How do you say “STAR TREK” in German?
Well actually that translates into “Space Patrol Orion”. In 1966 two ground breaking science fiction shows were being developed thousands of miles apart. In Hollywood USA, Star Trek would become an international phenomenon, eventually. In West Germany, Raumpatrouille Orion would take off strong, stutter, fall and become a cult classic in Europe at least. Both shows are very similar in concept, there is no evidence that their respective creators had any idea the other show existed.
In the future a united, peaceful Earth sends a spaceship out on missions of exploration with a brash young captain leading an international crew of men and women on daring adventures. Commander Cliff Maitland has stepped out of Captain Kirk’s mold, the characters are almost identical. He is handsome, bold, quick to act and incredibly loyal to his crew.
His second in command is Tamera, a coldly logical woman who works by the book. She has been put in place to reign in Maitland and you can cut the sexual tension between the two with a knife.
Adventures of the Fast Space Cruiser Orion 7 are pretty standard. Fighting off an alien invasion in the first episode. Corralling rampaging robots in another. Rescuing their Admiral )an incredibly beautiful woman and Maitland’s only ally with the High Command) from a derelict spacecraft in another. Just like you might expect from an action show. An art deco feel permeates the show with sprawling sets that surpass anything seen in the original series of Star Trek. The special effects unit was strong, a lot was done “in camera” while superimposed shots are used throughout production. The acting is solid, my German is very rusty and there is a lot of dialog between action scenes. Strangely the show has never been subtitled or dubbed for the English speaking world.
This You Tube short, subtitled by a fan, will give you a pretty good feel for the show. I personally love the part at three minutes in, Helga (my favorite) coyly slips next to Cliff’s side to watch him make the unauthorized landing. The music on this show is just awesome!
Sadly after only seven episodes the bean counters cancelled the show due to “rising production costs.” Bunch of Philistines! A cult following quickly grew in Germany and over 100 authorized novels were written about the crew of the Orion 7. Hopefully some day a professionally subtitled and authorized DVD of this show will be released.