Tag Archives: Balladeer’s Blog


space commandSPACE COMMAND (1953-1954) – Long, long before the recent television series of this name came Canada’s Space Command. James “Scotty” Doohan was Phil Mitchell, Robert Barclay played Frank Anderson, the 20-something young man who was the ostensible star of the show, Harry Geldard portrayed Captain Steve Cassell and Austin Willis was Dr. Fleming.

William Shatner made a guest appearance on one episode, so he worked with James Doohan before Star Trek, just like he did with Leonard Nimoy. Special effects on Space Command were as cheap and unconvincing as they were on any other science fiction program from the time period.  

This series was broadcast live but was kinescoped like various other series back then and episodes were distributed around Canada following the live broadcast from Toronto. Space Command ran from March 13th, 1953 to May 29th, 1954. Out of the program’s supposed 150 episodes, only 1 has been found so far, but the search continues. Continue reading


Filed under Forgotten Television


USCAA (United States Collegiate Athletic Association)

bluefield state logoONE HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE – Both teams made the Century Club in this game between the BLUEFIELD STATE BIG BLUES and their guests the JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY (NC) WILDCATS. Defense was not an option, apparently, as the Big Blues led by the unbelievable score of 82-46 at Halftime before going on to win the game 145-106. Malik Lacewell led Bluefield State with 25 points, Malik Tidwell logged 20 points and Khamaury McMillan registered a Double-Double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

macu mustangsINSTANT CLASSIC – The MIDATLANTIC CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS took the court against the VIRGINIA PENINSULA COLLEGE GATORS. At the Half the Mustangs were clinging to a tight 32-30 edge. After the break MACU kept the Gators at arm’s length the rest of the way enroute to a 70-68 victory. Noah Richardson-Keys led the victors with 22 points. Continue reading

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This weekend’s light-hearted and escapist superhero blog post looks at the neglected superheroes of Holyoke Comics.   


Any of us could stick a drawing pencil up our butt and draw a better picture.


Secret Identity: Drake Gorden, MD

Origin: While on a passenger ship in the South Seas Dr Drake Gorden was swept overboard during a typhoon. He washed ashore on an uncharted island inhabited only by a monk formerly from Tibet. The monk decreed Doctor Gorden to be worthy of the Egyptian black diamond he guarded. That jewel bestowed super-powers on Gorden, who returned to the U.S. and fought crime as Doctor Diamond. 

First Appearance: Cat-Man Comics # 1 (May 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1942. 

Powers: The black jewel granted Doctor Diamond the strength of fifty men and an impressive degree of invulnerability.  Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


mascot sword and gun pic


Today is January 13th, which also happens to be a Friday. On past instances of Friday the 13th, Balladeer’s Blog has done posts about the 1907 novel Friday the 13th, about the PRE-Jason Voorhees Friday the 13th horror movie, about one of the 50 Shades of Grey movies hitting theaters on Friday the 13th, and about the airing of Friday the 13th Part 3D on an old movie host show in the 1980s.

For today, I’ll take a look at noteworthy events on other January 13ths, most of which were not Fridays, but what the hell?

888 A.D. – Charles the Fat’s successor, Count Odo of Paris assumes the throne as King of West Francia.

1404 – The English Parliament passes the Act of Multipliers, making it illegal for alchemists to use their abilities to transmute lesser substances into precious metals. The outdated and buffoonish Paul Krugman probably believes that such legislation is still necessary.

1605 – The satirical comedy Eastward Ho!, by Ben Jonson and two co-authors, offends England’s King James, who has two of the authors imprisoned. Here in 2023 it is mostly emotional cripples on social media that want people imprisoned or worse for offending them.    Continue reading


Filed under Neglected History, opinion


These are the legends about Charlemagne and his Paladins, not the actual history, so there will be dragons, monsters and magic. 


Bradamante BETTERBRADAMANTE VS ATLANTES – We left off in the previous installment with Bradamante, the female Paladin in white armor, waiting at an inn in Bordeaux for her foretold encounter with the clever dwarf Brunello. Presently the day had come when Brunello arrived, but before she could approach him, both of them were swept up in a crowd of bystanders in a panic, pointing to the sky as the enchanter astride the winged horse once again flew overhead.

Bradamante took advantage of this development to pretend to casually inquire of Brunello about the astounding sight. The clever dwarf, whom Bradamante had been warned was an accomplice of the flying enchanter, informed her that it was Atlantes and that he had abducted several men and women recently and imprisoned them in his mountaintop castle.

Charlemagne's empireBrunello pretended not to know what happened to the abductees, but the female Paladin had been told by the priestess Melissa that they were used as companions for her missing beloved, Ruggiero. Atlantes had trained and raised Ruggiero since the latter’s childhood and feared the prophecies that the warrior would one day be led away from Islam by his love for Bradamante.

Playing along as if she was not suspicious of the clever dwarf, the White Paladin raged about how she longed to find the mountaintop refuge of Atlantes and free his prisoners. Brunello had by now realized that this woman warrior was the famous Bradamante herself, and planned to lure her into the clutches of Atlantes as he had done with so many others. Continue reading


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les grands detectivesLES GRANDS DETECTIVES (1975) – A few years back in Balladeer’s Blog’s Forgotten Television category, I reviewed every episode of the British television and radio series The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. That series presented mystery stories featuring fictional Victorian and Edwardian Age detectives in tales written during Holmes’ own time period.

