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Sci-Fi EU Media Television

SciFi TV Series 'Space Patrol Orion' Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary ( 73

In Germany the phrase "Fallback to Earth!" is about as cult as "Engage warp drive," reports Long-time Slashdot reader Qbertino: One of the oldest science fiction TV serials, the famous German "Raumpatrouille Orion" (Space Patrol Orion) turned 50 today. has a scoop on the anniversary in German [or roughly translated into English by Google]. The production of Space Patrol Orion predates Star Trek by roughly a year and was a huge hit in Germany, gaining the status of a "street sweeper" (Strabenfeger), referring to the effect it's airing had on public life.
The special effects are pretty good for 1966 -- you can watch episode one on YouTube. (And feel free to share other related videos in the comments.) "In the series, nations no longer exist and Earth is united," according to Wikipedia, which reports that Commander Cliff McLane and his loyal crew fight an alien race called the Frogs, and "He is notoriously defiant towards his superiors."
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SciFi TV Series 'Space Patrol Orion' Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So it's a fantasy in which Germans took over the world and are now fighting to wipe out the French???

  • Looks a lot like another Lost in Space (which was a few years before this). There were plenty of shows of this sort at the time.

  • There were no references to French people as such particularly since nation states apparently did not exist any more. There was one reference to "Frogs" being a kind of animal. In the series there were just blurry shapes with glitter. There actually was a French version of that series which seemingly got lost in the mists of time. Only one fragment exists.

    The reason why there were only so few episodes was that it was _really_ expensive to make. Multiple German TV stations had to cooperate to finance it. Sin

    • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

      There actually was a French version of that series which seemingly got lost in the mists of time. Only one fragment exists.

      French TV was a co-producer and some scenes were re-shot with french actors according to Wikipedia: []

    • Not to mention the special effects! The army of pencil sharpeners and electric irons that doubled as control panel equipment, the start and landing in a swirl of water, the burning bags of dog poop that were meteorites... Awesome stuff!

  • Men In Space [] started broadcasting on September 30, 1959.

    And if you are in the US you can see episode airing on Comet TV []

    • by VAXcat ( 674775 )
      Heh..I watched "Men into Space" when it was first run, when I was a preschooler. I thought that it was a documentary, and I really wanted to join the Space Corps when I grew up. I was bitterly disappointed when my older brother explained that it was fiction.
  • I guess the German "sz" ligature does look a bit like a "b".
    Should've seen that coming, sorry.

    "ß" is the letter, a ligature for "sz" that is a common member of the german glyph alphabet.
    But you can substitute it with two "s"es in a pinch.

  • "Foreign race without galactic signature."

    Not exactly french, but maybe close enough, depending on your point of view. :-)

    • by Sique ( 173459 )
      Only the Germans who have a quite good knowledge of U.S. culture would be able to identify frogs with the French. First, the frog in German is called Frosch, not Frog, and second, the Germans don't call the French frogs, that's an U.S. term.
      • IIRC that nickname was chosen because it sounded "alien", yet familiar enough, and of course it had to sound cool and edgy. And in the 60s, anything "English" was absolutely edgy and cool.

      • 'Frog' was coined by the Brits.

        Also: []

        Missing a lot.

        Dutch: missing 'Swamp German'

        SF Bay area citizen: no entry, missing 'Bay Aryan'.

        Disappointing Belgian entry. Half from Monty Python.

  • Luckily this name is taken on Eve Online.

    Guess by whom ...

    Played by Charlotte Kerr, one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. RIP.

    • by burni2 ( 1643061 )

      I'm guessing that this handle is taken by a guy?

      • Obviously, as the game is only played by guys.
        Well, not true, about 1% - 2% are women.

        I actually don't play her, I only took the name and tried to make a nice portrait for her ...

    • You are so right.
      Every time she is on-screen I have to watch the scene at least three time to be able to finally read the subtitles, I just can't take my eyes off her

  • The production of Space Patrol Orion predates Star Trek by roughly a year

    I guess production is the magic word.

    Because we already celebrated Star Trek's 50th this year. And somehow this show – which also aired in 1966 if we're celebrating its 50th now – predates Star Trek.

  • First the similarities:
    Cliff Mclane / James T. Kirk
    - good looking
    - strong
    - black sheep

    Now the difference

    General Lydia van Dyke (high ranking female) disciplining Cliff Mclane and not getting layed!

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @05:11PM (#52913499)
    The great thing about keeping up with English subtitles derived from German dialog is that you get the challenge of keeping up with 500 words per minute. You could make a brain game or some such thing out of it.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!