I was too young to have appreciated this story which was the third in a series of 3 first broadcast on radio between 1953 - 1958. The first story, 'Journey into Space: Operation Luna', and the second story, 'Journey into Space: The Red Planet', and of course the third, were all written by Charles Chiltern who died in January 2013.
This CD collection, as well as the other 2 stories on CD, are the original radio series which have lost none of their impact after more than 60 years.
Charles was employed by the BBC and after a long career became a noteworthy writer of stories for the radio. Prior to writing the 'Journey into Space' trilogy, Charles wrote a western series called, 'Riders of the Range' but it was not until 'Journey into Space' was broadcast that the BBC realised they had an instant hit and a future classic on their hands. Charles was an amateur astronomer which doubtless helped him give body, detail and credibility to these stories which feature the interplanetary exploits of Jet Morgan, Doc Matthews, Stephen 'Mitch' Mitchell and Lemmy Barnet.
Charles Chiltern attempted to resurrect the exploits of the quartet some years later but these stories were not as popular as the original trilogy.
One might think that in 2013 these stories would have become dated but this is definitely not the case. Some of the technical detail is now known to be incorrect but the stories remain as fresh, imaginative and as atmospheric as when they were first broadcast.
I have the complete series on CD, which I love listening to, and I purchased the books too mainly in homage to Charles Chiltern but also to see how the written stories differed, if at all, from the radio and CD series.
I would thoroughly recommend the books and CDs to anyone with an interest his sci-fi.
on 15 August 2011
I bought the first two installments of Journey Into Space when they were first released on CD almost a decade ago, and then like everyone else was left hanging and disappointed when the BBC decided not to release the final set on CD, but only as a download at over twice the price! They also discontinued the first two boxed sets pretty quickly, so I was lucky to get copies. As I already had the first two, this is the only set I bought. It's great to finally have it on CD, but like others have reported on the earlier sets, the stacked packaging is lousy in comparison to the earlier original releases, which came in boxed sets with individual sleeves for each disk, not to mention a booklet and a poster. With the new sets in order to get to the CDs underneath, you have to awkwardly juggle the CDs above and try not to drop them with one hand while getting the one you want with the other, then put the other ones back without having them slide all over the place. Not so ealily done. The post holding the CDs in place also precludes the possibility of having a booklet included as there is no way to fit it in the package, which is probably the reason why there isn't one other than a PDF file. The labeling on the CDs themselves is also prettly lacking, giving only the name of the serial and that it is part three of a trilogy. Sure, it's not difficult to figure out that if you have twenty half hour episodes plus a nintey minute sequel, the first ten CDs are going to have two episodes each and the last two the sequel split over them, but would it have hurt to put what is actually on each disk on the labels? Worst of all is the fact that although it is prominently advertized on both the back of the package and in the PDF booklet, "Another Journey Into Space" is NOT included in the set. Oh, there's a space made for it on disk 12, which is where it was SUPPOSED to go, with the 90 minute "The Return From Mars" being split up with 60 minutes on disk 11 and the remaining 30 minutes on disk 12, leaving the last 30 minutes for "Another Journey Into Space". The trouble is they never bothered to actually put it on the disk! So while it's great to finally have the last installment of the original series on CD, the packaging and omission of a an advertized feature is pretty sloppy on the part of both the BBC and AudiGo.
on 17 April 2016
Journey Into Space is a BBC Radio science fiction programme written by BBC producer Charles Chilton. It was the last UK radio programme to attract a bigger evening audience than television. Each half-hour episode ends with a dramatic cliffhanger. This was a ploy to increase the audience's incentive to tune into the next episode.
The series is set in 1965, the year in which Chilton believed humans would first walk on the Moon. It was first broadcast in 1953–1954 .
Jet's father (Sir William Morgan) launches his A.24 rocket from the Rocket Research Station at Poker Flats. But something goes wrong, and the rocket heads towards Las Vegas, out of control. The rocket hits Las Vegas, killing at least 35 people. The result is the closure of the Poker Flats site.. Meanwhile, Jet joins Mitch in his Operation Luna project – a rocket to reach the Moon.
