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I Remember the Suzerainne
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A few evenings ago the subject got round to cheesy old 50's science fiction effects. Mary and I had been talking about George Pal's "War of the Worlds" and the new version, which we haven't seen. I recalled a television show where the same slim, four-finned, miniature (obviously) spaceship took off from the busy spaceport again and again and again.(Maybe it was every time the scene changed)

What I remembered best, though, was the ruler of this busy place, an evil tyrant bearing the title "Suzerainne," who strode about in high heeled boots and a Ming the Merciless collar, issuing orders, looking cruel and imperious and just generally making men weep.

At the time, I would have called her "hot" except I was six and didn't know the word. Did anyone know the word "hot" in the 1950's?

I couldn't remember the name of the show, of course, but in a few minutes Mary located an internet site devoted old tv sf and "Rocky Jones - Space Cadet" flew right out at me -- the attached strings clearly visible.

Amazingly, I had even got some of it right. There was, indeed, a Suzerainne Juliandra, but in my memory I had apparently got her jumbled up with her evil twin who was kept locked in the dungeons to prevent her from destroying the universe, needless to say.

By weird coincidence, I was surprised to read, the actress who played the Suzerainne -- Ann Robinson -- starred in George Pal's "War of the Worlds." She's still around, with a website, giving interviews, and even makes an appearance in this year's screen version of the H.G. Wells classic. She's listed as playing "grandmother."

I must avoid seeing the movie. I want to remember the Suzerainne as she was.

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