Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great children's science-fiction series
This is one of those TV shows that I remember from watching when I was 8 years old.

I never thought I would see again and think it is great that Network have been able to release it.

The acting and effects may at times be suspect but I found the stories to be so interesting that I had to keep watching. Certainly the acting improves as the series...
Published on 22 Oct 2011 by G. Curtis

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars FUN TRIP THROUGH TIME AND SPACE, OVER.
The picture seems fine and all the scratches and blips just adds to this intelligent series,over.I had never heard of this series but if you like your B&W serials this is definitely worth a watch,over.It looks like the budget didn't stretch to any glass,over and look out for when the Doc says the spaceship's "blown down" instead of "blown up",over.A good script delivered...
Published 21 months ago by Vlad the emailer


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great children's science-fiction series, 22 Oct 2011
By 
G. Curtis (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of those TV shows that I remember from watching when I was 8 years old.

I never thought I would see again and think it is great that Network have been able to release it.

The acting and effects may at times be suspect but I found the stories to be so interesting that I had to keep watching. Certainly the acting improves as the series progresses and is better in the second story in the trilogy (Pathfinders to Mars).

The picture quality is OK and obviously no restoration work has been done on it. Nevertheless it did not detract from my enjoyment of the programme.

What is remarkable is that a few of the episodes were broadcast live and that of the remainder; each episode had to be recorded in two continuous segments. Any fluffs or problems were either ignored or the whole 15 minute section had to be recorded again.

I would recommend this series for anyone interested in seeing some vintage television as long as you take it for what it is.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining children's sci-fi series, 25 Oct 2011
By 
Colin Smith (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
I was intrigued by the info stating that this children's sci-fi series was a precursor to Dr Who. I was only a few months old when the first series was broadcast, so obviously I have no memories of it, I was pleasantly surprised by the stories. As much as I enjoyed the first series, I enjoyed two and three even more, with the performances being mostly OK. IMO Stewart Guidotti as Geoffrey was the pick of the youngsters. The introduction of George Coulouris as Harcourt Brown - the 'mysterious imposter' in the second series was a welcome addition, as further missions took the crew to Mars and Venus.

This ABC Television production may look low budget, with sets and backdrops that reflect this, but the interesting and entertaining storylines provided by writers Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice more than compensate for any such shortcomings. This series has such a warmth and charm that makes it very pleasant viewing. As young Jimmy would say: THIS IS SMASHING!

As has already been mentioned, no remastering work appears to have been performed, but despite this, the black and white picture quality is generally OK, there are no subtitles.
The extras are:
*A 6-minute image gallery with behind the scenes images.
*Pathfinders prequel Target Luna script PDFs.
*38-page booklet with production details and broadcast dates with episode synopsis.

Each episode runs for around 25 minutes, and the stories are as follows....
PATHFINDERS IN SPACE: 7 episodes.
PATHFINDERS TO MARS: 6 episodes.
PATHFINDERS TO VENUS: 8 episodes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful trip Down Memory Lane, 14 Jan 2012
By 
M. W. Stone (peterborough, cambs england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
I originally watched the last two "Pathfinders" series at ages twelve and thirteen. I hesitated a bit over buying the dvds - as others have noted, it's sometimes better not to try and go back - but in this case I have no regrets.

With fifty years hindsight, there is of course some disbelief to be suspended. Apart from the sheer unlikelihood of taking children (not to mention their pet hamsters) on such a voyage, the special effects, if they can be dignified by that name, are thoroughly 1950s, with the space rockets being all too obviously toys lifted up by a thread of cotton. However, being old enough to remember my family's first tv (a 14 inch black and white acquired when I was eight or nine) I was fully aware that they didn't have modern special effects in those days. I didn't let it bother me, and anyway it seemed to get better as the series' progressed.

