Sci Fi TV Trifles: William Shatner and James Doohan Journeyed to the Final Frontier Together Over a Decade Before Star Trek

By | March 23, 2016




 

Tidbits, trivia, anecdotes, little-known nuggets and more from the worlds of sci fi and fantasy television.

We all know that William Shatner starred on Star Trek as Captain James T. Kirk during its original run from 1966 to 1969 and that James Doohan co-starred with him as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (aka Scotty). But did you know that these two actors teamed up together in another space-based series thirteen years earlier called Space Command?

space-commandThis little-known early Canadian sci fi entry bowed in 1953 and starred Robert Barclay as Frank Anderson. Co-starring on the show for its two season run was James Doohan as Phil Mitchell and in the show’s first year William Shatner was onboard as well in a recurring role. Like the U.S. space operas of that time such as Captain Video and Space Patrol, the show was geared to a younger audience, though the specifics of the week-to-week stories are sketchy. The description from IMDb.com only provides the following one-line synopsis: “Frank Anderson was a young adventurer working for Space Command, an international organization working to explore and colonize space”. Wikipedia indicates that the show was aired on the Canadian CBC stations and we can only assume that it had little or no exposure in the United States over its two season run that ended in 1954.

The series was broadcast live, as were most television shows of that time, and video tape copies of the episode do not exist. Kinescopes (film recordings of the episodes broadcast through the television) were made but have apparently since been lost. According to Wikipedia, only one archived episode is known to still exist and that has yet to make its way to VHS or DVD (though apparently bootleg copies of it do exist). It is not clear if that episode had Doohan and Shatner together, so even if it eventually does get the DVD treatment we still may never get a chance to see that historic early team up of two of the most iconic actors from science fiction television.


Useless but essential pop culture tidbits and trivia from the worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

Did you know that Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski wrote a proposal for a Star Trek reboot years before the J.J. Abrams movies came out? Did you know that Han Solo was originally supposed to be a green-skinned alien or that some of the early actors considered for the role included Billy Dee Williams, Al Pacino, and Chevy Chase? How about that FOX originally wanted someone more like Pamela Anderson to play the roll of Scully on The X-Files? Or that in 1974, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke predicted the Internet? Ever hear of Varney the Vampire?

Find out the truths about these and more in Sci Fi Trifles.  Trivia, anecdotes, little-known nuggets and more that present an addicting glimpse into the story behind the story of sci fi. Once you’ve started reading them you will wonder how you have managed to live so long without knowing them!

Available now for only $2.99 on Kindle from Amazon.com. 

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