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FLASH: Just in Dale Ames is now connected. The Academy just received an e-mail from Dale and he's working his way into cyberspace. Drop Dale an e-mail and welcome him to the net.

The following request is made by Dale Ames of the Galaxy Patrol. If you don't subscribe to his newsletter, shame on you. He has a lot of nostalgia related 1950's space and western items. See Links page for futher information.

I am trying to obtain the following book:
"The Captain Video Book: The Du Mont Television Station Network Story "
Author: Neil Sullivan Publish By: Loosestrife Press (--( 1992 ) ISBN # 0-9625493-0-4 Price: $22.95

A little history on my search of this book: I have talked with Lossestrife Press over 20 times on the phone in the past two years and still no book. I have been told that three books have been lost during shipping to me; binding on books was messed up; books have been printed up side down; late delivery to Loosestrife on books; shipping problems with help; etc., I will say that Loosestrife has been polite but still no book.

I have heard that the book has been sold recently at conventions and is about to be publish by a new press company.

Can you please help me locate this book or the author "NEIL SULLIVAN" maybe Mr. Sullivan would have a copy if I can locate him. I have tried the library trying to locate book and Neil but no success .

This book would be a great source of data for my club's newspaper THE GALAXY PATROL SPACE-O-GRAM ( publish for 12 years ) and for members to read.

Dale L Ames
144 Russell St.
Worcester, MA
e-mail: (
TEL: (508) 755-3830


Thanks to cadet Jack McKirgan for the following information on ordering the Tom Corbett and associated space heroes tins. I have ordered these tins and they are excellent and you can't beat the price. It appears the tins were issued about 1993 as part of the Nostalgia tin boom of recent years. Anyone who would like a picture of the tins or knives before they order can e-mail me and I'll send along a "quick and dirty" pic of the items. But don't delay, these are discontinued items and may be in short supply.

Price is 3.99 each + P&H. Credit cards OK
Order from : Smokey Mountain Knife Works
Buck Rogers Sign item # 4593787
Flash Gordon Sign item # 4593786
Tom Corbett Sign item # 4593788

Phil Starck from the Smokey Mountain Knife Works website ( was contacted he sends the following information about available Novelty Knifes:

Tom Corbett Novelty Knife NV135 $2.99
Flash Gordon Novelty Knife NV128 $2.99
Buck Rogers Novelty Knife NV136 $2.99

Postage and handling is about $5.00 depending on what part of the country you live in and the service is fast!! Give Smokey Mountain Knife Works a call at the 800 number and tell them you heard about it on the Space Opera Website.


ZAP!!! Ray Gun Book by Leslie Singer.
The Academy has heard from Leslie Singer author of a most excellent research book on space guns of all types and sizes. It is a MUST for any serious collector of space toys. Zap is out of print but Leslie has a few copies left he will be willing to part with. Drop him a line at Don't be shy in writing he has left the following message to fellow cadets:

    I love hearing from collectors and space buffs of all kinds. I'llstay in touch with you and offer whatever I think might interest you and theothers as it occurs to me. A few more book requests will be fine. I have about 20 left and of course I want to save a few for my old age. I don't think Chronicle has any available that they can sell one at a time, but I believe I can find a vendor who has some and I'll let you know. However, it would be fun to have folks contact Chronicle about possibly reprinting the book, and I'll find the properaddress for that, too.

October 1997

The classic "Seven Year Itch" movie with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell is making the rounds again on AMC. It's a good movie, but for Tom Corbett fans.. the first 15 minutes are THE best part of the movie ( even that windy scene with Marilyn) when the son (in his Tom Corbett uniform and his Buck Roger's 1950's Sonic Ray gun) does his going off for the summer scene. I would love to see if there really was a helmet that went with the Tom Corbett uniform. Oh, well a cadet can dream can't he?


Starlog is doing an article on John Fielder's career as Cadet Alfie Higgins in an upcoming issue (around #244 or higher). Keep your eyes open and let the Academy know if you see a copy. The following information on Mr. Fielder was found on a general search of the net:

Source: Farpoint '95 (

JOHN FIEDLER, the distinguished character actor who played Mr. Hengist in the classic episode "Wolf in the Fold." Aside from being remembered for shrieking "Die, Die, Kill you all!" at Captain Kirk, John was also the voice of Piglet in Disney's Winnie the Pooh, and was a regular on the VERY early SF TV Series "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet."

John Fielder Website:
Star Trek Actors' Other Roles FAQ

The Academy did receive a one page bio about Mr. Fielder's career and it does include Star Trek and The Bob Newhart show as Mr. Peterson.


One of the most reoccurring questions received at the Academy is "...where can I get copies of the Tom Corbett Grosset & Dunlap books?" or " Are there still Video's available?" The following were found the week of Oct 14th using net-ferret search program:
NOTE: I have no dealings with anyone from these sites and can not vouch for them. Anyone have any recent information on how much these books are selling for? I have heard that the books can still be bought at library sales and I have picked them up for as low as $5 with dust jackets.

