Captain Midnight ran for 13 years on radio starting in 1940. There was also a 1942 cliffhanger serial with 15 chapters. In 1954 it came to the small screen as a half-hour kids’ show. Captain Midnight was the leader of the Secret Squadron, a crime fighting organization. Richard Webb played the title role. His sidekick was Ichabod “Ikky” Mudd (“That’s mud with two ‘d’s” Ikky would tell people.) Ikky was played by Sid Melton. Captain Midnight lasted for two seasons, ending in 1956, with a combined episode total of 39.
The sponsor on radio and TV was the malted milk mixer Ovaltine. Captain Midnight was the show hilariously mocked in the seasonal favorite film, “A Christmas Story,” because it had the decoder ring that kids had to send for to understand the coded messages during the program. They turned out to say things like, “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine” or some simplistic but morally uplifting message. Personally, I didn’t care all that much for Ovaltine. I much preferred Bosco chocolate syrup for my milk.
When Captain Midnight went into syndicated repeats it was rebranded “Jet Jackson, Flying Commando.” Whenever “Captain Midnight” was said, the words “Jet Jackson” were amateurishly dubbed over the original.
Captain Gallant Of The Foreign Legion was almost an exact contemporary of Captain Midnight running from 1955 to 1957. It was another show for the younger set. Larry “Buster” Crabb was the title captain and Crabb’s real-life son Cullen Crabb played Gallant’s adopted son (the boy’s father had been killed in action). Fuzzy Knight provided comic relief. A special note is that the first season of 37 episodes was filmed on location in French Morocco. 63 episodes total were shot.
Like Captain Midnight, Captain Gallant only lasted two seasons but quickly went into syndication. Both provide strong memories for people who were young children in the 1950s.
I loved both shows, remember Captain Midnight as Jet Jackson, which is the title the show and its lead character assumed when it was rerun in some parts of the country. As to why, I dunno. I think Ovaltine had something to do with it.
Captain Gallant isn't so well remembered, it seems, though it deserves to be. It was well made for its time, and Buster Crabbe was really a different guy from the much younger Flash Gordon of the serials. I saw a couple of episodes a few years ago around Christmas (Christmas-themed, most likely) on some retro channel, and it looked pretty good.
FWIW: it strikes me that whenever I see him in anything that Buster Crabbe deserved a better career. He could act, and he had a lot more range than most "Tarzan actors". Another like him in that respect, Bruce Bennett, had a few more chances, though he never became as big a name as Buster.