'Space Patrol Orion' West German 1966 TV series & ST:TOS

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by jefferiestubes8, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    Star Trek TOSpremiered in September 1966.and
    Space Patrol Orion AKA Raumpatrouille Orion
    (literal translation: Space Patrol – The Fantastic Adventures of the Spaceship Orion) both premiered on TV in September of 1966 and ran for only 7 episodes in black and white.
    premise:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raumpatrouille
    1:50 of Raumpatrouille, episode 2: Planet out of Orbit. video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR8aSPT81pA


    Did ARD in West Germany hear of Gene Roddenberry's pilot in 1964 and create their show?

    check out some of the Raumpatrouille Orion
    Fictional Technology in Space Patrol [at the link]
    Quite a few similarities.


    Raumpatrouille Orion is
    unrelated to the USA 1950 radio & TV show
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've heard of the show - there are a number of clips on Youtube.
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRtBL-eslvM[/yt]
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hobEAZ5N3L4&feature=related[/yt]

    None of the similarities cited are strong evidence of influence by Star Trek, because none of those things are remotely original to Star Trek and most such tropes date back to the 1930s and 40s. German science fiction has quite a space opera legacy of its own - it's more likely that the writers were reading Perry Rhodan.

    Heck, one of the little pieces of tech cited - the "wrist communicator" - was familiar to generations of American kids from the Dick Tracy comic strip long before Trek was conceived.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Quite right. Too many people forget that science fiction was thriving in literature long before its concepts were adopted by film and television. As a rule, cinematic SF lags about 20 years behind the prose. Star Trek didn't innovate so much as popularize, taking well-established conventions and tropes of prose SF and exposing them to a mass audience for the first time.
     
  4. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Definitely so. If we're going to attribute every sf show that preceded Trek as its source material, we're ignoring 50 years of sf from the minds of Doc Smith, AE Van Vogt, Ted Sturgeon, L Sprague de Camp to name a few, all of which have a lot more bearing on what Star Trek was than Rampatroille Orion or even Fireball XL-5.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And let's not forget John W. Campbell's 1930 novel Islands of Space, which postulated an FTL starship employing a drive that "warped" space and which was powered by matter-antimatter annihilation. And Jack Williamson coined countless terms that became standard in SF and reality, such as "terraforming," "android," and "genetic engineering."
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As far as I know, Orion came before Star Trek.

    And they had high ranking female officers commanding starships and giving McClane orders loooong before Star Trek ever thought about that one. ;)
    Yet at the same time, the society depicted in that show was much more militaristic. Aliens are always enemies, and there were also "colonies" of people who disagreed with the government... think about that what you will.
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The sets for Orion look fantastic - maybe too simple and not very realistic, but they have some real scale and imagination.
     
  8. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    'Islands of Space' novel & concept from Jack Williamson

    Just to clarify not 1930
    "Islands of Space"
    Author John W. Campbell, Jr.
    Publisher Fantasy Press
    Publication date 1957
    Pages 224 pp
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islands_of_Space

    and also Jack Williamson
    possibly came up with a transporter:
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: 'Islands of Space' novel & concept from Jack Williamson

    As you yourself quoted, the 1957 book was an expansion of the original stories. I'm referring to the original work of that title, which saw print in 1931. So I'm off by only one year, not 27.

    The book can be read online here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20988

    As for teleportation, that concept was already over 60 years old when Williamson wrote One Against the Legion.

    http://www.magicdragon.com/UltimateSF/thisthat.html#beam
     
  10. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    You should seek this one out. I acquired it after this thread and some of the FX work and sets are really good and there's a lot going on. It has a real cool vibe to it all. Make sure you get the English subtitles if you don't speak German. :)
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think I'll do that, thanks.
     
  12. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm resurrecting this 3 year old thread because I recently started watching that show again. It was difficult to find subtitles for it.

    And here is what the show would have looked like in color, and I have to say: omg, that would have looked excellent.

    http://nice-bastard.blogspot.de/2010/09/fundsachen-13-bildergru-von-der.html

    Much more cinematic in comparison to TOS, in my opinion. Granted, these are probably promo stills, and not film footage. But I really love the color palette. And how great the sets looked when differently photographed.


    The militaristic approach is a little off putting. This was a West German show, right? But it comes off as pretty East German.

    Commander McLane is supposed to be a hotshot idiot like nuKirk, which I found extremely funny. In the first episode, he makes some maneuver against orders, just to prove something, and that is the reason he gets punished by being sent to the outermost regions of the territory for patrol duty. And he gets some sort of Stasi/Gestapo officer forced upon. And his reaction is to lie, to cheat and to scheme against her.