The pleasantest surprise was the series I had not seen as a child - the first one, "Pathfinders in Space". As there was no element of "sentimental journey" attaching to that one, I did not expect to like it as an adult, and might not have bothered with it had the series' been marketed separately. That would have been a sad mistake, as I found it great. In particular, I was really gripped by the scene where the characters learn that the supply ship can return to earth - but only with one adult and one child. It was really well done. Having seen the later ones, I knew perfectly well that all the major characters, at least, must have survived, yet somehow it didn't matter. I was on the edge of my seat as I waited for the next episode to begin.

The series was of its time in other ways beside visual effcts. The news that all but two of them are, in effect, condemned to death, is received by adults and children alike with the stiffest of upper lips, and no one protests or argues when the names of those chosen to live are announced. Looking back, I get the strong feeling that attitudes to childhood and especially boyhood were rather different in those days. Well within living memory, a boy of sixteen had won a posthumous VC at Jutland, and there were many men (and women) still in their early thirties who had been in the French Resistance or similar at Geoff's age. Expectations were higher, or at least different.

Even so, though, it seems a bit much that no comment is ever made about the boys' conduct in the face of death. Apparently it was just expected that they would "naturally" (??) behave as their elders did. This despite the fact that Professor Wedgewood does not seem a hard or unfeeling parent. His children (even the mischievous Jimmy) are never punished beyond the mildest of rebukes. They seem to like and respect him, and to have absorbed his values willingly enough. Oh, I give up! PiS was made well within my own lifetime, but at times its human characters seem more alien to me than anything they could have found in outer space.

On a more human note, for me this scene is "stolen" by little Jimmy (Richard Dean) as he pleads for his hamster to be allowed to go back to earth, resolved to save his pet even if he himself is to die. I found it really moving, perhaps because it was so credible. I could all too easily imagine a child of Jimmy's age (11) behaving as he did.

I rather regret Jimmy's disappearance from the later series', though his place was in some ways well filled by Harcourt Brown, who rather anticipated Doctor Smith in "Lost In Space". Margaret was a good replacement for Valerie, and all the series' did well, especially for the amount of scientific, geographical and other knowledge which they managed to insert without ever holding up the plot.

All in all, if you're into nostalgia and "the way the future was" then these are for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pathfinders in space returns, 20 Sep 2011
By 
R. C. Meade (Suffolk UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
INFLUENTIAL early sixties TV sci-fi series Pathfinders is to be released on DVD for the first time after the one missing episode was discovered - in the ITV archives.

Until recently it was long thought that episode 1 of Pathfinders to Venus, "SOS From Venus", was lost save for the soundtrack.

But earlier this year the entire eight-part 1961 serial was found complete within the archives and will be released this October by Network DVD along with earlier series Pathfinders in Space and Pathfinders to Mars.

One of ITV's earliest dramas written specifically for children, Sydney Newman's Pathfinders series has been described as the "missing link" between seminal BBC radio show Journey Into Space and Doctor Who, the latter of which Newman also created.

Over three series broadcast during 1960 and 1961 the Pathfinders journeyed to the moon and other worlds, facing drama at every turn - from space hazards to Venusian dinosaurs.

With intelligent and engaging scripts by Malcolm Hulke and Eric Paice, and a strong cast including actors Gerald Flood (Conway Henderson) and George Coulouris (Harcourt Brown), the series proved tremendously successful with the viewing public and even got into the regional top ten - unheard of for a children's programme.

In addition to all 21 episodes, The Pathfinders in Space Omnibus DVD also features an image gallery and production booklet by noted archive television historian Andrew Pixley. It is released on December 31, 2011
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everybody but..., 17 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
An unashamed wallow in nostalgia for me. Other reviewers have noted the cheesy special effects but they just add to the charm. As may have been noted elsewhere, it's clear that space helmets proved a problem so the solution was simple: no perspex; just some - quite badly, in some cases - bent coat-hanger wire across the front..though the guinea pig gets a proper helmet (Yup - it's called 'Hamlet'. Ha.). Fab.

I wouldn't force a 'modern' child to watch these programmes. I think you'd need to have been born between 1945 and 1955 to enjoy the series, but - for me - ambition, enthusiasm and the naivety of the ideas carry the day. The cast take it all quite seriously even when they're exulting in the chance to fly back to Earth in a 400 million year old space ship. Scenery wobbles, dialogue is mangled, science is ignored/simplified/misunderstood but it really doesn't matter.

