Captain Video and His Video Rangers (1949–1955)

TV Series  -   -  Action | Sci-Fi | Adventure
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 55 users  
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"Guardian of the Safety of the World", private citizen-scientist Captain Video, assisted by his teenage helper The Ranger and an army of Video Rangers, preserves the peace in the far-off ... See full summary »

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1955   1954   1953   1952   … See all »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Don Hastings ...
 The Video Ranger (32 episodes, 1949-1955)
...
 Captain Video (30 episodes, 1951-1955)
Ben Lackland ...
 Commissioner of Public Safety Charles Carey (29 episodes, 1951-1955)
Hal Conklin ...
 Dr. Pauli (27 episodes, 1949-1954)
Fred Scott ...
 Communications Officer Rogers / ... (14 episodes, 1949-1955)
Ed Condit ...
 Announcer / ... (13 episodes, 1951-1955)
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Storyline

"Guardian of the Safety of the World", private citizen-scientist Captain Video, assisted by his teenage helper The Ranger and an army of Video Rangers, preserves the peace in the far-off future, fighting the evil Dr. Pauli of the Astroidal Society and a bunch of other baddies (Nargola, Mook, Kul, Clysmok). The show appeared nightly Mon-Fri, featured many outlandish weapons and techno-gimmicks, and was run on a minuscule prop budget. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Death-Defying Danger... Awe-Inspiring Thrills Await the Courage and Genius of Captain Video and His Video Rangers!


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Details

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Release Date:

27 June 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Video  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Set in the 22nd century, there were 51+ serialized stories in all, totaling 1,537 episodes. The show was 30 minutes in length, but for the first few years approximately half of the program consisted of serialized excerpts from old B-Westerns. Thes segments were supposed to depict Video's "agents". Eventually - likely by Summer, 1952 - these clips were phased out in favor of full length Captain Video adventures. In mid-September, 1953, the program reverted to a 15 minutes running time. Until late in 1950 there was no Wednesday episode, but it was seen on Saturday. (NOTE: This statement is questionable.) By 1951, the series' level of sophistication had become much more finely-honed. Scripts came from top science-fiction writers and consultants, and many Broadway stage actors were cast. At its peak, over 125 stations carried the series, including many non-DuMont affiliates. The first TV-to-Hollywood spin-off, a 15-chapter serial from Columbia Pictures (Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere (1951) with a different cast), came from this program in 1951, and a Saturday-morning TV series (The Secret Files of Captain Video (1953)) began in 1953. However, despite the program's immense popularity, the DuMont network's insurmountable problems caused it to cease operations by 1955. While other DuMont programs were continued on other networks, DuMont refused to sell "Captain Video" to NBC, and Al Hodge returned as the Captain to host a local cartoon/documentary film series over New York station WABD, the former DuMont flagship. DuMont's television archive was destroyed by a successor after it's collapse. The total number of stories is probably closer to 100, and the episodes may number higher than 1,537, but remaining information only accounts for 51 stories. See more »

Quotes

Nargola: I said... take him to the greasing pits! Captain Video has delayed long enough. The pretense that he is here as our guest is over! The formula for protonic energy... or the Ranger's life! Let Captain Video make his choice!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Avalon (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture to The Flying Dutchman
by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
Terrific pioneering television sci-fi series, which deserves a Y2K remake!
21 March 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In 1949, "Captain Video" started off slowly on the fledgeling television airwaves, but CV soon became the rip-roaring space adventure anthology that is still so well remembered today.

The series' producers, blessed with CV's New York origination, had top Broadway actors with which to work, and scripts by famous playwrights and science-fiction writers. The result was an on-screen synergy of vibrant performances and still-classic storytelling which more than compensated for the stagelike sets from the chronically-impoverished Du Mont Television Network. (In my view, those limited sets were actually a blessing to the series' quality, though it must hardly have seemed that way then.)

Al Hodge, the stolid hero-scientist, and Don Hastings, the trusty young aide, were perfectly cast as traditional role-models in the classic sense.

As the series progressed and matured throughout the early 1950s, adult fan-viewers were as captivated by the CV sagas as the younger audience for which they had been intended. The series developed a huge nightly following, which would have been greater still had Du Mont controlled more airspace than the relatively small number of channels from which it did broadcast.

The demise of the Du Mont Television Network ended the popular series ... and then the tragic destruction of most of the Captain Video kinescopes for their silver content ended any hopes for a rediscovery by younger, newer audiences. The few remaining now-out-of-context CV episodes can only hint at the great on-screen chemistry that was "Captain Video and His Video Rangers".

That the series is still fondly remembered and talked about, even by those far too young to have seen it, can be termed a tribute.

One other thing: many CV scripts and story concepts remain. And I hold the hope that someday, some imaginative producer may latch onto the idea of a revived retelling of the legend of the "master of space and hero of science": Captain Video.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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