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Space Patrol (old-time radio show)

Space Patrol was an old-time radio science fiction serial aimed at juvenile audiences. It ran for 129 episodes from October 1952 to March 1955, though a version of the series was broadcast as early as 1950. Patterned unabashedly after Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, the show had the distinction of being one of the only radio programs to have a concurrently running television counterpart. The same actors even performed on both shows.

The stories followed the adventures of Commander Buzz Corey (Ed Kemmer) of the United Planets Space Patrol and his young sidekick Cadet Happy (Lyn Osborn) yes, Cadet Happy as they faced nefarious villians with diabolical schemes. Not surprisingly for the time, some of these villians even had Russian-sounding accents. Cmdr. Corey and his allies were aided by such nifty gadgets as "miniature space-o-phones" and "atomolights." Episodes had titles like "Revolt of the Space Rats" and "The Menace of Planet X".

The show played directly to kids, and each episode shamelessly merchandised various toys based on the series during their commercial breaks. Even the ads for corporate sponsor Chex Cereals used the show's space opera motif in their pitches.

Naturally, the series lacked the adult sophistication of such shows as X Minus One, which focused on adapting short fiction by notable genre names as Robert A. Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. But as a throwback to the sort of "golden age" space opera popularized in the 1930s, the days of science fiction's infancy, by pioneering magazine editor Hugo Gernsback, Space Patrol is prized by OTR collectors today as one of radio's most enjoyable adventures.