[ Science Fiction; BBC Radio ] Chilton's own complete set of his scripts for the three series of 'Journey into Space', 1953-1956, and presumably unique. A total of fifty-eight typescripts. WITH related material.

Charles Chilton, BBC Radio, creator of pioneering "Journey into Space" and Riders of THe Range"
Publication details: 
[ 1953-1956 ]
SKU: 21165

Charles Chilton's 'Journey into Space', BBC Radio.Byron Rogers, writing in the Sunday Express, 12 March 1989: 'On a budget of £180 a week a genius called Charles Chilton wrote and produced the best science fiction drama ever.'Chilton writes in his autobiography: 'It is difficult for a generation reared on television to realise how important radio was and how much it was talked about and reviewed in the press. […] By Episode 10, Journey into Space numbered between five and six million weekly listeners. This was the last time that more people tuned into a radio programme than watched television.'Pillinger describes the Chilton's work as 'imaginative, scientifically accurate, enduring' and 'wide-ranging'In three series, broadcast on the BBC Light Programme between 1953 and 1956.ONE: Chilton's own complete set of his scripts for the three series of 'Journey into Space', 1953-1956, and presumably unique. A total of fifty-eight typescripts, bound into six sturdy volumes of burgundy cloth, with title in gilt on cover and spine, and with each of the three series divided between two volumes, as follows: Vol. 1: 'Operation Luna Part I' (series one, episodes 1-9, 1953). Vol. 2: 'Operation Luna Part II' (series one, episodes 10-18, 1953-1954). Vol. 3: 'The Red Planet Part I' (series two, episodes 1-10, 1954). Vol. 4: 'The Red Planet Part II' (series two, episodes 11-20, 1954-1955). Vol. 5: 'The World in Peril Part I' (series three, episodes 1-10, 1955). Vol. 6: 'The World in Peril Part II' (series three, episodes 11-20, 1955-1956). The last volume has negligible damp-staining at foot, otherwise all six are in good and tight internal condition. Each script gives details of the cast, recording number, and dates of rehearsal, pre-recording and transmission, and from the third volume also 'Repros' and 'O. P. No.' Occasional minor pencil annotation, consisting of four-digit reel counter numbers. The bindings are worn, some with damage to the spine. The first episode of the second series has a deleted twelve-line dialogue between 'Jet' and 'Mitch'; and the fourth episode of the same series has ten lines of dialogue by 'Doc' deleted. Twenty lines of dialogue by 'Doc' are deleted from Series Two, Episode 6. As was then the BBC's practice, the magnetic recordings of each episode were erased after broadcast, and for more than thirty years it was believed that no recordings of 'Journey into Space' had survived. In 1986, a BBC sound engineer discovered a set of misfiled Transcription Service discs (produced for sale to overseas radio stations). These contained the complete original recordings of the second and third series, and cut-down versions of the episodes of the first series, made later in the 1950s for overseas sale. Chilton himself writes: 'When the Transcription Service wanted to put out the first series, Operation Luna, it found that the BBC at the time did not automatically keep all of its recordings. So we had to re-record the whole series. One change we made was to cut out the first four episodes which were rather dull.' The present typescripts of the episodes of the first series therefore presumably include text of which no sound recording is known to have survived. In addition episodes 12 and 13 were also abridged and merged into one episode for the Transcription Service re-recording, and so the present typescripts of episodes 12 and 13 are the only record of them as originally broadcast in unabridged form.ITEM: Framed black and white photograph of Chilton with the seven leading members of the cast and crew of the first series of 'Journey into Space', with the mount signed by all eight. Dimensions of print: 18.5 x 22 cm. Dimensions of frame: 34 x 33 cm. In very good condition, under glass, in lightly worn frame. The mount is neatly captioned at the foot: 'JOURNEY INTO SPACE (FIRST SERIES) 1953'. The group is in good humour, with four of the eight standing behind the other four, who are seated. At head of mount are the signatures of the four who are standing: 'David Jacobs', 'Van Phillips', 'Charles Chilton | (Author & Producer)', 'Deryck Guyler. | "The Voice".' The signatures of the four seated figures are at the foot of the mount above the caption: 'David Kossoff. | "LEMMY"', 'Andrew Faulds | (Jet Morgan)', 'GUY KINGSLEY POYNTER | "Doc."', 'Don Sharp | "Mitch"'.ITEM: Two original black and white signed ink drawings by 'Eagle' illustrator Brian Moncrieff Lewis (1929-1978). Both signed 'B Lewis' at bottom right. Possibly commissioned by the Radio Times. Both on card and in good condition, with light signs of aging. Both are striking, highly-finished and intricate drawings (Lewis's style has been compared to that of Paul Klee and Max Ernst). One