Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-152 Men Into Space


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Episode Description:

Men Into Space is an American science-fiction television series broadcast from September 30, 1959 to September 7, 1960 by CBS which depicted future efforts by the United States Air Force to explore and develop outer space. The black-and-white filmed show starred William Lundigan as Col. Edward McCauley.

The series was not set in a specific era, but clues throughout the scripts indicated that it took place in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, with the first moon landing somewhere around 1975. Props were occasionally futuristic (such as a forerunner of today's real-life LCD TVs) but the show's earthly clothing and environs, including automobiles, telephones and other machines, were decidedly 1950s. However, a line of dialogue in "Christmas on the Moon," suggests that the events of that episode take place 2,000 years after the birth of Christ.

Men Into Space was somewhat unusual for a TV action series in that it had numerous recurring characters, but only one --- the protagonist, Col. Edward McCauley (William Lundigan) --- who was in each of the 38 episodes in the series. Tyler McVey appeared in seven episodes as Major General Norgath. Ron Foster appeared five times as Lieutenant Neil Templeton.

McCauley was a sort of "everyman" character who was viewed in the show as the most experienced and illustrious astronaut. As depicted in the scripts, the low-key but decisive McCauley was ubiquitous, assigned to every important space mission over at least a decade, including the earliest manned flights, the first flight to the moon, many additional moon landings and moon base construction missions, construction of a space station, and two flights to Mars (neither succeeded, and folklore has it that plans for a never-aired second season would have focused on further missions to Mars and beyond).

In many episodes, the astronauts were faced with accidents or technical problems that required innovation. The program was not idealistic; missions sometimes failed and astronauts sometimes died. For example, a scientist-astronaut stricken with a coronary thrombosis while exploring the moon was not expected to survive the G-forces of the return flight, so his comrades stowed the space-suited patient in a steel drum filled with water, to cushion him during launch. A "Space Race" episode involved spacecraft from the USA and USSR starting out almost simultaneously on the first Mars mission, with one of the craft aborting its effort to rescue the other craft and crew after it experienced problems.

The series included an episode whose plot essentially paralleled the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission's explosion in space more than a decade later, and another that was an uncanny foretelling of the accident that befell the real Gemini VIII mission in 1966.

Scripts often considered the human factor, and while action was the show's forte, humor and romance were part of the mix. Men Into Space predicted women astronauts and scientists, and married couples in space.

The program was produced by Ziv Television Programs, Inc., whose other notable series included Sea Hunt. The theme and recurring background music were written and conducted by David Rose. The series was produced by Lewis J. Rachmil.

Episode Short Description: N/A

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-152 Men Into Space.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:27:53

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,033,773,032 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, July 5, 2013 - 13:46


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