Today: February 22, 2024

The Pathfinders In Space Trilogy

RATING: 4/5

Pathfinders was one of ITV’s earliest dramas written specifically for children. 

Target Luna premiered in 1960, starring Frank Finlay and Doctor Who alumni Michael Craze. The success of that show spawn Pathfinders which ran to three series: Pathfinders In Space (1960), Pathfinders To Mars (1960-1961) and Pathfinders To Venus (1961), with Gerald Flood and Stewart Guidotti in the recast lead roles.

Produced by the legendary Sydney Newman, who would go on to co-create Doctor Who, Pathfinders feels, at times, like a dry run for that much more famous series. Indeed, Whovians will enjoy spotting and name-checking the cast and creatives who would later go on to work on Doctor Who.

At more than 60 years old, Pathfinders does look a little creaky around the edges. But what it lacks in production values, it more than makes up for in intelligent and engaging scripts by the likes of Malcolm Hulke (Doctor Who, The Avengers, Secret Agent) and Eric Paice (The Outsiders).

Network’s new release contains all three series: Pathfinders In Space, Pathfinders To Mars and Pathfinders To Venus. And, let’s face it, what’s not to like about rocket ships, space adventures, and Venusian dinosaurs.  This is classic vintage TV, with all its faults—and all the fun.

Special Features:

  • Production booklet by archive television historian Andrew Pixley.
  • Image Gallery (including behind the scenes images). 
  • Pathfinders prequel Target Luna script PDFs on Disc Two.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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