My word! I happened across Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, by pure chance, but what a wonderful piece of 1950s sci-fi it is, and not simply for the nostalgic value. The tropes, the sheer concentraton of tropes.
Before I go into detail of the tropes, I guess I should give a short explanation and introduction as to what and who Rocky Jones, Space Ranger is.
Rocky Jones is the titular character of a short-lived 1950’s sci-fi TV series of the Space Opera persuasion.
The series centered on the adventures of Rocky, the archetypical 1950’s good-guy hero. Clean-cut, square-jawed and of course most famous of the Space Rangers (a sort of interstellar police force). The Space Rangers patrol the United Worlds of the Solar System in the then not-too-distant future, which may or may not be the current present. Rocky and his crew fly a V-2-like spacecraft, the Orbit Jet XV-2, later in the series this became the nearly identical Silver Moon XV-3. Rocky and his crew always get the most dangerous missions the Space Rangers can assign but of course always succeed. Two things concerning the general topic of conflict resolution are notable: Although the Space ranger crew can destroy spaceships full of evil henchmen with impunity, they never fire their ray guns at people/aliens, this type of opponent is always engaged with good old brave fistfights.
Also, the script writers had serious issues with scientifically correct nomenclature and regulraly mix up planets, moons, stars and constellations, so that the locations where the adventures take place are vague in an almost cosmic sense.
Now for the TROPES, and oh my Cthulhu, do we have tropes:
- The Hero, of course. Rocky Jones is smart, brave, handsome and the spiritual ancestor of Captain Kirk, because every single woman in the series (including the evil space queen, see below) finds him irresitable.
- The Evil (Space) Queen Cleolanta, who is the main antagonist but also has a crush on Rocky.
- The trusty side-kick Winky, who also doubles as comic relief and on top of it all is a hidden bad-ass with quite the brawling skills
- The futuristic space lingo: “Sparkling stardust!” “Roaring rockets!” “Jumping satellites!” “Super cosmic!” “Mighty meteor!” and the list goes on. Glorious!
There are more tropes hidden in there, believe me. Just feast your eyes now: