Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-068 Sky King.mpg


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Episode Description:

Sky King is a 1940s and 1950s American radio and television adventure series. The title character is Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot Schuyler "Sky" King. The series was likely based on a true-life personality of the 1930s, Jack Cones, the "Flying Constable" of Twentynine Palms in San Bernardino County, California, although this claim is unverified.

Although the series had strong western elements, King mostly captured criminals and spies, and found lost hikers with the use of his plane, the Songbird. Though the planes used changed during the course of the series, the later model was not given a number, but was still known as the Songbird.

King and his niece, Penny (and sometimes Clipper, his nephew), lived on the Flying Crown Ranch, near the (fictitious) town of Grover, Arizona. Penny and Clipper were also pilots, though still relatively inexperienced and looking to their uncle for guidance and mentoring. Penny was an accomplished air racer and rated multi-engine pilot, whom Sky trusted to fly the Songbird.

The musical score was largely the work of Herschel Burke Gilbert.

The television version stars Kirby Grant as Sky King and Gloria Winters as Penny. Other regular characters included his nephew Clipper, played by Ron Hagerthy, and Mitch the sheriff, portrayed by Ewing Mitchell. Mitch, a competent and intelligent law enforcement officer, depended on his friend Sky's flying skills to solve the harder cases. Other recurring characters included Jim Bell, the ranch foreman, played by Chubby Johnson, as well as Sheriff Hollister portrayed by Monte Blue, and Bob Carey played by Norman Ollestad.

Many of the storylines would parallel those used in such dramatic potboilers as Adventures of Superman with the supporting cast repeatedly finding themselves in near-death situations and the hero rescuing them with seconds to spare. Penny was particularly adroit at falling into the hands of spies, bank robbers (the best place to hide stolen loot was apparently in the Arizona desert) and other ne'er-do-wells.

Like most television cowboy heroes of the time, Sky never killed the villains, even though one episode had him shooting a machine gun into his own stolen plane.

Largely a show for children, although it sometimes aired in prime time, Sky King became an icon in the aviation community. Many pilots, including American astronauts, who grew up watching Sky King name him as an influence.

Though plot lines were often simplistic, Grant was able to bring a casual, natural treatment of technical details which led to a level of believability not found in other TV series involving aviation or life in the American West. Likewise, villains and other characters were usually depicted as intelligent and believable, rather than as two-dimensional. The writing was generally above the standard for contemporary half-hour programs, though sometimes the acting was not.

The later episodes of the television show were notable for the dramatic opening with an air-to-air shot of the sleek, second Songbird banking sharply away from the camera and its engines roaring, while the announcer proclaimed "Out of the blue of the Western sky comes — Sky King!" The short credit roll which followed was equally dramatic, with the Songbird swooping at the camera across El Mirage Lake, California, then pulling up into a steep climb as it departed. The end title featured a musical theme, with the credits superimposed over an air-to-air shot of the Songbird, cruising at altitude for several moments then banking away to the left.

The show also featured low-level flying, especially with the later Songbird. Many shots showed the Cessna "down amongst the rocks and the trees," to show the speed of the plane as the desert flashed by in the background.

Episode Short Description: N/A

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[SD File Downloads]: 20

[HD File Downloads]: 0

[Total File Downloads]: 20

 


SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-068 Sky King.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:31:26

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,471,380,862 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 13:47


HD (High Definition) File


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