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Solar Guards - Futuristic space cadets on the children's sci-fi series TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET/CBS/ABC/NBC/1950-52.

Cast of TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET

Set in the year A.D. 2350-55, Tom Corbett (Frankie Thomas), a curly-headed teenager attended Space Academy, where he hoped to become a Rocketeer in the Solar Guards.

Other members of the Space Academy included:

  • Carter Blake as Commander Arkwright
  • Michael Harvey as Captain Larry Strong, the leader (1950)
  • Edward Bryce as Captain Steve Strong, the leader (1951-52)
  • Cadet Roger Manning, the Radar Man onboard the rocket cruiser Polaris. Cadet Manning was the creator of some unique phrases like: "You Venusian Swamp Rat!" and "Blow It Out Your Jets!"
  • Al Markim as Cadet Astro, the Venusian Navigator (a prototype to the Vulcan Mr. Spock of STAR TREK)
  • Margaret Garland as Dr. Joan Dale, Tom Corbett's girlfriend.
  • John Fiedler as Cadet Alfie Higgins
  • Frank Sutton as Cadet Rattison
  • Jack Grimes as Cadet T. J. Thistle

The Space Cadet insignia was an upright cigar shaped rocket with two landing fins resting on a bolt of lighting.

Space Cadet Insignia Badge - TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET

When Tom Corbett enrolled into the academy he said "As a boy I dreamed of piloting spaceships. When I was old enough, I took all the exams and was admitted to the best school in the universe-Space Academy.


 [Voices of announcer Jackson Beck and Frankie Thomas as Tom Corbett] 

Narrator:  "TOM CORBETT...SPACE CADET! 
Tom Corbett: "Standby to raise ship! Blastoff minus five...four...three...two...one...ZERO!!!!"
 Narrator:  "As roaring rockets blastoff to distant planets and far-flung stars, we take you to the age of the conquest of space with TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET!"

[Alternate opening]

 Narrator: 

"Space Academy, USA in the World Beyond Tomorrow. Here the Space Cadets train for duty on distant planets. In roaring rockets they blast through the millions of miles from Earth to far-flung stars and brave the dangers of cosmic frontiers, protecting the liberties of the planets, safe guarding the cause of universal peace in the age of the conquest space. 

 [Program closing] 

Tom Corbett:

"So long for now, and spaceman's luck to all of you." 

[Alternate closing spoken in earlier episodes]

Narrator:

"Don't miss the next action-packed episode, when the space cadets are faced with new, mysterious dangers in their exploration of the planet never before seen by Earth mortals." 


Unlike most of the space adventures of the 1950s which featured evil monsters, and crazed criminals/scientists, the Space Cadet plots were generally men against nature such as struggles with weightlessness, spaceships drifting in space, and visits to strange planets like the jungles and swamps of Venus. Very rarely did the Space Cadets reach for a gun, but when they did it was a Freezer ray to stop/not damage a person.

On the final episode of the series the script read: "Where are we going, Tom? Out Boy, Further than we've ever gone before!"

Official Space Caset Ring - TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET
Official Space Cadet Ring

More than a decade later, the sci-fi series STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69 opened with the narration "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilization, to boldly go where no man has gone before!"

Based on the Robert Heinlein novel "Space Cadet", the series was produced as a fifteen-minute (seen three times a week) show on CBS and ABC; the NBC and DuMont versions (1950-55) were extended to half-hour shows and aired on Saturday mornings. See also - OATHS & PLEDGES: "I solemnly swear to safeguard..." 


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