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Commando Cody (1953) (Size: 2.34 GB)
Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe takes place in the near future as seen from the 1950s. Earth is in radio contact with civilizations on the other planets, and Commando Cody has just secretly built the earth's first space ship, but the rest of the world still appears just as you would expect in the early 1950s. In each episode, a human-looking alien named the Ruler tries to take over the earth with a new scheme, each one designed to make the maximum use of Republic Pictures stock footage of various disasters and action longshots.
The Commando Cody character had been introduced in the cliffhanger film serial Radar Men from the Moon, to which this TV series is a prequel. The first episode shows Joan and Ted, Cody's established sidekicks in Radar Men, applying for their jobs and meeting Cody for the first time. Cody also uses the Rocket Man costume from King of the Rocket Men. Some of the elements were also taken from other Republic serials such as The Purple Monster Strikes.
When not not in the Rocket Man suit, Cody wears a black military tunic with many insignia and a black mask, instead of the business suit from the serial. (Holdren suspected that the mask was due to the producers not wanting to take the chance that he might walk out after demanding more money, as Clayton Moore had done on The Lone Ranger. The mask would presumably serve to conceal the change of actor if the part had to be recast, although this had not worked in the case of the Lone Ranger.)
Cody and his associates communicate with each other using special badges that conceal two-way radios, presaging similar badges on Star Trek. There are a number of futuristic props and sets, as well as many shots of the intricate model-rocket special effects work of Howard and Theodore Lydecker. Also, a number of space-concept scenes were filmed that had not been seen before in the Republic serials, including "space walks" for several repair missions; aerial raygun fights between "hero" and "enemy" spaceships; and a black, starry exterior background when Cody's or the villain's ships were shown outside the earth's atmosphere.
Although Commando Cody was originally filmed as a TV series, union contract problems forced Republic to release the twelve 30-minute episodes to theaters in 1953. They did not air on NBC stations until the summer of 1955, with each episode slightly edited to 25 minutes to accommodate commercials. Like the episodes of a serial, they built on each other, and were intended to be shown in chronological order. But they lacked the cliffhanger endings which had characterized true serials for several decades, and reference works on serials generally exclude Commando Cody.
There was a fairly long break between the filming of the first three and the last nine episodes, during which Republic set about filming Zombies of the Stratosphere, also starring Judd Holdren and Aline Towne. Intended to be another Cody serial, and the direct sequel to Radar Men from the Moon, it was subject to last-minute revisions of principal character names, and Holdren's "Cody" character became "Larry Martin." So when the third episode of "Commando Cody" was filmed and it showed the apparent death of the Ruler, there was speculation that Republic may have considered abandoning the remaining nine episodes and instead simply converting the three it had filmed into a feature film.
Once they finally resumed work on Commando Cody, Republic had also lost the services of William Schallert as Cody's male colleague. A replacement was found in Richard Crane, a year before his tour of duty as Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. The Ruler also gained a female sidekick, played by Gloria Pall, although she had almost no dialog.
Typical AVI File Details
Name..........: 101 Enemies of the Universe.avi
Video Codec...: DivX5
Video Bitrate.: 802Kbps
Frame Size....: 640x480
Frame Rate....: 29.96fps
Audio Codec...: mp3
Audio Bitrate.: 128Kbps
Audio Freq....: 44KHz
Audio Channels: Stereo
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