Monday, July 12, 2010
MEN INTO SPACE AND THE METEORIC RISE OF ANGIE DICKENSON- CBS-TV - CIRCA 9/30/59
In the Fall of 1959, long before Capt. James Tiberius Kirk piloted the Starship Enterprise from the sound stages of the Paramount Pictures lot to exotic planets , where no man had gone before, and long after Captain Video took his Video Rangers on primitive voyages through paper mache galaxies, in a DuMont-Designed rocketship, CBS-TV launched a thoughtful,pragmatic, drama about the human factor in exploring the universe,called MEN INTO SPACE.
The 30 minute, B&W series , which took almost a blue collar view of space exploration,was rooted in science-lab fact, not space-opera fiction. No atomic monsters, no ray-guns,and no alien life forms were seen. The action is placed just ten minutes into the future. Observers of MEN INTO SPACE say the story lines had clues indicating that the first moon landing, in the the show's universe, happened in the mid-1970's.
The consistently engaging show starred film actor and Chrysler spokesman,William Lundigan, as an everyman astronaut,named Col. Edward McCauley and Joyce Taylor as his dutiful wife Mary. As for the Angie Dickenson connection, the sylphen siren, who WASabout to co-star with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in the 1960 version of Ocean's Eleven was cast as Col. McCauley's wife in the pilot film for MEN INTO SPACE. She was replaced by wholesome Ms.Taylor for the run of the series.
MEN INTO SPACE, was produced by Louis J, Rachmill,who enlisted the advice of several distinguished scientists from the military and industry, to add authenticity to the series. The program's special effects and star-scapes were meticulous in their execution.With a robust score by composer David Rose, the show was sold to the Tiffany Network by one of the supreme companies in TV syndication, ZIV Productions, which also mounted HIGHWAY PATROL,SEA HUNT, and BAT MASTERSON .
The short-lived program blasted-off at 8:30pm EDT on Wednesday night, September 30 1959, opposite the benign ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET on ABC-TV and the energetic, original PRICE IS RIGHT hosted by Bill Cullen on NBC-TV.
Despite America's all-consuming, fascination with Project Mercury's plan to put the first American into orbit, the serious and austere MEN INTO SPACE crash landed, having been canceled after one year in space and on the air.
Here, posted below, are 3 clips from the VERBUSEN YOU TUBE site, which comprise the debut episode of CBS-TV's MEN INTO SPACE.Enjoy!!!!!