Jet is the rocket's pilot, and he and Lemmy travel to Australia to meet Mitch at the secret Operation Luna base. On arrival, Mitch takes them to meet Smitty, the team's doctor. But he's dead!
Doc Matthews replaces Smitty (who died from a coronary), and Lemmy is to be the radio operator. Mitch spots a plane flying around the launch site, suspects spies are active, and advances the launch date.
The rocket "Luna" sets off for the Moon with Jet, Doc, Mitch and Lemmy aboard. The crew loses radio contact with Earth. Lemmy hears odd 'music' on the radio. Contact is resumed, and a tiny meteor hits Luna. While the ship does no sustain damage Lemmy hears the strange music again outside the ship and panics.
Luna turns for the Moon landing, and Lemmy hears the 'music' again during the final approach. The crew narrate their first moonwalk by radio to Earth on October 22, 1965. While exploring a crater, Jet vanishes from sight.
The crew experience strange things. Jet has visions of the past and the future. The music disturbs Lemmy again. Doc sees a strange dome over a crater, and writes an odd diary entry without realising. Their last week on the moon passes without incident, but as they prepare to leave for home, the ship completely loses all power.
The crew are stuck on the Moon and unable to trace what has caused the power failure. A fortnight passes, with the air temperature rising in the absence of air-conditioning. The crew sees a UFO on the televiewer on the seventh day. They hear strange noises on the tenth. When they have just enough oxygen to reach home, power is restored to the ship. The UFO lands outside.
Mitch is inquisitive and enters the UFO, where an alien intelligence posseses him. Luna takes off and orbits the Moon; on the far side, the crew encounter a fleet of UFOs, which pursues them.
The UFOs accelerate Luna to an incredible speed, and the crew blacks out. On recovering, they find themselves out in deep space, with no sign of the Earth or Moon. In the distance, a planet is approaching.
The crew land Luna on the planet and discover that it shares many of Earth's characteristics. For example, oxygen atmosphere, drinkable water, carbon-based vegetation and ice-caps at both the poles. After studying the stars one night, Jet deduces that they in fact are on Earth, but that they've travelled thousands of years through time. Jet discovers a prehistoric stone knife near Luna. This suggests that they've travelled back in time. But there is some confusion over this when the crew discover the tracks of a great tank-like machine near their ship. One morning, a UFO exactly like the one seen on the moon lands nearby, and a voice asks: "Hello Luna!" The crew talk with 'the voice'. They learn that the strange music they've been hearing is from a strange, omnipresent power that 'the voice' and his people use to drive their ships. 'The voice' warns them that they are in great danger, and persuades them to enter the UFO, which takes off. Eventually it lands again, in a city of domed buildings. They learn more about 'the voice' and his people. They are a peaceful, scientific race from the opposite side of the universe. They learnt to travel through time when their solar system was threatened by its expanding sun. The crew explore the city, and are disturbed by a close encounter with a sabre-toothed tiger. The creature does not attack them, but they now realise that they have travelled back through time instead of forward. They enter a domed building, walk down a long dark tunnel, and emerge in a huge underground city. They are invited into another building to meet 'the voice', but are terrified by what they find inside...
'The voice' consoles the crew, who are embarrassed by their shock, and guides them to another dome where they have a meal and beds to sleep in. Next morning, 'the voice' tells the crew about the Earth's native 'forest creatures'. They are destructive and hostile animals, and promises to help the crew get back to their own time. While preparing Luna for take-off, the crew are horrified to realise that the 'forest creatures' are, in fact, prehistoric humans.
'The voice' is not pleased to learn that the crew are descended from the 'forest creatures', but in the end agrees to help them as arranged. Luna takes off and is accelerated by the UFOs; the crew blacks out. They start to ponder on the nature of time. They become concerned about their shortage of fuel, and whether they will remember their adventures when they reach their own time.
The crew return to the Moon in 1965, but with no memory of their adventure on prehistoric Earth. Their rations have been replaced by water and an unknown bread-like substance. Doc's diary contains a detailed account; and there's a prehistoric stone knife on board Luna.
A great slice of nostalgia. Dramatic music and hammy acting. Recommended if you like old school pulp sci-fi, with moralistic overtones.