The plots - for the time - are hugely ambitious and for any early Dr Who fans (I count myself one) the Sydney Newman connection (and there's George Coulouris, too, for Whovians) makes this series a 'must-see'. There's big messages about humans' destiny in the stars and about co-operation between the nations which seem appropriate for a children's series and aren't too obtrusive. Terrific (over-used) dramatic music (uncredited)and a 'cliff-hanger' ending at the end of each episode (and each 'act').

In the end, I didn't even mind the middle-class children and their 'Five on an Alien Planet' enthusiasm. I love all the knobs and dials in the spaceships which look like somebody's raided a 1950s hardware store. Some of them are surely made of Bakelite!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evokes wonderful childhood memories!, 14 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
What this series is strong on - quite apart from nostalgia, obviously - is ATMOSPHERE. It truly captures the sense of real excitement that people felt about the dawn of the Space Age in the late 50s and early 60s. Even watching it again now, as an adult, the camera-work manages to make you feel that you're actually there, in the Venusian jungle, as opposed to simply watching something on TV.
As somebody else has already mentioned, the acting is of its time (from certain members of the cast, anyway), but it's also true that this improves as the three series progresses. A wonderful childhood memory I have is at a friend's birthday party, when we all stopped for half an hour to watch the final episode together. I can still recall my feelings of exhilaration (and fear!)as the main characters were menaced by - well, I won't spoil things, but if you've still got an element of child-like adventure in you, buy this! I'm really pleased I did (and so are a couple of my old mates from those days, who've also re-watched it with me!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Gold, 5 Dec 2012
By 
William Anderson "Will Anderson" (Wirral, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
Great to have this, I have been after it for years, thought it under the M4, Wonderful to see early British SI-Fi, the story content is Great.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your mileage may vary, 3 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
For fans of Doctor Who, this TV series is akin to finding the holy grail in children's sci-fi telly. So many of the elements which would later help to make Who a success are there. Even some of the people who would later work on Doctor Who are involved in this production. But it's like a prototype. It's lumpen and even more unformed than the pilot episode of Doctor Who.

So is worth watching? Let's be clear: the production values, continuity and much of the acting is woeful - although they do improve as the episodes progress. The space helmets feature no glass, one of the space craft looks like a rubber dog's bone and the black curtain of space looks exactly like moth-eaten one. Some of the actors appear to be completely unfamiliar with acting and/or tv. Melodramatic declarations to the four corners of the theatre are made on a regular basis. Continuity is obviously an alien concept to the production team.

But somehow - it works. It's quite pacy. There's a sense of it being pioneering stuff (even though it wasn't the first time sci-fi had been tried on TV), the scripts and science are surprisingly solid and there's a wonderful Britishness about the whole exercise. For example, preparation for space travel consists of ditching one's blazer for a military issue pullover. No-one bats an eyelid at the possibility of a hamster in a space suit. And the truly magical thing - if you are somehow able to suspend your disbelief - you have absolutely no idea what will happen next.

It's not the most polished of DVD sets as beyond an extremely informative booklet and a few bits and bobs - there's little else. It's a shame as it would be great to what remains of the cast and crew to reflect on the show or even a bit of restoration in places.

Personally, despite all of the many shortcomings I loved this show. One of my favourite releases of 2011.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic vintage sci-fi, 3 Nov 2011
By 
S. J. Walker (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
This is a long-awaited DVD of a classic children's science fiction series from ABC. Network have done a fantastic job with this release, which includes a meticulously researched booklet by the great Andrew Pixley. Definitely a five-star release!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 6 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD] (DVD)
Mostly of interest to those who remember it, and historians of tv. The actors do well to perform and deliver large chunks of dialogue (no video editing) within a very confined studio area. Very much of its period, but a lot of it does hold one's interest.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Pathfinders in Space Trilogy - [ITV] - [Network] - [DVD]
£17.20
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews