Friday, July 15, 2016

Raumschiff Orion

I don't know much at all about this obscure German SF series other than it was made in 1966 and lasted only 7 episodes and are around an hour in length.  I've not watched it yet either as I just ran across it today on the web.  From what I gather, it is Germany's classic Space Opera series and launched just before Star Trek: TOS and has a similar cult status (at least in the European countries).  Produced in a serious tone with the famous German actor, Dietmar Schonherr, and then discontinued after only the one short season due to it being too costly to produce.  I've also read that today it's dated as one might surmise though for diehard SF fans cheesiness never deterred any true fan. 

IMDb says:   Commander McLane and the crew of the fast space cruiser Orion patrol Earth's outposts and colonies in space and defend humanity from the alien 'Frogs'.

The poster, Raumpilot Rudy,  who was gracious enough to post some of the episodes on Youtube  further states:  Raumpatrouille -- Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion (literal translation: Space Patrol -- The Fantastic Adventures of the Spaceship Orion), also known as Raumpatrouille Orion, and Space Patrol Orion in English, was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning 17 September 1966, six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972).

In the series nations no longer exist and Earth is united. Flying saucers, such as spaceship Orion, are flown by humans, whilst the aliens fly fighter jet-like contraptions. The titular ship of the series title, "Spaceship Orion", (German: "Raumschiff Orion") is portrayed as being a fast space cruiser (German: Schneller Raumkreuzer), the newest starship in mankind's fleet and the fastest spacecraft ever created by humans.

In an entertaining and ironic way the show tells the story of the American Commander Cliff Allister McLane (Dietmar Schönherr), an Earth starship captain and his loyal crew. He is Orion's commander in the developing war against an alien race called the Frogs. He is notoriously defiant towards his superiors.

 What sounds like a fairy tale today, may be tomorrow's reality. Here's a fairy tale from the day after tomorrow. There are no more nations. Only humanity and its colonies in space. Distant stars have been settled. The ocean beds are inhabited. Space ships cross the galaxy at unimaginable speeds. One such ship is the Orion. A small link in a great chain of defense against threats from space. Let's join Orion and her crew on patrol at the edges of infinity...

There are six episodes up over at Youtube.  Here's the first one, and you can find the others over there as well.  


At 12:43 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Yes, effects come well below script to a scifi fan. A reviewer of “Buffy” shrugs off the effects by saying “You wouldn’t look at the stage at a performance of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and say, ‘That TOTALLY doesn’t look like Venice – this play sucks!’” One hopes not anyway. The script doesn’t have to be Shakespeare either. “Camp” works as well as “classic.” That’s not to say we don’t appreciate good effects. We do. But they are a lagniappe, not the main meal.

I haven’t heard of this one – or if I did I don’t remember it which for practical purposes is the same thing.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

True. It's nice when they both work equally. Unfortunately that's not always the case, but most SF fans can overlook a few flaws (or even a lot), which is not to say we aren't a picky bunch.

I'd not heard of it either, which is one reason for the post. I love to find a few SF treats that are off the beaten track.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

I've never heard of this one either, but it sounds intriguing. Interesting that the German production selected an American to be the main character. But something similar happened in "The First Spaceship to Venus", with the heroic American leading the international crew.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yes, and the same can be said for the first Godzilla Japanese film with the picking of Raymond Burr. I guess they felt like they wanted a good crossover actor that would have broad appeal. The same is true for Nick Adams in Godzilla vs Monster Zero. There are probably other examples, but those two came to mind first.


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