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Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!
"Space Patrol" (Roberta Leigh / National Interest Pictures / Wonderama)

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Space Patrol
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  producers: National Interest Pictures
                    / Wonderama
marionette puppets
    episodes: 39 x 25mins b/w

   "This is the headquarters of Space Patrol, and men from Earth,
    Mars and Venus work there as guardians of the peace!"
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     It's the year 2100, and the peace and protection of the solar system is now
     maintained by the interplanetary members of Space Patrol. Colonel Raeburn
     steers the team from their base on Earth, with Captain Larry Dart spinning off
     for action with his crew on board Galasphere 347. Most of their adventures take
     place around our solar system, on Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus
     and their associated moons. But the Galasphere is equipped to go much further
     abroad, when required, into deep space with its crew "frozen" in suspended
     animation, and a robot put in charge of the ship. From the mysteries of a
     Jovian Lake to mind-controlling aliens, from rampaging Martian whirlwinds
     to explosions on the sun, Space Patrol's guardians of the peace can tackle
     them all, head on...
    "Space Patrol" was created, written, and co-produced by Roberta Leigh
    (Torchy, Twizzle ) and brought to life using sophisticated marionette
    puppets. The series arrived hot on the heels of Gerry Anderson's Fireball XL5,
    and although there are the obvious similarities - it's another sci-fi adventure
    series, with an interstellar crew "on patrol" - "Space Patrol" strives for a more
    science-based approach to its adventures. There's some deeper thinking
    behind its notion of interstellar travel and the Light Years of distance involved,
    the crew all use translators to communicate with the various Venusians and
    Martians they engage with. And then there's that marvellous, spinning Galasphere,
    distinct and original in comparison to the customary rocketship designs we see
    elsewhere. Of course, there's no escaping the rather twee notion of humanoid
    creatures residing on our nearby planets, but at the time, no one knew much
    at all about the make-up of our immediate solar system or beyond. Life on Mars
    was still entirely feasible.

    It's also useful to place this series, and Gerry Anderson's contemporary
    productions in context. The Russians had put a man into space in 1961
    and they and the Americans were about to embark upon their race for the
    moon. We were in an era of interstellar exploration, where the world was
    speculating upon the great unknown, out there, in the universe, and youthful
    imagination was particularly inspired - hence the plethora of sci-fi creations
    encompassing all media.

    Though it hasn't gripped the public conscience through the years in the same
    way as Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation series, "Space Patrol" was very
    popular back in the day, and still has its own small, but fervent fan base today.
    Folks particularly admire that science-fact approach. It even encompasses the
    series soundtrack. Roberta Leigh took up scoring duties and jettisoned any
    form of opening anthem or end-credit crooning in favour of what can only be
    described as a throbbing, electric prescence that predates even that famous
    electronic theme from "Doctor Who"...

    Space Patrol = Planet Patrol

    The series was renamed "Planet Patrol" for its US broadcasts, in order to
    avoid any possible confusion with Space Patrol that had soared on to the
    airwaves and on ABC in America during the 1950's...

     "Space Patrol" - Colonel Raeburn calls the shots (Roberta Leigh / National Interest Pictures / Wonderama)

    broadcast info

    "Space Patrol" premiered on ABC Midlands on 7th April 1963...


   Space Patrol & Galasphere 347

   Captain Larry Dart
   Slim (from Venus)
   Husky (from Mars)
   Gabbler (Martian parrot)
   Professor Heggarty (technician)
   Colonel Raeburn
   Marla (his Venusian secretary)

  Series One
The Swamps of Jupiter
The Wandering Asteroid
The Dark Planet
The Slaves of Neptune
The Fires of Mercury
The Shrinking Spaceman
The Robot Revolution
The Cloud of Death
The rings of Saturn
Volcanoes of Venus
Mystery on the Moon
The Miracle Tree of Saturn
The Forgers

Series One-A
The planet of Thought
The Glowing Eggs of Titan
The Planet of Light
Time Stands Still
Husky Becomes Invisible
The Walking Lake of Jupiter
The New Planet
The Human Fish
The Invisible Invasion
The Talking Bell
The Buried Spaceship
Message From a Star
Explosion on the Sun
Series Two
The Unknown Asteroid
The Evil Eye of Venus
Secret Formula
The Telepathic Robot
Deadly Whirlwind
The Kitter Waves
Sands of Death
The Hairy Men of Mars
The Grass of Saturn
Force Field X
The Water Bomb
Desctruction by Sound
The Shrinking Gas of Jupiter


    Space Patrol on DVD

     UK DVD Space Patrol : The Complete Series
               Region 2 / six discs / Network / 2008


    a National Interest Picture production

    created and written
    by Roberta Leigh

script assistant:

director of


art director:

special effects
& animation:

space consultant:

Frank Goulding
Robeta Leigh, Arthur Provis
Robeta Leigh
Denise Kaye
Roberta Leigh

Arthur Provis
John Beaton, Roy Hyde,
Len Walter

Roland Whiteside
Derek Freeborn
Martin & Heather Granger,
Joan Garrick

Bill Palmer, Brian Stevens,
Bert Walker
F.C. Judd
Colin Ronan
Dick Vosburgh
Libby Morris

Ronnie Stevens
Murray Kash


     On the web

     Roberta Leigh
     Roberta's official site...

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© Roberta Leigh / F2012