Williamsburg Film Festival
And Solar Guard Reunion
March 6 - 8, 2003
The 2003 Solar Guard Reunion came to an end after the Banquet on the 8th of March, but the memories of the fun we had will continue on the web pages of the Internet. The cadets had come by plane, train, bus and car. There were cadets from Washington State, California, Texas, Ohio, Mass, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. The following is just a brief update that will be expanded into separate pages with additional pictures.
The 2003 Williamsburg Film Festival provided a unique opportunity for fans of the 1950's TV Science Fiction to meet the stars from the early shows and to meet each other for the first time. Both the festival organizers and the many western fans made the cadets of the Academy feel welcome.
highlight of the festival was the interview panel with Jan Merlin, Ed
Kemmer and Frankie Thomas followed by an original radio play by Cadet
Jack McKirgan. The play combined the Space Patrol and Tom Corbett characters
into a lively performance that was a big hit with everyone. Jack did an
outstanding scripting and directing job for the play, which was a highlight
for festival attendees. Frankie Thomas wore his Tom Corbett uniform and
was joined by Jean-Noel in Cadet Happy's Space Patrol uniform. We felt
the loss of Cadet Chuck Lassen as Astro but the play went on and was enjoyed
by all. The sound effects added to this year's presentation and everyone
in the play had a great time.
Both video and audio of the play were recorded and will be available through the Williamsburg Festival website. The full script, courtesy of Cadet Jack, will be on the Solar Guard website soon.
Warren Chaney updated us on his Space Patrol project with a preview of the New Space Patrol cards. He passed around the prototype of the cards for our viewing pleasure and yes, he counted and got them all back :- ) Current plans include printing 1,000 sets of the Space Patrol cards, a new Space Patrol comic and a proposed documentary on the Space Patrol program. It was a real treat seeing the pre production cards at the festival and we are looking forward to the release of the cards. Please remember that this type of project is hard to place in a timetable and more information about the project will be online as the project progresses. Thank you Warren for sharing your plans and for doing such a great job with the cards and as the narrator in the radio play.
SPACE PATROL BOOK - IT'S finished!!! Jean-Noel had the final manuscript in hand at the festival and she will be turning over the manuscript to the book publisher the week after the Festival ends. With some luck (Spaceman's Luck :-) the book will be released this Fall. By the size of the manuscript, it looks like an in-depth analysis of Space Patrol. Good Luck Jean-Noel and thanks for the update and your part as Cadet Happy in the play.
Jan Merlin met Mike Dodd, one of the authors for the Starman Series books, at the festival and had some very nice things to say about the Starman series books (see Starman page for more information). He enjoyed the Starman book and felt that the authors had delivered exactly what they promised, a good SF adventure in the tradition of the Dig Allen and Tom Corbett books.
Did you know that William Schallert was on Space Patrol? Mr. Schallert appeared on several Space Patrol shows before he appeared on Star Trek. He also appeared in many SF films such as, Man from Planet X (which was shown at the festival), Them,The incredible Shrinking Man and The Monolith Monsters. His participation in the early Space Patrol episodes was a surprise to many Space Patrol fans at the festival. He is best known for his "Dad" roles that he played on the Patty Duke Show and was "Boarder Hodges" in the Torkelsons that ran a few years back. Look for Mr. Schallert in the Totem Heads of Mars Space Patrol shows. In reality, we had four actors from the early science fiction shows at the festival.
Three video sessions and two after hour viewing times were available for cadets this year. By all accounts the videos were a lot of fun for everyone. Cadet Mike Elmo brought his copy of Bob Burns MAJOR MARS for the cadets to watch, which we did .... twice!!! This is without a doubt one of the funniest spoofs we have ever seen. Thanks Bob for making us laugh. The episodes of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, Space Patrol, Capt Midnight and Men in Space led to many interesting discussions. We even saw one of the Disney's Man In Space episodes with Von Braun and some great Bonestell artwork. We had many more shows we could have watched but they will have to be saved for another festival. Our thanks to David Bruce at Swapsale for providing excellent quality video's for the video shows. The large screen makes a big difference in the enjoyment of the shows and having good quality prints added much to our viewing pleasure.
Solar Guard display was a gathering point for cadets to look at Jack McKirgan's
models and other items brought to the festival by cadets. Jack Hagerty
and Jon Rogers had their SPACESHIP HANDBOOK and Jon's latest artwork available
for purchase. Cadet Mike Elmo brought his models of the XV2 and the XV3.
Cadet Elliott Swanson joined the group with his reproductions of his Space
Patrol cockpit and Space Patrol gun holster. Ask Elliott what he found
in the dealer's room. Not everything had a western theme. Cadet Allen
Harris had his decal designs for the Tom Corbett and Space Patrol emblems
for review and Jon Rogers provided proof that you could fit two jet boats
into the Polaris midsection.
Solar Guard Display and Dealer's Room
Another Solar Guard Reunion in 2004 ???? Everyone was ready for another one next year, but we need to start now. Those who attended had many good ideas for next year and the Academy will need to hear from this year's attendees with their impressions, suggestions and ideas for next year.
We would like
to thank the Williamsburg Film Festival committee for making all of the
cadet's feel welcome and comfortable while at the show. Their hard work
in setting up the festival allowed us a place to met and enjoy the old