1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 4 (USA)
29 x 60 minute episodes
A Marine Corps drama set at Camp Pendleton (near San Diego, California) – the proving ground for men who pride themselves on being United States Marines.
From the lowliest recruit to the highest-ranking General, the men of Pendleton symbolised the utmost in rigorous training and military perfection. Lt. William T. Rice (Gary Lockwood), a recent graduate of Annapolis and now in charge of a rifle platoon, was no exception.
Filmed at MGM studios in association with NBC, the drama took viewers along for the ride as young Lt. Rice acquired the knack of handling men older and more experienced than himself, as well as lads of 17 and 18 who looked up to him as “The Old Man”.
This short-lived series was written by Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, and featured an amazing cast of future stars.
The Hasbro toy company were approached with the idea of creating a poseable action figure to promote the television show.
Although the company didn’t take the deal, they decided to create a soldier-based action figure anyway.
Designers at Hasbro developed a 12-inch figure whose 21 moveable parts allowed it to take on a variety of lifelike pose. They named the finished doll G.I. Joe after the film The Story Of G.I. Joe (1945) and the toy went on to become one of the best selling action figures over the next half-century.
Lt. William ‘Bill’ T. Rice
Captain Ray Rambridge
Lt. Stanley Harris
Lt Samwell ‘Sampan’ Panosian