Todd Gault's Movie Serial Experience

Todd Gault's Film Serial Experience: Movie serials, cliffhangers and reviews. A gallery of movie serial stars.
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"Captain Video"; Columbia, 1951

When the serial enthusiast thinks of science fiction from the fifties one name comes to mind as the preeminant sci-fi hero, Judd Holdren. His first serial was playing the title role in "Captain Video" (1951) by Columbia Pictures. This fifteen chapter adaptation of the early TV show had Holdren trying to prevent conqueror Vultura from enslaving the Universe with the help of Earth scientist Dr. Tobor.

Holdren's next serial was for Republic. "Zombies of the Stratosphere" (1952) had Holdren climbing into Republic's Rocketman suit to stop an invading band of Martians from blowing up the Earth in order to enjoy our more favorable orbit around the sun.

It was back to Columbia for his third and final serial, "The Lost Planet" (1953). He was journalist Rex Barrow who inadvertently discovers the secret planet Ergro from where the evil Dr. Grood is trying to conquer the Earth with an army of robots.Republic then hired Holdren to wear a domino mask with the Rocketman suit to make twelve TV episodes of "Commando Cody, Sky Marshall of the Universe", a character originated by George Wallace in the serial "Radar Men From the Moon" (1952). Oddly enough the TV episodes first played in theaters as an episodic serial before being syndicated on TV for a limited run in 1955.

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