Original Captain Video, Richard Coogan, Passes

By James H. Burns: If you didn’t grow up in the early 1950s, it’s a surprise to learn that Captain Video, an early science fiction action TV series, was actually well beloved by many, a hit at certain times, and that at least after its first year, could feature some literary SF concepts of the era, courtesy of the contribution of several leading genre authors.

That unknown legacy is largely due to the fact that almost no episodes exist, scholarship on the show has been limited, and that most of us think of the program only as part of an Ed Norton reverie on The Honeymooners. (Also, it’s jarring. in a few of the surviving shows, to see the program suddenly cut to clips from old westerns, “the adventures of the Captain’s agents on Earth.” Plus, the Columbia Pictures theatrical release filmed serial, inspired by the teleseries,  isn’t necessarily entirely thrilling.)

But it’s also surprising to learn that Richard Coogan, the original Captain Video (followed by Al Hodge), made it to the age of 99 – he would have turned 100 next month! — passing away yesterday, March 12.

He was, after all, for many Americans, one of the first science fiction heroes.

Here is a link to Coogan’s obituary at The Hollywood Reporter.