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Old July 28 2010, 04:38 PM   #23
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Re: Is Spock the first non-human character to make regular TV appearan

Well, Wikipedia claims that the 1949-55 series Captain Video featured a robot named I TOBOR as "an important, semi-regular character," but that's an exaggeration, since it only appeared in a few episodes. So I don't think that counts as making regular appearances.

Astro from Tom Corbett, a human born on Venus, has already been mentioned, but he would only count as an alien culturally rather than biologically. There was a Flash Gordon TV series in 1954-5, so I was thinking maybe it might've had Ming and Aura as regulars, but instead it just had Flash, Dale, and Zarkov on various far-future space adventures. They visited lots of alien planets, but no aliens made regular appearances as far as I can tell.

Ahh, wait, here we go! In 1954's Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, the main recurring antagonist was Queen Cleolanta or Cleolanthe (Patsy Parsons), ruler of the planet Ophiuchius. Her earliest listed appearance on IMDb is April 10, 1954.

I found another couple of puppet aliens, Johnny Jupiter and his compatriots, from a 1953-4 kids' show. As the name suggests, they were from Jupiter.

Still, I think the prize for first regular TV alien goes to George Reeves as Superman, beginning in September 1952.

Meanwhile, over in Japan in 1963, we've got a couple of famous cases of dead people being resurrected as androids, namely Mighty Atom (Astro Boy) and 8 Man. Plus various other aliens in '60s anime such as Tezuka's The Amazing 3.

So a list of regular or recurring nonhuman characters in science fiction television prior to Star Trek would look something like this (limiting it to sentient aliens and robots):

Sep. 1952: Kal El/Clark Kent/Superman (The Adventures of Superman, US)
Mar. 1953: Johnny Jupiter et al. (Johnny Jupiter, US)
Apr. 1954: Queen Cleolanta (Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, US)
Jul. 1959: Mr. Squiggle (Mr. Squiggle, Australia)
Sep. 1962: Rosie (The Jetsons, US)
Oct. 1962: Robert the Robot (Fireball XL5, UK)
Jan. 1963: Mighty Atom/Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu/Astro Boy, Japan)
Sep. 1963: Uncle Martin (My Favorite Martian, US)
Nov. 1963: 8 Man (Eitoman, Japan)
Nov. 1963: The Doctor (Doctor Who, UK)
Sep. 1964: AF709/Rhoda Miller (My Living Doll, US)
Feb. 1965: Adam Suisse (The Stranger, Australia)
May 1965: Space Ace (Uchuu Esu/Space Ace, Japan)
Jun. 1965: Popi (Planet Boy Popi/Prince Planet, Japan)
Jun. 1965: Bokko, Nokko, and Pukko (The Amazing 3, Japan)
Sep. 1965: Robot B-9 (Lost in Space, US)
Jul. 1966: Ultraman (Ultraman, Japan)

This is probably not an exhaustive list, but it's clear that Spock was a latecomer.
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