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  Planet Man, Volume 1 - 10 hours [Download] #RA523



 
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The Planet Man
Volume 1


"Great Jumpin' Asteroids!"

Here's a label from one of the original "Planet Man" transcription recordings.During radio's Golden Age, science fiction was pretty much relegated to that of kiddie-oriented programming; radio serials like "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon" - both based on popular newspaper comic strips - are examples of the programs that were produced to entertain a non-discerning juvenile audience. On occasion, there would be an experimental foray into programming for adults ("The War of the Worlds," selected episodes of "Lights Out") but for the most part, sci-fi remained the bailiwick of children. But the release of the feature film "Destination Moon" in 1950 changed all of this, ushering in a new era of serious, adult science-fiction drama - most notably NBC's "Dimension X" and the later "X-Minus One." Still, the 'old ways' were not entirely abandoned - and "The Planet Man" is one of these stories.

Produced in about 1950 by Palladium Radio Productions, "The Planet Man" is the golly-gee-whillikers saga of Dantro, an intergalactic troubleshooter for an organization known as the League of Planets - "the law enforcement body for peace and justice in the celestial world." (Think of him as an outer-space version of Marshal Matt Dillon - "It's a chancy job, and it makes a [planet] man watchful...") With their center of operations situated on Planeria Rex, "the capital of the planets," the League sends their water-carrier Dantro out into the celestial world to maintain law and order "whenever danger threatens the universe."

Dantro is assisted in his quest for law-and-order by the members of Earth's first rocket expedition: Dr. John Darrow, his daughter Pat, and engineer Slats, who are rescued by the Planet Man before their rocket comes perilously close to crashing into the moon. (The explanation for this is that Darrow and crew took on a pair of stowaways before blast-off, namely his nephew Billy and niece Jane - which makes a listener wonder why the heck they weren't in school.) These five individuals join forces with the Planet Man to defeat evildoers like Marston, the ruler of Mars who possesses an insatiable appetite for interplanetary domination.

Background on "The Planet Man" is sketchy at best - even with the original discs close at hand. Various sources date its syndicated run around 1952-53, but specific air date information remains unknown. Palladium transcribed a total of 78 15-minute episodes for afternoon strip, with 76 episodes extant today. (The first and fourth installments, likely contained on a single audition disc, are missing and have never been located.) The cast of the series also remains shrouded in mystery as well; only the announcer (Phil Tonken), organist (Jon Gart, whose theme for the show sounds like a cross between the "Dragnet" march and "Love for Three Oranges," the theme of "The FBI in Peace & War") and voice of the robot characters (Joseph Boland) have been identified.

"The Planet Man" is a graduate of the Space Patrol/Tom Corbett, Space Cadet school of old-time radio drama, serving up plenty of breezy, not-to-be-taken-seriously adventure fun. Marston is a great megalomaniacal comic villain, very similar to the bad guys in the Columbia Studios serials who were always griping about their bungling subordinates and their inability to follow orders. But the series utilizes other colorful villains as well -- particularly a pair of Brooklynese dese-dem-and-dose space pirates named Slick and Blackie who sound like refugees from a Monogram B-gangster pic. And yet, the show showcases ideas that will be used later in other, classic sci-fi films: one particular story arc echoes the Cold War paranoia of "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers," in which the nefarious Marston manages to dehumanize Dantro and others with his handy-dandy "Hypno-Ray."

Oh, heck - who are we trying to kid? It's campy entertainment to the nth degree, and so - to paraphrase announcer Tonken - let's "level off" and travel to the far galaxies of space with "The Planet Man"!

#2 Let's Orbit the Moon
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication

#3 Dantro Explains the Use of the Cosmic Communicator
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication

#5 Marston of Mars is Planning an Attack on Earth
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#6 Dantro and Pat Discuss Slats and Marston
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#7 Marston Has Given a Kidnapping Order
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#8 Hurrying Thru the Tunnel to Aid Billy and Jane
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#9 Hoping for a Miracle to Stop Marston
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#10 Billy and Jane in a Space Ship Heading for Earth?
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#11 Three-Dimensional Dantro Gives Instructions
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#12 In the Tunnel Under the Palace
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#13 Billy and Jane in Space on a Scout Ship
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#14 Preparing to Blast Off
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#15 A Discussion of Reception on Venus
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#16 Captured on Venus by the Dusters
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#17 Dantro, Billy, and Jane are Captives on Venus
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#18 Back to Their Prison Cell
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#19 Dantro, They're Coming for Us!
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#20 A Plot to Destroy Venus
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#21 The Venusian Minister is a Traitor
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#22 An Encounter with Space Pirates
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#23 Space Pirates are Planning to Overpower Dantro
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#24 Alarm Alerts Pirates
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#25 Slick and Blackie are Shooting for Big Things
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#26 Dantro on the Ancient Spaceship
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication

#27 Search for the Right Asteroid
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#28 Billy is Trying to Find Dantro
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#29 Searching for the Planeteer
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#30 The Planeteer is Spotted by Cosmos
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#31 Prospector Rocks Finds Billy and Jane
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#32 Billy Finds Uranium on Asteroid
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#33 The Planeteer is Surrounded by Space Mines
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#34 Billy and Jane are Safe
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#35 Investigating Unusual Behavior
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#36 A Strange Case Involving the Evil Marston
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#37 Dantro is Under Marston's Power
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#38 Slats is Fed Up
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#39 Slats Discovers Marston
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#40 Slats Takes Dantro to Headquarters
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#41 A Jupiter Moon is Sent Into the Sun
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#42 Off To Find an Extinct Race
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#43 At Alpha Centauri
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#44 Intercept
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#45 Barrel Robots
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#46 Ship Held to Planet
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#47 There is No Choice But to Obey Zen!
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#48 Klee Has a Use for Dantro and Slats
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#49 The Alpha Astrodrive Won't Respond
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#50 Meeting Three-Dimensional Roora
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#51 Touring the Capitol City of Mardee
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


#52 The Mardee Council Denies a Request for Aid
1950/51 - 15:00 - Palladium Radio Productions syndication


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