Monday, August 20, 2012

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Captain Midnight (1954)

Captain Midnight had conquered radio, comics, and the silver screen before Screen Gems acquired a license to adapt the series to television in 1954. The program aired on CBS for 39 episodes, all sponsored by Ovaltine. You'll notice, as I did when I saw this video, that Ovaltine was marketed back then as a dietary supplement, though never spoken as such in advertising.

Richard Webb starred as Captain Midnight, a maskless troubleshooter who led a group known as the Secret Squadron, which was the marketing hook for Saturday morning audiences tuning in. However, his two co-stars went on to greater success than Webb did.

Sid Melton (Ichabod "Icky" Mudd) later appeared on Make Room For Daddy and Green Acres, among other places. Toonaholics will recognize the voice of Olan Soule (Professor Aristotle "Tut" Jones) as that of the Batman for an impressive 16 year run (1968-84), in addition to roles on Dragnet, Dennis the Menace, The Andy Griffith Show, and elsewhere. Come to think of it, had they remade Midnight during the 70's, they could've replaced Melton with the similarly sized Casey Kasem, and there wouldn't have been much difference! Same height, same hairstyle, you get the idea........!

Anyway, the format played out similarly to other adventure shows of the day, including Sky King and The Adventures of Superman.

Here's the episode, "Artic Avalanche":

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

Again, this falls into the "Heard about it never saw it, but my parents loved it" catagory.

Funny how it was sponsored by Ovaltine! I keep getting flashbacks to "A Christmas Story"
and the "secret message" Ralphie got from "Little Orphan Annie"!

hobbyfan said...

Today, a show like this would be sponsored by Flintstones Vitamins, in this health-consicous age.

Speaking of "A Christmas Story", I'm reading they are talking up a sequel, 30 years after the original film!