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Space Patrol

Three television series bear the title Space Patrol.

The first, and most well known, is the American version from the 1950s. This was also a popular radio show. It followed the adventures of Commander Buzz Corey of the United Planets Space Patrol and his sidekick Cadet Happy as they thwarted the evil designs of an assortment of nefarious villians.

The second is a puppet series from the United Kingdom, made in 1962, written and produced by Roberta Leigh in association with Associated British Corporation, featuring the vocal talents of Dick Vosburgh, Ronnie Stevens, Libby Morris, Murray Kash and Ysanne Churchman, and comprising 39 half-hour episodes. It concerns an interplanetary police force of the year 2100, focusing on the crew of Galasphere 347 under the command of Captain Larry Dart. This series is also known by its US title Planet Patrol to avoid confusion with the first series. Leigh had previously worked with Gerry Anderson on chilldren's puppet series, and there are some obvious similarities between Space Patrol and Anderson's Fireball XL5, although Space Patrol was made on a lower budget. For many years it was believed that all but a handful of episodes had been destroyed, until a complete cache of 16mm prints was discovered. Despite their scratched and grainy condition, they were of sufficient historic interest to warrant a DVD release. Selected episodes were issued on DVD in 2001, and the complete series was released in 2003. These are on region 0 discs and can therefore be viewed internationally.

The third is a translation from the German, Raumpatrouille (aka Raumschiff Orion or Spaceship Orion), and was a 7 part space opera made in 1966. At the time it was the most expensive show ever made in the country, a major factor in the series not continuing! It did, however, spawn over a hundred follow-up novels and is as fondly remembered in Germany as Star Trek is in the US and UK.