|Escape Into Space|
|Original Air-Date||May 1, 1954|
|Written By||Warren Wilson|
|Directed By||Hollingsworth Morse|
|Order in Series||3rd Episode Produced|
|Order in Season||3rd Episode Aired|
|Previous Episode||"Bobby's Comet"|
|Next Episode||"Rocky's Odyssey"|
Truk Harmond, who has made a fortune selling the illegal Tarantua Weed, (though why anyone would want that growing in their yard is beyond me!) has packed his money and convinced someone to help steal a rocket ship and leave Earth before he has to stand trial!
Rocky is called in by Secretary Drake, and now that Truk has left Earth, he falls under the authority of the Space Rangers!
After rescuing Truk from a crippled ship, they have little choice but to land on Fornax. Once there, Truk is out of bounds for the Space Rangers. But Rocky is not willing to quit just yet! If he can get a confession out of Truk, he'll have all the evidence he needs to convict Truk of murder!
Rocky and Winky relax in their luxerious Space Affairs Apartment. Well, Winky does anyway - Rocky is busy filling out his space reports. Winky takes out his ever present little black book and heads for the viseograph to make a few calls.
Truk Harmond and his pilot Lawson make their escape to the R74 space ship waiting on the launch pad at Space Affairs Headquarters! If they are lucky enough, they plan to steal the rocket and make an unscheduled, illegal launch! Once on board, Truk looks for some real wood on a space ship to knock for luck. Truk taunts Secretary Drake over the viseograph from the rocket. He couldn't buy off the authorities with all his money, so he has two suitcases full, and is leaving Earth for good! He dares Secretary Drake to try and stop him, and then promptly lauches! There is only one thing for Secretary Drake to do! That's call Rocky Jones!
Meanwhile, Winky monopolizes the viseograph! (No call waiting in this future!) He gets rejected by Judy when Judy finds out Rocky is too busy to go along! Winky's second call seeks out someone to answer. We track to the shower where another hottie is bathing. But, strike two for Winky!
Secretary Drake gets through to Winky who passes the call to Rocky! Never fear, Rocky is on his way!
Secretary Drake, Rocky, and Winky discuss the situation. An unauthorized flight to ditch the authorites is one thing, but now that Truk has left the planet's atmosphere he is under the authority of Space Affairs and United Worlds! All they have to do is wait long enough to figure out where Truk is heading, and then persue!
Bobby meets Vena outside Space Affairs Headquarters and is excited because there is a 50/50 chance they are headed to Fornax! And a soft "no" is not a deffinate "no" when from Rocky Jones! So Bobby is hedging his bet that he might get to go along with Rocky to Fornax for a chance to see Volaca again! Fornax seems to be the destination - and Bobby is confident he'll get to go - even if there is some embarrassment involved...
After refueling, the Orbit Jet is slightly off course. And with meteors at three o'clock, they will have to make a ninty degree turn to avoid collision! But they get tapped by a meteor and there is an instrument buckle! After a slight starboard move, they can now pick up Truk Harmond's SOS! Truk and Lawson were hit by the meteors and their ship is disabled with the rear section losing air fast - and that is where the space suits are! Lawson has to give their position because Truk is panicking. Rocky says he is on the way!
But Truk panics for his money! He sends Lawson back into the leaking section to get his suitcases! Then Truk sends Lawson back for more and locks Lawson out of the cockpit for good! Was it done on purpose? Or did Truk panic? At any rate, Lawson is trapped in a room fast losing air!
Rocky brings the Orbit Jet in close to the R74. He will need to cut a hole in the side of the ship to acces the R74. Welding skills are of prime importance to a Space Ranger in the first season! Aboard the R74, Rocky finds Lawson's body. He contacts Winky to pressurize the two compartments. When that is done, Rocky has Truk safely come out of the cockpit. Truk has poor excuses for Lawson.
As Truk paces in the Orbit Jet's cockpit, Winky welds up the Orbit Jet's gaping hole! Bobby happilly passes the time whistling, but Truk will have none of that, and barks for Bobby to be silent! Rocky is not impressed that Truck is ordering his crew around. He calls Truk superstitious and accuses him of being afraid of the dark! Truk takes offense, but a quick punch from Rocky calms things down very quickly!
