Part One

Space Odyssey: Voyage To The PlanetsFive astronauts are launched on an international mission to visit five planets in a nuclear-powered spacecraft. Their vehicle, the Pegasus, is equipped with both manned and robotic landers and atmospheric probes, specially designed for every stop along the way. Together, they’ve trained for the hostile environments of Venus and Mars, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and a visit to Pluto, with close encounters with the sun and the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars along the way.

But the crew of the Pegasus is only human, as are the flight controllers back home on Earth. The further Pegasus gets from Earth, the longer the lag time in communications from Earth to the crew, or vice versa. The vast atmospheric pressure of Venus, the radiation of the sun, the sand storms of Mars and a breathtaking near-miss with an uncharted asteroid test the Pegasus crew to their limits. But a daring maneuver at Jupiter – plunging their vehicle through the outer layers of the huge planet’s roiling atmosphere – could end the mission early and fatally.

written by Joe Ahearne
directed by Joe Ahearne
music by Don Davis

Voyage To The PlanetsCast: Martin McDougall (Tom Kirby), Rad Lazar (Yvan Grigorev), Joanne McQuinn (Zoë Lassard), Mark Dexter (John Pearson), Michelle Joseph (Nina Sulman), Mark Tandy (Alex Lloyd), Helene Mahieu (Claire Grainer), Colin Stinton (Flight Director), John Schwab (CAPCOM), Lourdes Faberes (FIDO), David Suchet (Narrator)

Notes: Colin Stinton, playing the unnamed flight director, played ill-fated American President-Elect Winters in the Doctor Who episode The Sound Of Drums (2007); John Schwab appeared as one of the equally unlucky workers Space Odysseytrying to coerce a lone Dalek into revealing its secrets in 2005’s episode Dalek. American composer Don Davis provided music for Beauty And The Beast, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Matrix trilogy of movies. Writer/director Joe Ahearne moved on almost immediately to his directing assignments in Christopher Eccleston’s single season of Doctor Who (including Dalek) after completing work on Space Odyssey.

Part Two

Space Odyssey: Voyage To The PlanetsThe Jovian system proves to be a nearly insurmountable challenge for the Pegasus crew, as they endure more gravitational pull from Jupiter than anticipated by the engineers who designed the trajectory. Furthermore, a manned landing on Io nearly proves disastrous, and all the surface samples collected must be abandoned to save lives. An unmanned lander is sent to Europa before Pegasus departs for Saturn.

The most eagerly anticipated part of the Saturn flyby is another unmanned probe, this time dispatched to Titan, but its electrical systems fail prior to landing, and no samples are returned. But the worst setback at Saturn is the death of astronaut John Pearson from cancer caused by solar radiation exposure. Despite this tragic loss, the crew opts to extend their tour by three years to become the first humans to walk on Pluto. Their visit to a comet on its way back toward the sun is less successful, nearly destroying both Pegasus and its crew. If the surviving crew can repair the damage to the ship, there’s one last planetary stop on the mission plan: Earth.

written by Joe Ahearne
directed by Joe Ahearne
music by Don Davis

Voyage To The PlanetsCast: Martin McDougall (Tom Kirby), Rad Lazar (Yvan Grigorev), Joanne McQuinn (Zoë Lassard), Mark Dexter (John Pearson), Michelle Joseph (Nina Sulman), Mark Tandy (Alex Lloyd), Helene Mahieu (Claire Grainer), Colin Stinton (Flight Director), John Schwab (CAPCOM), Lourdes Faberes (FIDO), David Suchet (Narrator)

Notes: “Technical sets” were provided by Brick Price’s WonderWorks, a Los Angeles-based model and prop house founded in Voyage To The Planetsthe 1970s, specializing in accurate sets and models of actual spacecraft (though one of Price’s first gigs in the industry was to design props and build the exterior of the Enterprise for the abandoned late ‘70s Star Trek: Phase II television series, which eventually morphed into Star Trek: The Motion Picture). Though they’re used as portions of a newly-built spacecraft, existing sets of the International Space Station “corridor” and the window-filled cupola module were rented to the BBC for this production. The premise of Voyage To The Planets was later optioned for a more fanciful take on the subject matter for American television, eventually emerging as the much more fictional series Defying Gravity.