Tom Corbett Books for Sale:

Tom Corbett Videos for sale:

Fox Hills Video,60,17732,00.html
Warner Bros,60,17731,00.html

Wade Williams Collection:
A recent pamphlet received with Dale Ames Galaxy Patrol Newsletter ( click here for address and information about the newsletter ) announced "Out of this World Videos" from Englewood Entertainment with mention of more Tom Corbett and Space Patrol releases. Their internet site ( ) includes many different types of videos but the SCIFI button will lead you to Wade's vintage videos and the Coming Attractions button has an announcement that new releases of Tom Corbett and Space Patrol are on their way. Drop them an e-mail and tell'em you saw the information HERE.

Speaking of Dale Ames Galaxy Patrol Newsletter ---- the following bits of information were taken from the last two newsletters:
August issue of Galaxy Patrol:
EDITOR'S COMMENTS In a small grocery store I saw the results of Ralston's 100birthday celebration . A cereal box stating Ralston's 100 birthday with several lines of text and a smallpicture of Tom Mix. Not much of a birthday party!!! No premiums No comic in side cereal box. Ralston either didn't care or was unmoved by the fact that safes were sky high in 1982 withRalston's tie in for Tom Mix. Remember the Tom Mix watch and Tom cereal bowl. Boy- o- Boy: THELAST GREAT PREMIUM OFFER by a cereal company. Ralston apparently makes more money I profitson other products

October issue of Galaxy Patrol contains the following:
"Stay tuned to Galaxy Patrol Newsletter of a incredible new S.P. offer about to hit the space ways. You G. P.'s (Galaxy Patrollers) will be the first to hear of this offer very soon in this newsletter. Rush out and purchase your Ralston cereal so you can have your box top ready."

If this isn't enough to get you to sub to Galaxy Patrol, I don't know what is.

The following website contains ordering information and a reveiw of the excellent collector's book COLLECTING THE SPACE RACE. A statement in the book's introduction served as a discussion topic in June's Space Forum.
Review of Space Race:

USA's July show TV Guide Looks at SF Television did feature the Command Cadet of the Polaris Unit, Frankie Thomas, answering questions about the "early years" of live television. A scene from the first episode of TC and scenes from Space Patrol and Capt Video were viewed. Alas it was to..o..o..o short and only a passing wave. The majority of the show deals with the 60's (Star Trek) through the present (Star Trek the Next Generation)

Paul did not make it into the COMIC BOOK HALL OF FAME , but there is always next year. Keep checking the Space Opera website for an interview and a Paul Newman Page ... coming soon.

A Sighting is anything that relates to the 1950's Space Opera Shows that is still with us today and reminds us of the "future pasts". They appear in movies, books, billboards and in places you would not even think of. The following were noted over the summer months. If you find any "sightings" please share them with fellow cadets at the Academy. Now, lets blast off into some of the "future pasts" noted:

Space Patrol Reproduction:
Theme restaurants are very popular in our area with antiques and reproductions of collectibles displayed in the eating areas. The Red Robin restaurant in Woodbridge,VA (next to Potomac Mills shopping mall) has a very impressive collection of comic book, science fiction and western reproductions. Many comic book covers of older Dell and Golden Age comics and SF pulps reproductions are used as large metal wall hangings. Among the 30's Frank Paul SF pulp and Felix the Cat covers is a large 5' by 3' metal Space Patrol reproduction. with the Terra V and all of the main characters in oval frames around the Terra V with a moon background. A picture is forth coming. Anyone else seeing any similar wall hangings in use please report in to the Academy.

Polaris Equipment:
From : Allen Harris
I was watching the "Manchurian Candidate" on television the other day. Toward the end of the movie the title character was programmed to assassinate the presidential candidate at the national political conventionin Madison Square Garden. He was in an observation tower above the convention floor with electronics in the background. Among the electronics was a TU-10B Transmitter Tuning Unit - the same as the black box on a shelf of the early Rocket Scout Polaris in "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet." I am familiar with because I had one in my spaceship in my basement. They were for sale as army surplus in the early 1950's for a few dollars and were used on both the above movie and on Tom Corbett because of their availability and appearance. Does anyone know what these devices were really used for?

Tom Corbett:
From: Ed Pippin
The following passage was found on page 11 in the classic SF critical essay reference book IN SEARCH OF WONDER By Damon Knight (Advent:Publishers 2nd edition 1967):

In a reference to the publisher's cover blurb of Karel Capek's War with the Newts Mr. Knight states
"The publisher's cover of course pure space gas, as Tom Corbett would say."
This particular review by Mr Knight could have been from as early as 1957 to as late as 1967. This would indicate that the show had left a lingering impression on many.

Tom Corbett @ Disney World:
While visiting Disney World in September, Cadet Ed and family made a tour of the "new" Tomorrowland. The adventure was interesting and will be featured in a page soon to be uploaded. However, while in Disney World's MGM Studios our favorite Space Opera heroes appeared at the SCI FI Cafe. The eating area looks like a drive - in theater at night with your food booths modeled after 1955 model cars. In the front of the eating area is a big screen with old B-Movie Science Fiction trailers being shown. The show runs 47 minutes and has 1950's newsreels of flying saucer news, "science" of the future type of stories and 50's songs.

