Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
A priceless trip down memory lane. Worth buying for the theme music alone.
on 31 October 2017
I was originally spellbound by this trilogy as an 8-year old. It is one of the few television serials before Dr Who that has remained clearly in my memory after more than half a century. Before buying this set of DVDs I could still remember the man on the moon who had been turned to stone, the dumbell-shaped spaceship, the lichens on Mars, the jungle on Venus, and the character played by George Coulouris. He played the part of a villain in many programmes of the period, and whenever I saw him on television in subsequent years I was reminded that he had remained behind on Venus. The haunting theme music has also remained in my memory ever since.
I note that at least one reviewer who remembered this serial from childhood regretted buying the DVDs, but when reviewing a product made so long ago, it is necessary to take account of the following:
(1) This production is a product of its time, when programmes were recorded on film, mainly in studios, and occasionally transmitted live. The flimsy sets are part of its charm, and didn't really matter at a time when programmes were viewed on 405-line black and white televisions with small screens.
(2) This was a series for children, so the children in the story were able to do things normally only possible for adults, such as travelling into space. Otherwise, many aspects of the stories are fairly plausible, based on the extent of scientific knowledge at that time.
(3) This was a serial, so an integral part of the experience of watching it was the suspense between episodes. I can still remember the anticipation before watching each episode on a Sunday afternoon, and the frustration in having to wait another week when it had ended.
Included with the DVDs is a very interesting Series Guide, which brings together information about the programmes that is not easy to find elsewhere. As well as providing interesting background, it has also solved a mystery for me. When I originally googled this series many years ago (before it became available on DVD) I was rather surprised to discover that it had followed an earlier series, entitled Target Luna, of which I had absolutely no recollection. The Series Guide explains why: the only ITV region where it was not transmitted was Tyne Tees, where I grew up. I am therefore very pleased to have discovered the reason why I have no memory of it. However, I was disappointed to see that the author of this Series Guide refers to the serial as a 'show'. This American terminology has crept into use on this side of the Atlantic in the last two decades, but would never have been used to refer to a television serial at that time, when a show referred to a programme with a live audience, and to my mind still does.
I would strongly recommend this DVD set to anyone who remembers this series from childhood and wants a trip down memory lane.