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Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe Online

Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe  Online
Original Title :
Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe
Genre :
TV Series / Sci-Fi
Cast :
Judd Holdren,Aline Towne,Gregory Gaye
Type :
TV Series
Time :
Rating :
Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe Online

It is the near future as seen from the perspective of the early 1950s. Earth is in radio contact with civilizations on planets in our solar system, as well as planets in other, distant solar systems, and Commando Cody has just built the world's first spaceship.
Series cast summary:
Judd Holdren Judd Holdren - Commando Cody 12 episodes, 1955
Aline Towne Aline Towne - Joan Gilbert 12 episodes, 1955
Gregory Gaye Gregory Gaye - The Ruler 12 episodes, 1955
Craig Kelly Craig Kelly - Mr. Henderson 12 episodes, 1955
Dale Van Sickel Dale Van Sickel - Clancy 12 episodes, 1955
Richard Crane Richard Crane - Dick Preston 9 episodes, 1955
Gloria Pall Gloria Pall - The Moon Girl 9 episodes, 1955
Lyle Talbot Lyle Talbot - Baylor 7 episodes, 1955
John Crawford John Crawford - Alien / - 5 episodes, 1955
Eddie Foster Eddie Foster - Mason 5 episodes, 1955

There is some disagreement among fans of movie serials whether this is a 12-episode motion picture serial or a series of short subjects. This is because it was originally filmed as a TV series which contractual obligations forced Republic Pictures to give a theatrical release before allowing it to be broadcast on TV. As the episodes do not end in "cliffhangers", some serial "purists", considering this a requirement for the classification of a movie serial, refuse to accept it into the serial canon. Unlike short subject series, though, the episodes are not self contained - they follow a definite story arc, and cannot be shown out of order and have the story remain comprehensible to the viewer. Odd claims that unspecified 1950s legislation prohibited release of any motion picture filmed after 1948 from subsequently being released to television - which, if true, would prove that this title had no theatrical history and therefore must be classed as a TV series only - are entirely unfounded. In reality, post-1948 films were being shown on early-to-mid 1950s TV, often while still being available for theatrical showings as well, on a regular basis. In fact, the mass syndication of product postwar product by Republic Pictures itself resulted in many theaters boycotting this distributor for carrying the practice to an excess dangerous to the survival of motion picture theaters. The records of the New York State Censorship Board at the New York State Archives, clearly show that all twelve episodes of this serial were submitted for approval and licensing for theatrical exhibition in that state in 1953.

During the lengthy break between filming the first three and last nine episodes of this TV series, Republic shot another Rocket Man serial called Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952). By the time work resumed on the Sky Marshal series, William Schallert, the actor who played Cody's male colleague "Ted Richards", was no longer available. He was replaced by Richard Crane who played a different character, "Dick Preston". Richards' absence was explained when Cody stated he had been reassigned to another post.

User reviews



I have seen Commando Cody panned as crude, stiff, simplistic, etc but in my youth this was pretty exciting. Republic had the best special effects thanks to the Lydecker brothers while actors in B-movies and low budget productions get the raspberry simply for appearing on screen while performers in big budget productions have their failings overlooked. The scenes where Cody and crew pull up to their space ship, get in, then you see the rocket start to move with no obvious cuts-back in 1955, you thought you were seeing the Real Thing. Likewisethe flying sequences (using the same model they originally used for Captain Marvel (1941) here clad in the Rocketman costume also a very well done, well edited, I think they hold up even today. I also recall a scene where Cody in his rocket is pursuing the Bad Guys rocket, the latter had a dorsal turret with ray guns, for those of us growing up in the Afterglow of WWII, that was something familiar and realistic. For the budgets they had, they did a good job, the actors deserve more credit than they have gotten.


I'm a sucker for all of Republic's "Rocketman" adventures. There were three Rocketman serials before this: King of the Rocketmen (1949), Radar Men From the Moon (1952), and Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952). Next came these 12 episodes of Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe (1953) which are like chapters of a serial only without cliffhanger endings. It's an entertaining hybrid of a serial and a TV show. This series uses plenty of stock footage, but that doesn't bother me one bit. It adds to the fun! I wasn't alive back in the 50's, but Commando Cody never fails to provide me with enjoyable escapism in 2005. All of Republic's Rocketman adventures are a blast!


"Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe", was a half hour TV series that ran as a replacement series on NBC during the 1955 season. If the series looked familiar...it was! "Commando Cody..." shows its Republic Pictures/matinée serial origins as the title character appeared once under the Cody name and twice under different character names in three different Saturday matinée cliffhanger serials from the late '40's thru the early '50's. Although there were 12 TV episodes (as there were nearly always 12 chapters of a serial), none of them ended in the inevitable cliffhanger ending. All episodes were complete in themselves yet there was a definite continuing story arc week-to-week. The 12 episodes were first shown in theatres in 1953 but by this point in time movie serials were fast becoming extinct due to the growing popularity of network television. Republic Pictures, along with Columbia Pictures, were the last two studios to produce theatrical serials. The "Commando Cody..." series was, along with most of the last of Republic's serial output, very cheaply and quickly produced so as to include tons of stock footage at Republic's disposal from nearly 20 years of serial production. Judd Holdren, who had played the Cody character (under a different name) in the second of the "Rocketman/Commando Cody" theatrical serials, starred as Commando Cody. Aline Towne played his assistant Joan, William Shallert played his assistant Ted for the first half of the series and Richard Crane replaced Shallert as assistant Dick during the second half. The Cody group was battling Gregory Gay as the Ruler who was attempting to destroy the Earth from his base on the Moon. The Ruler was assisted on Earth by Baylor (portrayed by veteran actor Lyle Talbot) and assorted other Earth gangsters looking to "clean up" after Earth's overthrow.

Sci-Fi that seems "hokey" by today's standards but entertaining for its' time in the much simpler '50's.


The Rocket Suit had been used in 3 serials. The Commando Cody Name was used in one of them. Add the Rocket Ship, a (Platonic) female aid, some quasi governmental type staff men, a neat looking headquarters building and a mask, just for good measure and you have this early 1950's Theatrical/Television Series.

To be sure, all possibilities were considered before "COMMANDO CODY" went into production. It was serial-like in its story line and characters, but did not use the standard Cliff Hanger Chapter endings. Instead, all episodes were related, but also complete (sort of) in themselves. Obviously REPUBLIC or its TV Subsidiary or both would screen it. It reportedly did not work out in trial screening in theaters, so Hollywood TELEVISION SERVICE (Republic TV) had it prepared for television syndication.It even did a turn of network showings. Conveniently, each episode was just the proper length for a half-hour of Saturday morning kids' programing! Imagine that!

The business of editing series television into theatrical releases was later successfully used by other companies. Walt Disney was very active in this endeavor with DAVEY CROCKETT KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER and THE SIGN OF ZORRO, both being made up of television episodes edited into features and released theatrically.


Being fully familiar with Republic's "Rocket Man" trilogy -- "King of the Rocket Men," "Radar Men from the Moon" and "Zombies of the Stratosphere," I ignored the Commando Cody TV series for years only because I mistakenly thought it was just a repackaging of what I already owned and enjoyed on VHS and DVD. Seeing a still from the show on Facebook, though, made me realize that it might be something different -- and it is! Not a cliffhanger, the series proceeds through 12 self-contained episodes and probably would fit best between the first two serials. There's plenty of plot, fewer fistfights than in the serials, and more imaginative use of Cody's rocket, which even travels against the star-studded blackness of space outside of Earth's atmosphere, unlike its lunar voyages in "Radar Men" or rocket dogfights in "Zombies." Yes, there may have been too much reliance on stock disaster footage, but there's also some decent model and miniature work in evidence. To really enjoy the Commando's adventures, just don't sit down expecting modern CGI-quality special effects or sparkling dialogue. Put yourself in a '50s frame of mind and go with it.


Cody and his spaceship protect the earth from outer space dangers.

The first eight episodes are not that good but things pick up in the last four shows as more time is spent inside the spaceship with all sorts of flying action going on all over the place.

The key to watching this show: don't think about it.

Just look at the wonderful Howard Lydeckder flying effects (of Cody and the spaceship), listen to the wonderfully corny closing lines heard at the end of some episodes...and that is it.

There is a pre-Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea TV series feel to his production. Lydecker also worked on the flying scenes of VTTBOTS's "flying sub" and the endless bang, bang explosions also happened in VTTBOTS season's three and four.


This was it... the lowest point reached by space adventure TV series in the 1950s. Filmed in 1952 as a 12-part short subject (not formatted as a serial... no cliffhangers), COMMANDO CODY bombed in the theaters, and then was sold as a summer replacement series to TV in 1955. Judd Holdren is stiff and unconvincing as Cody, and is invariably outshown by the reliable Republic stock company of character actors all around him. Each of the 12 episodes is built around stock footage of some mass destruction; as a result, each episode has exactly the same plot: the Ruler tries to destroy earth, and Cody thwarts his plans. It's a space adventure show without space travel or any kind of adventure!