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, Dr. Thorndyke, Inspector Lipinzki, Miss Hagar Stanley and others were introduced to generations who had never heard of them. This French-West German co-production titled Les Grands Detectives presented mysteries being solved by similar detectives – including America’s Nick Carter, the one-time fictional giant who has since fallen down the memory hole. Each episode ran 52-55 minutes.

Les Grands Detectives episodes were as follows:

inspector wensTHE SIX DEAD MEN (April 21st, 1975)

The Detective: Inspector Wenceslas Woroboyioetschik, known as Inspector Wens for short. This detective was created by Belgian writer Stanislas-Andre Steeman. Wens was introduced in short stories during the 1920s and also appeared in novels beginning in the 1930s.

The Six Dead Men was the first Inspector Wens novel and was published in 1931. During World War One, six soldiers establish a short-term tontine: in ten years (five years in the novel) the survivors of the sextet – if any – will split the profits accrued in their venture. As the date of the cash-out draws near, some of the men start getting killed off, and Inspector Wens gets involved. Continue reading


Filed under Forgotten Television


I've had days like that. One time I unwittingly trained a dolphin to kill the president of the Teamsters Union. I had a hell of a time hiding Hoffa's body. "Thanks for all the fish" my ass!

I’ve had days like that. One time I unwittingly trained a dolphin to kill the president of the Teamsters Union. I had a hell of a time hiding Hoffa’s body. “Thanks for all the fish” my ass!


A) Personally, I’ve always subscribed to the “Second Dolphin” theory myself. Continue reading


Filed under humor


vanguard u lionsDOWN GOES NUMBER ONE – In this game the VANGUARD UNIVERSITY LIONS welcomed the number 1 team in the nation – the ARIZONA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY FIRESTORM. Though the Firestorm were on top 43-39 come Halftime, after the break the Lions roared from behind to win the game 84-76. Garrett White led VU with his Double-Double of 24 points and 10 rebounds.

johnson u royalsCENTURY CLUB – Teams who scored 100 points or more in Regulation: the JOHNSON UNIVERSITY (TN) ROYALS won 111-82 against the ST. ANDREWS UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS   ###   The TEXAS A&M AT TEXARKANA EAGLES (should be the Texarks) downed the OUR LADY OF THE LAKE UNIVERSITY SAINTS 110-95   ###   And the MAYVILLE STATE COMETS won 101-82 at the VITERBO UNIVERSITY V-HAWKS.

brewton parker college barons initial logoBREWING A BLOWOUT – The BREWTON-PARKER COLLEGE BARONS played host to the VOORHEES UNIVERSITY TIGERS. The Barons had utterly humiliated the Tigers by the Half with a 38-11 lead, and from there they coasted to a 76-42 triumph. Lance Smith logged a Double-Double of 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Brewton-Parker College. Continue reading

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This weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero blog post will deal with the first time Marvel’s version of Hercules joined the Avengers in the 1960s. The demigod had subsequent periods as a member of the team, but this first time carried on from the lengthy Hercules/ Thor/ Pluto storyline that Balladeer’s Blog reviewed HERE.

ave 38AVENGERS Vol 1 #38 (March 1967)

Title: In Our Midst … An Immortal

Avengers Roster: The Wasp, Goliath, Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Black Widow 

Villains: The Enchantress and Ares

Synopsis: The Black Widow is secretly recruited by Nick Fury to go under deep cover by leaving the Avengers and pretending to once again become a communist agent. She is not to tell anyone that she is only faking her return to communism, not even Hawkeye, who is heartbroken and outraged when she departs Avengers Mansion. 

Meanwhile, partway down Mount Olympus, Hercules is engaged in a battle with the god of war Ares. Herc challenged Ares to this fight out of anger over Ares’ taunting refusal to help Hercules against Pluto in the storyline mentioned above. Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


These are the legends about Charlemagne and his Paladins, not the actual history, so there will be dragons, monsters and magic. 


bradamante another picBRADAMANTE IN THE WIZARD’S TOMB – We left off last time around with Mandricardo searching for the Paladin Roland so he could try to kill him and steal from him the sword Durindana, thus completing the armor of Hector. The female Paladin in white armor, Bradamante, was searching for Ruggiero the Moor, from whom she had gotten separated a few installments back. Ruggiero was likewise searching for her.

The clever dwarf Brunello, a figure who might have inspired GOT‘s Tyrion Lannister just as Bradamante might have inspired Brienne, was meanwhile roaming the same region of Europe. Brunello had been sent from northern Africa by the enchanter Atlantes to lure Atlantes’ departed protege Ruggiero into captivity to prevent him from being lured away from Islam by his love for Bradamante. 

Brunello encountered Ruggiero and convinced him to follow him to save a beautiful maiden who had supposedly been abducted by an enchanter astride a winged horse. Ruggiero, in true chivalric style, agreed to accompany the dwarf to save the maiden. At length Brunello secretly summoned the winged enchanter to capture and make off with Ruggiero.

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Balladeer’s Blog

Atlantes the Enchanter had resolved to keep Ruggiero in the castle forever, so additional men and women were abducted and taken to the castle to provide Ruggiero with companionship and keep him too occupied to want to leave. The captured Moor and his fellow prisoners lost themselves in drinking and feasting. Meanwhile, the battles of the Saracen invasion of Charlemagne’s empire raged on.   

Back with Bradamante, she encountered an armored warrior called Pinabel. His true love was among the women abducted by the enchanter on the flying horse and he recruited Bradamante into helping him try to get her back from the enchanter’s castle. Continue reading


Filed under Mythology