The Lost Planet

The Lost Planet

Infobox Film
name = The Lost Planet

image_size =
caption = Judd Holdren and Vivian Mason
director = Spencer Gordon Bennet
producer = Sam Katzman
writer = Arthur Hoerl
George H. Plympton
narrator =
starring = Judd Holdren
Vivian Mason
Michael Fox
Forrest Taylor
Gene Roth
Ted Thorpe
music = Ross DiMaggio
cinematography = William P. Whitley
editing = Earl Turner
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released =
runtime = 15 chapters
country = USA
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:133099
imdb_id = 0046012

"The Lost Planet" is a 1953 Columbia Pictures 15-chapter serial which has the distinction of being the last interplanetary-themed sound serial ever made. It was directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet with a screenplay by George H. Plympton and Arthur Hoerl (who also wrote for"Rocky Jones, Space Ranger"). It appears to have been planned as a sequel to the earlier chapterplay "" and shares many plot-points, props and sets, as well as some of the same cast. However, the Video Rangers do not appear, and their uniforms are instead worn by "slaves" created electronically by Reckov, the dictator of the Lost Planet (Gene Roth) with the help of mad scientist Dr. Grood (Michael Fox) and enslaved "good" scientist Professor Dorn (Forrest Taylor).

The serial is interplanetary in name only, since while Dr. Grood has a "space projectile" identical to that seen in the "Captain Video" serial, the other characters fly to the Lost Planet in an ordinary light aircraft! As on the "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger" TV series, with which it shares a writer, the dialogue is often as unintentionally hilarious as that of an Ed Wood film. Typical: "How are we going to find it, it's the Lost Planet."


*Judd Holdren as Rex Barrow
*Vivian Mason as Ella Dorn
*Michael Fox as Dr. Ernst Grood
*Forrest Taylor as Prof. Edmund Dorn
*Gene Roth as Reckov
*Ted Thorpe as Tim Johnson
*Karl 'Killer' Davis as Karlo, aka Robot R-4
*Jack George as Jarva
*Frederic Berest as Alden
*John L. Cason as Hopper
*Lee Roberts as Wesley Brenn, aka Robot R-9
*Nick Stuart as Darl
*Leonard Penn as Ken Wopler
*I. Stanford Jolley as Robot No. 9
*Joseph Mell as Lah

Unlike the "Captain Video" serial, "The Lost Planet" has a female character, Professor Dorn's daughter Ella (Vivian Mason) who strides about the Lost Planet (Bronson Canyon) in a fetching female version of the Video Ranger uniform. The hero is not Captain Video, but a newspaper reporter, Rex Barrow, played by Judd Holdren (who had previously played and ). Books on the sound serials generally conclude that this is one of the worst serials ever made, but it still has points of interest. The bizarre performance of Michael Fox (1921 - 1996) as the villainous Dr. Grood is particularly memorable. This is one of Fox's first screen roles. He went on to a long and distinguished career as a character actor in dozens of feature films and hundreds of TV series right up to his final illness and death.


"The Lost Planet" was the last of only three science fiction serials released by Columbia.cite book
last = Cline
first = William C.
title = In the Nick of Time
origyear = 1984
publisher = McFarland & Company, Inc.
isbn = 078640471X
pages = pp. 34
chapter = 3. The Six Faces of Adventure

This serial was, despite the characters' names, essentially a sequel to "", from which stock footage was taken for this serial.

Critical reception

In the opinions of Harmon and Glut, "The Lost Planet" is a "rather shoddy, low budget space cliffhanger." [cite book
last = Harmon
first = Jim
coauthors= Donald F. Glut
authorlink = Jim Harmon
title = The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury
origyear = 1973
publisher = Routledge
isbn = 9780713000979
pages = pp. 45
chapter = 2. "We Come from 'Earth', Don't You Understand?"

Chapter titles

# Mystery of the Guided Missile
# Trapped by the Axial Propeller
# Blasted by the Thermic Disintegrator
# The Mind Control Machine
# The Atomic Plane
# Disaster in the Stratosphere
# Snared by the Prysmic Catapult
# Astray in Space
# The Hypnotic Ray Machine
# To Free the Planet People
# Dr. Grood Defies Gravity
# Trapped in a Cosmo Jet
# The Invisible Enemy
# In the Grip of the De-Thermo Ray
# Sentenced to SpaceSource: [cite book
last = Cline
first = William C.
title = In the Nick of Time
origyear = 1984
publisher = McFarland & Company, Inc.
isbn = 078640471X
pages = pp. 255
chapter = Filmography

See also

*List of film serials
*List of film serials by studio


* "Science Fiction Serials" by Roy Kinnard (McFarland, NC, 1998). ISBN 0-7864-0545-7

External Links

* [ Roaring Rockets Serial Page]
* [ Gary Johnson: "The Serials"]

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Columbia Serial
before=Son of Geronimo (1952)
years=The Lost Planet (1953)
after=The Great Adventures of Captain Kidd (1953)

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