1 9 6 0 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
This sci-fi drama from ATV was produced by Sydney Newman and made for Sunday afternoon family viewing.
Professor Wedgwood (David Markham) is ready to send the first man to the moon from his base on a remote island off the coast of Scotland (although location shooting took place on the Essex coast).
His three children, 17-year-old Valerie (Sylvia Davies), 17-year-old Geoff (Michael Craze) and 13-year-old Jimmy (Michael Hammond) arrive for their Easter holidays just as the planned project goes horribly wrong and the sole astronaut falls ill.
With the island cut off by heavy seas the professor’s children cannot go home to London and instead are given a guided tour of the entire secret establishment (!).
A computer operator shows them round the rocket station and explains the controls to them (what could possibly go wrong?!)
Then Jimmy gets lost in the control room in a maze of dials and flashing light panels, and accidently launches himself into space . . .
The quest to get him back home safely was broadcast over six successive weekends.
Three sequels followed: Pathfinders in Space (1960), Pathfinders to Mars (1960), and Pathfinders to Venus (1961).
Flt. Lt. Williams