Pathfinders to Mars (1960)
Article 5818 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Guy Verney
Featuring George Coulouris, Gerald Flood, Pamela Barney
What it is: Juvenile science fiction adventure
A spaceship en route to the moon runs into peril when an impostor aboard the ship hijacks it to Mars, where he believes intelligent life will be found.
This is the second of a trio of British teleseries which involve adventures in outer space, and I appear to be watching them in reverse order; I’ve already seen PATHFINDERS TO VENUS, and have yet to see the first. For the record, I prefer this one to the VENUS entry, as it feels more focused and keeps the suspense up a bit higher. The George Coulouris role is the de facto villain of the first two and a half episodes, and he is definitely not a man to be trusted throughout, though he does solve some of their dilemmas as well. There are a few interesting camera angles during the scenes inside the spaceship, though the backdrops in the Mars scenes are painfully obvious, especially when you can see the cast’s shadows on them. Overall, I found this one merely passable, though better than it might have been. I wonder what I’ll think of the first series when I see it…