Raumpatrouille - The fantastic adventures of the Orion spaceship

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Television series
Original title Raumpatrouille - The fantastic adventures of the Orion spaceship
Country of production Federal Republic of Germany
original language German
year 1966
length 60 minutes
Episodes 7 in 1 season
genre Science fiction
Director Theo Mezger , Michael Braun (alternating)
idea Rolf Honold
script Rolf Honold , WG Larsen (as a pseudonym for Hans Gottschalk, Helmut Krapp, Oliver Storz, Theo Mezger and Michael Braun)
production Hans Gottschalk
Helmut Krapp
Oliver Storz
music Peter Thomas
camera Kurt Hasse
First broadcast September 17, 1966 on German television

Main actor:

Supporting cast:

Space Patrol - The fantastic adventures of the spaceship Orion (often called Orion spacecraft , in newer video outputs as Space Patrol called) is the first and most famous German science fiction - television series . From September 17, 1966, it was broadcast biweekly on Saturday evenings according to the ARD's Tagesschau in seven parts.

The black and white series has enjoyed cult status for decades . When it was first broadcast on ARD, it achieved audience ratings of up to 56% and was therefore often referred to as a street sweeper . In Germany, the series was broadcast on German television in 1968 and 1975, as well as on various regional broadcasters on ARD, such as WDR 1973 and 1987, NDR television , hr-fernsehen and the then Südwest 3 as well as the private broadcaster Sat.1 (but often for legal reasons only five episodes) repeated a total of 20 times by 1999.


The story of the commander Cliff Allister McLane ( Dietmar Schönherr ) is told in an entertaining and sometimes ironic way, who commands the fast space cruiser Orion with his crew in the developing war against the strange "Frogs" and repeatedly shows himself rebellious towards his superiors. In the first episode of the series he is promptly transferred to the space patrol as a result of his unruly behavior, because he improperly demonstrated the possibility of landing on Saturn's moon Rhea .

The regular crew of the Orion consists of Cliff Allister McLane (commander), Mario de Monti (armouring officer), Atan Shubashi (astrogator), Hasso Sigbjörnson ( flight engineer) and Helga Legrelle (lieutenant for space surveillance). The crew is forcibly expanded by a security officer from the Galactic Security Service GSD: Tamara Jagellovsk ( Eva Pflug ). She is supposed to keep McLane from further antics.

The (originally nameless) ballroom dance that is danced at the bottom of the sea in the “Starlight Casino” is legendary. McLane's characterization and the detailed future world are considered to be groundbreaking for modern television.

Programmatic for the content is also the famous text, which was spoken in the opening credits of each episode with a dramatic undertone by Claus Biederstaedt :

“What sounds like a fairy tale today may be reality tomorrow. Here is a fairy tale of the day after tomorrow: There are no more nation states. There is only humanity and its colonies in space. One settles on distant stars. The sea floor is developed as living space. Spaceships rush through our Milky Way system at speeds that are still unimaginable today. One of these spaceships is the Orion, a tiny part of a gigantic security system that protects the earth from threats from space. Let us accompany the Orion and its crew on their patrol service on the edge of infinity. "

Space patrol in the field of tension of contemporary history

Even if Raumpatrouille seems rather cranky and comical today, it should be remembered the statement by Dietmar Schönherr in an interview that Raumpatrouille was meant quite seriously at the time, even if it was not meant without humor. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the series was rated very negatively by the view that dominated cultural politics, up to and including the predicate fascistoid .

For the 40th anniversary of the series, all those still alive got the opportunity to reflect from a long distance. On September 17, 2006, WDR broadcast a one-hour program on its 5th radio program, the program was repeated a few months later on Deutschlandradio Kultur and is now available as an audio book: “Raumpatrouille - The fantastic story of the Orion spaceship. A television legend turns 40. ”Media journalist and author Robert H. Bales spoke to actors such as Dietmar Schönherr, Eva Pflug, Wolfgang Völz and Charlotte Kerr-Dürrenmatt. He also interviewed the people behind the camera, such as the director Theo Mezger, the then animation specialist and current production designer Götz Weidner, and the composer Peter Thomas .


Attack from space

(it .: Aggressione dal cosmo , fr .: L'attaque de l'espace , sv . : Hotet från rymden , hu: Támadás a világűrből ) - Director: Michael Braun , produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH on behalf of WDR, first broadcast on Saturday, September 17, 1966, 8:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., audience rating 37%.

Contrary to a different order, McLane lands on Saturn's moon Rhea . Since he has already been disciplined several times in the past for arbitrariness and refusal to give orders , he and the entire team are now being transferred to the space patrol by the rapid combat units. In addition, he is given a "guardian" of the Galactic Security Service, Tamara Jagellovsk, to prevent him from further escapades.

