Space Patrol

Space Patrol was an American science fiction Space Adventure television program that aired from 1950 to 1955. For most of it’s run, it aired 6 days a week, producing a 15 minute episode every weekday in the tradition of the soap opera (or I suppose, the Space Opera), and a half hour episode every Saturday. It aired 52 weeks a year, producing more than a thousand episodes of television (in addition to several hundred episodes of the Radio Program!) All of these episodes were produced Live, with little rehearsal, and broadcast live out to the world.

Video tape would not enter in to common use until 5 years after the show went off the air.

They were Kinescoped for re-broadcast on the east coast, and for future re-runs, but most of the 15 minute daily episodes and many of the half hour weekly episodes are lost, and there has been no officially sanctioned release of any episodes of the show, although various purveyors of DVD-Rs have released collections of wildly varying quality and completion, and Kinescopes appear on the secondhand market with some frequency.

Here are the current New Ellijay Television Collections:

Weekly Episodes

Daily Episodes

These collections are nowhere near comprehensive, they do not include most episodes currently available on the internet (such as this excellent collection of more than 80 episodes) but they do include many episodes that are otherwise entirely unavailable online, or that are only available in much worse quality.

We are adding new items on a regular basis. Most of my efforts right now are centered around some homemade (circa 1985) VHS tapes of 15 minute daily episodes that we acquired from a private collection. These take a lot of work, because we have to babysit the transfer and take time to clean up the VHS artifacts, but more significantly they take a lot of time because there is so little information about the daily show that identifying the broadcast date is often an exercise in futility. Most of our recent uploads are from between March and May of 1950, and feature Kit Corey as the commander (a character who was replaced in May with his “brother” Buzz Corey, played by Ed Kimmer, who would be with the show until it went off the air in ’55) but exact dates are almost impossible to find.

When we’re out of Daily Episodes, we’ll get back to updating the weekly episodes. Our ultimate goal is to build the definitive collection of the show, identifying which episodes exist, and which ones are still missing, and pointing to the best available sources for the episodes which survive.

We have a long way to go, but we’ve also made some significant progress.

If you’d like to help us continue this work, please consider sponsoring us or signing up for my patreon.

Since the show was a live broadcast, the only remaining copies are kinescopes. The kinescope process can produce very watchable footage, but it will only ever be as good as the television from which it was filmed, and then it will be limited by the quality of the telecine transfer used to convert it back to video. Many episodes of Space Patrol, especially the earliest Daily episodes, are only available in fairly low quality transfers, from fairly rough kinescropes. If it feels like you’re watching a low contrast VHS, you might be!