we are also losing all personal contact with this most heroic (in several senses of the word!) era of early live television broadcasting. So it is very welcome to find this 400-plus-page book by Jean-Noel Bassior, entirely devoted to SPACE PATROL. She began work on the book in the early 1980s, when almost all the cast and crew except for Lyn Osborn (Cadet Happy) were still alive and available for interview, and portions of more than 50 separate interviews are incorporated throughout the book. The book is also copiously illustrated with a large number of clearly-reproduced and often quite rare photos.

More than 20 individual chapters cover almost every aspect of the series, including cast, crew, and writers. About the only significant omission that struck me was that of Carl Macauley, designer of the very impressive and spacious sets... there's not much about him compared to other key crew members.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sunday TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some might think it's a waste of time to read a book about a television show that one never saw. But, although I never saw an episode of "Space Patrol" (it had gone off the air before I was five years old), this is one of the best books I've read in years. A 20-year labor-of-love, it clearly reflects the author's interest and dedication to the subject. She managed to interview virtually all of the surviving cast and production crew members, and their anecdotes bring the story of this live-action television series from the early 1950s to life. It's packed with details about the characters, the performers, the production challenges, the sets, the special effects and the marketing of spin-off toys. Even better, it examines the positive effects that "Space Patrol" had on children of the time, some of whom, inspired by the show, grew up to be NASA engineers, "rocket scientists" and astronauts. Back in the days of clear-cut moral values and before political correctness reared its ugly head, the "Space Patrol" crew served as excellent role models for the first of the baby-boomers. Reading this book will transport anyone who grew up in that era back to a simpler time when the world was a more pleasant place to live and when there were well-defined good guys and bad guys. It's a great read about a fascinating subject--highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James G. Miller on December 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must for anyone who has fond memories of the old early 50s TV space shows, or who has an interest in early television. Bassior has done an incredible job of gathering more information on the show and the people who made it than I would have imagined possible. The thing I found most astonishing about the book was how hard it was to put down once I started reading it. My only complaint is that, although it is over 400 pages of small print, it's too short! Please Jean-Noel, give us more! Nevertheless, a FULL FIVE STARS to Jean-Noel Bassior and "Space Patrol."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Moyer on March 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At first I thought that the price of the book was excessive, however, upon deciding to spend the money I feel it was well spent. If you, like me, grew up with early television this book will take you back to a time when the world was simplier and TV was a miracle.

The author of "Space Patrol: Missions of Daring in the Name of Early Television" has taken a long and loving look at one of the best Sci Fi programs of the 1950's. The information gathered is informative, refresing, and above all (to my knowledge) never before put in print. The interviews with former cast members is a delight, and the behind the scenes look gives you and idea of how the then infact television industry operated.

I recommend spending the $49.00 and take a trip back in time and re-live your youth with Buzz Corey, Cadet Happy, Carol Carlyle, Major Robinson, and Tonga... its worth it.
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