During their first deployment, the team is supposed to monitor movements in a space sector. However, the advanced external base MZ-4 located on the course does not respond to routine inquiries, instead the Orion receives unknown radio signals. The Orion crew is aware that the unmanned, fully automatically controlled laboratory cruiser Challenger with radioactive decay materials is approaching MZ-4 and is to receive a course correction from there. When McLane wanted to check on the base for that, it came to a confrontation with Jagellovsk, because that is not within the scope of the orders given to him. However, McLane prevails and sends Hasso Sigbjörnson and Atan Shubashi to the station. They find out that there is no more oxygen there. The entire crew is dead, frozen in the middle of the movement. In the corridors they suddenly see shadowy beings that are immune to the rays from their laser weapons - they just walk through them. At the same time, the Orion is attacked by unknown flying objects. It is now clear that these are hostile aliens. Jagellovsk gives the order to destroy the base, even if Sigbjörnson and Shubashi would die. When McLane tries to execute this order with grudging teeth, it is found that the energy launchers have been blocked. It is decided to return to Earth to warn the relevant authorities. There, Colonel Villa, head of the Galactic Security Service GSD, prevents the destruction of MZ-4 by the galactic fleet against the energetic urging of Kublai Krim, since one has to know more about the intentions and possibilities of the foreigners before entering into larger combat operations.

In the meantime, the two try to MZ-4 abandoned crew members, with their Lancet - dinghy to escape, but find that its electronics were destroyed by the aliens. You have to watch the aliens approach the base. Then Shubashi has the saving idea: Since oxygen may be toxic to the aliens, the two want to kill them with it. But since all oxygen supplies in the station and its lancet have been destroyed, only the supply of their spacesuits remains. You deposit one cartridge in the anteroom of the base and supply yourself with the second together. When all the aliens are gathered in the anteroom, they detonate the cartridge with one shot from the laser weapon. This kills the aliens.

The Challenger is shattered because of the absent new course coordinates to a magnetic shield, which the aliens had built up immediately after their arrival around the station.

Finally Shubashi baptizes the creatures with the name Frogs : “We had called them 'frogs', but that sounded too familiar to us - too earthly. That's why we called them Frogs. " Sigbjörnson and Shubashi sums up ironically: " Say, Atan, the whole thing was just a bad dream, wasn't it? "" Much worse - that was science fiction! "

Planet out of course

(it .: Il pianeta fuori orbita , fr .: Planète en dérive , sv .: Planet ur kurs , hu: Az eltérített bolygó ) - Director: Theo Mezger , produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH on behalf of Südfunk Stuttgart , first broadcast on Saturday , October 1, 1966 at 8:15 p.m., audience rating 43%.

The space cruiser Hydra under General van Dyke got caught in a magnetic storm and was therefore no longer controllable. The crew has discovered a "supernova", a ball of fire the size of a planet that is hurtling towards Earth at 146,000 km per second. The hydra happens to receive unknown impulse waves, on the astro disk you can see a building with frogs that steer the nova to earth in order to destroy it. Van Dyke still manages to record this and send it to earth. McLane and Jagellovsk are informed of the situation by the GSD. In an emotional crisis meeting of the Supreme Space Agency, an evacuation of the earth is discussed, because the situation seems hopeless.

Since the Orion 7 is the fastest ship, she receives the order to track down the control center of the Frogs and eliminate them. The crew succeeds in resuming the broken light message contact with the damaged hydra, and they receive from General van Dyke the meanwhile determined coordinates of the Frog control center, which is located on a planetoid within the Vesta group . McLane first wants to save General van Dyke and the Hydra crew, but after a heated argument with Jagellovsk realizes that it is more important to save the earth than the general. He manages to destroy the control center, but the supernova continues to hurtle towards earth. The discussion there becomes more and more heated, because there is no solution and there are only four days left before the disaster. McLane has another, life-threatening idea: he wants to cross the supernova's path with the Orion in order to throw it off track with the antimatter bombs placed there. However, the execution of this plan fails.

McLane now has one last plan: he lets the Orion charge with contraterrener energy and steers the ship directly towards the Nova. The team flees in the two lancets. The Orion explodes and also destroys the Nova. There is great joy on earth at the end of the threat, but at the same time there is mourning for McLane, his crew and the general, knowing that it was the Orion who saved the earth and you do not believe in survivors. McLane, however, reaches the Hydra, rescues its crew, and has the Hydra makeshift airworthy again for its return to Earth. In the end, McLane receives a new spaceship, the Orion 8. McLane signs a dozen loss reports on a futuristic-looking writing tablet, accidentally divulging the secret reason for the mission. But his counterpart, the officer, does not know what to do with the term supernova.

Guardian of the Law

(it .: I guardiani della legge , fr .: Les gardiens de la loi , sv .: Robotarnas uppror , hu: A törvény őrei ) - Director: Theo Mezger, produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH on behalf of WDR, first broadcast on Saturday , October 15, 1966 at 8:15 p.m., audience rating 53%.

During an advanced training course on the new work robots of the Alpha CO series, the Orion team is called to carry out space reconnaissance TRAV. It should control 16 space probes in space sector 12M8. Arrived at the scene, Legrelle and Shubashi leave the Orion with a lancet and fly to the individual probes. In the meantime, McLane got in touch with Commodore Ruyther, commander of the space freighter Sikh 12 and an old friend in the Orion. He tells McLane in confidence that something is wrong on the planetoid Pallas , whose ore he normally transports. He's only been getting overburden instead of ore lately. McLane decides to fly to Pallas. So his landing unnoticed, he turns alluding to Laurin's stealth old spaceman trick "Laurin says hello" to: it can Shubashi the Lancet an energy field build up in the size of the Orion.

