In a secret fortress hidden somewhere in the remote, uncharted regions of the Earth, scientist Captain Z-Ro monitors human history through his Time Screen. Whenever events unfold contrary to the history books, Z-Ro and his young companion, Jet, use their time machine to go back in time and set things right. With the trustworthy Roger the Robot and their spaceship ZX-99, the brave explorers in time and space learn that the best way to plan for the future is by learning from the past.
Premiering in syndicated markets during the 1955 holiday season, Captain Z-Ro's mix of sci-fi action and educational content quickly made it "the best children's show on television", according to the Kefauver Committee on Juvenile Delinquency. Creator and star Roy Steffens (nee Steffensen) had previously produced a 15-minute version of the program for local live TV in California. All the episodes were directed by David Butler, who made the charming futuristic fantasy Just Imagine (1930). Though the series has not been shown on television since it left syndication in 1960, it was highly influential on later time travel shows such as the BBC's Doctor Who (1963-1989) and NBC's Quantum Leap (1989-1993). The similarities were not lost on Quantum Leap's creators, who showed star Scott Bakula watching Captain Z-Ro in the last episode of that series.
Unseen in decades, Captain Z-Ro has been lovingly transferred from the original 16mm prints to ensure the highest quality. Included are the Captain's concluding admonishments to join his fan club, "The Z-Ro Explorers in Time and Space!"
MOLLY PITCHER: Captain Z-Ro helps Molly Pitcher bring water to wounded Revolutionary War soldiers. Molly is played by Roy Steffens's wife, Kim.
LEONARDO DA VINCI: Jet risks his life to test the ornithopter, Leonardo da Vinci's prototype flying machine.
KING JOHN: An assassin in the employ of King John threatens to prevent the signing of the Magna Carta.
PONY EXPRESS: Captain Z-Ro and Jet learn that a rival stagecoach company plan to destroy the Pony Express.
Courtesy of Roy Steffensen and Fred Berney.