This is a show I’d love to cover for Retrospeculative TV, but I can’t find the darn thing:
It’s called Raumpatrouille Orion, or “Space Patrol Orion.“ It was created in 1966 in West Germany (Remember West Germany? Man, that takes me back!), and was your basic Star Trek planet-of-the-week adventure series, though appearing at roughly the same time as Trek, it doesn’t appear to have been a knockoff. It does share the mid-sixties idealistic utopia hoo-hah, though. Here’s a translation of the voice-over introduction:
"What may sound like a fairy tale today may be tomorrow's reality. This is a fairy tale from the day after tomorrow: There are no more nations. There is only mankind and its colonies in space. People have settled on faraway stars. The ocean floor has been made habitable. At speed still unimaginable today, space vessels are rushing through our Milky Way. One of these vessels is the ORION, a minuscule part of a gigantic security system protecting the Earth from threats from outer space. Let's accompany the ORION and her crew on their patrol at the edge of infinity."
As you can see from the clip, the show is just dripping with ‘60s style from each open pore, even if it’s on a budget so slight it hopes we won’t notice if an iron is passed off as futuristic space controls of some sort. As with all ‘60s genre shows, it’s both very cheap and very expensive. The effects may be threadbare, but they’re really costly to do. (And most of them are in-camera) It ran seven episodes before they ran out of money, and that was that.
Despite its short run, however, the show remains a touchstone of German fen culture, and there have been 150 novels - even by Trek standards, that’s a lot! - based on the series.
Frankly, this seems *EXACTLY* the kind of thing we should be reviewing here on Retrospeculative TV. I’d love to do the show, but as far as I can tell, it was never dubbed or subtitled in English. I’ve never been able to find it on my own, so I’m mentioning it to you fine folks here, in the hopes that perhaps one or more of you can point me in the right direction to obtain a copy.
Anyone know anything?
(Special thanks to Fred of the Fredosphere for reminding me of my long-lingering love for things I’ve never seen. His original post is here: http://www.fredosphere.com/2010/07/whats-german-for-star-trek.html#comments )