Journey Into Space

Journey Into Space



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Journey Into Space is a BBC Radio science fiction programme written by BBC producer Charles Chilton. It was the last UK radio programme to attract a bigger evening audience than television. Originally, four series were produced (the fourth was a remake of the first), which was translated into 17 languages (including Hindi, Turkish and Dutch) and broadcast in countries worldwide (including Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and The United States). Chilton later wrote 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 series on the BBC Light Programme. Michael Standing, then Head of the BBC Variety Department, asked Chilton if he could write a sci-fi programme, and Journey to the Moon (later known as Operation Luna) was the result. Each half-hour episode would usually end with a dramatic cliff-hanger, to increase the audience's incentive to tune into 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 had survived, although some were broadcast by the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS, formerly AFN) in Europe during the late 1970s. In 1986, a set of misfiled 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 series 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.

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