1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 4 (UK)
39 x 30 minute episodes
Usually overlooked, this superior children’s puppet series from the early sixties is not held in higher esteem, primarily because it reached the screen at the same time as Gerry Anderson’s futuristic adventures were beginning to take off (no pun intended) and shows like Supercar and Fireball XL5 overshadowed it.
The series, scripted by former Anderson colleague Roberta Leigh, was set in the year 2100 and concerned the adventures of the United Galactic Organization, a peacekeeping force formed by the natives of Venus, Mars and Earth.
The crew of Galasphere 347 was comprised of human captain Larry Dart, Martian Husky and Venusian Slim.
Colonel Raeburn gave the orders, assisted by Venusian secretary Marla and Professor Haggerty, the units scientific advisor (himself assisted by his daughter Cassiopeia). The Gabbler Bird completed the party.
Known as Planet Patrol in the USA to avoid confusion with the 1950s American series of the same name, for many years it was believed that the entire series had been lost, even by its creator, Leigh.
In 1997, after Leigh (pictured below) was approached by a video company about a possible DVD release, she discovered that she had a complete set of 16mm prints which she had stored away in a lockup decades earlier and forgotten about.
Captain Larry Dart