Retro Daddy

The Past Isn't Over - It Isn't Even Past
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APRIL 2, 2009 7:07PM

60s German Cult TV: Space Patrol Orion

Rate: 16 Flag

Thanks to Annalee Newitz and the science fiction website io9 for this crazy futuristic dance sensation.


Concentrate on the dancers between the two people talking at the table in the undersea restaurant. I dare you.


This famous German sci-fi series, Raumpatrouille Orion (Space Patrol Orion) tells of the missions of the Raumschiff Orion. The show started in 1966, apparently inspired by Captain Kirk and the five-year mission of the Starship Enterprise.


Raumpatrouille Orion is somewhere between the cheesy one-set American space cadet shows from the 1950s and the more realistic looking science fiction series that followed the original Star Trek, such as Space: 1999.


The women spacefarers on Raumpatrouille Orion are already more equal than the “yeomen” that Captain Kirk used to have around to hand him electronic clipboards and provide anything else he needed. There are no miniskirts on the Orion and Captain McClane of the Raumschiff Orion commands a crew with about as many women as men.


Like Star Trek, Raumpatrouille Orion may have had its own Cold War context. One thing it may have shown was that in the future it was permissible for Germany to be rearmed and act as a normal ally in whatever interstellar NATO might be required. 



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Oh my god, this is hysterical! Some of those dance moves look like they are straight out of an aerobics class. But I love love love the trippy "greeting" when the dancers join up and bow in that wiggly way to each other.

Too bad we didn't have an American version of this. I loved Star Trek, but would have preferred a slightly less "Kirk's Harem" portrayal of the females.
Susan -

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the clip too.

I don't understand enough German to know what Spacestud McClane is discussing with his crewmate, but I caught references to a "U.R.B.," "war," "idealists," and "pacifists," so I wouldn't be surprised if Raumpatrouille Orion was similar to the original Star Trek in telling stories with political themes.
I'm of German heritage, and seeing the dance moves on display here explains every single family wedding reception I've ever been to.

Retro: The dancing was just getting interesting when it cut out. I think the dialog had something to do with a giant pacifist named Naomi. Jah!Like all space captains of that era, the captain seems to have misplaced the lapels on his space jacket. A space opera with choreography -- that they don't even feature. Very strange. I'm going to polish my German and watch the other episodes. Thanks!
Ausgezeichnet! I love the 22nd century dance moves! Glad I caught this one (thanks to Critical Mess's picks)...Retro, your choices always entertain!
Leeandra -

I lived in Berlin a long time ago and saw even weirder dancing at the Hofbrauhaus restaurants. When I think of the pop culture artifacts I could have picked up then but didn't . . .

Jeremiah -

One of the links on the io9 site showed dancers in Germany celebrating 30 years of Raumpatrouille Orion in similar couture. Apparently that show made a big impression on the Germans.

Procopius -

Thanks for reading and tipping me off to Critical Mess.
Funkadelic, groovy, hip man and all that jazz.
Hilarious! The folks at McNeil Healthcare Corp. ought to consider using that clip for an Imodium Commercial!
:D Thank you for this, I almost spurt my coffee out my nose- loved it!!
White folks got no rhythm.
An intergalactic minuet, symbolizing the dance of the cosmos! Transporting and very chic!
Hilarious! And stolen from the dance we did at my sister's wedding.
Warum sind sie tanzend wie das?? It' s-so wilder Mann! Wir pflegten, um wie das in der High school zu tanzen.

Since it was in German, I wanted to comment in German. I hope I was successful. If not, boy do I look like an idiot. :O

Man, I love the video!!
Apache, Mary Elizabeth, Nelly, Julie, Stellaa, Jimmy, phm, and Luis -

Thanks to you all for reading and commenting.

Monsieur Chariot -

If this is the dance of the cosmos, I think I want to get off and find another cosmos. It explains why Germans I've known have been much more into "The Time Warp" than any other nationality.
Was that Dieter in the back? "Zis is ze part on Shpace Shprockets ver ve dance."

I did like the Saarinen-type chairs!
Dieter would be proud. Do you want to pet my monkey?
Kevin and Del -

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed Dieter and his monkey. I can't remember, did the monkey wear a black turtleneck too?

neilpaul -

Thanks for digging out the Universal Translator. That woman who brought McClane the message really didn't want to leave, did she?