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Beyond the Curtain of Space

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SummaryEdit

In this episode of Rocky Jones, we learn: that Vena drives way too fast; that there is a spy at Space Affairs Headquarters; and that Ophiuchus is the place to be if you should ever need a good brain wash!

Rocky comes to the rescue of Professor Newton and Bobby who have been abducted and brainwashed into believing that Ophiuchus is the best planet in the universe to be slaves on! Rocky makes an excuse to land and investigate, but the spy Griff has alerted Queen Cleolanta that Rocky is actually spying on them!

Cleolanta tries to "pursuade" Rocky to join her cause via brainwashing, but is thwated by Vena!

Then, it is a mad dash to the launch pad, in an attempt to escape Cleolanta's evil grasp!

But Cleolanta plans to have the last laugh through sabotage!

Chapter IEdit

Rocky and Winky return from a long undisclosed mission, ready for a long well deserved leave of vacation. Vena nearly runs them over with her car on their way to Office of Space Affairs Headquarters! Vena tries desperately to convince Secretary Drake that Professor Newton is in trouble, that he did not change sides as he claimed, and is trying to signal for help. Secretary Drake is willing to believe the Professor's filmed declaration is true (which they review); but Rocky thinks the Professor is being balckmailed to cooperate on threat of Bobby's life!

Rocky and Drake hatch a plan to "unofficially" land on Ophiuchus to gather information. Winky is ready to join his pal, Rocky; and Vena insists on going along. But Rocky is not convinced a woman is up to the mental and physical challenges of being a Space Ranger. Secretary Drake sees the value of Vena's language skills, and her familiarity with Ophiuchus, and assigns her position of "Auxillery Space Ranger" for the journey.

As they approach the boarding platform, Secretary Drake wishes them luck. But the spy Ranger Griff has alerted the OWX relay ship of Rocky's flight plan. Griff orders the OWX to attack Rocky before he gets to the refueling station RV5. With the Blast Syncronizer counting down, Vena makes herself comfortable on the Orbit Jet - her first real experience aboard a real Space Ranger ship! With seatbelts synched tight, they launch into the unknown!

Rocky is still not convinced Vena should be on board, and is quite rude to her about it, even though Vena seems to know her job as navigator. Not so much though with the knitting... (Where does one keep a ball of yarn on a Space Ranger ship?) Enroute to the RV5 refueling staion, the Ophiuchun OWX ship attacks! Vena notices the approaching ship first, and wants to help, but Rocky orders her to stay in B-Section, out of the way.The Orbit Jet is hit, and leaking oxygen! With very little time to loose, Rocky and Winky position the Orbit Jet for a fatal attack shot, knocking the OWX out of the sky!

Now to the repairs! Rocky locates the air leak in C-Section by releasing a balloon that floats along the current of leaking oxygen to the hole in the bulkhead! Rocky heads back to the control section to seal off C-Section. Vena, not knowing what Rocky was doing, and still wanting to be of help, wonders into C-Section to see what she can do. The door slams shut, sealing C-Section off - and sealing Vena off from any help! As the oxygen leaks out, Vena loses consciousness! Rocky - only because he wants to make fun of Vena's inexperience - sends Winky off to bring her into the cockpit. Winky quickly realizes what has happened, and calls on Rocky for help! Rocky issues emergency orders and prepars to cut a hole in the jammed door to the sealed C-Section!

Vena is rescued! And out of sincere concern for her well being, Rocky wants her to remain on station RV5 and catch an Interplanetary Express flight home. Vena proceeds to give Rocky an ear full - that is, until Winky turns off her helmet transmitter!

Ranger Clark on station RV5 welcomes Rocky and crew. Repairs will be made, and Chapter 1 ends with the Orbit Jet docking with RV5.

Safe - for now...

Chapter IIEdit

Ranger Clark radios to Secretary Drake via the astrophone the last known position and condition of Rocky Jones as he continues on with "Project Haystack". Rocky is now beyond "the curtain of space", an area where their transmissions are blocked and dominated by Ophiuchus. Secretary Drake reviews the secret relayed message (and all other stocks) and comments that he "would be willing to give up their claims to Aquarius" for reliable information on who attacked Rocky in chapter one. Of course Griff tries to suggest it was pirates to throw off any suspicians off of the Ophiuchun operatives in Ranger space!

Meanwhile, on Ophiuchus, Professor Newton could do well to request a paper shredder in his lab! His discarded notes are inspected by Darganto who suspects that Professor Newton is stalling on his delivery of the secret formula. He threatens the life of Bobby, who has arrived for his once a week visit. So dedicated to the Ophiuchun cause, Darganto proudly boasts that his own son does not even know him! Professor Newton reluctantly agrees to cooperate for the sake of Bobby.

Rocky and crew are now close enough to make contact with Ophiucus. Vena is called to the cockpit via intercom, (shame they didn't have an intercom in C-section so Vena could have asked for some help in episode one!) to interpret.

Cleolanta is introduced! Having been previously informed by the spy Griff, Cleolanta spins her web and invites Rocky Jones to land.

Rocky has Winky do "just enough damage" to require a week's worth of work on Ophiuchus. That should give them enought time to snoop around and find the Professor and Bobby.

