1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 1
7 x 25 minute episode
1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 1
6 x 25 minute episodes
1 9 6 1
8 x 25 minute episodes
This children’s science fiction series was written by Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice, and produced by Sydney Newman in a style reminiscent of comic books.
Pathfinders In Space was the first of seven series’ and was followed by Pathfinders To Mars (1960 – 1961) and Pathfinders To Venus (1961).
In Pathfinders In Space, a team of lunar explorers led by Professor Wedgwood (Peter Williams) land on the surface of the moon. Unfortunately, the supply rocket has landed some distance from the main ship and, while Wedgwood starts his long journey towards it, the others discover an alien spaceship and the remains of its occupant.
When one of their rockets is subsequently destroyed by meteorites, Wedgwood plans to return to Earth using the alien craft.
The following two stories used basically the same set-up as the first but introduced some new characters to cover at changes. With Jimmy Wedgwood (Richard Dean) unable to travel due to a broken arm, the professor’s eldest son Geoffrey (Stewart Guidotti) pilots the rocket.
Reporter Conway Henderson (Gerald Flood) is joined by his niece (Hester Cameron), and the daring venture to the red planet is jeopardised when crew member Professor Hawkins turns out to be an impostor – actually a fanatical writer of science fiction called Harcourt Brown (George Coulouris), who is determined to prove that there is life on Mars. Before long a hostage situation ensues.
Having successfully regained control of the mission, the crew are returning to Earth when they intercept a distress call from an American astronaut stranded on Venus.
When they land, they find that the pilot’s spaceship has been ransacked and they are soon attacked by carnivorous plants, pterodactyls and primitive ape creatures.
The Pathfinders series was broadcast as part of ITV’s Sunday Family Hour, appealing just as much to adults as it did to children at a time when Yuri Gagarin was still over a year away from being the first man in space.
Three other related series’ followed also; Plateau Of Fear (1961) – a children’s adventure series set in a nuclear power station high in the Andes, City Beneath The Sea (1962) and Secret Beneath The Sea (1963)
Professor Mary Meadows
(Pathfinders In Space) Convoy to the Moon | Spaceship from Nowhere | Luna Bridgehead | The Man in the Moon | The World of Lost Toys | Disaster on the Moon | Rescue in Space
(Pathfinders To Mars) The Imposter | Sabotage in Space | The Hostage | Lichens! | Zero Hour on the Red Planet | Falling Into the Sun
(Pathfinders To Venus) SOS from Venus | Into the Poison Cloud | The Living Planet | The Creature | The Venus People | The City | The Valley of Monsters | Planet on Fire