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Name: Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion
Abbreviation(s): Raumpatrouille Orion, Raumschiff Orion
Creator: Rolf Honold
Date(s): 1966
Medium: TV series
Country of Origin: Germany
External Links: Raumpatrouille (German Wikipedia article)

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You may be looking for Space Patrol (1963), a British puppet series

Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion was a German science fiction series of the 1960s. The first episode aired September 17, 1966, six years before Star Trek first aired on German TV. Although the ratings were good (between 37% and 56%[1]), there were only seven episodes produced. The story follows the adventures of Major Cliff Allister McLane and his crew on the space ship ORION. McLane is a bit of a maverick and known for his skill, courage, loyalty (which his crew returns), and his history of insubordination. After disregarding another order he and his crew are transferred to Raumpatrouille (Space Patrol) as a disciplinary action. However, McLane still manages to find trouble in unexpected places and saves Earth from an invasion of the alien FROGS, robots, global warming and other threats.

Something that's especially worth mentioning about Raumpatrouille is that the female characters were revolutionary for its time.[2] There is a female communications and operations officer who is part of McLane's regular team, the main female character and McLane’s love interest is a security officer who can (and does) pull rank on McLane[3], and his former commanding officer, the military commander of Earth's space fleet and another recurring character, is a woman too.[4]

The series continued first in book form (1968-1970) and then as pulp magazines (1972-1984), mostly as part of the science fiction publication Terra Astra but for a short time the ORION stories got a separate series.[5] From 1977 on the issues included more or less regularly a reader column (LKS) where fans could talk about the TV and print version of the series, explain the canon terminology, publish fanfiction and fanart, especially blueprints, or just get into contact with other fans.[6] All in all, there were 94 issues with LKS pages.[7] There were several fanclubs and in later years even some online activity, and the fandom is still active today.

Raumpatrouille experienced several reruns on TV. The impact of the series was mostly a cultural one because it showed a lot of people who weren't fans what science fiction looked like and the score of the series is one that many people will immediately recognize.

Image of starting or landing ORION. The spaceport was at the bottom of the sea.

The SGA fanvid Raumpatrouille Atlantis uses this for a German audience iconic quality of the title melody to comment on the similarities between the shows by creating a b/w intro sequence for Stargate Atlantis. The effects might be fancier but when it comes down to it, not much has changed since the days of the ORION. Incidentally, it seems the spaceship Orion in Stargate Atlantis was named after the ORION from Raumpatrouille.[8]

Space Girl, a multifandom vid by Charmax celebrating the history of women in sci-fi, opens with footage from Raumpatrouille.


Starlight Casino - German fansite with information about the show and Raumpatrouille fandom in Germany and other countries (an English version of the site is available).


  1. ^ Josef Hilger. Raumpatrouille - Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffs ORION, 2005, p. 419.
  2. ^ Eva Pflug ist tot, in: sueddeutsche.de , 06 August 2008. Newspaper article where the actor of the character Tamara Jagellovsk talks about having difficulties finding an acting job after Raumpatrouille because everyone saw her as a feminist which turned out to be a problem for her career. (Accessed 15 January 2010)
  3. ^ Tamara Jagellovsk gives an order, YouTube clip with English subtitles. The translation could be better but at least it gives you an idea of what’s going on. (Accessed 15 January 2010)
  4. ^ The ORION crew gets transferred to Space Patrol, Youtube clip with English subtitles; scene with McLane’s crew and their superiors, including General Lydia van Dyke (quality of translation see above). (Accessed 15 January 2010)
  5. ^ Hilger. Raumpatrouille, 2005, p. 362.
  6. ^ Hilger. Raumpatrouille, 2005, p. 363/364.
  7. ^ Hilger. Raumpatrouille, 2005, p. 366
  8. ^ Stargate Atlantis: Inferno, tv.com summary, see Allusions. (Accessed 15 January 2010)