The rest of the crew lands on Pallas and starts looking for the colonists. In the underground shafts they are surprised by two armed working robots of the Alpha Ce Fe type, disarmed and locked in the tunnels. There you will also find the miners. While you are under the control of the robots down on Pallas, up in the Lancet Shubashi and Legrelle the energy is slowly running out because the "Laurin" uses a lot of it. On Pallas you can see that the robots have been "reprogrammed" due to a contradiction in the robot laws .

Jagellovsk and McLane use a trick to program two robots normally again and to disarm them. With the weapons they take out the rest of the robots and the Orion flies back to the Lancet.

The situation there has meanwhile worsened because the energy has almost been used up, the protective shield has collapsed and the Lancet has heated up. Legrelle and Shubashi are saved at the last minute and the Orion flies back to Earth. In the meantime, an extensive search for the Orion had been initiated there, since the original order was wrong. General Wamsler suspects what actually happened and sees through the trick with Laurin; the new order for the Orion is therefore: Transport of work robots to the Venus colony.


(it .: I disertori , fr .: Les déserteurs , sv .: Dödsstrålen , hu: A szökevények ) - Director: Theo Mezger, produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH on behalf of WDR, first broadcast on Saturday, October 29, 1966 at 8:15 p.m., audience rating 56%.

The Orion team is testing the super weapon Overkill, newly developed by Prof. Rott, on the moon crater Harpalus . At the same time on Earth Commander Alonzo Pietro is accused of wanting to desert to the Frogs in the AC 1000 space sector. He was on his way there with his spaceship, but was intercepted in time. Commander Pietro can no longer remember this process. The Orion is ordered to fly into the Vesta sector to install overkill.

They will be accompanied by the brain specialist Prof. Sherkoff, who is supposed to investigate why the teams of the light projector batteries in the Vesta section in particular have had more and more room tumults in the past . For this reason the teams have been exchanged for robots. On the space station M8 / 8-12, the team is installing overkill and is being observed by Sherkoff. Sigbjörnson remains on guard on the ship. He suddenly gets tired and falls asleep, but McLane wakes him up by radio and asks him to program the course to a new space station. Shortly before takeoff, McLane checked the new course and found that someone had programmed the coordinates for AC 1000, the Frog base.

Jagellovsk takes command and suspects Sigbjörnson of high treason. In the meantime, de Monti goes unnoticed to the computer and also enters the course according to AC 1000 there. After that, he too cannot remember anything. Sherkoff now intervenes in the discussion and asks Jagellovsk to also stand in front of the computer. She also programs the course according to AC 1000.

For Sherkoff it is clear that the Frogs can control people remotely using hypnosis beams. McLane now comes up with the idea that the team should pretend to want to desert to the Frogs in order to find their base and destroy it by overkill. The apparent escape is noticed on earth and General van Dyke is given the task of preventing the Orion from escaping and destroying it. Van Dyke is reluctant and half-hearted to carry out this mission and is intercepted by Frog spaceships before they even reach Orion. She decides to return to Earth to avoid a losing battle against the Frogs. The Orion reaches AC 1000 unhindered and destroys the Frog base with overkill.

The fight for the sun

(it .: Battaglia per il Sole , fr .: La lutte pour le soleil , sv .: Striden om solen , hu: Harc a Napért ) - Director: Michael Braun, produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH on behalf of NDR and SWF , First broadcast on Saturday, November 12, 1966 at 8:15 p.m., audience rating 40%.

On the planetoid N 116a, the team unexpectedly discovered a high temperature and low vegetation, which is untypical for the previously rocky, sterile celestial body. At the same time, temperatures are rising on earth, the poles and glaciers are melting, and the earth is in danger of becoming stepped . It is believed that the sun is artificially heated. The Orion is ordered to investigate the entire N- planetoid belt .

On N108, the Orion's crew comes across a strange lancet and two armed men posing as scientists. These are brought to earth and interrogated. It turns out that there is a human race living on the distant planet Chroma. These descendants of former rebels from the galactic wars created their own society with their own laws. They are able to artificially increase the solar flares . They do this because their own sun slowly cools down and thus their livelihood disappears.

There is only one way for the earth government: the preemptive strike against Chroma, whose inhabitants are criminals in their eyes. McLane tries to prevent this and flies on his own responsibility, but with the approval of the GSD boss Colonel Villa, with the two scientists to Chroma. A matriarchy has been established on Chroma and McLane gets to know SHE - the regent. He asks YOU to stop the attempts immediately and to use the planetoids instead of the sun as an energy source, since their rock contains solar matter. SHE refuses, however, and wants to wait for the results of the rock investigations first.

