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SummaryEdit

The relatively simple task of taking some scientists to a space station for a peace conference becomes a death sentence for Rocky Jones and his crew!

Cleolanta, upset that she was not invited to a peace conference, decides to kidnap all involved! She relents only upon threat of war! A prisoner exchange is arranged. Atlasand is in charge, until the pompus and humiliated Darganto assumes command once he is released from Space Affairs! Darganto has nothing but contempt for the Space Rangers, and is willing to kill them all and blame it on Atlasand!

Dr. Tyson further twarts the Ophiucun plans by faking his own death.

In the end, Bobby saves them all, and Cleolanta is further humiliated! No wonder she prefers to isolate her world...! Don't miss the return of Griff; the indignation of Darganto; the frustration of Atlasand at not being able to improve his position, yet again; and the heated fury of Cleolanta!

Also, Bobby gets a goose egg, (and it's not even Easter)!

Silver Needle in the Sky
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Overview
Season Season One
Production
Original Air-Date May 29, 1954 (Chapter I)
July 1, 1954 (Chapter II)
July 8, 1954 (Chapter III)
Written By Fritz Blocki
Directed By Hollingsworth Morse
Episode Chronology
Order in Series 7th Episode Produced
Order in Season 7th Episode Aired
Previous Episode "The Forbidden Moon"
Next Episode "Kip's Private War"

Chapter IEdit

Vena arrives very quickly at the Office of Space Affairs Headquarters. Ranger Marshall and Secretary Drake have gone as far as they can and decide to call in Rocky Jones for a final flight plan. While Marshall goes off to contact Rocky, Vena and Secretary Drake confer - that is, if Vena can decide where to begin! But Drake is already on to her, and he laughingly informs her that he has no control over who Rocky picks for this important mission. Drake calls for Rocky Jones and "three men" appear!

They go over the plan. An Ambassador's Interplanetary Peace Conference is to be held in neutral territory at the X-07 space station near the Jupitor equalateral, near the orbit of Peretain. Top diplomats and scientists of the solar system will meet! Dr. Tyson will be Earth's ambassador/ scientist. But, will the outlaw worlds respect this neutral territory? Or is this just forshadowing...?

Vena is unsure where she stands with Rocky's crew, but Rocky has accepted her as a vital part of his team, and suggests she "pack her lipstick"! Of course, Bobby wonders if he is included on this mission, as well; and after some hard selling of himself as Junior Leuitenant, Dr. Tyson agrees that Bobby is a vital part of the crew - and so does Rocky!

The plan is to refuel at Peretain after dropping off the ambassadors at the X-07. Rocky suggests extra armament rockets!

On Ophiucha, Cleolanta is outraged that she was not invited to the peace conference! So outraged, that she contacts Duvean, her spy on Earth, and tells him "code 96" - blow up the Orbit Jet!

Peperations for the Orbit Jet go on oblivious to the evil deeds happening nearby! "Astronomically astute" Winky knows Vena can navigate them to the X-07. Duvean spies. And Garbot, in the relay ship near Earth, relays the coded message from Duvean that orders will be carried out. Cleolanta giggles confidently over her plan. Duvean prepares the bomb, but the electronic bomb detectors go off! Rocky gets to Devean first, and subdues him. Other Rangers arrive and lend a hand. Civilian employee Duvean is taken to the provomartial. A narrow escape; and danger is avoided!

Launch day! The Orbit Jet is moved into launch position. The four Earth ambassadors enter the ship and Rocky has the lonely Launch Syncronizer Dude press the all important button to prep the ship for launch! Vena has her fingers crossed that there are no more bombs. All secure for blast off! And the launch is safe and successful! 

Cleolanta is given the report from Garbot that Rocky Jones has launched successfully! Atlasand offers to destroy the ship - but no... Cleolanta wants the conference brought to Ophiucha!

16 hours out, and Rocky is 1/3 of the way to X-07. Rocky reports to Secretary Drake that all is well.

Atlasand, and his copilot Magney, are ready to take off for X-07. They will stay out of radar range and wait for Rocky to drop off the ambassadors and leave, then Atlasand will deliver the surprise!

On X-07, Ranger Andrews prepares for Rocky to arrive.

Atlasand prepares his ego for the success of his assignment. Cleolanta gives her final orders, and corrects Atlasand's attitude!

Dr. Tyson and the peace conference ambassadors are dropped off, and Rocky promises to be back in 72 hours! Bobby enjoys the easier launch from the X-07, and Ranger Andrews alerts Peretain of Rocky's ETA.

When Rocky is out of range, Atlasand contacts the X-07, and Dr. Tyson speciffically! Atlasand threatens the space island, and Dr. Tyson has no choice but to agree to let Ranger Andrews bring the Ophiuciun ship to dock!

Rocky is oblivious to what is going on at the X-07, and looks forward, along with the rest of his crew, to some time off on Peretain!

Chapter IIEdit

On their way to Peretain aboard the Orbet Jet, Winky thinks everything has turned out okay, but Rocky is not so sure.

Atlasand and Magney herd all the X-07 crew and ambassadors into the X-07 meeting room, and hold them there until they know for sure that Rocky Jones is out of range.

The Orbit Jet approaches Peretain, and Rocky is informed that there are no messages awaiting his arrival. Rocky prepares to land.

Atlasand prepars to move the ambassadors to his ship. But Rocky calls from Peretain, and Atlasand forces Ranger Andrews to answer the astrophone and say all is well. Andrews hands the astrophone over to Dr. Tyson who is able to pass on a coded message - "24 hours"! Winky picks up on it before Rocky - 24 hours instead of 72 as prearranged! Rocky calls back, but there is no answer. Rocky then contacts Secretary Drake at Space Affairs Headquarters, who also cannot contact X-07! Drake orders Rocky to get three extra Rangers and go back to X-07 ASAP! So Rocky, Winky, Bobby, Vena, and three other Space Rangers head for X-07!

Atlasand and Magney slap each other on the back for their successful Operation Surprise! Cleolanta is also very happy for a change! She promises a reward, and Atlasand fantisizes about becoming Governor of Satellite 18!

Rocky approaches X-07. There is no contact. After an unassisted landing, Rocky and Winky board the station, but find it is completely deserted! Secretary Drake suspects Cleolanta when contacted. He feels it is her revenge for the capture of Darganto and Griff. ("Bobby's Comet") Rocky suggests Drake question them. But they are of no help - in fact, they are quite smug and superior to Secretary Drake! A frustrated Drake has them returned to their cell!

Rocky is ready to go to Ophiucha, but is stopped by Cleolanta's call! She admits she has the ambassadors, and then makes terms to exchange prisoners. If United Worlds refuse, she will dispose of her prisoners in the same way Darganto and Griff are disposed of! Rocky contacts Secretary Drake to fill him in. Drake responds. Rocky speaks to Cleolanta after being sure the prisoners are safe. Rocky makes stipulations. The exchange will be on X-07 or the United Worlds will attack Ophiucha! To avoid war, Cleolanta agrees... Rocky gives his word, and questions Cleolanta's!

The XV10 takes Darganto and Griff to X-07. Darganto makes snide remarks about Earth's hospitality.

Cleolanta informs Atlasand about the revised plan.

On X-07 Darganto and Griff wait in the meeting room. Atlasand and Magney bring the ambassadors and X-07 crew aboard. The prisoner exchange is made, and all seems well. Everyone is welcomed home! Darganto immediately makes trouble for Atlasand. But Atlasand follows his orders from Cleolanta, he draws a hidden gun and demands Dr. Tyson be taken prisoner back to Ophiucha!

Chapter IIIEdit

On station X-07, all is tense! Rocky protests Alasand wanting to take Dr. Tyson back ot Ophiucha! Dr. Tyson sneaks a pill! Atlasand has Sterk take Ranger Andrews to the control room. He is to set controls for their take off, and then tie Andrews up! But Darganto can't stay out of official Ophiuchun business! A three hour time lock will be put on the door to the meeting room, and as "the lowest form of animal life" slinks out of the room, Magney takes Dr. Tyson to the ship.

Darganto and Griff head for the ship, but stop at the Air Generator and Moisture Recovery Section. Darganto turns off the air for the X-07 and gets Griff to agree to back him up.

Dr. Tyson faints on the way to the Ophiuchun ship - and then dies! Darganto accuses Atlasand of messing everything up! Atlasand wants to take Tyson's body back to Ophiuchus, but Dargano takes over by force, and insists the body of Dr. Tyson be left behind! With a bad "air tight" pun, Darganto rudely and impatiently takes the Ophiuchuns home!

