Updated: Oct 12, 2021
The Goons went interstellar for the 23rd episode of series three, in ‘The Conquest of Space’. It was broadcast at 9:30pm on the BBC’s Home Service on 21 April 1953. Proof that humans set foot in the Radio Times can be found here.
A book titled The Conquest of Space was published in 1949, with detailed paintings by Chesley Bonestell and words by Willy Ley. It was an influential publication in the fields of science fiction and the arts, inspiring Arthur C Clarke among others (although this may have been another, older book of the same title). It was developed into a 1955 film directed by Byron Haskin.
Space flight was still some way off in 1953. There had been many plans, proposals and papers exploring how satellites could be put into orbit, but nothing had yet been put into action. Nazi Germany had produced the first rocket to break through the atmosphere, the V2, although these were very much aimed at specific parts of Earth, with the aim of blowing them up. (The more I hear about these Nazis, the less I like them.)
Sputnik 1, the first ever man-made satellite to be put into orbit, was launched in 1957 by the USSR. It prompted one Spike Milligan to pen ‘A Russian Love Song’:
Photo of the Solar System from Jacub Gomez via Pexels.