In the meantime, the preventive strike is being prepared on earth. Jagellovsk will be informed of this. To warn McLane, she breaks into the government building with one of the scientists, is arrested there and locked in a cell with McLane. There she explains the situation to him. Assuming her near death, she confesses her love to McLane and kisses him. SHE comes into the cell and explains that the solar experiments have been stopped and the earth has been informed about them by light spell. Orion's crew is allowed to return to Earth; SHE insists, however, that McLane remain on Chroma as Earth's "Special Envoy" for an indefinite period of time, which is a source of considerable amusement at home at Starlight Casino.

The space trap

(it .: La trappola spaziale , fr .: Le piège de l'espace , sv .: Rymdkaparna , hu: Az űrcsapda ) - Director: Theo Mezger, produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH on behalf of NDR and SWF, first broadcast on Saturday, November 26th, 1966 at 8:15 p.m., audience rating 51%.

The Orion team is given the task of collecting spores in space in order to substantiate the panspermia theory. As a guest they take the science fiction author Pieter Paul Ibsen, future son-in-law of the Minister for Interplanetary Affairs, on board. He would like to gather material for future novels through his own experience in space.

In the target area near Umbriel , the team begins to carry out their assignment. Ibsen asks McLane to let him fly a Lancet on his own for once. McLane allows this after a long hesitation. Ibsen flies on a guide beam , which he switches off without authorization. He promptly lands on a planetoid, from which he can no longer take off. During the patrol on the planetoid, Ibsen is overwhelmed by armed men. It turns out that it is the exiled planet Mura, to which criminals are sent for lifelong banishment. Ibsen is tied to a chair in a hall and forced to provide information about the Orion and its crew with two Omicron emitters. Ibsen is supposed to persuade McLane to land on Mura in order to save him.

After landing, the Orion crew is also overwhelmed. McLane is tied to the chair instead of Ibsen, and Tourenne, a seedy scientist, interrogates him. Tourenne was banned for inventing "rays of paralysis". In order to flee with the Orion to the Frogs and to be able to offer them his technology, he wants to kill the entire Orion crew. McLane can convince Tourenne that no one can fly the ultra-modern Orion without instruction. That's why Tourenne brings the Orion team to the spaceship with some companions. To prevent Mura from escaping, a magnetic shield was installed over the Orion. When attempting to take off, the Orion team succeeds in neutralizing the magnetic bell with a lancet and maneuvering the Orion through it. The Orion is shaken vigorously, which the crew takes advantage of to overwhelm the criminals.


(it .: Invasione , fr .: L'invasion , sv .: Invasion utifrån , hu: Invázió ) - Director: Michael Braun, produced by Bavaria Atelier GmbH on behalf of Südfunk Stuttgart, first broadcast on Saturday, December 10, 1966 at 8:15 p.m., audience rating 39%.

During a conversation with General Wamsler, McLane receives an emergency call from Colonel Villa of the GSD cruiser Tau. Accordingly, the cruiser with Colonel Villa and eight members of his staff on board got into rapidly changing gravitational fields , behind which he suspects an alien attack. As a last resort, the crew of the Tau will try to reach the station on Gordon with the Lancets. The connection is broken, and on earth it is believed that everyone is dead.

However, Villa and his closest associates managed to get through to Gordon and they are returning to Earth after a few days. Now Villa doesn't want to know anything more about rapidly changing gravitational fields. Instead, he gives a normal light storm as the cause, which makes McLane suspicious. In addition, spacecraft starts are suddenly prohibited by the GSD, and the monitoring of the launch bases is also taken over by the GSD. McLane sees his doubts confirmed and fears a coup by Villa. He asks Jagellovsk to make an appointment for him with Colonel Villa and to take the opportunity to take a look around the GSD central office. Surprisingly, McLane receives the requested permission to take off after Gordon from Villa. The Orion is even equipped with a newly developed self-force field to protect against the frogs. That's why chief engineer Kranz is accompanying this flight.

Tamara discovers plans to invade Earth by the Frogs on a monitor in a room at the GSD, but is arrested by Villa's followers. On the way to Gordon, the Orion locates Frog spaceships, which are forming a course towards Earth. McLane has Kranz disarmed and tries to inform TRAV of the impending invasion, but to no avail. Colonel Villa forces McLane to arm Kranz again, otherwise he would have Jagellovsk killed. McLane gives the weapon back to Kranz and he sets course for Gordon to hand over the Orion with the overkill system to the Frogs and the Orion crew, which is supposed to be made just as docile by "forming" as Villa and his companions before. However, since Kranz is unfamiliar with spaceship drives, engineer Sigbjörnson can outsmart him by claiming that the hyperdrive has partially failed and that the Orion can only accelerate at half speed until it is repaired.

On earth, Jagellovsk succeeds in establishing a direct connection between the Villa office and TRAV. Only now do the TRAV employees notice what Villa is up to. Countermeasures are initiated immediately, but too late. According to Villa's plan, all launch bases have already been blown up and the earth made defenseless. However, the invasion formations of the Frogs can only fly to the earth via an energy beam that is controlled by Gordon. To give McLane the opportunity to disarm Kranz, the Hydra is sent to Orion to carry out a mock attack, which it succeeds in time thanks to Sigbjörnson's delaying tactic. McLane overpowers Kranz, lets Gordon approach with full acceleration and destroy it with overkill.

