The Golden Age of Telefantasy

The Golden Age of Telefantasy

Way back in the 20th century I wrote the book: The Complete Directory to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Television Series: A Comprehensive Guide to the First 50 Years, 1946 to 1996. It is no longer in print and I no longer have copies for sale. Although sometimes there are 2nd hand copies for sale on Amazon.

Although at one point I had hoped to put out an updated to present version that looks like it will never happen, It would be to thick for any printer that I have found. About two years ago I found a plethora of information on older programmes that I did not have before, I had a lot of blanks in the information available to me when the first book came out. So due out in late October or early November 2020 will be a second book! This one is entitled The Golden Age of Telefantasy! If it sells well will in the future be putting out more books covering more recent decades.

About the book:

In the early 1950s, television was in its infancy. In the U.S., outer space adventure series such as Captain Video and His Video Rangers, Space Patrol and Tom Corbett Space Cadet entertained young baby boomers, while adults enjoyed series such as Tales of Tomorrow and Lights Out. In the United Kingdom, programmes like Quatermass Experiment set the standard for television science fiction for decades to come. Many of these programmes have been lost to the ages never to be seen again, while others such as Adventures of Superman and Science Fiction Theatre can easily be found on DVD. Here, in one volume, are all the available details on these and other science fiction, fantasy and horror programmes from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. A total of 48 series and serials are covered with a series overview, cast, and episode details with a synopsis, guest cast, date of broadcast, and writer and director credits. Illustrated with over 300 photographs, many that have not been seen in print for more than 60 years.

This is an abridged book in that no programmes from the 1960s or later are in it. It is expanded in that there is a lot more information on the programmes than were in the first edition. There are also more than 300 pictures, the first book only had them on the covers.

I have also added five series that I did not know about when the first book was published. One from Canada the rest from the United States. One of them was one that was never even broadcast. I also added The Man and the Challenge, a borderline genre programme that I had been aware of. Several people queried me as to why it was not included in the first book. As all of the information on the programme was easily obtainable I included it here.

There are also over a dozen British serials from the 1950s, as well as one from the United States. The definition of serial here is a story that is told over multiple episodes. Serials were much more prevalent in the UK then they were in the USA. These were not included in the first book as I was not including serials in the scope of the book when it first came out.

Some of the programmes in the book will have had little if any new information added, others will have had a substantial amount. Among the programmes that have had a lot of additional information added:

* Atom Squad: added plot details for several episodes, found a couple episodes I did not know about, added writer and director for all and found a couple guest cast members.

* Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: I more than doubled the number of episodes that I have found something about. Still very little known about this one.

* Captain Video and His Video Rangers: Found a plethora of "new" information on this programme, more than any other. Added lots of new background information, expanded the descriptions to many of the episodes. Added guest cast and writers for most of the episodes from the summer of 1952 to the end, as well as the directors to some of the episodes. Corrected some errors and added many episodes I previously knew nothing about. Although still far from complete, this is the most complete guide to Captain Video and His Video Rangers in existence as of this writing.

* Captain Z-Ro: Corrected incorrect background information I had on the locally produced California episodes. I have seen this frequently repeated on the internet. Also added some sparse information that I have been able to find on them. Also have complete credits now to 24 of the 26 filmed episodes.

* Inner Sanctum: Added an unaired pilot episode of the programme I was unaware of. Added guest cast and expanded the plot details to many episodes. Where as had no writer and director to any of the episodes before I found the writer credit to all but 1 and the director to all but 7.

* Johnny Jupiter: Added guest cast and writing credits to almost all the second season episodes, plus guest cast to a few from the first season. Found or expanded the plot details to many of the episodes.

* Lights Out: Substantial information added to this one. Originally was missing plot details for more than 50 episodes, now it is down to one. Many of the others have had plot details expanded. Found a number of missing writer and director credits. Added guest cast to many of the episodes.

* Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers: Added guest cast to almost all the episodes. Found the writer and directors to several of them. Expanded the plot descriptions to several.

* The Secret Files of Captain Video: Added guest cast to many of the episodes. Found the writer to almost all of the episodes and directors to several of them. Expanded or found the plot details to many of them.

* Space Patrol: Added credits, writer director and guest cast to many episodes.

* Tom Corbett, Space Cadet: Found details on all the missing episodes from 1950 and early 1951. Added credits and expanded the plot details to many of the others.

This is not an all inclusive list, others in the book may have had some additional information added. Although I do not consider it substantial.

The book will be 224 pages long, this is the table of contents that lists all of the series covered (The introduction and other random opening pages are 8 pages long):

1 Adventures of Superman
12 Alcoa Presents (aka: One Step Beyond)
22 Atom Squad
26 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (the 1950s one not the Gil Gerard one)
29 Captain Midnight
33 Captain Video and His Video Rangers
51 Captain Z-Ro
57 Commando Cody- Sky Marshal of the Universe
59 Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
61 Electrode 93
63 Escape
64 Five Children & It
65 Flash Gordon
69 H.G. Wells' Invisible Man
73 Inner Sanctum
77 Johnny Jupiter
83 Lights Out
98 Lost Planet / Return to the Lost Planet
101 The Man and the Challenge
105 Man from Tomorrow
106 Man in Armour
108 Men into Space
114 Operation Neptune
116 Out There
118 Quatermass (the 3 BBC serials)
123 Rocky Jones, Space Ranger
126 Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers 133 Science Fiction Theatre
141 The Secret Files of Captain Video
143 The Silver Swan
144 Space Command
146 Space Patrol
163 Space School
165 Stage 13
167 Strange World of Planet X
168 Stranger from Space
169 Tales of the Unknown
170 Tales of Tomorrow
179 Time Is the Enemy
180 Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
191 Topper
199 The Trollenberg Terror
201 The Unforeseen
207 The Veil
210 Volume One
211 Voodoo Factor
213 W.O.G. (World of Giants)
216 Worzel Gummidge Turns Detective

Here are a few sample pages from the book.

The book is now out, the cover price will be $24.99 US.

How can you get a copy?

1)If you live in the USA I am offering copiesat cover price and including media rate shipping, could take up to a week to get to you. If you want priority it takes 2-3 days add $3. If you want to take this route send me a cheque or money order to:
Alan Morton
PO Box 4036
Bartonville, IL 61607
I have discovered that shipping to foriegn countries has gone up substantially since I last posted anything internationally. It will cost (in US$) that shipping to Canada will be $21, United Kingdom and western Europe will be $25 and Australia will be $28. I am currently working on a way to take creit card payments if you are intereted contact me at adm222 and I will let you know whne this has been finalised.
If you are a store owner, real or virtual, you can contact me at adm222 for wholesale pricing.

2) It will by the end of November be available at better comic book shops who ordered it from Diamond.

3) If you live in the midwest USA I will be bringing copies (once it is out) to a number of comic book conventions that I attend, you can get it autographed if you so desire and pay cash. Before the big virus thing came out had them in the following cities: Illinois: Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, St Louis suburbs; Iowa: Des Moines, Quad Cities, Iowa City; Kansas: Kansas City; Nebraska: Omaha; Minnesota: Minneapolis / St. Paul; Indiana: South Bend, Fort Wayne; Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison. The schedule of these is here: Comic Book Conventions

4) After it is out I suspect that will be carrying it they ordered and sold many copies of the first one.