Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Major Classic You've Not Heard Of - Raumpatrouille Orion

What seems like a fairy tale today may be reality tomorrow.
Here we have a fairy tale of the day after tomorrow.There are no more national states, only mankind  and her colonies in outer space.We settle on stars far-off, the bottom of the sea is developed as living place.With what are today unimaginable speeds, the starships of tomorrow transverse the Milky Way.One of this starships is the ORION,a little piece in the giant security system which protects the Earth from outer space threats.Let's accompany the ORION and her crew at their patrols-service on the edge of infinity 

Literal translation: Space Patrol – The Fantastic Adventures of the Spaceship Orion)
 Back in 1966 if you were in Germany then you were probably watching this show! This show debuted about a year before star trek & has many of the same elements as the original Star Trek & yet was light years ahead of the American show 
Plot From Wiki: 

In the series 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 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 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.

Similarities To Star Trek Which it Beat By A Year! 

  • International Crew 
  • Daring Captain who looks after the welfare of his crew & defies command 
  • Engineer whose constantly under strain by the Captain for the ship's engines 
  • The usual science fiction tropes as well as 145 novels based on and continuing the series were published over the years, often with settings which were considerably different to those seen in the series.

Raumpatrouille Orion & The OSR 

 There are so many good things to ripe from this show that its not funny but the ones that stick in my immediately are the cool retro technology, the ship, the under sea bases, etc. Check out the crazy technology below there are at least 3 story hooks right in there! From Wiki: 
Fictional Technology in Space Patrol
  • Astrodisc (German "Astroscheibe") is a viewing screen that can produce holographic images of space. It has the same function as the bridge screen of the Enterprise. The astrodisc stands in the middle of the Orion's bridge.
  • Light thrower batteries (German "Lichtwerferbatterie") are the weapons most frequently used by Earth's space fleet and the ships of the Frogs. These weapons appear in many different sizes, ranging from hand lasers to planet destruction-cannons. Orion was the first German production to feature the English word "laser".
  • Antimatter bombs these are bombs containing antimatter and were used in the attempt to destroy the "Supernova" in the 2nd episode ("Planet außer Kurs", Planet off course).
  • Overkill is a new weapon that was introduced in the 4th of the TV episodes ("Deserteure") and that was installed at the Orion as first Earth space ship. It seems to be a disintegrator style weapon that is able to obliterate large parts of a planet and cause enormous craters hundreds of kilometres wide.
  • ASG wrist communication devices (in German: "Armbandsprechgerät") are part of the technology of Earths space fleet. They are compact com devices that are worn around the wrists.
  • Robots (German "Roboter") are helpers, guards and even housekeepers in the world of tomorrow. Their use is shown to be problematic, because they are depicted as suffering from frequent malfunctions, making them dangerous to human beings (especially if they are battle robots). They appear in the series as androids and floating battle robots. Some of the humanoid robots are very similar in design to the modern, Japanese robot TOPIO.
  • Deep sea bases (German "Tiefseebasis") are giant cities located under water. They are modern, beautiful and have big windows to allow the people to see fish and other underwater life forms. The Orion usually starts and lands at Basis 104 which is located in the Carpentaria Gulf of Australia
  • Faster-than-light-engine (German "Überlichtantrieb") is the main drive that allows the crew to traverse the universe at speeds faster than light. The Frogs use a similar but superior technology, with the result that their spacecraft can out-pace the ships of the Space Patrol.
  • Magnet shield (German "Magnetschild") is a protective shield which is used by the Frogs. The Shield appears as a powerful energy-bowl that encircles the starship.
  • On the badge that Tamara Jagellovsk and other actors wear , are the abstract design of the three letters GSD for "Galaktischer Sicherheitsdienst" = "Galactic Security Service".
This series is fun. Released before Star Trek it has a great storyline about the future of mankind. But as usual it was canceled by the german TV despite of its success. Rumor has it, that there are plans to relaunch the series with Roland Emmerich as producer. Lets hope and see!

The show still has a cult following in Germany & its simply a fun, cool little show, & if you get a chance do check it out if only for a laugh or two. Stay Tuned More To Come 

The best fan site for this wonderful show - Orion space In English

Wki Entry -

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