50s Television Series

pogopossum

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I have become intrigued by very old TV anthology series.
Specifically, I have been watching episodes of Tales of Tomorrow which ran for 85 episodes, 1951-1953 on ABC.
30 minute episodes starred such stalwarts as Boris Karloff and Rod Steiger as well as (then) newbies such as Joanne Woodward ,Paul Newman, James Dean and Leslie Neilson.
It was developed for TV by Theodore Sturgeon and was reportedly the inspiration for Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. Quoting Wikipedia it included treatments of stories by " Arthur C. Clarke. Other early science fiction writers whose work was reflected in the series included Fredric Brown ("The Last Man on Earth" and "Age of Peril"), Philip Wylie ("Blunder"), C. M. Kornbluth ("The Little Black Bag") and Stanley G. Weinbaum ("The Miraculous Serum")" As far as I can tell,all episodes are available on YouTube.
Don't get carried away. Most of the episodes are pretty melodramatic and barely get a story across in 30 minutes. Still enjoyable.

Other early series that I am aware of include: Out There. 1951-2. Only 12 episodes of 30 minutes each, but includes stories by Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, John D. MacDonald, Murray Leinster, & Frank Belknap Long. Plan to watch it tonight.

Science Fiction Theatre. 78 episodes, 1955-57. Had (mostly future) stars including Basil Rathbone, Kenneth Tobey, Victor Jory, Gene Barry, DeForest Kelley, Vincent Price. and Ruth Hussey. This one actually purported to deal with actual scientific themes, although it was at least as melodramatic as the others.

There were other SF attempts, but they were mostly adventure series like Flash Gordon and Tom Corbett. I actually have a vague memory of watching the made for TV Flash as a kid.

Two years after Science Fiction Theatre the big gun arrived, The Twilight Zone. 1959-64. Definitely adult, polished and professional. Easily the equal of mundane TV. But no need to describe it here.Streams on multiple free and paid services.

The shows listed were broadcast in the US although some episodes were produced elsewhere. Early British & non-US shows? Educate me.

I believe that the early series are mostly available on YouTube. According to reports some of the SFT are not,caused by deterioration of early color stock. Only watched the first series in depth,but plan to do more.
Which I would encourage others to see where we came from.

Reactions?
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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Rocky Jones Space Ranger also there Flash Gordon series produced in the 1950's

In the UK, you have Quatermass series
 

pogopossum

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I saw Quatermass in the US. I believe that it was on our Public Broadcasting System.
I think that I only saw two of the original series, which, looking it up, were in 53' & 58'
I only have any real memories of one, Quatermass & The Pit.
The reference that I found said that only the first two episode of the 55' still exist, but the others are still around I would guess that the first series was trashed or recorded over, as was much of the early Who.
Thanks for the reminder.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
20,622
I saw Quatermass in the US. I believe that it was on our Public Broadcasting System.
I think that I only saw two of the original series, which, looking it up, were in 53' & 58'
I only have any real memories of one, Quatermass & The Pit.
The reference that I found said that only the first two episode of the 55' still exist, but the others are still around I would guess that the first series was trashed or recorded over, as was much of the early Who.
Thanks for the reminder.

The 1958 tv series is on dvd and it's terrific ! :cool:
 

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