A DISCUSSION ON THE MEN INTO SPACE TV SERIES!!!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by JeffT., Feb 11, 2007.

  1. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    There are individuals who find such (hard) science factual-speculative based SF film works as DESTINATION MOON (1950), THE CONQUEST OF SPACE (1955), 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) not to mention the extensive tv news coverage of the first epic U.S. manned landing on the Moon in 1969 to be boring...a viewpoint which I don't happen to share at all!
    The same is applicable to the fine (and underrated) MEN INTO SPACE (CBS 1959-60) which like so much of the documentary drama school of SF has proven to be remarkably prophetic in its farsighted ideas and concepts explored.
    Certainly THE OUTER LIMITS (ABC 1963-65) benefited from all the Space hardware and stock film footage that was utilized for this latter produced SF tv series.
    For me Space travel is anything but uninteresting and I'm certain that a definite market exists out there for this (extremely) rare television milestone-treasure...and not only among SF enthusiasts!
    This impressive effort boasts excellent featured guest-stars and a fine production talent behind it mirroring the consummate quality and inherent overall competency of television at the time making it far more appreciable today then perhaps when originally telecast back in 1960.
    I'm not (personally) familiar with the (similarly) short-lived GREAT GHOST TALES (NBC 1961) outside from what I have read about this supernatural-premised tv show but I'm certainly game should it be released on DVD.
    But in the interim bring on MEN INTO SPACE!!!!!
    Jeff T.
     
  2. docdoowop

    docdoowop Second Unit

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    Agreed! I was a big fan as a teen.
     
  3. Bryan Krantz

    Bryan Krantz Stunt Coordinator

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    I had never heard of this series, but it sounds very interesting.
     
  4. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    I actually meant the initial message post (which is really a response) to go into another already established discussion thread but since the damage has been done and there is some definite interest then provided is a list of all 38 black-and-white half hour episodes of MEN INTO SPACE (and that's just one season!):
    01) "Moon Probe" (30/09/1959)
    02) "Moon Landing" (07/10/1959)
    03) "Building A Space Station" (14/10/1959)
    04) "Water Tank Rescue" (28/10/1959)
    05) "Lost Missile" (04/11/1959)
    06) "Moonquake" (11/11/1959)
    07) "Space Trap" (18/11/1959)
    08) "Asteroid" (25/11/1959)
    09) "Edge of Eternity" (02/12/1959)
    10) "Burnout" (09/12/1959)
    11) "First Woman on the Moon" (09/12/1959)
    12) "Christmas on the Moon" (23/12/1959)
    13) "Quarantine" (30/12/1959)
    14) "Tankers In Space" (06/01/1960)
    15) "Sea of Stars" (13/01/1960)
    16) "A Handful of Hours" (20/01/1960)
    17) "Earthbound" (27/01/1960)
    18) "Caves of the Moon" (03/02/1960)
    19) "Dateline: Moon" (10/02/1960)
    20) "Mooncloud" (17/02/1960)
    21) "Contraband" (02/03/1960)
    22) "Dark of the Sun" (09/03/1960)
    23) "Verdict in Orbit" (16/03/1960)
    24) "Is There Another Civilization?" (23/03/1960)
    25) "Shadows on the Moon" (30/03/1960)
    26) "Flash in the Sky" (06/04/1960)
    27) "Lunar Secret" (13/04/1960)
    28) "Voice of Infinity" (20/04/1960)
    29) "From Another World" (27/04/1960)
    30) "Emergency Mission" (04/05/1960)
    31) "Beyond the Stars" (11/05/1960)
    32) "Mission to Mars" (25/05/1960)
    33) "Moon Trap" (01/06/1960)
    34) "Flare Up" (17/08/1960)
    35) "Into the Sun" (24/08/1960)
    36) "The Sun Never Sets" (31/08/1960)
    37) "Mystery Satellite" (07/09/1960)
    38) "Flight to the Red Planet" (Unaired)
    The star of this ZIV Television Productions SF tv series was the late William Lundegan (June 12th, 1914 - December 20th, 1975) seen in the recurring role of U.S. Astronaut Colonel Edward McCauley and who incidentally also appeared in the debut episode of SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (Syndicated 1955-57) "Beyond" (05/04/1955) involving a U.S. airforce jet pilot's encounter with what he believes to be a bona fide UFO.
    Like its illustrious predecessor SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (another Ivan Tors show where he also served in the capacity of executive producer), MEN INTO SPACE was one of the early SF tv series directed more specifically toward the adult audience demographic.
    Just reflecting on these two time-honoured tv classics makes me want them all the more!
    Jeff T.
     
  5. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    These kinds of headers that make people think there has been an announcement of the upcoming release of the show named in the header are frowned on here. You got me all excited for nothing.
     
  6. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I ran across an episode of Men into Space years ago in my VHS tape trading days, and it wasn't particularly memorable. Maybe it will get on DVD as a public domain offering, so good luck to you guys. [​IMG]
    As for as 1950s classic sci-fi goes, there was a wonderful radio show called X Minus One which ran for three seasons. Have you heard that before? I can highly recommend it.
     
  7. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    Well this whole design template here is SO rigidly inflexible that once a message post is made it is practically engraved in stone so to speak.

    When one is responding to an established discussion what is the possible use of a "New Thread" facility?

    Why can't the subject title be modified if an error is made so that it registers on the initial message post as well?

    Why can't an individual completely delete their own message post entirely if they so desire?

    This would certainly reduce a lot of potential problems and misunderstandings (unintentionally made).

    Jeff T.
     
  8. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    I caught just about all of the episodes when the Sci-Fi Channel ran them as part of some late-late-night offering (along with its Tors/Ziv companion, "Science Fiction Theater"). The series is perhaps a tad dry for modern tastes, but I found it quite interesting. In fact, it seemed to get more interesting as it went along, as the space endeavors progressed further. It took a refreshingly realistic approach to space travel. Certainly no alien monsters jumping from out behind rocks. Although, I do seem to recall a somewhat spooky episode in which the astronauts at a moon base are rattled by some strange shadows or something.
     
  9. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    I think that I would buy most anything coming from ZIV Television Productions (or Programs). Unfortunately the ownership of the (former) United Artists tv shows seems to regularly change hands from one prospective holding company to another which is likely the major obstacle preventing this from happening.
    ZIV (founded by Frederick W. Ziv) was a true independent not affiliated with any of the major television studios and overall its consistently quality output was quite extraordinary to be sure (covering a wide range of genres).
    Pertaining specifically to MEN INTO SPACE, I last saw this particular show sometime in the 1970s when a local tv station carried it in the early afternoon hours every Saturday.
    At that time the episodes were shown in their entireties and in (absolutely) pristine condition. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and (very) interesting to watch myself.
    I think that it's being overlooked (at least by some) that this popular program still has a devout following that enthusiastically recalls it and is not entirely an unknown (or rather forgotten) tv classic.
    MEN INTO SPACE came out in a time when there really was no Space program to speak of...at least not to the extent of what eventually evolved and that the public would become better aware of as the 1960s dawned.
    Had the show been renewed for a second season I'm sure it would have (further) progressed to encompass the exploration of the planet Mars...and beyond!
    ZIV TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS (Click Here).
    Jeff T.
     
  10. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    jefft. could you send a not to an admin and ask them to update the title so it doesnt look like a release is coming, but is wanted?
     
  11. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    I recently encountered a message post where an individual stated that SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE was their all-time favourite SF tv series.

    Now you don't have to agree with this statement but I think that it is a healthy and refreshingly welcomed one.

    There are some science buffs (like myself) who like the distinctive 1950s style of rocketships, satellites and orbiting space stations...much like vintage car enthusiasts!

    My biggest complaint (or disastisfaction) about what is generally being made available on DVD is that most of this stale stuff is already over-familiar and readily being aired on television.

    One of the reasons that I (personally) appreciated DVD releases of both VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA and THE TIME TUNNEL is that I hadn't seen either in a number of years so that in viewing them again it was more of a rediscovery of something that had (partially) faded from recollection.

    Every time we get rarities like THE INVISIBLE MAN (1950s version), THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. or THE INVADERS on a DVD release THIS is a real triumph. These are the classic television properties that make DVD collecting something truly exciting.

    Certainly both SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE and MEN INTO SPACE qualify in this category as well.

    Frankly, I wouldn't really mind if any Ziv Television Production were made available on DVD like SEA HUNT starring Lloyd Bridges which used to air on television in the early to mid 1960s all the time but hasn't really been around since then.

