|Keeping the cosmos safe from alien dictators and other supervillains, Space Angel and his crew soared onto television screens in the early 1960’s.
Perhaps “soared” is an exaggeration. Space Angel was another creation of Cambria Stuidos, the company responsible for Clutch Cargo, and like that earlier series, it relied on “motorized movement” rather than traditional cel animation. Single frames were designed by comic book artist Alex Toth (who went on to design Hanna-Barbera’s Space Ghost) and were often “animated” with a bit of camera trickery-cameras panned and tilted, sliding doors were opened by hand, and multiplane cameras gave the illusion of depth. Space Angel also relied on Cambria’s patented Synchro-Vox™ system, whereby real human lips were superimposed on cartoon faces for speaking parts.
The story of Space Angel was set in outer space, where eyepatch-clad Scott McCloud fought interstellar menaces under the alter ego Space Angel. When evil threatened, Space Angel launched from the space station Evening Star aboard his ship, Starduster. Only the crew of the Evening Star knew Space Angel’s secret identity. A hot-headed Scotsman named Taurus was the official mechanic and a fine pilot in his own right, and the lovely Crystal Mace was the navigator and resident science whiz. Crystal was also the daughter of Professor Mace, inventor of most of Space Angel’s vehicles and gadgetry.
Menace came from every corner of the cosmos, often under the direction of the extraterrestrial villainess Queen Zora. True to its space opera roots, every four-minute episode of Space Angel ended with a thrilling cliffhanger. In all, 260 shorts were produced, syndicated either separately or as half-hour weekend blocks (one full year’s worth) over the show’s all-too-brief lifetime.