The leader of the 23rd century crime fighting force on the children’s science fiction series CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS/DUM/1949-55.
Based atop his lofty mountain retreat in the year 2249, Captain Video (Richard Coogan/Al Hodges), known as the “Guardian of the Safety of the World” and “The Electronic Wizard” and his sidekick, the Video Ranger (Don Hastings) guarded the solar system against intergalactic evil for the Solar Council (a federation of the planets Mars, Pluto, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Eos and Earth).
“The cereals you like the most! The cereals made by POST…take you to the secret mountain retreat of Captain Video! Master of Space! Hero of Science! Captain of the Video Rangers! Operating from his secret mountain headquarters on the planet Earth, Captain Video rallies men of good will and leads them against the forces of evil everywhere! As he rockets from planet to planet, let us follow the champion of justice, truth and freedom throughout the universe! Stand by for…CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS!”
Members of the Video Rangers were required to take this oath of loyalty: “We, as Official Video Rangers, hereby promise to abide by the Ranger Code and to support forever the cause of Freedom, Truth and Justice throughout the universe.”
Hi-tech gadgets used by the Captain and the Video Rangers included:
- Spaceship Galaxy
- Radio Scillograph (a palm-sized communicator)
- Opticon Scillometer, an X-ray machine to see through walls
- Cosmic Ray Vibrator (shook enemies into submission)
- The Remote Tele-carrier, a TV screen used to view frontier agents working for Captain Video (actually old black and white westerns edited into the program).
- Discatron, a portable intercom with a TV screen
- Atomic Disintegrator Rifle
- Electronic Strait Jacket with invisible restraints
The Captain’s enemies included the evil Dr. Pauli; The Sparrow; Mook the Moon Man; Hing Foo Seeng; Dr. Clysmok; Nargola; Neptune; Kul of Eos; the martian Clumsy McGee; Atar; Dahoumie, The Beggar, Ultima Aureans, Permes Lykos, Prince Spartak of the Black Planet, Clipper Evans, Zazarion, Radig, The Space Pirate, Gayo, Muroc, Amos the Mastermind, Sulla, Circe, Zotor, Capt. Dirk, Prof. Linkoff, Warro, Dr. Kodiak, The Klaw, Prof. Locke, Stavo of Draco; the giant space robot called Tobor (“Robot” spelled backwards); and Murgo of Lyra (the Captain’s final villain).
Note: The series premiered on June 27, 1949 on the DuMont Network, and was the first science fiction space adventure program on television. The final episode was broadcast on April 1, 1955. Judd Holdren played the Captain in the 15 chapter Columbia serial Master of the Stratosphere (1951).
In 1979, Al Hodges, who portrayed Captain Video on the series, died in a small hotel room in New York City, a victim of poverty and alcohol.