Pathfinders in Space – The World of Lost Toys

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Although Pathfinders in Space was broadcast only a few months after Target Luna, all of the roles were recast (presumably this was the choice of new director Guy Verney).  This is a slight pity as it would have been interesting to see some of the actors featured in Target Luna (Frank Finlay as Henderson, Michael Craze as Geoffrey) carry on.  And quite what the audience made of the changes at the time isn’t recorded ….

At the end of the last episode, Valerie discovers a calcified figure.  Wedgewood decides it’s a stalactite, whilst O’Connell declares that it’s been there for at least four hundred million years.  So at the time when life on Earth had barely begun, a similar looking race had landed on the Moon.  Quite how and why this humanoid became calcified is a mystery though.

Jimmy, of course, can’t resist showing the figure to Hamlet.  It’s a little surprising to learn that Richard Dean (Jimmy) was actually older than Stewart Guidotti (Geoffrey).  Dean’s small stature ensured that he played characters younger than his actual age and whilst it’s true that Jimmy is rather irritating and juvenile, when you know that Dean’s older than Guidotti it does raise the possibility that Dean was giving a skilful acting performance all along.

Scattered about the cave are children’s toys – the toys of the children from this other, long vanished civilisation.  It seems that children from all over the galaxy have similar tastes in toys – stuffed animals, spaceships – and it helps to fill in a little more background.  Although I can’t help thinking that when Henderson returns to Earth and writes his story, nobody’s going to believe him.  After all, if Neil Armstrong returned from the Moon with a cuddly toy under his arm, what sort of reaction would he have received?!

Whilst everyone else has been having adventures on the Moon’s surface (and below) poor Ian’s been stuck in the spaceship by himself.  And it’s only after his long distance games of chess with Earth that I realised who he reminds me of, Tony Hancock in The Radio Ham!  There’s an extraordinary performance by Terence Soall as a Russian technician who broadcasts an urgent message (which turns out to be nothing more than a suggestion for his next chess move) to Ian in the rocket.  Let’s be kind and say Russian accents weren’t his speciality.

The news that a shower of meteorites is heading for the Moon could spell disaster for the two precious rockets.  If they’re damaged, then Wedgewood and the others will never be able to return home.

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