ZX-99 - Spacecraft
on the children's sci-fi series CAPTAIN Z-RO/SYN/1951-56.
The ZX-99 was owned by scientist/explorer
Captain Z-RO (Roy Steffens) who with his
assistant, Jet (Bobby Trumbull) flew through
outer space at a speed of five miles per second.
"Captain Z-Ro! Research explorer in time and
space! Somewhere in a remote uncharted region of
a planet called Earth stands the laboratory of
Captain Z-RO. In this secret location, known
only to a few in the outside world, Captain Z-RO
and his associates experiment in time and space
to learn from the past - to plan for the
future.... [Morse code signals] Contact has been established. We now
transmit you direct to the laboratory of Captain
Z-RO. Please stand by." -- Announcer's
When the Captain zoomed through time, he
used his special time machine which enabled him
to visit a variety of historical periods from
Biblical days to the American Revolution. The
CAPTAIN Z-RO program not only provided good vs.
evil plots but educated its young viewers about
a variety of historical periods.
During the series run, Captain Z-RO and his
sidekick Jet assisted such historical figures as
Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, Marco Polo,
George Washington, Molly Pitcher, Leonardo Da
Vinci, King John, William Tell, Hernando Cortez,
William the Conqueror, Robin Hood, Atilla the
Hun, and Blackbeard the
The Captain's time machine featured an Electro
Generator, a Trillatron, and the Lectric Chamber
with Spector Wave Length which transports the
Captain back into any desired period of time.
To protect himself, the Captain used a Pararay
Gun that paralyzed victims for 60 seconds at a
Before departing on a mission the Captain
remarked "Spaceman's Luck." When he was ready to
return to his present time, he said "All right,
Jet, take me back."
The program ended with the phrase (over Morse
code signals): "Be sure to
be standing by when we again transmit you to the
remote location on planet Earth where Captain
Z-RO and his associates will conduct another
experiment in time and space..."
The CAPTAIN Z-RO series originally ran three
years "live" on San Francisco’s KRON-TV for
15-minutes then expanded to a half-hour "filmed"
series that was syndicated nationally in 1955.
"Hi boys and girls. [gives a salute] Greeting
fellow Z-men. I want to tell you how you can
become a commissioned officer of the Z-RO
Explorers in time and space and receive an
official space passport and identification card.
This passport entitles you to travel in
accredited space ships to any planet in our
solar system. It also contains our official
signature and photograph as well as regulations
for space travel and the procedure for rocket
Just send your name and address to me Captain Z-RO
in care of this station. Your letter will be
forwarded to my laboratory by guided missiles.
And I will immediately send you your official
space passport and identification card.
So till we meet again fellow Z-men, [salutes]
Good luck in time and space."
TRIVIA NOTE: The
Captain Z-RO show was a precursor to other time traveling
programs such as:
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