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Tom Corbett was indeed a space cadet in 1950s

Frankie Thomas
Frankie Thomas

Q: In the early 1950s there was a TV program called "Tom Corbett and His Space Cadets." When did it run, and who were its stars? No one I know remembers this program!

A: So start hanging out with old people!

"Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" ran on CBS from 1950-55, and it featured the exploits of cadets Corbett (Frankie Thomas), Roger Manning (Jan Merlin) and lovable alien Astro (Al Markim). They were students at Space Academy in the 24th century, although the zippy rocket controls they manipulated looked like they were made out of that well-known space-age material called cardboard. In smaller roles were folks like Tom Poston and Frank Sutton, who went on to play Sgt. Carter on "Gomer Pyle, USMC."

Q: I seem to remember a movie several years ago about what the world would be like if the Nazis had won the war. No one seems to have seen this movie but me! I believe Uma Thurman was in it.

A: Would you settle for Miranda Richardson?

I think the movie you recall is the 1994 made-for-cable film "Fatherland," with Richardson, Rutger Hauer and Jean Marsh.

Q: I'm looking for the name of a TV movie with Della Reese. She was an old woman about to die, knowing she had given birth to a child. She wanted to see this child before she died. Her abusive husband told her the baby had died at birth, when in fact, he was alive. What is the name of this movie? I think it was on Lifetime.

A: You bet it's on Lifetime! Where else would a Della Reese TV movie be? Anyway, the TV movie is 1997's "Miracle in the Woods," which also stars Meredith Baxter, Patricia Heaton and Randy Brooks.

Q: I was watching some episodes of "Boston Legal" on DVD and saw one where the infamous Denny Crane (William Shatner) was held hostage by the disgruntled son of a murdered man. The man tried and acquitted for that murder was Denny's first client. During the episode, Denny had flashbacks to conversations he and his father had as they worked on the case. The flashbacks looked like an actual movie starring a VERY young Shatner. Was it an actual film made by Shatner?

A: What you saw were scenes from a 1957 episode of the CBS anthology series "Studio One." The episode was called "The Defender," and it was about a father-son legal team played by Shatner and Ralph Bellamy. The man they defended was played by a young pup by the name of Steve McQueen.

"The Defender," by the way, underwent a slight title change and, as "The Defenders," ran on CBS from 1961-65. The father-son legal team was played on the series by E.G. Marshall and a pre-"Brady Bunch" Robert Reed.

The "Boston Legal" episode, titled "Son of the Defender," originally ran in the spring of 2007, during the show's third season.

Q: I always wondered about the title of a horror movie I saw in the 1980s. It was about a suburban family attacked by these crawly, sharp-clawed creatures that would surprise their victims by hiding under parked cars and the like. No movie has given me the willies like that since then!

A: Hmm ... sounds like "The Boogens," a 1981 film with an non-star cast including Fred McCarren, Rebecca Balding, Jeff Harlan and everyone's favorite actor named Med, Med Flory.

Saturday on TV

NFL preseason: Steelers at Redskins (5:30 p.m., NFL Net); Broncos at Seahawks (8:30 p.m., NFL Net)

Being Human (7 and 10 p.m., BBC America): Mitchell uncovers the vampires' secret plans.

Bill Engvall Show (7 and 10 p.m., TBS): Bill thinks that Danny is using his windfall to buy the family's love.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (10 p.m., Starz): 2008 doggie comedy. (PG)

Sunday on TV

Sacred Stones, Living Stones (10 a.m., Ch. 5): Carole Mikita hosts this documentary celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

MLS (4 p.m., digital Ch. 2.2): Real Salt Lake at New England Revolution

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (7 p.m., Ch. 4): Regis Philbin hosts; Bill Nye (the science guy) is the lifeline expert.

Merlin (6 and 7 p.m., Ch. 5): A renegade sorcerer turns lead into gold; Merlin runs into a monster with the head of a serpent and the body of a lion.

Drop Dead Diva (7 and 9 p.m., Lifetime): Jane's client got sick after strictly following a diet plan.

There Goes the Neighborhood (8 p.m., Ch. 2): The families start forming alliances — just as you'd expect in this "Survivor" rip-off.

Shark Tank (8 p.m., Ch. 4): More entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to the sharks.

Miss Universe (8 p.m., Ch. 5): The ever-annoying Billy Bush and Claudia Jordan host this annual anachronism. (Taped)

Mad Men (8, 9 and 11 p.m., AMC): Betty's estranged father visits; the firm deals with an unusual request from a client.

Army Wives (8 and 10 p.m., Lifetime): Claudia Joy and Debra are in a car accident.

Defying Gravity (9 p.m., Ch. 4): The ship reaches the point of no return.

True Blood (10 p.m., HBO): Bill, Sookie and Jason return to Bon Temps.

Patton Oswalt: My Weakness is Strong (11 p.m., Comedy Central): The comedian performs.

Entourage (11 p.m., HBO): Vince and Turtle arm themselves.

— Scott D. Pierce