    Of course it (should) be understood that these DVD collections are produced from superior grade 35mm source elements...right?!

    Jeff T.
     
  12. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    Now that one of the tv syndicated properties under the MGM owned United Aritsts Television catalogue has been officially licensed to Shout! Factory Home Entertainment this may well eventually open the doorway to both MEN INTO SPACE (CBS 1959-60) and SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (Syndicated 1955-57) as well at long last.

    In my own mind I can't think of any more exciting prospect than this!

    Hopefully both long (legally) inaccessible tv properties will finally be made available in superior quality video transfers and the opportunity to specifically seen SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE in full colour (at least the first season) complete and uncut is certainly a most welcomed and exciting prospect to be sure.

    Bring on MEN INTO SPACE and SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE!

    Jeff T.
     
  13. Thomas A. Neal

    Thomas A. Neal Auditioning

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    That is GREAT news, JeffT! I've been a devout fan of the show since it first aired...which makes me old. I was 6 years old at that time and had to fight to be allowed to stay up late enough to watch.
    How can I/we let them know there is interest in releasing these shows on DVD?
    The SciFi channel-aired episodes were a vast improvement in picture quality compared with the VHS copies to DVD that are available today. Sadly, SFC chose to cut several minutes from the episodes to squeeze in some extra commercials. But, they did prove that the episodes exist with high enough quality for DVD transfer.
    Maybe someday...
    TomN
     
  14. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    But has SHOUT! Licenced the whole library,or just a handful of shows?
     
  15. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Nobody licenses a WHOLE library. You are still talking about 50s shows, which companies have been very cautious with. And believe me, if Shout or anyone else is going to test the waters with Ziv shows, you're going to see Sea Hunt, Highway Patrol and Bat Masterson long before you see Men Into Space or SF Theatre.
     
  16. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Then let me reword what I said as...
    "Does SHOUT! Have an option to licence other shows from the library?" [​IMG]
    Just becuase they licenced a couple of series from the library doesn't mean they are going to do more. I think we'd see GREEN ACRES or even MY MOTHER THE CAR before any of the ZIV Shows! SHOUT! does seem to gravatate towards comedy.
     
  17. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    The most rewarding aspect of starting a discussion thread like this is to hear people literally come out of the cyberspace woodwork enthusiastically proclaiming just how much they enjoyed these shows...attesting to the fact that they did indeed have an audience when originally aired in primetime!

    I believe that SHOUT! in particular has licensed a variety of tv shows besides comedies but not necessarily the entire television catalogue of a particular company.

    I wouldn't discount either SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE or MEN INTO SPACE. Take note of Paramount Pictures-CBS Television Home Entertainment's upcoming ONE STEP BEYOND - THE 'OFFICIAL' FIRST SEASON 3-disc set to site a comparable example. Who would have thought it?!

    THE INVADERS is another shinning example and I am positive that its excellent sales (especially on both AMAZON.COM and AMAZON.CA) was a major influence in Paramount moving ahead with a DVD release of ONE STEP BEYOND in the hope that success will strike twice.

    I am sure that all (rival) corporate eyes will be astutely on this forthcoming DVD release to determine just how well it does perform in DVD retail sales.

    Of the other (prospective) ZIV Television series mentioned most likely SEA HUNT would also be a strong contender but once again I am (now) reasonably confident that something will be done (by someone) with both SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE and MEN INTO SPACE.

    20th CENTURY-FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT also has access to the MGM film and television libraries (which includes the United Artists tv catalogue)!

    Jeff T.
     
  18. Seaview7

    Seaview7 Extra

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    The latest Filmfax magazine (# 120) has an interesting look back at Men into Space, with lots of rare photos. But their interview with Rena Lundigan (William's wife) must be old, since she passed away a couple of years ago. But she shares amazing insights as to how Lundigan felt about the show, good and bad, plus various behnd-the-scenes challenges. This series would be great to see on DVD.
     
  19. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (Syndicated 1955-57) and MEN INTO SPACE (CBS 1959-60) are still very much in my thinking but what are the chances of seeing these two shows made available in complete and unedited quality DVD releases? It would be a (literal) dream-come-true to have the colour produced first season (1955-56) of SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE fully restored and digitally remastered in all its umblemished pristine glory.

    :rolleyes:
     

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