AUDIO DRAMA
Journey into Space
Operation Luna

Starring: Andrew Faulds, Alfie Bass, Guy Kingsley Poynter and David Williams
BBC Radio Collection
RRP 60.00
ISBN 0 563 52489 8
Available 05 July 2004


Between 1953 and 1958, a devoted audience of adults and children attentively followed Captain Jet Morgan and his crew from one cliff-hanger to another as, together, they faced the unknown perils of space. Charles Chilton's classic science fiction trilogy stormed the BBC airwaves, its gripping story lines, extraterrestrial sound effects and atmospheric music engaged the listener as never before...

The BBC's launch of the complete series of Journey into Space across three box sets, sees the classic radio drama remastered and restored on CD for the first time. Presented in beautiful full-colour packaging, with an accompanying booklet detailing the series' development, this first volume features the complete series Operation Luna, as well as the documentary Journey Into Space... Again, and an excerpt of rare footage from an otherwise lost episode.

This series - originally broadcast in 1953 - represents a pretty impressive audio production. Despite the fact that we know more about what awaits us out there in space than the writers of this series did, it is still a gripping drama.

For the first five episodes critics of the time wrote unfavourable reviews - accusing it of being too slow and boring. But, by episode 10, the critics were shouting its praises from the rooftops.

There is also a 1999 radio documentary entitled Journey into Space... Again. This goes behind the scenes and interviews cast and crew from the series. There are some amusing stories about the pranks the cast would play on each other, as well as how a challenge to the production, from a TV producer, to write an episode that would not work as well on TV, resulted in an entire episode being written with the action set in total darkness. This documentary does suffer from some very poor track breaks - where the tracks change in the middle of sentences.

The price for this collection also seems a little on the steep side. While there are seven CDs, this collection could have comfortable fitted onto four discs - making this audio collection more expensive than some DVD box sets.

But, if money is no object, then this is one classic audio collection that any serious sci fi fan needs to get hold of.

Nick Smithson

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cover
£60.00 (Amazon.co.uk)
Audio CD

All prices correct at time of going to press.