Rocky tries to reassure the ambassadors. But it is not long before the ambassadors and Rangers feel uncomfortable! A Fornox Ambassador is the first to question the situation. Vena interprets. They all feel sluggish and poorly. Rocky checks his crew, and soon realizes that the air has been turned off! Rocky checks the air vent, and uses Vena's lipstick to open it. General Hartho, army engineer, checks the vent - "a standard duct, 18 inches square" - too small for any man to get through...! But they have someone smaller than a man! Bobby to the rescue!

On their way back to Ophiucha, Darganto laughs about how he outfoxed Atlasand, and Atlasand knows he is in trouble!

Bobby contorts down the duct work until he comes to the blocked opening of the Air and Moisture Recovery Section. Now he has to push the duct clear! When he finally uses his head, he successfully removes the barrier!

Bobby climbs down, turns on the piston and master switch, and the system comes alive! Bobby gathers up some tools to open the timed lock on the outer sound proof door of the conference room. By adjusting the time, the lock opens! Mission accomplished!

Winky remembers Ranger Andrews is still tied up, but before they get to Andrews, they find the dead Dr. Tyson! Rocky goes to the control room and has Winky and the Rangers move Dr. Tyson's body to the ship.

Ranger Andrews works on the astrophone to get it back into operation so they can get a signal out.

Winky is shocked to see Dr. Tyson move! He goes to get Rocky. Dr. Tyson wakes up feeling groggy. Dr. Tyson took a suspended annimation capsule developed for long space flights. Rocky contacts Space Affairs Headquarters. Ranger Marshall is reiieved to hear everyone is alright!

Meanwhile Darganto lands on Ophiuchus, and an outraged Cleolanta holds both Atlasand and Darganto responsible for the failure! Cosmo enters the room anxious to tell Cleolanta that he has broken the United Worlds scrambled code! And the very first message decoded is from Rocky Jones! Cleolanta reads it and decides the only solution for her two bickering lackeys is to lock them up in the same cell and fight it out! (I guess this makes Magney the new number one!)

On the way back to Earth in the Orbit Jet, Vena discovers the bump on Bobby's head! Dr. Tyson wishes to recommend Rocky and his crew for a special citation - and that includes Bobby too!

END.

GalleryEdit

CastEdit

CrewEdit

TriviaEdit

  • This episode teleplay is written by Fritz Blocki (chapter 1 and 3) and Warren Wilson (chapter 2).
  • The announcer reads "THE" Silver Needle In The Sky for the title.
  • Professor Newton does not appear in this episode.
  • This episode is copywritten 1953.
  • Dayton Lummis who plays Dr. Tyson will also play La Volga the leader of Ankapor in two additional eposodes. ("Rocky's Odessy" and "The Trial of Rocky Jones"
  • Frank Pulaski reprises his role as Darganto.
  • Leonard Penn reprises his role as Griff.
  • See Dr. Tyson's close up as he takes a pill, and then in the background behind Atlasand, he reaches for another! (Hey! - wasn't he searched on Ophiuchus...?!) 
  • Watch Rocky cover for the fact a screw accidently broke loose while he was taking off the vent!
  • The layout of the orbital space station is a little unclear. If Bobby had come out of the oxygen pump room using the same door that Darganto used to turn everything off, he should have nearly tripped over Dr. Tyson's body! So, unless there is another route, Bobby is not a very observant little Space Ranger...(Though he may have had a concussion...) (Or been destracted with his new tool collection...)
  • Watch General Hartho - he is a real "touchie feelie" kind of guy!
  • It takes 48 hours to get from Earth to the X-07 - but later it only takes 36 hours to get from X-07 to Earth. Earth's changing orbit must shave off those 12 hours! 
  • The conference will last 72 hours. Rocky plans to relax for 24 hours on Peretain itself, so it must take 24 hours to get to AND from X-07 to Peretain.
  • If Cleolanta locked Atlasand and Darganto in a cell together to let them fight it out, we can only assume that Altasand won, because Darganto does not appear in the series again!
  • The Silver Needle In The Sky edited movie is called "Duel in Space", and uses the original Rocky Jones opening images and music (it even has Chapter 1 on it!). The closing credits and music are from chapter three. It is available on DVD.



Previous episode:
"The Forbidden Moon"
Episodes of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger
in Production Order
Next episode:
"Kip's Private War"

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