Captain Rockets versus the Intergalactic Brain-eaters

The set for Captain Rockets versus the Intergalactic Brain-eaters (3m, 1w) is a primitive television studio decorated as the control room of a space ship.  The walls of the rocket are made of very old and floppy theatrical flats; the control panel has knobs that seem to be a combination of old radio dials and jar lids; and the chairs are worn leather desk chairs.  We hear the Overture to Wagner’s Flying Dutchman as lights come up on Captain Rockets working on his lines.  Luna, “his beautiful companion,” tells him that their show has been cancelled by network executives and this will be their last show.  He asks how she can bother him with trivial matters when Brain-eaters from Uranus are taking over the bodies of innocent people.  Luna tells him that Bobby the Space Boy has already left to work on a new western and his part will be played by Irving Kurtzman who used to play the janitor on Mr. Peepers.  When Captain takes a swig of his Venetian Polyp Juice, Luna identifies it as vodka and suggests that she and Captain can do a production of Romeo and Juliet in Hoboken.  Kurtzman enters in a space suit that doesn’t fit, telling Captain and Luna that he is the new Space Boy.  Ed, the stage manager, starts a countdown to begin the show and we hear the Overture again as Ed, in an old-time radio announcer voice, tells the audience that Captain Rockets has gone to Uranus in his rocket ship to defeat the Betelgeusean Squid People before they can eat any more brains.  Luna says they have eaten Dr. Philco and, when Kurtzman enters as Bobby the Space Boy, Captains says he is a brain-slurping squid.  Kurtzman, confused, says he is from New Jersey and assumes that they are not live on national television but rehearsing.  Captain throttles him until he falls unconscious, and Luna tries to cover by asking Ed to tell the viewers at home about Spacies, the breakfast cereal of space cadets.  Ed appears at the edge of the light and announces a brief intermission.  Luna tries to tell Captain that he is an actor playing a part but Captain, thinking Ed is Zordak, the Grand Klapfrick of the Squid People of Betelgeuse, strangles him until he drops to the floor on top of Kurtzman.  Captain tells Luna to trust no one and speaks to the Children of Earth, telling them that the world is not a safe and happy place, that their parents have been taken over by insidious Brain Slurpers, and the children should slit their parents’ throats as they sleep.  Luna says they are off the air.  Captain says the rocket ship is made of cardboard, the set from theatrical flats from the twenties, the control knobs of bottle caps.  He knocks down the flats revealing the back wall of the studio, saying it’s all rubbish, that everything, his life included, is illusion and garbage.  He collapses in tears and Luna kneels, taking his head in her arms.  He says she is his only friend and she strokes his hair and tells him to relax.  She puts her mouth over his ear and we hear “a loud, horrendously surreal slurping sound.”  Captain screams, the sound of the Overture is heard, the lights flicker and then abruptly go out.

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