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American Science Fiction Television Series Of The 1950’s Book Review

American Science Fiction Television Series Of The 1950’s Book

“American Science Fiction Television Series of the 1950’s” is an important tribute to the sci-fi shows of yesteryear.

Throughout the pages of “American Science Fiction Television Series Of The 1950’s,” readers are taken back in time to learn about the pioneering TV series/serial adventures. Among the shows covered here are: “Adventures of Superman,” “Atom Squad,” “Buck Rogers,” “Captain Midnight,” “Captain Video and his Video Rangers,” “Captain Z-RO,” “Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe,” “Flash Gordon,” “H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man,” “Johnny Jupiter,” “The Man and the Challenge,” “Men into Space,” “Out There,” “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger,” “Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers,” “Science Fiction Theatre,” “Space Patrol,” “Tales of Tomorrow,” “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet,” and “World of Giants.” With each series entry, authors Patrick Lucanio and Gary Coville show descriptions, a brief history of the program, technical information, credits, B&W pictures (sometimes), and thorough and detailed episode guides. Alas, some series like “Atom Squad” have very little information because the programs may be lost to time.

While some series such as “Buck Rogers” and “Flash Gordon” may seem stiff, outdated, and cheesy by today’s standards, it is important to recognize these imaginative sci-fi genre programs. Not only were they hugely influential on sci-fi shows and films that came after it, but they are also snapshots of a certain time period. Thankfully, writers Patrick Lucanio and Gary Coville understand their value and have put the spotlight on 20 classic series.

“American Science Fiction Television Series of the 1950’s” is primarily a reference book to the shows listed above, but it’s also an educational piece. Lucanio and Coville do a fine job of exploring how the themes and ideas of these particular series were a product of the time period (ie heroism, the space program, and the Cold War). Granted, the series might have been more simplistic then, but it’s fascinating to observe how sci-fi has evolved since then and how the genre still exists as a way to explore current cultural issues.

On top of all of that, the book will likely inspire readers to check shows they may have never heard of. I know that I am certainly interested in checking out the relatively obscure “Johnny Jupiter.”

Note: As is the case with many books that are similar in nature, “American Science Fiction Television Series of the 1950’s” contains a preface, intro, a bibliography and an index.

Overall Thoughts: While some sci-fi fans may be disappointed by the lack of overall content and the exclusion of other 50’s sci-fi series, “American Science Fiction Television Series of the 1950’s” is still a must buy for fans of 50’s sci-fi.

“American Science Fiction Television Series of the 1950’s” is available to order at the publisher’s website www.mcfarlandpub.com and Amazon.com.

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June 20, 2015 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

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