In the end, McLane is promoted to Colonel and transferred back to his old unit from space patrol. McLane and Jagellovsk kiss in the boardroom of the Supreme Space Agency, causing de Monti to lose a bet against Legrelle.


The series, which was shot on 35 mm black and white film from March 16, 1965 , was filmed with great creativity and a lot of effort. Some recordings were made using the blue screen process and therefore had to be rotated in color. Since the planned costs of up to DM 360,000 (adjusted for inflation, approx. € 730,000) per episode were too high for WDR, which was initially discussed as the main producer, Bavaria boss Helmut Jedele was looking for a co-producer. This was found in the French ORTF . Since the ORTF contributed around 20% of the production costs, some scenes were created in parallel especially for the French audience. So was z. B. in episode 5 the role of "SIE / ELLE" (played by Margot Trooger in the German version ) in the French version played by Christiane Minazzoli . Maurice Teynac , who was only supposed to play chief engineer Kranz in the French version, can be seen in both versions. The French space patrol is called "Commando spatial".

The effects that were spectacular for a television adaptation at the time now have their very own charm. For example, alienated irons and pencil sharpeners were used as fittings and plastic cups as ceiling lights. The badges of rank on the uniforms were fragments of punched cards for IT systems. Upside-down clock pendulums, with a metal ball sitting on a cylindrical stem, represented the control levers. Spools of thread and taps were also used as decorative elements. The spectacular plastic backdrops in the Orion's command cockpit were created using thermoforming , which was completely new at the time . Most of the recordings were made at Bavaria Film in Geiselgasteig . Outdoor locations were:

  • Höhenried Castle (Planet Chroma from episode 5 "The fight for the sun")
  • Pechkohle- Bergehalde in Peißenberg (u a .: touchdown area on. (2) Pallas ; landing area on the planet Mura from Episode 6 "The space case"; planetoid N108 and asteroid N116A in the episode "The Battle for the Sun", on which the Orion lands to explore the inexplicable discovery of vegetation on this boulder). The geyser areas on Iceland were supposed to be used for these recordings , but for cost reasons, the spoil heaps were chosen.
  • Königsplatz in Munich (part of spaceship base 104)
  • Golf course of a golf club in Feldafing (landing area on Chroma , can be seen in a trick shot in which the Orion 8 lands on Chroma )
  • Aquarium of the Berlin Zoo . This is where the pictures of the fish and turtles that could be seen behind the windows in the Starlight Casino and in McLane's bungalow were taken.

The command post set had a diameter of 28 meters. 3200 light bulbs and 10,000 meters of cable for electrical circuits were installed. Here and there the valves of a mixer tap appear. In addition to other curiosities that one would expect to find in a hardware store, there is also a large, clunky thermostat typical of the 1960s.

Trick techniques

There were three miniature models of the Orion , made of wood, aluminum and Plexiglas, with diameters from 30 cm to 1.60 m.

Elements filmed independently of one another were combined with one another using an optical printer or inserted into matte paintings . So is z. B. the floor of the underwater landing base 104 for the Orion is actually the Königsplatz in Munich. This scene consists of 13 different film elements, five for the spaceship alone.

Hand-animated effects such as gun beams or magnetic storms were created using rotoscopy .

Theo Nischwitz was responsible for the special effects .

Astro disk

The astro disc, on which various film sequences (including a countdown, the overkill test) can be seen, consisted of a white plate with a diameter of 1.20 meters. A hole in which a mirror hung was cut out in the decoration above this plate. The previously recorded film sequences were played back via this mirror with a film projector. To avoid the hot spot, a star-shaped and opaque cardboard template was stuck to the center of the lens.

Fish trick

In the underwater film sequences (e.g. in the “Starlight Casino”) you can see fish swimming past the window panes. The images of the fish were taken in the Berlin Zoo's aquarium and then inserted into the scene using the blue screen method . To do this, blue-colored cloths were hung in the appropriate places in the casino. In addition, bright circular sections were copied into the film so that the impression of a huge curved glass roof was created. When inserting a different size ratio was chosen, so that the fish sometimes appear very large. Since the camera never moves, simple stamping masks could be used.


The Frogs were actors in tight-fitting, blue suits that were filmed with a cinemascope lens. For the glittering effect was a wooden roller with glitter glued, (twice, once clockwise and once left) in slow rotation are added and blurred filmed. These two recordings were then copied over one another. This trick recording was then copied onto the long outlines of the actors with the help of the blue screen process.

Laser beam - hand beam weapon HM-4

Hand-held jet weapon HM-4 (picture shows a model kit made of polyurethane cast
resin that differs from the original prop in slight details (grip ). The model kit was only available to members of the Raumpatrouille Orion fan club in the 1990s. A slightly supplemented replica of the model kit was later published by relevant garage kit dealers.

In episodes 1, 3, 4 and 5, the HM-4 hand-held beam weapon is fired.

