Saturday, May 24, 2008


So I watched that episode of 'Captain Z-Ro' at work, which means I got paid plenty to do so! Not that I needed such an impetus, for as I mentioned previously, I've always been keen to see this show.

Captain Z-Ro was a contemporary of the show's broadcasting period. So even though he was quite futuristic in look and with the scientific equipment that he used, he still was working in the 1950s when seen by the audience back home.

Not that he was restricted to that time period! From his secret base in a "remote and uncharted corner of the planet known as Earth", Z-Ro could use his materialization chamber to send himself anywhere in Time and Space. (I have the feeling either he was a Gallifreyan Time Lord, or he had... mastered their technology to accomplish the same things a TARDIS could do.

Usually on the show, Captain Z-Ro and his assistant Jet would observe some ancient time period or specific historical event. (The series won awards for its educational value.) However, this episode was about his creation of a robot named Roger and his plan to send the "tin man" through the Materialization Chamber on a mission to the planet Venus, to learn more about our sister world. Unfortunately, a lightning storm caused a glitch in those plans and Roger ended up in San Francisco, 1954 - no time travel this time out. Their view-scope enabled Jet and Captain Z-Ro to track Roger as he wandered about the city - we saw the robot at Coit Tower, in Fisherman's Wharf, on Morgan Street, and at the end destination for one of the city's cable cars. (This segment should have been expanded more to show Roger at the Embarcadero, in Chinatown, and perhaps even at Candlestick Point, the future home of the ballpark where the Giants would come to play in 1958.)

Based on the view of the area surrounding Captain Z-Ro's secret headquarters, my guess is that the "remote and uncharted corner of a planet called Earth" must be somewhere in an isolated section of Iceland. We see the eruption of a nearby volcano during the closing moments of the show, and its rocky, barren landscape suggests the desolate areas where the tectonic plates are constantly in shift.
Here's more about the Icelandic region, which gives some indication as to why Captain Z-Ro found it the ideal place to build his laboratory where he could "learn from the Past, to prepare for the Future".....

Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland is a country in northern Europe, comprising the island of Iceland and its outlying islets in the North Atlantic Ocean between the rest of Europe and Greenland. It is the least populous of the Nordic countries and the second smallest; it has a population of about 316,000 (April 1, 2008 estimate) and a total area of 103,000 km². Its capital and largest city is Reykjav√≠k.

Located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is volcanically and geologically active on a large scale; this defines the landscape in various ways. The interior mainly consists of a plateau characterized by sand fields, mountains and glaciers, while many big glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, Iceland has a temperate climate relative to its latitude and provides a habitable environment and nature.

Iceland, the land of ice and fire, is a true paradise for volcanologists. In few places on earth, geology and human history are so closely connected to volcanism as on Iceland. The island owes its existence to a large volcanic hot spot sitting on a mid-oceanic ridge, a unique setting. The plate boundary between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates crosses Iceland from south to North and the spreading process can be directly measured and observed on land.

Iceland has the land area of Virginia and the population of Virginia Beach (about 260,000 people). The country has the highest literacy rate (100%) of any nation in the world. Its history has always been closely related to volcanoes and knowledge of many volcanic eruptions since the middle ages are preserved in accounts.
First settled by Vikings in the 9th century AD, Iceland established its own parliament in 930 and recorded its first historical volcanic eruption only a few years later. After a golden age of literature in the 12th and 13th centuries (when the sagas were written), natural history reporting reached a low around the 15th century. In the years 1707-09 a third of the population died from smallpox, and the 1783-84 Laki eruption killed a fifth of the remaining population by famine. Iceland gained sovereignty from Denmark in 1918 and complete independence in 1944.

Iceland is noted for sub-glacial and regional fissure eruptions related to the rifting process between the separating plates. (Hekla is the most active volcano in Iceland with eruption events numbering from as low as 15 major eruptions to the huge number of 167 since 1104, the most recent being in 1991.)

[The information is a combination of articles from Wikipedia and the Smithsonian website.]

Sounds like a great place to get away from prying eyes for Captain Z-Ro!

By the way, there's
a website dedicated to Captain Z-Ro. Check it out for more about the show!

Toby OB

"Until we meet again, fellow Z-Men,
Good luck in Time and Space
'Captain Z-Ro'

1 comment:

plingle said...

Virginia Beach, VA has a population of 430,000