Commando Cody – Sky Marshal of the Universe

Tagged: Film | TV

US tv series (1955). Republic Studios/Hollywood Television Service for NBC TV. Produced by Mel Tucker, Franklyn Adreon, directed by Fred Bannon, Harry Keller. Written by Ronald Davidson, Barry Shipman. Weekly. 25 minutes per episode. Black and white.

Despite the title, the hero of this short-lived children's television series was more likely to be found riding in a four-door sedan than travelling around the Universe. A cross between the Lone Ranger and Captain Midnight (his rival crime-fighter on CBS), Cody wore a costume that looked as if its previous owner had been in the German High Command and a mask whose function was unclear. Cody (here played by Judd Holdren) and his sidekick Joan (Aline Towne) had previously appeared in the Republic Studios film serial Radar Men from the Moon (1952; 12 episodes), in which Cody was played by George Wallace. Equipped with several secret laboratories, a spaceship and an ordinary revolver, Cody fought conventional gangsters and, occasionally, the Ruler, an evil genius from outer space. Unsurprisingly reminiscent of the absurdities of the movie serials, Commando Cody was more entertaining than the slicker Captain Midnight. Another purported film-serial incarnation, Commando Cody (1953; 12 episodes) starring Holdren, was in fact identical to this tv series: its episodes were registered for theatrical release in 1953, though there is controversy over whether they were actually shown in theatres. [JB/PN/GW]

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