With their fuel low, they have no choice but to land on Fornax. Zoravac, the ruler of Fornax, is not happy to have Truk on his planet and wants to know if Truk can be deported. No. Winky has covert plans to get Truk off the planet and back to Earth, but Rocky needs to be honest and true to Space Affairs law they so dilligently helped set up. Truk takes full advantage of his situation. Rocky calls him out. Truk is insulted, but having already recieved Rocky's fists of justice once, knows he can do no more.
Meanwhile, Bobby and Volaca hang out and discuss Earth's holidays, and Bobby has to explain Halloween to Volaca. They decide to try out the spirit of the holiday.
Rocky and Winky talk about the unfortunate death of Lawson. If they had proof that it was deliberate, it would help their case against Truk quite a bit! But a scream from Vena in the nearby hallway quickly has them investigating! A floating "ghost" terrorizes Vena with an evil laugh and craggy taunt! It is Bobby and Volaca with a remote controled toy! A scarf with a couple of holes makes it a "ghost"!
A plan is hatched!
Truk is tracked to his quarters. Bobby points the way and Rocky takes over! Rocky slips into Truk's room and releases the "ghost" claiming to be the disembodied spirit of Lawson back for spectral revenge!
Winky, Vena, and Zoravac watch on viseograph in the cockpit of the Orbit Jet. Vena takes notes (a tape recorder would be nice to have had aboard) while Zorovak acts as impartial witness. Volaca and Bobby (ditching is uniform) enter to listen in!
Rocky terrorizes Truk, pretending to be Lawson. The highly superstitious Truk is horrified and begs to be left alone. Truk confesses to the murder, saying he panicked. But that is enough for Rocky! He confronts Truk who puts up a desperate fight and they tear the room apart in the struggle! Beaten, Truk gives up.
They load up for Earth, Bobby commenting on April Fool's and how that probably relates to Truk!
- Richard Crane as Rocky Jones
- Scotty Beckett as Winky
- Sally Mansfield as Vena Ray
- Robert Lyden as Bobby
- Chas. Meredith as Secretary Drake
- Frank Wilcox as Truk Harmond
- Walter Coy as Zoravac
- Patsy Iannone as Volaca
- Cliff Ferre as Ranger Marshall
- Sheb Wooley as Lawson
- Directed by Hollingsworth Morse
- Director of Photography Walter Strenge
- Production Manager Dick L'Estrange
- Supervising Editor Roy Luby
- Edited by Fred Maguire
- Photographic Effects by Jack R. Glass
- Art Director McClure Capps
- Casting Director Bill Tinsman
- Sound by Chas. Althouse
- Sound by Joel Moss
- Script Supervisor Hazel W. Hall
- Technical Advisor Dick Morgan
- Technical Instruments Loren Sackett
- Assistant Director Dick Moder
- Costumes by Berman Costume Co.
- Teleplay by Warren Wilson
- Executive Producer Guy V. Thayer, Jr.
- Associate Producer Arthur Pierson
- Producer Roland Reed
- Original Music by Alexander Laszlo (uncredited)
- Produced in 1953 by Roland Reed Productions Inc. and Space Ranger Enterprises
- This is the first single stand alone episode from the Rocky Jones series.
- This episode is copywritten 1953
- The episode does poorly in setting up Truk Harmond as superstitious. If Truk had been constantly fingering a rabbit's foot; or if his pilot Lawson had whistled fondly at the sight of the inside of the rocket ship, Truk could have reproached him, and better established his superstitious fears for the episode - especially if after said reproach, he knocked wood.
- Truks fortunes come from selling "Tarantula Weed". This is a vague drug reference, which for 1953 is surprising in a kids show.
- This is Bobby's second trip to Fornax, and Volica's waiting!
- This is Walter Coy's second appearance as Zoravak. He will appear three times in the Rocky Jones series as two different characters. ("Bobby's Comet", "Escape Into Space", and "Blast Off".)
- The casual Ranger T-shirts are still Pale Chamois white, and the ball caps are still light colored in this episode.
- Check out the reuse of Fornax sets from "Bobby's Comet"!
- Check out the cool egg crate walls that are so vogue on Fornax!
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