The laser beam was generated in a very complex process. First of all, the rotoscope was used to determine the exact image area into which the beam was to be inserted. A thin slit cut into a masking mask was successively lengthened, while at the same time a sheet of translucent translucent glass behind it rotated a bit with each shot, exposing the film material at this position, frame by frame. This gradually created the laser beam with different contours, which was then copied into the corresponding images.

Light storm

For the light storm (episode 1) the Orion was filmed using the blue screen method . Thrown rice grains, which were recorded in high-speed mode and played back at normal film speed, were the light storm.

Omicron rays

For the rays of the "omicron emitter" (episode 6), a razor blade was used to process the rays image by image. Every single ray was scratched into the finished film.


For the "overkill" (episodes 4 and 7) a plaster ball was hollowed out in one place and filled with rice, raisins, ground coffee and flour. This filling was blown away with compressed air while shooting. The whole thing was recorded with a high-speed camera and later played back at normal film speed (25 frames per second, since it was a TV production).


For the robots (episodes 3 and 4) were u. a. simple cardboard and wooden dummies were used, which were either hung on a 1: 1 scale on thin tungsten threads (these were then "removed" again in post-production) or placed as wooden dummies - supported from behind and not visible to the camera. Since the robots couldn't stand, of course, but you needed robots in action for certain shots (e.g. in episode 4, in which Cliff McLane is attacked by a robot), there was a model into which a man climbed from the back who then operated the robotic arms. The right arm was a normal ice cream scoop , and the left was part of a pair of birthing forceps . There were only two "full-size" robot models, artistically crafted from wood. Models, 30 centimeters in size and animated by means of stop motion , were copied into some scenes in the correct proportion to the scenery and the people involved. This gave the impression that the robots were floating. The attentive observer of episodes 3 and 4 will not have missed the fact that the subsequently copied robot models do not cast any shadows on the scenery or the floor. In the scene with the robot specialist Rott (episode “Guardian of the Law”), the Alpha-C robot RX2714 standing on the paralyzing impulse plate is partially slightly transparent while Rott walks around it.


For the supernova (episode 2) a wooden ball was provided with incendiary material and simply hung on a rope. For the fire tail, a sheet of metal was also provided with incendiary compound and filmed. Both recordings were later copied together.

Deep sea base 104

Copy scheme of the scene “Tiefseebasis 104”: The scene was composed of 13 tapes in 5 levels.

The recordings for deep-sea base 104 were the most elaborate trick effects. The floor on which employees loaded the “spaceships” was actually the emptied Königsplatz in Munich in 1965, when it was still covered with large granite slabs. There the workers were filmed from an elevated position. From this, a new image was combined from 13 film tapes (they contained, among other things, the lady in the foreground, the illuminated background, the photos of Königsplatz, the Orion and landing shaft as well as some masks and counter masks, see scheme) with an optical printer .

Water start (underwater shot)

A cut-out photo of the Orion was glued to a glass plate. Three Alka-Seltzer tablets were then mounted on a small board behind the picture . Now the complete frame was immersed upside down in a cuvette . This was then recorded with an upside-down camera. This gave the impression that the rising gas bubbles in the tablets went down. In order to strengthen the impression of the Orion taking off, a painted background was moved behind the water-filled glass container.

Water start (into space)

Here, a vortex of water (generated in the test facility for water dynamics at the Technical University of Munich ) was distorted with a cinemascope lens and recorded at 120 frames per second. When playing back at normal film speed, this gave the impression of a huge vortex over 200 meters wide in the sea. So that the water looked more like the sea, it was colored and then illuminated with powerful spotlights. The ripple got the "sea" by blowing fans across the water surface. The Orion was then later copied into these recordings using various techniques.

How extensive the trick scenes were for that time is shown by the period from the last flap (Saturday, July 10, 1965, it was the 80th day of shooting) to the date of the first broadcast on September 17, 1966. Post-production took almost a long time Year.


The main person responsible for the decorations was Rolf Zehetbauer , one of the most famous film architects in Germany, together with Werner Achmann and Johann Nothof. Most of the backdrop was plastic. Here, in turn, the deep-drawing process , which was new at the time, was used. The plastic Accuplan was pressed into the desired shape using the Kiefer K7 thermoforming machine.

Mine sharpener Dahle 322

A total of 22 Dahle type 322 lead sharpeners were installed as operating elements in the Orion's command station . A Rowenta iron served as decoration in the central operating unit of the engine room and as a test device when installing the overkill system . The overkill system (episodes 4 and 7) consisted of deep-drawn wall parts, a large number of banana plugs with partially screwed-on pieces of cable, chrome-plated balls and many sewing thread reel containers. The projectors of the omicron emitters also consisted of banana plugs that were bent open.

Additional features included high-quality designer furniture, lamps and glasses. By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , the sun Model 258 (born in 1930) was founded by Harry Bertoia the chair Diamond Chair (born 1952), by Yrjö Kukkapuro type Karuselli (born 1964) chair of Charles Eames chair model aluminum group no. EA105 (born 1958), the chair model DAF Chair by George Nelson and the table and chair model Tulpe (born 1957) by Eero Saarinen as furniture inventory. The famous Smoke model (born in 1964) by Joe Colombo was used as a drinking glass .

