In the early days of television, shows were often done live. Such was the case with the adventure series Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. Set in the 24th century, Tom Corbett (Frankie Thomas) and his engineer sidekick from Venus, Astro (Markim), went on adventures around the solar system (and sometimes other stars) as members of the “Solar Guard” in their ship Polaris. The show ran at various times on all four of the networks of the day: CBS in 1950, NBC in 1951, ABC from 1951 to 1952, Dumont in 1953 and 1954, and finally on NBC again from 1954 to 1955. You could get a Space Cadet lunchbox and follow their adventures in comics and books. “I remember sometimes we’d watch something [space-related in real-life], and my kids would say, ‘Wow!’ and they’d ooh and aah, and I would say, ‘Aww, I was there. I stood there’,” Markim said in the 2008 book, I Talked With a Zombie. “I walked on the moon. I walked on Mars. That’s nuthin’! Because it felt, in my mind, sort of like I had done it.” After the series wrapped, Markim was a producer, and started an early home video company that was bought out by Technicolor; he was inducted into the Video Hall of Fame in 1996. He died November 24, at 88.
From This is True for 29 November 2015