And "scramble Scorpio", if Cleolanta, hedging her hand, doesn't have both Bobby and Professor Newton hypnotized by her strange flashing light device!

All is in readiness when Rocky Jones and the Orbit Jet freefall to the Government Complex - one of the largest buildings Winky has ever seen! Once landed, they report to the "Arrakana Degovernnox" where Cleolantha wants them to choose between spreading lurid tales vs deciding to stay on Ophiuchus. She offers up her repair teams to fix the Orbit Jet, and she beats them to the punch by offering to let them freely look around and see Professor Newton and Bobby.

The Professor praises the level of technology Ophiuchus has to offer, and attests to the fact that he would never leave Ophiuchus willingly. Bobby comes across as the superior spoiled elitist, and even boasts about attacking Rocky Jones in space combat one day! Heart broken, and with his hands tied by Space Ranger rules and regulations, Rocky must reluctantly leave Ophiuchus empty handed. Bobby relays one last snub to Winky before Vena takes him back to the "Arrakana Degovernnox". She comments to Bobby how they were once friends. (Perhaps they met at the conference?) Bobby snaps out of it just in time to tell Vena what is really going on. She races to find Rocky and alert him!

On the Orbit Jet, Winky directs Vena to the main complex. Once there; Queen Cleolanta obviously does not have enough security to prevent Vena from helping Rocky overcome the diabolical hypnotic light device, and escape!

Professor Newton refuses to leave his adopted land. The delay allows Rocky to be captured by Darganto. Rocky escapes and forces a confession out of Darganto! Now knowing that the spy at Office of Space Affairs is Griff, Rocky quickly makes his way to the Orbit Jet.

Bobby lends a hand in helping Rocky subdue a guard, and the Professor certainly seems happy about it (high class technology and lab equipment aside, the guards must be real jerks on Ophiuchus!).

Winky sees them approach and knows they will need to take off immediately, and Vena gets her first taste at operating the Orbit Jet!

They are barely in their seats before they blast off to safety!

Safe? Is the adventure nearly over? But that's what you think! Just wait and see!

Chapter IIIEdit

Rocky congratulates his crew on a great blast off! The Professor Newton is still occasionally under the powerful treatment he recieved from the flashing orb on Ophiuchus.

Darganto arrives at the Arrkana Degovernox (and his driver knowing this will take a while, puts on the hand break!).

Inside, Darganto questions Cleolanta about her motives for letting Rocky Jones leave Ophiuchus. He lets it slip that Rocky got the information about Griff being a spy out of him. Cleolanta rips him a new one, and informs him that she intends to use matnetism rays to draw the Orbit Jet into one of Ophiuchus' moons! But a misspelled word saves Rocky in the nick of time! Rocky is still outside radio contact with Earth or any of the United Worlds satellites, and all they can hope for is not to be attacked before they can contact Earth!

Rocky finally is able to contact station RV5. He tells Clark that they failed. Clark relays the unfortunate news via scrambler to Secretary Drake. With the misinformation planted, Griff feels secure in his position on Earth!

Clark brings Rocky's XV2 rocket into dock with the RV5 station via a magnetic coupler.

A more coherent Professor Newton advises Rocky: "Don't lose your fatih in people. The exception proves the rule!"

But Darganto has made his way in a WOA ship and is close enough to make contact with Griff on Earth! While Secretary Drake is stargazing and waiting for Rocky; Griff and Darganto hatch a plan! "One man, strategically placed has more power than a whole army!" The spy Ramez is expendable and Ramez will be the dupe. But Secretary Drake has overheard more than enough! He goes to his desk and pulls out the space gun! "Space Rangers and traitors don't go together!" A fight ensues and the younger Griff wins out! Griff radios Ramez to come to the base.

With the Orbit Jet refueled at station RV5, Rocky contacts Earth. He plans to arrive about 8am! Griff and Ramez prepare for his arrival by placing explosive at the landing site! 8:14 is the expected landing time, and the bombs are set to go off at 8:30!

Griff used Drake as his insurance to meet with Rocky at the landing platform. He plans to escape in Rocky's ship and blow up Space Affairs Headquarters once and for all! Griff plans to use the crew of the Orbit Jet as hostages as he prepares to leave. He has Ramez go secure the Orbit Jet and ready for launch. Meanwhile, Griff forces Rocky to personally turn on the blast syncronizers to launch his own ship!

Rocky cleaverly uses a crane to gain access to the launch platform. There, he confronts Griff, and has the Orbit Jet take off for the safety of the crew aboard! Once launched, Winky fights Ramez for control of the cockpit.

Meanwhile, Griff confesses to Rocky about the bombs he planted, and Rocky forces him to point them out and defuse them! But Griff is able to lose Rocky in the forest of transformers, and makes his escape to a car suddenly parked outside Space Affairs Headquarters!

Rocky is able to zero in on the escaping Griff on the visiograph, and pushes the button to destroy him!

Secretary Drake contacts Rocky who gives the Orbit Jet the all clear to land safely!

The End!

