Journey into Space
The Red Planet

Starring: Andrew Faulds, David Kossoff, Guy Kingsley Poynter and Bruce Beeby
BBC Radio Collection
RRP 80.00
ISBN 0 563 52494 4
Available 03 January 2005

Captain Jet Morgan and his crew of Doc Matthews, engineer Mitch Mitchell and radio operator Lemmy Barnet are on board the flagship Discovery, leading a fleet of space ships. Their mission is to explore Mars, the mysterious and, as they believe, uninhabited red planet...

Journey into Space: The Red Planet follows on from the events that unfolded in Operation Luna. However, the narrative has been moved on and this series is set six years after Luna landed on the moon. Earth's largest natural satellite is now home to a base from which mankind is planning to launch its first mission to Mars.

Most of the main cast reprise their roles from the first series and composer Van Phillips also returns - reworking his music for Operation Luna as well as adding some fresh themes.

This series, which was originally broadcast between September and November 1954, introduces new characters including Frank Rogers and James Whitaker.

This 10 CD collection collects together all 20 episodes as well as including a ten minute Round Midnight interview with writer/producer Charles Chilton.

As with the last collection, the first several episodes drag a little, and it takes some time for the drama to build. But, once The Red Planet gets going the action comes thick and fast.

One of my complaints of the last collection was the fact that the track breaks were not planned very well - with the CD authors changing tracks in mid-sentence. Sadly that is not a problem that seems to have been addressed with this collection.

This collection is slightly better produced and flows smoother than Operation Luna. But again the rather hefty price tag may put some people off buying this collection - even though there are an extra three discs in this collection.

Nick Smithson

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