Captain Video with Vitamin Flintheart

CaptainVideoTitleFrom a mountaintop in the distant future, citizen-scientist Captain Video and his Video Rangers battle the evil of the Astroidal Society preserve peace in the future.  This was the plot of a nightly science fiction show, featuring outlandish weapons and high-tech gizmos.  Captain Video we now know was also aging thespian Vitamin Flintheart’s debut in show business!  Wandering into the DuMont building, Flintheart was cast as one of the Captain’s Video Rangers, but sadly footage of the film was lost…until now!

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Of course, Vitamin is a work of fiction but Captain Video was a real show produced by DuMont between 1949 and 1955.  Most of the film archive, consisting of kinescope (16 mm) and Electronicam (35 mm) was destroyed to recover the silver content in the film.  Only 24 episodes are known to have survived with only a handful available to the public, here’s a sample.

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Al Hodge and Don Hastings in Video Helmets

As a result of their being so few surviving episodes, it is not clear what time period the series is set in with the time period changing from current time (1950’s) to centuries in the future and travelling through interstellar space.  It seems Captain Video was a bit of a predecessor to Dr. Who.

Even for its time, the show quality is considered low-budget, probably due to the show being done live with a meager DuMont budget to work with.  It might remind Dick Tracy fans of the 1950-51 Dick Tracy television series starring Ralph Byrd.  The Dick Tracy series was also run on a shoestring budget and surviving 16mm film can be hard to find.  We can proudly say we have the most complete collection here!

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