GalleryEdit

CastEdit

CrewEdit

TriviaEdit

  • This three part episode is copywriten 1953.
  • Bobby is never without his Space Ranger clothing - even on Ophiucus! - and is very quick to don his dress Space Ranger Uniform once he is freed from the brainwashing ray! (But how did he smuggle it out of the Space Affairs Base without getting court martialed for stealing?)
  • The casual Space Ranger T-shirt was originally Pale Chamoise White! The rolled up short sleaves of the white t-shirts are only around for a few episodes. When they switch to the Fawn Grey casual shirts, no roll ups occur ever again!
  • The original Space Ranger base ball cap is of a lighter color. Whent he shirts get darker, so do the hats.
  • The space helmets first used by Rocky, Winky, and Vena were later delegated to other "non-Ranger" characters throughout the series. (The space helmets utilize half an an empty 8mm film spool as a microphone pick up, probably because they resemble old style microphones).
  • Neptune and Mars are mentioned as having inhabitants as Vena uses the 37 languages to berate Rocky!
  • First appearance of Ranger/ spy Griff character, who would appear in later episodes ("Silver Needle in the Sky" and "Trial of Rocky Jones").
  • First appearance of Darganto character, who would appear in later episode "Silver Needle In the Sky".
  • First appearance of Ranger Clark, who appears in more episodes than any other continuing Space Ranger character!
  • First appearance of Cleolanta, who would appear in later first season episodes.
  • The Office of Space Affairs has an outpost on Cacynnis, where Professor Newton was nabbed!
  • The Office of Space Affairs has some "claims" to Aquarius - whereever that dawning is about...
  • The Griffith Observatory served as exterior location for Office Of Space Affairs Headquarters, as well as the exteriors of Ophiuchus' Arrakana DeGovernnox.
  • The Greek word Ophiuchus means "The Serpent Bearer".
  • Hey kids! Here are some nifty words you can use to sound like a real Space Ranger: Super Stellar; Jiggity Jupiter; Hopping Herecules; Slithering Satelites; Conniving Comets; and Galloping Galaxies! Have fun with your friends, and shock your parents - and keep watching Rocky Jones Space Ranger!
  • After Vena crashes through gate number three, she zooms past Rocky and Winky without so much as a friendly honk! Griff alerts Secretary Drake she is on othe way - and yet they leave the front door of Office of Space Affairs Headquarters OPEN for Vena to enter - without even knocking!!!
  • Although they did change out the chairs to show the difference between the interriors of the Orbit Jet and the WOX space craft, they did not bother to change out the astrophones as they will do in later episodes.
  • The bare front and rear walls of the Orbit Jet look odd when compared to later dressed episodes!
  • Hear Darganto "clank" as he walks!
  • Rocky uses a "breaking elipse" to slow the Orbit Jet - long before it was trendy in the movie "2010"!
  • This episode was edited together and released as a movie called "Beyond The Moon". It features new opening music, and a title card of square tower buildings with a pebble road between them. There is also a subtitle of "An Adventure Of Tomorrow" (which may have been an early sub title idea for the show). The movie ends with the normal Rocky Jones music, and the new title card appearing again. This movie is available on DVD, and can still be found on VHS.
  • There is an ADDITIONAL SCENE in the movie that is not in the series! After they have successfully blasted off from Ophiuchus and are on their way home, Rocky and Winky talk in the cockpit. As they conclude, Rocky picks up the ships log and decides to upgrade it. - NEW SCENE BEGINS - The Professor, Bobby, and Vena talk in the navigation section about being on Ophiuchus. Professor Newton confesses he was forced to make his declaration film against his will. Vena says she understands. Rocky calls her forward via intercom to update the log, and Vena cops an attitude about being ordered around! Bobby then tells Professor Newton of how he said he would one day go up against Rocky and the Orbit Jet and lick him in a fight! The Professor chuckles over that. - END NEW SCENE - Now we are in the cockpit with Rocky dictating the ships log and Vena misspelling integral. In the television episode this scene is replaced with a quick shot of the Orbit Jet racing for a moon directly in its path!   
  • The Rocky Jones series was produced primarilly in 1953. Some of the Rocky Jones Sound Effects show up in the Roger Coreman 1962 rerelease of Battle Beyond The Sun. This is a 1959 Soviet film bought by Roger Corman (one of several) and "reworked" by Associate Producer Frances Ford Coppula. (Coppula's first paid gig under Roger Corman!) I have not seen the original 1959 Russian version to see if any Rocky Jones Sound Effects appear in the original version. But the launch syncronizer sound is definately used, along with some other Rocky recognizable sounds. There are also sounds that are commonly connected to the Classic Star Trek series (not produced until 1966-67!) I have also heard the launch syncronizer sound used in other early science fiction movies - but have not found it in anything previous to 1953 Rocky Jones! Was this an original sound produced for the series (annoying as it is...)? However, it just goes to show that Hollywood recycles a lot, and some early sound effects just seem to "fit" what we think the future(s) will sound like!   
  • Roger Corman's "Night Of The Blood Beast" uses some Rocky Jones sound effects, as well as some Rocky Jones music!


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Episodes of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger
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Next episode:
"Bobby's Comet"

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