16 July 2005 | davebeedon
Memories of Captain Midnight
For a kid in the 1950s, this show was cool. Over the passage of 50 years, only a few general images have endured, hopefully unaffected by the nasty tricks that memory plays on a person! Captain Midnight's base of operations was perched atop a mountain or plateau and included a landing strip that extended over a precipice. His jet plane, with the short, straight wings, might have been modeled after one of the Bell "X" planes (such as the ones flown by test pilot Chuck Yeager). I think there were circles on the plane's wings, and they reminded me of the popular breakfast cereal "Cheerios." Captain Midnight's goofy sidekick, Ichabod Mudd, was an idiot, but his white-coated laboratory technician/inventor, played by Olan Soule, was a technical genius.
Yes, I proudly wore my secret decoder ring---ordered by mail, perhaps with coupons obtained from jars of "choclaty" Ovaltine---but it disappeared long ago. I wonder how many messages I decoded with it. Ovaltine, a drink powder resembling the kind used to make hot chocolate, was sold in a dark brown glass jar with a yellow label and a wide opening (for easy spooning of its contents). Its flavor was unlike that of any other drink and I never enjoyed it much.
The "Jet Jackson" dubbing later on amused and confused me but I took it in stride, not having a clue as to the legal requirement for the name change.
When I was a kid watching this show, the names of the actors meant little to me. Today, though, I like to see who played what on the shows I enjoyed as a kid and try to see the context of their careers at that time. Although it's interesting to see what Richard Webb did before the show, it is simply amazing to see all the movie and TV work that Olan Soule did over the years---he was everywhere! No doubt I saw him back then in other shows, but I can't remember if I recognized him as Captain Midnight's lab person.