The decoration of the Orion's command center was the largest decoration with a height of 2.50 meters and an internal dimension of almost 10 meters and an external dimension of 28 meters. It stood on a 60 cm high metal pipe construction in order to hide the necessary wiring (approx. 10,000 meters). In order for the 3,200 light bulbs to blink constantly, a metal roller weighing around 40 kg was required, which was set in motion by an electric motor. The crew sat on five designer chairs of the Karuselli type, which were also raised with chrome-plated metal parts. The cabins were made of different deep-drawn plastics. Transparent covers for cold frames were also used for the walls.

Music and sound effects

The soundtrack was composed by Peter Thomas . The first edition on LP (PHILIPS TON GmbH, 843 796 PY), which was published in 1966, was very complex in terms of presentation. It had a hinged record cover with photos of scenes on the inside and outside. Another page with additional information was incorporated inside. This first edition contained 18 pieces of music. In the following years the single and the LP were reissued several times. In the meantime, the soundtrack has also been released several times on CD, the release from 2003 (bung 112, Bungalow Records) with the subtitle "The Complete Music" contains previously unreleased pieces (including "Mars Minuet", "Enter The Crew", " Attention Frogs! "). The publication from 2010 (BAVARIA SONOR) contains 14 bonus tracks, including a. the live recording "Orion Forever".

Synthetic sounds and noises form a constant acoustic background in the atmosphere in the command post of the spaceship and accompany the technical objects shown, such as spacecraft, robots and beam weapons, elevators and sliding doors. These effects were produced in the Siemens studio for electronic music . The robot voice, which speaks the countdown when the spaceship starts, was generated from the voice of Peter Thomas using the vocoder available there .

Follow-on products


The seven original episodes and other invented adventures initially appeared as paperbacks, from 1972 the paperbacks were reprinted in booklet form and continued. Of the total of 145 episodes, only volumes 46 to 81 appeared exclusively in a separate issue series, the rest were integrated into the TERRA ASTRA issue series . The novels for the seven original episodes were reprinted in hardcover by “Saphir im Stahl” in 2011.

The authors came from the Perry Rhodan series, a large number of the novels were written by Hanns Kneifel , who single-handedly produced the first 41 titles with one exception.

Photo novel

In the TipTop series published by Rolf Kauka , the first 4 episodes appeared as sequel stories illustrated with photos. After TipTop was discontinued , the remaining episodes appeared in Fix and Foxi - Super TipTop , Volume 6, under the title Raumpatrouille Orion .

movie theater

In 2003 a compilation of several episodes was published for the cinema under the title Raumpatrouille Orion - Fall back into the cinema .


From ASS Altenburger a quartet was marketed with 36 playing cards in two Boxvarianten. In contrast to the TV series, which is only broadcast in black and white, the maps of the quartet show color images. These come from a few colored scenes or colored still photos. The space and spaceship images shown in the quartet are freely colored black and white photos of the trick shots. Due to a lack of colored reference material, the color of the Orion's actual appearance was different, which later led to the widespread assumption that the spaceship had a red-hot dome and a red outer ring.

radio play

A radio play version of the seven original episodes is available from Schall und Wahn Verlag for audio books.


  • As an allusion to this series, a war spaceship was also named Orion in the US TV series Stargate Atlantis . The German reporter Robert Vogel, who has covered the filming of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis for years , told the producers about the German cult series, and they adopted the name of the ship.
  • The German minimal electro group Welle: Erdball bows to the cult series with the song "Greetings from Orion". Speech excerpts from the series can also be heard in this song. It can be heard on the albums "Horizonterweiterungen" (2004, vinyl only) and "Chaos Total" (2006).
  • The series is alluded to several times in the Captain Bluebear Special Hein Blöd im All from 1997. So u. a. the theme music played when landing. In addition, Wolfgang Völz, who speaks Captain Blaubär himself, appears as Lieutenant Völz.
  • In the cartoon Little Asshole, also from 1997, the title melody can be heard when Peppi the dog is hallucinating from LSD.
  • On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast , a German postage stamp was released in 2016 to mark the start of the German TV Legends series .

Abbreviations and special terms

A large number of abbreviations and numerical designations are used in the series. These are (in alphabetical order):