is 17 x 13.5 cm, and depicts a spaceman, seen from the rear, helmet at his feet, standing with arms outstretched in the pouring rain in a swamp, watching a rocket take off from the cockpit of which three individuals look down. The other is 15 x 16 cm, and in it two spacemen in helmets clambering over as lunar scene, with a rocket and UFO in the background.ITEM: Volume of press cuttings, amassed by Chilton, and relating to his career between June 1953 and October 1954. In album with white label on cover reading: 'Riders &c | VOL. 3 | Beginning of J I S | 1953 | 1st-2nd series'. Several hundred cuttings, from a wide range of British newspapers, are carefully laid down in double column over a hundred pages. Source of the cutting noted in type in each case. More than two hundred of the cuttings relate to 'Journey into Space', giving a good indication of its cultural impact (see for example the cartoons from the Eastern Evening News, 'I went up with the rocket.'; the Daily Telegraph, 'The B.B.C. was RIGHT!'; the Evening Standard, 'Can you take us back to the time when Chelsea were in a Cup Final?'). On 22 October 1953 Jonah Barrington of the Daily Sketch writes, in an article titled 'For "Terrible" read - Terrific!', 'For weeks after tearing strips off a B.B.C. serial I have to announce that it is, or can be, the most sensational box-office draw in all sound radio. It can be bigger, if skilfully exploited, than the Dales, The Archers, Paul Temple, P.c. 49 or Dick Barton. | And I'm doing a critical "about face" for good reason. | […] last Monday Mr. Chilton said good-bye to his fears and got his rocket out and into space. And then how the whole thing came alive! | For the first time in B.B.C. history listeners were taken space travelling. Here's one listener who had seldom been so excited so absorbed - or so completely neglectful of his TV set. From now on I follow Skipper Jet Morgan (Andrew Faulds) and his crew to the ends of the universe! | Yes, Mr. Chilton - this was the real thing. If you can keep it up you have made history.' Contrast this with the negative review in the Derby Evening Telegraph, written four days later (26 October 1953), titled 'This moonshine stuff is waning fast': 'in the long run, boredom will out […] The creators of "Journey into Space" don't sufficiently realise that their tale of the future is a subject of the past. You can no longer induce excitement into even the mildest science fiction addict by lobbing an occasional meteorite at him'. By 27 August 1954 Ken Hankins can write in the Northants Evening Telegraph: 'It is not hard to imagine the finger-nail biting that must have been indulged in by the planners before this Light Entertainment experiment was launched - for this type of story can so easily fall flat and cause sniggers instead of providing thrills. | "Journey into Space" did not fail. Well written, acted and presented, it won top listening figures, and succeeded in carrying out the first duty of any type of serial - it kept listeners "on edge" and eager to hear the next episode.' Also present are seven loose cuttings relating to the series, each with label of the General Press Cutting Association Ltd, six from 1962 and one from 1964.ITEM: Hand made illustrated greetings card inscribed 'Our Very Best Wishes | from | The Teddington Creek Outfit'. Capable and attractive coloured illustration on cover, showing the spaceship 'Luna' blasting a hole through a stetson, with the following in red at foot: 'FOR PETE'S SAKE!'ITEM: Sheet music of 'Piano Solo' titled 'The Theme From Journey into Space (the popular B.B.C. serial) | by Van Phillips' ('Recorded on Decca Records No. F10435 by Frank Weir and his Orchestra'). The Peter Maurice Music Co., Ltd, London, 1955. 4pp., 4to. Bifolium with cover printed in blue and black, featuring a photograph of Weir and another of Faulds in space attire. No copy in the British Library, and the only two copies on COPAC at Oxford and Trinity College, Dublin.ITEM: Six poems by children, inspired by 'Journey into Space', perhaps competition entries sent to Chilton to judge, with one poem by an adult, all undated, but clearly from the 1950s. One, on a large piece of paper with coloured illustrations around the margins, is a thirty-six line poem written by 'Barbara Dash Age 12' of West Wickham in Kent, beginning: 'The Discover has landed, | With Freighter No. 1, | On to Marses Icecap, | Which glitters in the sun. || Jet and Mitch are first to leave, | The ship where she is standing, | To get some samples of the soil, | And look for any damage.' A second, in eleven stanzas, is by 'P. Hunt (Rugby)' and begins: 'To fly about the solar system, | To glide among the stars, | To nip among the asteroids | Were [sic] on our way to Mars. || Jet Morgan is our captain, | Mitch the engineer, | Lemmy keeps us cheerful, | And Doc will calm our fear.' A third, of 32 lines, by Christine and Catherine Smith of Hemel Hempsted, begins: 'We are Marians, We are Martians. | Who are you? Who are you? | This is our planet, This is our planet. | Go