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A 1954 Science Fiction TV series, following the adventures of the titular hero and his group of friends. The program was a Television Serial, its episodes arranged into definitive story arcs (commonly three episodes each, though there were a few stand-alone episodes scattered in as well), a number of which have been edited together into movie format. Two such Compilation Movies, "Manhunt In Space" and "Crash Of The Moons", were featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000; several others are available on DVD.The show starred Richard Crane as square-jawed Rocky Jones; Scotty Beckett as Plucky Comic Relief "Winky"; Sally Mansfield as Vena Rey; Robert Lyden as Tagalong Kid Bobby; and Maurice Cass as Professor Newton. Other regulars and semi-regulars included Rocky's boss, Secretary Drake, and frequent villain Queen Cleolanta (she prefers the title "Suzerain"), along with her primary henchmen Atlasan and Lasvon; Atlasan's wife Trinka also plays an important role in one arc.Story arcs available on DVD include:
"Beyond The Moon" (aka "Beyond The Curtain Of Space")
Future Slang: "Sparkling stardust!" "Roaring rockets!" "Jumping satellites!" "Super cosmic!" "Mighty meteor!" "Rattle my rocket reflexes!" and the like. Now with Added Alliterative Appeal for extra annoying!
Aliens Speaking English: Lampshaded at one point with alien ruler Bovarro and his wife who occasionally lapse into their own (German/Russian-esque) language. Partially averted in "Menace From Outer Space" in which differing alien societies are shown to have their own languages, though they also speak English.
Two of Your Earth Minutes: Averted; apparently, planet Ophecius uses the same Gregorian calendar as the U.S.Earth the United Worlds.
Invisibility Cloak: Professor Newton's "Cold Light" device from the "Manhunt in Space" arc.
It Runs on Nonsensoleum: the aforementioned Cold Light device works by reversing the principle that mirages are caused by the desert's intense heat distorting the light itself.
The VisioGraph works by reflecting "positive rays". But even its magic is limited by some unspecified range and some shielding in walls, basically as the plot demands.
In the first story arc, Newton Observatory is a place on Ophecius, but in the second story arc, it is on Earth. Either there are two identical observatories, one on each planet, or the location inexplicably moved between planets.
Griff is exploded while driving away in a car on Earth by a magic Deus ex Machina button. By the next episode, he has his own spaceship and is a space pirate.
Particularly notable example: When Rocky and Winky get into a brawl with guards during a prison break, collaborator Trinka does not grab a vase or some such to klonk the guards with; rather, she runs off to hide in a corner. To be kinda fair, after the fight she does help lock the guards in a room full of sleeping gas.
Also poor Cleolanta's henchmen are pretty much all contemptuous of the idea of a woman in charge; they condescend to her constantly. No wonder she's evil.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: the Gypsy Moons Pozita and Negato, and their respective world governments. Appropriate since they are metaphors of the positive and negative poles of electricity and magnetism.
Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: It's implied, if not outright stated, that most of the series takes place in — and thus that the United Worlds are confined to — our solar system. Let's see: in addition to our nine planets (one of which got Demoted to Extra), we also have Fornax, Casa 7, Pah, and Ophecius, not to mention the Gypsy Moons; and Ophecius is stated to have a number of allies as well.
Series Continuity Error: Manages to get a lot of little things with their science wrong from story arc to story arc. Things like how the spaceships work, where and how the VizeoGraph functions, locations/functions of instruments, and duties of personnel. Then again, most of these are dictated by the plot.
Shown Their Work: The series seems to have had writers who knew something about space as multiple scientific theories come into play. For example, there's the previously mentioned aversion of Gravity Sucks, as well as in one episode it is pointed out that two moons orbit around each other, which is a theory as to how Pluto has its moon, Charon.
TV's Frank: For years now Dr. Forrester has been trying to get me to not brush after eating! He's tried everything: pleading; scolding; electroshock therapy; attaching a clothespin to my -
Dr. Forrester: That's enough, Frank.
Notable Original Music: Tom and Crow's serenade to Gypsy, "Under a Gyp-Gyp-Gypsy Moon", which very nearly degenerates into a Bawdy Song before Joel pulls the plug.
Techno Babble: Crow's latest spec script, inspired by Rocky Jones and Star Trek, takes this to extremes, prompting Servo to flip out.
Servo: Why don't you light a match to this stinkburger and never put pen to paper until the mountains crumble into the sea! Joel: ...Servo, c'mon; we've got "blankacrukensnorken" sign. Crow (offscreen):I heard that!
Ironic, in that the movie itself contains precious little Techno Babble.
Well, except for the explanation of Cold Light. Just as a mirage is caused by hot light, "cold" light makes things invisible! (Mary Jo Pehl: "Well, I can see how tha-HUH?!?")