Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe (1953– )

TV Series  |   |  Sci-Fi
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It is the near future as seen from the perspective of the early 1950s. Earth is in radio contact with civilizations on planets in our solar system, as well as planets in other, distant ... See full summary »

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Title: Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe (1953– )

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Judd Holdren ...
 Commando Cody (12 episodes, 1955)
Aline Towne ...
 Joan Gilbert (12 episodes, 1955)
Gregory Gaye ...
 The Ruler (12 episodes, 1955)
Craig Kelly ...
 Mr. Henderson (12 episodes, 1955)
Richard Crane ...
 Dick Preston (9 episodes, 1955)
...
 Baylor (6 episodes, 1955)
...
 The Moon Girl (6 episodes, 1955)
John Crawford ...
 Alien / ... (5 episodes, 1955)
Dale Van Sickel ...
 Clancy (5 episodes, 1955)
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Storyline

It is the near future as seen from the perspective of the early 1950s. Earth is in radio contact with civilizations on planets in our solar system, as well as planets in other, distant solar systems, and Commando Cody has just built the world's first spaceship. Written by Pilot TV Network

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Genres:

Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

16 July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Commando Cody  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is some disagreement among fans of movie serials whether this is a 12-episode motion picture serial or a series of short subjects. This is because it was originally filmed as a TV series which contractual obligations forced Republic Pictures to give a theatrical release before allowing it to be broadcast on TV. As the episodes do not end in "cliffhangers", some serial "purists", considering this a requirement for the classification of a movie serial, refuse to accept it into the serial canon. Unlike short subject series, though, the episodes are not self contained - they follow a definite story arc, and cannot be shown out of order and have the story remain comprehensible to the viewer. Odd claims that unspecified 1950s legislation prohibited release of any motion picture filmed after 1948 from subsequently being released to television - which, if true, would prove that this title had no theatrical history and therefore must be classed as a TV series only - are entirely unfounded. In reality, post-1948 films were being shown on early-to-mid 1950s TV, often while still being available for theatrical showings as well, on a regular basis. In fact, the mass syndication of product postwar product by Republic Pictures itself resulted in many theaters boycotting this distributor for carrying the practice to an excess dangerous to the survival of motion picture theaters. The records of the New York State Censorship Board at the New York State Archives, clearly show that all twelve episodes of this serial were submitted for approval and licensing for theatrical exhibition in that state in 1953. See more »

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User Reviews

Shows its Republic Pictures/Matinée Serial Origins
26 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe", was a half hour TV series that ran as a replacement series on NBC during the 1955 season. If the series looked familiar...it was! "Commando Cody..." shows its Republic Pictures/matinée serial origins as the title character appeared once under the Cody name and twice under different character names in three different Saturday matinée cliffhanger serials from the late '40's thru the early '50's. Although there were 12 TV episodes (as there were nearly always 12 chapters of a serial), none of them ended in the inevitable cliffhanger ending. All episodes were complete in themselves yet there was a definite continuing story arc week-to-week. The 12 episodes were first shown in theatres in 1953 but by this point in time movie serials were fast becoming extinct due to the growing popularity of network television. Republic Pictures, along with Columbia Pictures, were the last two studios to produce theatrical serials. The "Commando Cody..." series was, along with most of the last of Republic's serial output, very cheaply and quickly produced so as to include tons of stock footage at Republic's disposal from nearly 20 years of serial production. Judd Holdren, who had played the Cody character (under a different name) in the second of the "Rocketman/Commando Cody" theatrical serials, starred as Commando Cody. Aline Towne played his assistant Joan, William Shallert played his assistant Ted for the first half of the series and Richard Crane replaced Shallert as assistant Dick during the second half. The Cody group was battling Gregory Gay as the Ruler who was attempting to destroy the Earth from his base on the Moon. The Ruler was assisted on Earth by Baylor (portrayed by veteran actor Lyle Talbot) and assorted other Earth gangsters looking to "clean up" after Earth's overthrow.

Sci-Fi that seems "hokey" by today's standards but entertaining for its' time in the much simpler '50's.


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