    The show itself seems a lot more feminist than TOS, as they put female characters in a lot more prominent lead roles than TOS did. But at the same time, the Orion crew is a bunch of extremely sexist machos. The character names suggest internationality (just like in TOS), but the actors are all European. Maybe because unlike in the US, there were no African German or Asian German actors available.

    I like the aspect that they only know one single alien species. Somehow to me that adds to the idea of the vastness and emptiness of space. The longer Trek run, the more crowded the universe became.

    What I don't like is the militaristic shoot to kill approach. The aliens are hostile for no reason, and the Orion crew does not try once to talk to them.

    The science is a lot worse than in TOS. Here the authors truly didn't give a shit about astronomy and physics. And the technobabble, as far as I can understand it, makes absolutely no sense. It's just a bunch of exotic/technological sounding words connected, but there is no meaning behind it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think Hammer looks more like Vaughn and Cavill looks more like McCallum. That's going to be disorienting.
     
  14. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Those color pics are neat to see but I think the show worked pretty well in B&W. Though in the color shots it looks like they actually glue different types of drinking glasses on the ceiling. (as opposed to looking like the same type of drinking glasses) ;)
     
  15. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    I've been looking for this show!!!!
     
  16. Oso Blanco

    Oso Blanco Commodore Commodore

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    That's not unlike Archer/T'Pol, only that McLane and Jagellovsk needed a little longer to get along with. In Enterprise, the conflict between Archer and T'Pol had been put aside way too early.
     
  17. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, that is quite a problem making this series accessible to audiences outside of Germany. There do exist French and Italian dubbed versions but to my knowledge these were never released on video.

    Unfortunately up to the last minute the producers were undecided whether to shoot in color (expensive, then) or b&w.

    Nobody expected the series to be as successful as it turned out, and the lack of color turned out to be quite an obstacle trying to market the series for international audiences.

    The series was not inspired by Star Trek (back in the 1960's US television series were largely unknown to German broadcasters) but some parallels are remarkable. On the contrary, the idea to use a spaceship as a "fireship" to stop a threat was visualized long before "The Doomsday Machine".

    It was Rolf Zehetbauer's unique futuristic style. He also designed the BTA space station interiors for "Enemy Mine".

    It was a West German show (produced by Bavaria who became famous for "Das Boot" aka U-96), and the militaristic approach was heavily criticized by the reviewers ("fascistoid"). The producers acknowledged that, and because of this criticism there was no prospect to go beyond the original seven 1-hour episodes.

    :lol: Yes, one of the premises of the series was how he slowly turned her into an effective member of his crew, once she realized that out there in space you can't just do things "by the book" but have to be creative and imaginative. In the end she uses her position to cover for McLane and the other crew members.

    Absolutely, McLane's Boss was General Lydia van Dyke. And one of the renegade Earth colonies only had women in higher positions (and men as gardeners).

    That would mostly apply to weapons officer Mario de Monti but the women snap back at him rather hard.

    Well, the "Frogs" acted like the Gorn in "Arena". The series didn't mention whether any attempts to communicate with this aliens were ever made but the Frogs obviously intend to annihilate the human race and get their "hands" (?) on human technology.

    Admittedly there were some oddballs like a "supernova" being accelerated with FTL speed on a collision course with Earth, the aforementioned former Earth colony (apparently several light years away) harvesting radiation from our sun with ecological impact on our planet and planetoids with a breathable atmosphere.

    The series used English descriptions that sounded fancy for German audiences in the 1960's and many acronyms like "EAS" ("ErdAussenStation" = Earth Outpost) - say hello to Bernd Schneider ;) - but other than that the terminology was no more technobabble than Star Trek's deflectors, phasers or photon Torpedos, IMHO.

    Here is another link to the TV series in English which I think qualifies as a good and illustrated article to convey the general feeling about "Raumpatrouille": http://toddstadtman.com/lucha-orion.html

    Bob
     
  18. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    This was pre-1968, and German science fiction of that time was (just like the writing staff of early Perry Rhodan btw) largely dominated by right-wingers. It wasn't until the 70s that German SF gradually became more left-wing.

    So, the "Frogs" were the Soviets and Commander McLane was Curits LeMay. :p
     
  19. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Absolutely, Mario de Monti thought of himself as irresistable but mostly he got "shot down" - and all his colleagues made fun of him for that, not just the women.

    Mario
     
  20. CaptJimboJones

    CaptJimboJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd never even heard of this show until seeing this thread today (I obviously missed it the first time around ... ) Thanks for the info, it's fascinating.