Okay Video Rangers! We have something a little different for you out there today, neither comedy(well, intentionally anyway) or classic, but wonderful in it's own low-budget little way. It's an episode from the Dumont Network's legendary Childrens Serial CAPTAIN VIDEO, and they're rare as hens teeth as most Dumont shows are today.
This one is totally from hunger, Dumont apparently gave them a $25 a week props and set budget, so you have space guys in business suits wearing football helmets sitting in office chairs with cardboard cutouts stuck to them wearing the floor managers headsets pretending they're on a spaceship,and to fill out what was obviously a fifteen-minute show into a half-hour, in the middle of the damn thing, one of the staff announcers turns to a TV monitor and "tunes-in" to a report from Captain Video's Texas Rangers, and we get a reel from some PD PRC oater or the like (a cookie to anyone who can nail the film), before we get back to Captain Video's own adventures.
But somehow it's wonderful in it's own funky way, in those pre-CGI days, kids actually had to use their imaginations and play along, and gee, that generation seemed to have grown up with better abilities to think and create than this current attention-deficit group, maybe CAPTAIN VIDEO had a hand in that.
The show ran from 1949-55, and was oddly enough, one of Dumonts few successful series. The budgets went up a bit as time went on, but this is an early episode so you can enjoy the ingenuity that went into just getting it on the air. Dumont's studio in New York was an old Grants Department Store, and all their surviving shows from this period have that big booming echo from shooting in that huge, cavernous barn. This is when television was fun.
Calling Captain Video, over.........Come In Captain Video, over........
RICHARD M ROBERTS
Bucking for Benny? Crazy for Carson? Advocating Amos and Andy? Need to know more about Uncle Miltie's legendary... joke file? Tune in here. (Rabbit Ears not included)
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