1950s "Rocketman" TV Series and Their Fans: Cadets, Rangers, and Junior Space Men

Hardcover | September 18, 2012

EditorCynthia J. Miller, A. Bowdoin Van Riper

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The heyday of the televised rocketman came before our actual travels in space occurred and was a burgeoning time in TV history. Before astronauts like John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Neil Armstrong were household names, before the 'one small step' that left America's national footprint on the Moon, and before the wonders of science fiction became the wonders of science fact, battles were fought with Para-Ray guns and Cosmic Vibrators, 'Opticon Scillometers' scanned through walls, heroes in jetpacks soared through the skies, and the universe was full of wonder. The fourteen essays featured here focus on series such as Space Patrol, Tom Corbett, and Captain Z-Ro, exploring their roles in the day-to-day lives of their fans through topics such as mentoring, promotion of the real-world space program, merchandising, gender issues, and ranger clubs - all the while promoting the fledgling medium of television.

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The heyday of the televised rocketman came before our actual travels in space occurred and was a burgeoning time in TV history. Before astronauts like John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Neil Armstrong were household names, before the 'one small step' that left America's national footprint on the Moon, and before the wonders of science ficti...

Cynthia J. Miller is a cultural anthropologist specializing in visual media. She teaches in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies and Emerson College, and is Director of Communication for the Center for the Study of Film and History at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, as well as serving as film review editor...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:294 pages, 9.56 × 6.25 × 0.88 inPublished:September 18, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230377319

ISBN - 13:9780230377318

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Foreword; H.Jenkins

Introduction; A. Bowdoin Van Riper & C. J. Miller

PROLOGUE: WHEN OUR STORY BEGINS
Where It All Began: The Flash Gordon Serials; R. Kinnard

PART I: LEARNING TO BE ROCKETMEN
'A Commotion in the Firmament': Tom Corbett and the Lost Boys; J. C. Tibbetts
Boys Wonder: Male Teenage Assistants in 1950s Sci-Fi Movie Serials and Cold War Masculinity; R. Jacobs
Girls and 'Space Fever'; A. Foster

PART II: REACHING FOR TOMORROW

Space Fever: From Fantasy to Reality; H. E. McCurdy
Shooting for the Stars: Captain Video, the Rocket Rangers, and America's Conquest of Space; P. Luciano & G. Coville
Space Opera TV: Seeing the World of Tomorrow; J. P. Telotte

PART III: AS SEEN ON TV
The Sky is the Limit: Advertising and Consumer Culture in Rocketman Television Shows of the 1950s; L. R. Samuel
Creating a Sense of Wonder: The Glorious Legacy of Space Opera Toys of the 1950's; S. M. Young
Space Patrol: Missions of Daring in the Name of Early Television; J. Bassior


PART IV: LOOKING AT THE EARTH
Making the Universe Safe for Democracy: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger; W. W. Dixon
"Justice through Strength and Courage": Captain Midnight and the Military-Industrial Complex; M. Broderick
"To Learn from the Past. . .": Becoming Cold War Citizens with Captain Z-Ro; C. J. Miller & A. Bowdoin Van Riper


EPILOGUE: THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY AND BEYOND

Confessions of A Commando Cody Addict (Or, How The Flying Suit Changed My Life); G. Hughes

Editorial Reviews

"From nostalgic views of space adventure to the cultural importance of 1950s sf TV series, Miller and Van Riper's anthology is an informative read and a much-needed work on an often-overlooked period in television history. Understanding the cultural impact of these series - and the symbols of heroism and Americana contained within them - is an important step in learning why we care at all about sf media and the affective relationship we share with the genre.' - Science Fiction Studies"A significant contribution to our understanding of sf in the 1950s." - Foundation