(also known as "Captain Neptune" and "Operation: Neptune".
June 28, 1953 - August 16, 1953. NBC TV
Sundays 7:00PM EST
Creator/writer: Maurice Brockhauser
|Advertisement for "Operation Neptune", from the Star Gazette (Minneapolis, Minnesota), July 28, 1953.|
Captain Video, Flash Gordon, Tom Corbett Space Cadet, nearly all the fantasy heroes of the Golden Age of Television took young viewers into the realms of outer space. In the summer of 1953 one program dared to be just as fantastic, but on Earth in the depths of the ocean, more in the territory of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or the 1936 movie serial Undersea Kingdom.
|Photo of actors (left to right), Tod Griffin as Commander Hollister (Captain Neptune), Richard Holland as Dink Saunders, and Margaret Stewart as Thirza a native of Nadiria. From the Wilmington Sunday Star, August 3, 1953.|
The series which was broadcast live from New York, was easily compared to Captain Video. It was a serialized television adventure of a captain and his young partner, against evils of another world, with a lackluster budget broadcast live from New York. An even stronger connection to Captain Video, was that Operation Neptune was created by Maurice Brockhauser, who been the lead writer of Captain Video during its first two years, from 1949 - 1951 under the pseudonym "M. C. Brock". Many sources claim, that Brockhauser's writing on Capt. Video was so erroneous that he was fired from the show (even thought it was hit with kids), as was not known to write a TV program again, but that was not the case.
Reviews from the New York Times, Variety, and other periodicals weren't so harsh on the shows writing as it was its production. It was noted that the special effects were limited to toy submarines in an aquarium or a washtub, and the illusion of the Nadirians being underwater was created with the illusion of bubbles passing in front of the camera. Not very technical even for 1953. The idea of an underwater adventure show with such primitive effects make the show a bit intriguing, and it is unfortunate that no recordings of this series have survived.
Underwater fantasy adventures would endure more with 1960s children with the successes of "Diver Dan" (1960), Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea (1964 - 1968). and Captain Fathom.
Articles from various newspapers, articles, books were consulted for this article. Please comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org for sources.