1950’s and 60’s black and white science fiction television was a fluttering diorama of accidental live-TV light trails, space ship console panels with a zillion blinking light buttons, pointy ears poking through beehive hairdos and tinfoil box machines rumbling across sand-covered floors in front of painted backdrops (set to a woozy theremin score). Early Star Trek, Lost In Space, Dr. Who, The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits were the scene-stealers of the genre. Lesser-knowns like One Step Beyond and Kraft Television Theatre have maintained cult followings throughout the eons despite the now light-year distance of their original airwaves. One show that may have escaped your memory bank is the late 60’s German show called Raumpatrouille (trans: Space Patrol). In an age when the group-think of popular science fiction required that human mistrust of anything alien or robotic must ultimately be demonstrated as a valuable, and triumpiantly correct suspicion - it turns out even the Germans were on board.
Check out this catalogue of YouTube hosted clips (I recommend starting with this one). Great stuff. Remember how TV shows that took place in the future always had one feature on all the characters that was different than today, like everyone had sideways bangs, or they all wore normal suits but the neckties were triangular? Well in this particular scene from an episode of Raumpatrouille, the producers decided that everyone in the future will dance differently. Ironically kooky stuff from a brief moment of popular sci-fi that was low-budget, but very often much deeper. Boing Boing has many more links and sub links.
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