OLD TIME RADIO - 1 CD-ROM - 56 mp3
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Journey Into Space is a BBC Radio science fiction program, written by BBC producer Charles Chilton. It was the last radio program in the UK to attract a bigger evening audience than television. Originally, four series were produced (the fourth being a remake of the first), which went on to be translated into 17 languages (including Hindustani, Turkish and Dutch) and broadcast worldwide (including the United States, New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands). Chilton went on to write three best-selling novels and several comic strip stories, based upon the radio series.
The first series was created in 1953, soon after Riders of the Range (a popular Western, also written by Chilton) ended its six seasons on the BBC Light Program. Michael Standing, then Head of the BBC Variety Department, asked Chilton if he could write a sci-fi program, and Journey to the Moon (later known as Operation Luna) was the result. Each half-hour episode would usually end with a dramatic cliffhanger, to increase the audience's incentive to tune in to the next episode.
The original magnetic recordings of the show were erased shortly after broadcast, and for several decades, it was believed that no recordings of the show still survived. However, in 1986, a set of mis-filed Transcription Service discs (produced for sale to overseas radio stations) was discovered, containing complete copies of the three original series (more accurately, the surviving version of the first season is a cut-down remake of the original, produced for the Transcription Service during the 1950s). This discovery enabled the BBC to begin re-broadcasting the show in the late 1980s, and release copies of the show, first on audio cassette, and more recently on CD and internet download.
Guy Kingsley Poynter (who played Doc) had worked with Charles Chilton before Journey Into Space, and Chilton once commented that Poynter "was a very good poetry reader". Chilton also observed that Bruce Beeby was like his character Mitch, and was "always blowing his top".
David Kossoff asked Chilton if his character (the ship's radio operator) could be called Lemuel (a name he loved), and Chilton shortened the name to Lemmy. Chilton based Lemmy's character on himself, since he had been a radio operator in the RAF. Originally, Chilton had chosen John Glen to play Jet, but later decided to use Andrew Faulds instead, because Chilton's secretary fancied him.
David Jacobs' ability to play a wide variety of characters, each with his own distinctive voice, resulted in him playing 22 different characters during the course of Journey Into Space. He used to mark up his script using different colour pencils, to help him remember what each character was supposed to sound like. In episode 1 of The Red Planet, Jet is interviewed by a group of newspaper reporters, all of whom were played by Jacobs.
Light-hearted pranks were often played on David Jacobs just before a recording session was about to begin. On one occasion, Andrew Faulds poured a jug of water inside his trousers, totally soaking him, and he "did the rest of the program in a raincoat!" On another occasion, some of the actors smeared mustard on his lip microphone, causing him some difficulties during the recording session.
Initially, the first series was simply known as Journey Into Space, with the subtitle A Tale of the Future added by the Radio Times, but within the BBC it became known as Journey to the Moon. The series was set in 1965 (the year in which Chilton believed humans would first walk on the Moon), and was first broadcast in 1953–1954 on the BBC Light Program, which later became BBC Radio 2. The series was originally intended to have 12 episodes (one source claims 8 episodes, and 5.1 million people tuned in to the first episode, but the first four episodes (which took place on Earth) didn't prove very popular, and the audience soon shrank to less than 4 million. However, once the rocket set off for the Moon in episode 5, the audience reaction was much more favorable. The series was extended to 18 episodes, and by the time the final episode was broadcast, 8 million people were tuning in.
In 1958, Journey to the Moon was re-recorded for the BBC Transcription Services (re-titled as Operation Luna), because the original recordings had been erased. The first four episodes of the original series were omitted, and episodes 12 and 13 were merged into a single episode. Today, the only surviving recording from Journey to the Moon is a 5-minute extract from the final episode.
Faulds, Kingsley Poynter, and Deryck Guyler were the only actors from Journey to the Moon to reprise their roles in Operation Luna.
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530921 Operation Luna pt01
530928 Operation Luna pt02
531005 Operation Luna pt03
531012 Operation Luna pt04
531019 Operation Luna pt05
531026 Operation Luna pt06
531102 Operation Luna pt07
531109 Operation Luna pt08
531116 Operation Luna pt09
531123 Operation Luna pt10
531130 Operation Luna pt11
531207 Operation Luna pt12
531214 Operation Luna pt13
541006 - 1 The Red Planet Mars
541013 - 2 The Red Planet Mars
541020 - 3 The Red Planet Mars
541027 - 4 The Red Planet Mars
541103 - 5 The Red Planet Mars
541110 - 6 The Red Planet Mars
541117 - 7 The Red Planet Mars
541124 - 8 The Red Planet Mars
541201 - 9 The Red Planet Mars
541208 - 10 The Red Planet Mars
541215 - 11 The Red Planet Mars
541222 - 12 The Red Planet Mars
541229 - 13 The Red Planet Mars
550105 - 14 The Red Planet Mars
550112 - 15 The Red Planet Mars
550119 - 16 The Red Planet Mars
550126 - 17 The Red Planet Mars
550202 - 18 The Red Planet Mars
550209 - 19 The Red Planet Mars
550216 - 20 The Red Planet Mars
550926 The World In Peril, Ep. 1
551003 The World In Peril, Ep. 2
551010 The World In Peril, Ep. 3
551017 The World In Peril, Ep. 4
551024 The World In Peril, Ep. 5
551031 The World In Peril, Ep. 6
551107 The World In Peril, Ep. 7
551114 The World In Peril, Ep. 8
551121 The World In Peril, Ep. 9
551128 The World In Peril, Ep. 10
551205 The World In Peril, Ep. 11
551212 The World In Peril, Ep. 12
551219 The World In Peril, Ep. 13
551226 The World In Peril, Ep. 14
560102 The World In Peril, Ep. 15
560109 The World In Peril, Ep. 16
560116 The World In Peril, Ep. 17
560123 The World In Peril, Ep. 18
560130 The World In Peril, Ep. 19
560206 The World In Peril, Ep. 20
810618 Return From Mars (special) 1
810618 Return From Mars (special) 2
Journey Into Space Cast Interview Journey Into Space