The Ominous Octopus

Friday, January 18, 2013

Space Angel

Space Angel was a made for television cartoon, originally broadcast in the early 1960's.

Space Angel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Space Angel intro card
Space Angel was an animated science fiction television series produced in the United States from early 1962 through 1964. It used the same Synchro-Vox lip technique as Clutch Cargo, the first cartoon produced by the same studio, Cambria Productions.
The series chronicled the adventures of three astronauts who worked for the Earth Bureau of Investigation's Interplanetary Space Force on board the spaceship Starduster: Captain/Pilot Scott McCloud, also known as "The Space Angel" (voiced by Ned Lefebver), Electronics/Communications expert Crystal Mace (voiced by Margaret Kerry), and the immensely strong Scottish born Gunner/Engineer Taurus (voiced by Hal Smith).
This animated series was broadcasted in Italy in the early 80's in syndication with a beautiful Italian dubbing, under 2 different titles: Avventure nello Spazio (that means in English Space Adventures) and Pattuglia nello spazio (in English Space Patrol). Space Angel today is completely forgotten in that country because it ran a long time ago and only on little private local Tv stations (often with so much interferences and noises and most people watched it on black and white Tv units, so the few of them that remember the show today don't even know that it's in full colour!).


 Setting and themes

The character name Space Angel was a secret identity. Scott McCloud had an eyepatch; when he appeared as Space Angel, he would lower bulging sunglasses from his helmet to cover it.
Apart from the use of Synchro-Vox, animation was very limited, but the static panel art by legend Alex Toth was often well-drawn. Story lines were serialized over five episodes which ran five minutes each, the idea being that stations could show one episode per weekday, with the climax coming on Friday. Cliffhangers were sometimes used, as in an episode with McCloud finding a derelict spacecraft beyond the light barrier, looking inside and exclaiming "Oh my God!" Another memorable sequence occurred with the heroes involved in a best two-of-three gladiator battle, using future visions of Roman combat.
There were several episodes involving space combat between the Interplanetary Space Force and various enemies. After the Space Angel and his crew had discovered the villains' plans or forces, he would call in reinforcements made up of one or more squadrons of the ISF. Squadrons were organized by planetary patrol areas such as the Venusian Squadron, Mars Squadron, etc. The identifying squadron symbols on the ISF ships were the ones used in astronomy charts of the time to identify the planets, such as the Female symbol for the Venusian Squadron, the Male symbol for the Mars Squadron and a circle with an enclosed plus sign for the Earth Squadron.
The main antagonists in the show were the Anthenians, who were modelled on a combination of Ancient Rome and Sparta; their home planet is shown in the episode involving the gladiatorial games. The city looks like Rome, including a colosseum. The civilians are dressed in togas and the soldiers are wearing a combination of Greek/Roman armor with Corinthian-style helmets. They are armed with blaster rifles.
Another antagonist is the Evil Queen of Space, who resembled Nefertiti, and her henchmen, "The General" and "The Major", who all spoke with Central European accents. Predating the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror", their claim to fame is an invisible spaceship they use to disrupt interstellar trade.
In the opening sequence of "Space Hijackers (Solar Mirror)" a delta-winged spacecraft, The Starduster, docks with a space station. The ship matches velocity and rotation with the station and is talked in with instrument assist. This sequence foreshadows the space dock sequence of the delta-winged Orion from Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", which would be made seven years later.
The Starduster contains a smaller vessel, a space fighter flown by Space Angel, which looks like the XF-92 and is about the same size, though with a pointed nose. It is called the "Space Dart".
The theme music was written by Walter Greene and was originally used in Roger Corman's film "War of the Satellites" (1958).


Scott McCloud with eyepatch concealed


  1. Abominable Moon Men
  2. Big Bertha
  3. Crystal's Anti Boy Friend
  4. Power Failure
  5. Space Hijackers (Solar Mirror)
  6. The First Episode
  7. Project Hero
  8. The Frozen Planet
  9. Wizard of Eden
  10. The Plagued Plant
  11. The Donovan Plan
  12. The Plot
  13. Name Rank and Serial Number
  14. They Went That A'Way
  15. Scratch One Chimp
  16. Red Alert
  17. Incident of the Loud Planet
  18. The Day the Earth Went Dark
  19. Once Upon a Rainbow
  20. Welcome Neighbor
  21. Meets a Devil
  22. How to Win a Space Race Without Really Trying
  23. The Gold City Blues
  24. The Not So Mythical Beast
  25. Expedition to a New Moon
  26. Crisis in Orbit
  27. Gopher Broke
  28. Conflict Nova
  29. Cosmic Combat
  30. The Gladiators
  31. The Light Barrier
  32. The Slave World
  33. Dr. Kinkaid I Presume
  34. The Exiles
  35. The Saucer Caper
  36. Death of a Galaxy
  37. The Little People
  38. There Goes Danny
  39. The Visitor from Outer Space
  40. Rescue Mission
  41. Space War
  42. Dragon Fire
  43. Flight of Hotshots
  44. The Fugitives
  45. The Encoder

 Space Angel in other media

Single panel from the Space Angel comic strip. Art by Alex Toth.
Alex Toth drew Space Angel six page story for children's magazine Jack & Jill in 1963 to promote the Space Angel cartoon.
The episode "The Gladiators" was featured on Cinema Insomnia.[1]
In July, 2008, VCI Entertainment released a DVD that contained nine episodes of Space Angel.[2][3]


 External links

SPACE ANGEL predated STAR TREK, but had some elements, such as the Roman aliens, invisible spaceships, and the character of "Scotty", that were later reused in the live-action series. SPACE ANGEL can also be seen as similar to earlier science fiction adventurers such as Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers: there were a number of live-action television programs with similar themes in the 1950's and it's not surprising that they did a cartoon on the subject.

SPACE GHOST also had some similarities to the later SPACE ANGEL, not surprisingly as they were both designed by Alex Toth. I thought Alex Toth did a fantastic job on SPACE ANGEL, creating all kinds of fantastic visual designs for the series, which helped keep things interesting even though the cartoons were produced with limited animation. The "synchro-vox" effect placed the  actual voice actors' lips on the faces of the cartoon characters, doing away with the necessity of animating the character's mouths.

Altogether an interesting cartoon from the era of early television.




SPACE ANGEL story by Alex Toth that was originally published in JACK AND JILL in 1963.






Margaret Kerry ( Voice Of Crystal Mace ):


Watch SPACE ANGEL At The Internet Archive:

Tothfans.com ( Official Site For Alex Toth ):



  1. Benny,
    Sadly, this is a series I've never seen. IMDB lists it was produced by Cambria Studios as daily 5-minute episodes. Toontracker notes that it was syndicated, which may explain why I never saw it. I've never heard of the distributor. http://www.bizapedia.com/ca/CARTOON-DISTRIBUTORS-CORPORATION.html lists:
    Company Age: 52 Years, 4 Months
    Principal Address:
    8827 Olympic Blvd.
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211


  2. Nice review of what - for me, having missed Space Patrol and Captain Video - was probably my formative and favorite space show. Thanks. Despite its severe production limitations, it excited us kids and kept me interested in art. I might also note that Space Patrol had a similar format, and its director, Dick Darley, was also involved in making Space Angel, as well.