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Author Topic: Zombies Of The Stratosphere
dep1701
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Posts: 50
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Post Zombies Of The Stratosphere
on: June 2, 2012, 17:16
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I bought the serial version of "Zombies Of The Startosphere" on DVD a few years ago, and just recently decided to sit down and watch it a few chapters at a time. I had seen it a few decades ago in the edited "Satan's Satellites" version and found it fairly entertaining ( mainly as a curio of a bygone time ). Watching it again, I will admit it plays better as a 90 minute feature which eliminates all of the false cliffhangers and repetitive recaps. Of course theatregoers in the 50's wouldn't have seen it altogether, but rather in it's weekly 13-20 minute segments.

The ludicrous story involves a plot by martians to build and explode a large hydrogen bomb on Earth to increase it's spin and blow it out of orbit. Then they can perform a similar feat on Mars and move it into Earth's orbit so as to improve the climate and "atmosphere" of the planet. In order to accomplish this task, they enlist the unwilling aid of an Earth scientist by threatening to expose to the U.S. government that he has been selling selling secrets to an unnamed foriegn power. Fortunately, the U.S. has an interplanetary defense organization headed by Larry Martin with his "Commando Cody" flying suit and rocket to discover what's going on and stop the fiendish plan.

Of course, most fans are aware that this is the serial where a very young Leonard Nimoy made his film debut as a martian ( complete with slanted, Vulcan-like eyebrows and his ears covered by a rubber hood...Spock incognito, perhaps? ), but so far in the six chapters I've watched so far there have been two other surprising Trek connections.

First, Roth, the lead gangster in league with the martians ( don't ask why martians need help from gangsters...just roll with it ) is played by John Crawford. Crawford would later appear on "Star Trek" as asshat Commissioner Ferris in "The Galileo Seven". The second connection is more trivial and nerdy; a background control prop in the martian rocket would later be repainted and repurposed in "Star Trek"'s pilot, "The Cage" where it would be operated by Leonard Nimoy in the briefing room scene ( holy coincident, Batman! ). Take a look at the attached image and you will see the prop ( with a new base built around it ). In "Zombies..." it appears to sport a glossy black finish, but it's a distinctive prop - very recognizable, and never appears in "Trek" again.

So has anyone else ever seen this serial?
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Torie
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Posts: 73
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Post Re: Zombies Of The Stratosphere
on: June 6, 2012, 14:51
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Oh man, that serial sounds crazy! I haven't seen it. I don't suppose it's on Netflix Watch-It-Now?

I love that Star Trek is kind of the '60s Law & Order. Everyone was on it at some point, and I love watching this or that random old movie and recognizing a commodore or two.

dep1701
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Posts: 50
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Post Re: Zombies Of The Stratosphere
on: June 6, 2012, 21:41
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@Torie: I'm with you on the actor thing. I can't count how many old series or movies I've been watching when an actor from Trek will pop up. There were a lot of television actors in the '60s and '70s whose faces just show up over and over again.

I don't know if "Zombies" is on Netflix ( I'm still a disc guy who hasn't gotten into the downloading thing , but I'd bet you credits to navy beans that someone has posted it on youtube.

CaitieCat
Ensign
Posts: 32
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Post Re: Zombies Of The Stratosphere
on: June 8, 2012, 08:15
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I'd bet you credits to navy beans

Nerd. :)

dep1701
Lieutenant
Posts: 50
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Post Re: Zombies Of The Stratosphere
on: June 10, 2012, 20:48
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@CaitieCat: You bet yer ass I'm a nerd!

engage...or make it so...oh hell, just "thataway" ;)

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