While eating, we were surprised to see the opening of the Tom Corbett show flash before our eyes. It blew me away and we came back and filmed the sequence with the Polaris crew in it. The Space Patrol flashed by for a nanosecond later in the show ... but it was only a fast blur a little was seen. There it was Tom Corbett and Space Patrol flashing across the screen. I only wish there could have been more but it's a door for possible future clips.

Space opera at WorldCon:
The Scifi Channel website ( ) provided information on the 1997 World Science Fiction Convention. Among the information bits was the following:

    Space Opera Is Making a Comeback (or did it ever leave?)

    The consensus of panelists Lois McMaster Bujold, Jack Williamson, Catherine Asaro, C.J. Cherryh, Eckhard Schwettmann and Wilhelmina Baird was that space opera was alive and well. "I rather get the impression that it's always been there but its status has gone up and down," Bujold said of the subgenre's often tarnished history. And although all of the writers felt the label "space opera" was sometimes looked down on, Asaro said, "My impression is that it sells." Cherryh concluded, "I'm not too troubled at the thought of writing space opera."

    --Craig E. Engler, Editor
    Thanks CJ for standing up for the Space Opera Fans.

June 1997

TV Guide Special:
The July 5th - 11th TV guide has a summertime review of the current Science Fiction shows on the air as well as some small mention of earlier 1950's shows.

Special SF showing on USA/SCI-FI Network:
USA and the Science Fiction Channel will be airing a one hour salute to Science Fiction on television July 5th (USA network) and July 7th (Sci-Fi Network). William Shanter will narrate shows from " Capt Video's Rangers" to recent shows with some of Mr Shanter's " famous" moments on TV (Twilght Zone and Star Trek). It really would be a show if we could get Frankie Thomas, Jan Merlin or some of the other 50's heroes on!! Make sure the tape recorder is working, there just may be a picture or two of one of our favorite characters from the "early" years.

Fox Network Science Fiction salute:
Around the first or second week in June, Fox studios repeated a special on Science Fiction and early television on their network. I missed it..again!!! Jan Merlin was contacted by someone at the network or local station and was told he would have a clip on the show. Did anyone tape it? If so, would they be interested in trading tapes for the show? Drop a line to Cadet Ed if you did. Thanks

May 1997

Kudo's to Ed Rowles Artwork:
Jan Merlin (Roger Manning) was in contact with the Academy and will appear on a new page soon. Jan was impressed by Ed Rowles's version of the Polaris featured on the opening page of Space Opera. He related the following story after seeing a copy of the Space Opera site:
"....I was reminded vividly of something Frankie , Al and I gave to everyone connected with the show as a gift (Christmas) one year. ... We wanted to make a joint gift from the three of us and I designed a copy of the Polaris as a set of silver cuff links and tieclip which we had made up by a local silversmith. The depition by Rowles is very close to what our gift looked like. I think the ship was about 2 inches in length and the cuff links were 3/4 inches long."
Thanks Jan and thanks to Ed Rowles for his artwork. You may purchase the rocketship as well as other artwork from Ed. Check out Ed's page for details.

Tom Corbett Author: UPDATE 5/25/97
An interview with Paul S. Newman in the January 1997 issue of Comic Book Marketplace revels that he was the author of the Tom Corbett Newspaper Strip and the Dell comics. Hopefully more information may be on the way. Stay tuned. UPDATE: 5/97 Paul Newman granted an interview to Cadet Ed and has shared a lot of good information for the site. The updates will be added over the next few weeks with additional pages added to the comics and newspaper strip pages. So stay tuned. He is still writing and has been nominated for the COMICS HALL OF FAME AWARD.

April 1997
The Polaris was sighted:
Did you know that C.J. Cherryh is a fan of Tom Corbett and pays a passing salute to the Polaris in her book, Rimrunners? Anyone else spot any references? You may want to check out C.J.'s website for information on any new books she may have in the works.

Who was that masked man?
The recent laser copy release of THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER has sparked some flurry of e-mail about one of the participants in the movie. If you look real close you may see a former Space Cadet under the mask that Kirk Douglas was suppose to be wearing. When Kirk Douglas was given his special award at the 1996 Oscars, the film clip they showed from MESSENGER was supposed to be him under the mask disguises, but it was really JAN MERLIN!! Our very own Roger Manning of Tom Corbett fame. Jan still makes it to some of the Western Festivals due to his roles in many Westerns and has a recent article in STARLOG recounting his career over the years. The jacket notes of the laser disc revealed the "secret". Although this has been an open secret for many years, it good to see Jan get some well deserved credit. If anyone has access to the new laser release with the "Jan Merlin " revelation in it, please pass a copy of the text to the Academy for others to read and enjoy.

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