  • 264 = name of the poodle (one of the last 376 in the world) by Atan Shubashi
  • AC 1000 = space sector in which a base of the frogs is located
  • AC 17-11 = space sector on the outer edge of the terrestrial territory
  • Alpha 3 = spaceship class, a ship of this class is the Orion
  • Arthax = Operation in which all space cruisers from the neighboring sectors of the western sector are ordered to eliminate the Orion 8
  • ASG = arm talk device
  • AZ 1000 = a secret code with which computer access can be obtained on the Orion
  • BETA-X = a voice encryption code used by the GSD that is only understood by a few (including Tamara Jagellovsk)
  • BSA = on-board intercom
  • CQ 13 1A = McLane's private visa number
  • DX 17 = Plan to save the earth
  • EAS = earth-outside station
  • GSD = Galactic Security Service. The badge of affiliation on the GSD uniform is a ligature of the letters G, S and D.
  • H 5 = an advanced space station
  • HM-4 / HM 3 = hand laser weapon
  • HSG = handset
  • IG = isotope generator
  • K 16 = projector battery
  • L1 = Lancet 1 - is subsequently explained as the “light particle accelerator ” in order to deceive the kidnappers
  • MZ4 = Zaragoza Vier megasatellite, a relay station in space
  • M 8 8 12 = a forward external base for border defense (light projector battery)
  • OLAF 1 = a communications satellite
  • ORB = highest spatial authority
  • RQ 15 2D = private phone number from Tamara Jagellovsk
  • QRX = urgent message with the highest priority
  • SKY 77 = radio satellite type, used in the Terra Kosmo control
  • TORB = fuel, oxygen, radio, batteries (checklist for lancets)
  • TRAV = Terrestrial Space Reconnaissance Associations
  • TRAV 172815 = Visiophon number from TRAV (General Wamsler's office)
  • ULG = circulation speed
  • XUN 1 = sun of chroma
  • Y17 = magnetic tape setting in the electronic brain of a working robot, the normal setting (e.g. for robot ZR3184)
  • Y18 = the logical opposite of the magnetic tape setting Y17 (machine does the exact opposite of what it is supposed to)
  • Y19 = magnetic tape setting, which triggers a fit of rage in the corresponding robot

End after seven episodes

According to Spiegel Online, a few years after its first broadcast, the series was assumed to have fascist traits. According to producer Helmut Krapp , a continuation of the series was prohibited for that reason alone. According to another account, the lack of script ideas was the cause. Ultimately, according to the then Bavaria General Director Helmut Jedele , the production was so complex that the production company took over both personnel and finances. According to film critic Markus Risse, marketing of the series in the USA also failed because of the black and white optics, since there - unlike in Germany - color television had already been introduced.

Theme parks, exhibitions, events

In 1992 and 1993, a handful of props as well as shows and simulations based on the series could be viewed in a themed building called Orion II as part of the then Bavaria Film Park in Bottrop-Kirchhellen-Feldhausen . In terms of content and appearance, the accessible rooms no longer had much to do with the original series. The Orion II shown was more reminiscent of the Atomium in Brussels . The frogs shown in the simulations were similar to the Batwing from the Batman films.


  • Josef Hilger : Raumpatrouille - The fantastic adventures of the spaceship ORION. Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89602-626-7 .
  • Jörg Kastner : ORION space patrol. 1995, ISBN 3-910079-53-9 .
  • Jörg Kastner: The large spaceship Orion fan book. Munich 1991, ISBN 3-442-23642-8 .
  • Orion space patrol. Volume 1. Wuppertal 1997, ISBN 3-930646-05-6 .
  • Reinhard Wesel: Foreign Policy in the Universe - To reflect foreign and security policy taken for granted in science fiction series, outlined using the example of RAUMSCHIFF ORION. In: Frank Hörnlein / Herbert Heinicke (ed.): Future in the film. Social science studies on Star Trek and other science fiction. Magdeburg 2000, ISBN 3-933046-47-5 , pp. 87-118.
  • Matthias Brandt : space patrol. Stories. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2016, ISBN 978-3-462-04567-3 .
  • Steffen Hantke: "Raumpatrouille": The Cold War, the "Citizen in Uniform", and the West German Television , in: Science Fiction Studies , Vol. 31, No. 1 (March 2004), pp. 63-80.
  • Thomas W. Kniesche: Germans to the Frontier: Science Fiction, Popular Culture, and the Military in 1960s Germany: The case of Raumpatrouille , in: New German Critique , No. 101 (Summer 2007), pp. 157-185.

Individual evidence

  1. Raumpatrouille - Die Macher ( Memento of the original from September 29, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , orionspace.de @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.orionspace.de
  2. IMDb
  3. Raumpatrouille - Die Macher ( Memento of the original from November 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , orionspace.de (accessed on July 15, 2011) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.orionspace.de
  4. Space travel in film and fashion. Not from this world , Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 20, 2009, "was the first German science fiction series"
  5. ^ Stefan Schenk, The Siemens Studio for Electronic Music , dissertation LMU Munich , Munich Publications on Music History Volume 72, p. 109 of the online version.
  6. Tom Schäfer, interview with the film music composer Peter Thomas , Keyboards 05/2013, p. 86ff
  7. ORION space patrol. 7 radio plays on the cult science fiction series , product information on the radio play box on the website of Schall und Wahn Verlag (accessed on November 24, 2015)
  8. ^ Antje Strauch: Starport Darmstadt . Archived from the original on January 11, 2016. To take over the name in Stargate Atlantis.
  9. a b "Germans in Space" , report and photos of the series on einestages.de (accessed on September 19, 2011)

Web links

Commons : Raumpatrouille (Orion)  - collection of images, videos and audio files