While I’ve written about books and magazines for this column, there’s other mediums where science fiction lives: television and film. I haven’t talked about that much for the column (given that Kirkus Reviews is primarily a book magazine), but there’s some fascinating times when they’ve crossed over. One such case is one of the first science fiction television shows, which caught my interest based on the authors who wrote for it: Asimov, Clarke, Vance, and others. The show was Captain Video and his Video Rangers, and it’s a neat program that forms a solid branch from the literature world to the television world, helping to bring about other major television shows that followed.
As a bonus, there’s several episodes online:
Go read Captain Video and his Science Fiction Authors over on Kirkus Reviews.
- The World of Science Fiction, 1926-1976: The History of the Subculture, Lester Del Rey. Del Rey mentions this show in passing, and how it related to the early TV world at the time.
- The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World,
- Thomas M. Disch. Disch also mentions this in passing, and notes that it’s a forerunner to some of the early TV shows.
- Arthur C. Clarke: The Authorized Biography, by Neil McAleer. There’s some great quotes in here from Clarke’s experience working on the show, as well as quotes from the producer, Druce.
- Hugo Gernsback: A Man Well Ahead of His Time, edited by Larry Steckler. This fannish (read, meh) biography of Gernsback provides some good context for SF as a technological phenomenon.
- The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, David Weinstein. This book has some fantastic information about the DuMont network and particularly, some great details about the TV show and the behind the scenes work, although not much about the authors.
- Captain Video and his Video Ranger, Museum of Broadcast Communications. This entry on the MBC’s website is a nice overview of the Captain Video television show.
- Captain Video. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction has a solid entry on the show and its place in genre history.
- Captain Video and His Video Rangers. I hate to admit it, but Wikipedia was fairly helpful here, pointing me to several places and giving me some people to look up.