1950s "Rocketman" TV Series and Their Fans: Cadets, Rangers, and Junior Space Men

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Cynthia J. Miller, A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Palgrave Macmillan, Sep 18, 2012 - Performing Arts - 270 pages
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The heyday of the televised rocketman came before our actual travels in space occurred and was a burgeoning time in TV history. Before astronauts like John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Neil Armstrong were household names, before the 'one small step' that left America's national footprint on the Moon, and before the wonders of science fiction became the wonders of science fact, battles were fought with Para-Ray guns and Cosmic Vibrators, 'Opticon Scillometers' scanned through walls, heroes in jetpacks soared through the skies, and the universe was full of wonder. The fourteen essays featured here focus on series such as Space Patrol, Tom Corbett, and Captain Z-Ro, exploring their roles in the day-to-day lives of their fans through topics such as mentoring, promotion of the real-world space program, merchandising, gender issues, and ranger clubs - all the while promoting the fledgling medium of television.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
When Our Story Began
15
I Learning to Be Rocketmen
31
II Reaching for Tomorrow
83
III As Seen on TV
131
IV Looking at the Earth
179
The TwentyFirst Century and Beyond
229
Notes on Contributors
249
Index
255
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Cynthia J. Miller is a cultural anthropologist specializing in visual media. She teaches in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies and Emerson College, and is Director of Communication for the Center for the Study of Film and History at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, as well as serving as film review editor for the Center's journal, Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies. She is the editor of Too Bold for the Box Office: The Mockumentary, From Big Screen to Small and has guest-edited themed issues of Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities and Film & History (with A. Bowdoin Van Riper).

A. Bowdoin Van Riper is a historian who specializes in depictions of science and technology in popular culture. His publications include Science and Popular Culture: A Reference Guide (2002); Imagining Flight: Aviation and the Popular Imagination (2003) and A Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists and Inventors in American Film and Television (2011). He was guest-editor, with Cynthia J. Miller, of a special two-issue themed volume of Film & History ('Images of Science and Technology in Film') and is the editor of Learning From Mickey, Donald, and Walt: Essays on Disney's Edutainment Films (2011).

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