Pathfinders in Space

Harcourt Brown and Captain Wilson - Pathfinders to Venus
Harcourt Brown and Captain Wilson - Pathfinders to Venus

This page looks back to the 'Pathfinders' serials of the early 1960s.

Background Information

The Pathfinders serials were an early attempt at science fiction serials aimed at a children's audience, and are regarded by many as the forerunner of "Doctor Who", as both were produced by the same man, Canadian Sydney Newman.

In all, there were four Pathfinders serials - TARGET LUNA, PATHFINDERS IN SPACE, PATHFINDERS TO MARS and PATHFINDERS TO VENUS. I have to confess that I have no memory of "Target Luna" and it is likely that I didn't see it. I do remember the other three. At the time, I found them very enjoyable. However, some years ago, BBC2 had a 'Mars Weekend' (to coincide with the landing of a Mars space probe) and they showed some clips from 'Pathfinders To Mars'. They looked very out-dated.

A short clip from Pathfinders To Mars

The two links below will give you more information about the Pathfinders serials.

The Pathfinders Serials - the full story

Pathfinders Episode Guide

Broadcast Dates

Dates of original UK transmission

Target Luna

1The Rocket Station24th April 1960
2Countdown1st May 1960
3The Strange Illness8th May 1960
4Storm In Space15th May 1960
5Solar Flare22nd May 1960
6The Falling Star29th May 1960

Pathfinders In Space

1Convoy To The Moon11th September 1960
2Spaceship From Nowhere18th September 1960
3Luna Bridgehead25th September 1960
4The Man In The Moon2nd October 1960
5The World Of Lost Toys9th October 1960
6Disaster On The Moon16th October 1960
7Rescue In Space23rd October 1960

Pathfinders To Mars

1The Impostor11th December 1960
2Sabotage In Space18th December 1960
3The Hostage25th December 1960
4Lichens!1st January 1961
5Zero Hour On The Red Planet8th January 1961
6Falling Into The Sun15th January 1961

Pathfinders To Venus

1S.O.S. From Venus5th March 1961
2Into The Poison Cloud12th March 1961
3The Living Planet19th March 1961
4The Creature26th March 1961
5The Venus People2nd April 1961
6The City9th April 1961
7The Valley Of The Monsters16th April 1961
8Planet On Fire23rd April 1961

Whatever happened to....

Some additional information regarding the cast of the Pathfinders Serials.

Gerald Flood played the action hero, Conway Henderson, in the Pathfinders Serials. Born in 1927, he began acting in 1948. In the 1980s, he appeared in Doctor Who as King John in "The King's Demons" and also provided the voice of Kamelion. Gerald Flood died of a heart attack in April 1989 at the age of 61.

George Coulouris was born in Manchester, England in 1903 and was ideally cast as the villain, Harcourt Brown. After the Pathfinders serials, he appeared in Doctor Who as Arbitan in "The Keys of Marinus". He died of a heart attack in April 1989 (less than two weeks after the death of Gerald Flood). George had a long and distinguished acting career. You can find out more about George by clicking here.

Graydon Gould played Captain Wilson in 'Pathfinders To Venus'. He is best known as the voice of Mike Mercury in the Gerry Anderson puppet series - SUPERCAR. After he left 'The Forest Rangers' he went to Hollywood to pursue his career. His television appearances include "Matlock" and his most recent big screen role was as Dana's dad from the film "Deja Vu" in 1998 which starred Vanessa Redgrave. In 1999, he made a guest appearance at a cult TV convention in England.