away. Go away.' A fourth, in ten stanzas, is by J. Rippingale and Marion Axelby of Barkingside, and begins: '"Lemmy shake off your drowsy sleep. | It's your turn for watch to keep." | "Go away oh blimey do. | Or something is sure to happen to you." | Crew come and sing the chorus swell | Loxion soup an peas as well.' A fifth ('The world in Peril'), of 40 lines, is also by Marion Axelby, beginning, 'Off they go in Space again, | We hope their trip is not in vain, | The space ship stands in all it's glory, | Doc, again will tell the story.' A sixth ('Rocket to the Moon'), by Allen Emery of Langford, begins: 'I'll take a rocket to the moon. | And I'll be there and back by noon. | On the moon great craters lie | And if you fall in you shall die.' A seventh poem is by an adult, Dorothy J. Dorsett of Great Missenden. Addressed 'To Mr. Charles Chiltern. [sic]'. Undated. With 'P.C.S.' stamp. Begins: 'Although I've never met you, | Nor even seen your face, | I'd like to say how much we've loved | Your "Journey into Space." | Not one adventure have we missed | At 7.30, Monday night; | We've just switched on, and settled down | To listen with real sheer delight. | From take-off to their stay on Mars | We've been with Lemmi, Jet and Doc, | We've even left the washing-up, | And utterly ignored the clock.'ITEM: Forty-three miscellaneous items, mostly comprising correspondence, including copies of replies by Chilton, between 1985 and 2006. Includes: TLS from Alan J. Ward to Byron Rogers of the Sunday Express, 15 June 1997: 'As a recording engineer for the BBC in Aeolian Hall, the headquarters of Variety Department, I edited many episodes of "Journey into Space" […] at the time of the launch of the first Russian Sputnik, Charles took groups of us up onto the roof of Aeolian Hall and, armed with his telescope, we all gazed at this incredible foretaste of his fictional dreams coming true.' Also two TLsS from David Lloyd ('actor and later a television director and Producer'), both 1997. Also Two TLsS from Rod Barzilay, 'Editor/founder of Spaceship Away', 2005 and 2006, with copies of four letters to Barzilay from Chilton (same years). Also TLS from Nancy Bratby of Bridlington, 5 April 1999, enclosing 'our script for Journey into space […] I do hope you will enjoy it and take it in the spirit it was written and intended! that of great affection for an incomparable series, still one of the greatest achievements of radio.' Bratby's script (5pp, 4to) updates the series, with jokes about microwaves and solar power.ITEM: Original signed 23.5 x 34 cm coloured cartoon by William Rudling, showing four members of the cast in space outfits, with night sky and rocket ship behind them, leaning over part of a huge cake, with message in large letters 'Happy 40th Anniversary | Journey into Space'. In the cartoon, Faulds has read the message upside down, and says 'Good grief! It's Martian lingo'. Neatly mounted onto a 33 x 44 cm bifolium printed card, presented to Chilton in 1993 by 'Members of the EAGLE SOCIETY, who remember it was you who made it possible for us all to journey to our Moon in the Autumn of Coronation year, a full 15 years before Neil Armstong!' Opens up internally into a 63 x 44 cm goodwill message, carrying the facsimile signatures of 48 members of the Eagle Society ('dedicated to the memory of "Britain's National Strip Cartoon Weekly - the Eagle."'). On the back is an attractive illustrated summation of the serial's impact. At bottom right: 'Produced, to mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first broadcast episode of "Journey Into Space", on the Light Programme of the B.B.C. At 7.30 p.m. On Monday the 21st September 1953, in association with the publishers of Eagle Times. | Visualised and written by Tony Cowley, Bill Rudling and Adrian Perkins. © 1993'.ITEM: Three long TLsS from Tony Cowley of the Eagle Society, all from 1999, asking questions about the series. With enclosures and Chilton's replies, including two pages of synopses of the first four episodes, and a two-page biography of Van Phillips. Also ALS from Adrian Perkins, 2004, regarding 'A December 1951 Eagle Christmas party: 'I only remember I went along, but otherwise I have no recollection of it other than seeing you and meeting Marcus Morris.'ITEM: Eight typed pages of rough notes by Chilton regarding 'Journey into Space', including a two-page transcription of an 'Unknown press report' and sections on 'Critics' and 'Effects' ('David Jacobs played all the extra voices. Once played a whole scene talking to himself as various characters.' | It was always my intention to make the FX as important as the actors, especially in volume (in contrast to common practice at that time)'.).ITEM: Twelve communications from BBC departments (Audiobooks, Commercial Rights, Worldwide), with enclosures (agreements and press), and copies of Chilton's replies, dating from between 1982 and 2007. With copy of 1999 contract from Testbed Productions relating to 'Journey into Space Again', covering letter from Nick Baker, and copy of Chilton's reply.