However, I have to say some of them have been thoroughly entertaining. The acting may not be Oscar-winning material and the special effects were somewhat less than special, but the enthusiasm of the predominately US-centric “star voyagers” for the tales being told is overwhelming.
If you are after some good old-fashioned square-jawed heroic space-faring, I recommend the following:
Running to about 90 minutes, The Phantom Planet is set in the far distant future of 1980(!). (Yeah, well, this was made in 1961 when it was hoped that space exploration would be common place by then.)
The United States Air Force's Space Exploration Wing has a base on the moon and is ready to send a mission to the mysterious red planet, Mars. They have a mishap and lose another of their Pegasus spacecraft with two more crew members disappearing, leading to rumours of "space monsters" and "phantom planets", as people did back then (mostly whitecoat-wearing scientists and hard-nosed military types with grey flecking in their hair).
A decision is made to send mission pilot Captain Frank Chapman and his navigator Lt. Ray Makonnen, both of whom are slated for the Mars mission to investigate in their own Pegasus craft. To be honest, you would think that the U.S. Air Force's Space Exploration Wing might find less important and highly-trained people to carry out a mission as dangerous as this. And if I were them I would certainly use another type of spacecraft; after all, this make and model does seem to have a bit of a dodgy track record.
Anyway, as they carry out the search their ship receives minor damage (see, these Pegasus ships are jinxed!) from a meteor shower, and both men go outside to carry out repairs. Unfortunately for Chapman his spacesuit is pierced, and he is sent into unconsciousness. Makonnen is able to repair Chapman's suit but as he opens the door to push Chapman inside he himself is fatally struck by a similar particle ... but before he is propelled into deep space, he closes the door with Chapman safely inside the ship.
Chapman awakes much later to find his crew mate gone. He also finds he cannot communicate with the moon base, so he creates a log of the events stating that he's going to land on an asteroid that is somehow pulling his ship towards it...
Want to know what happens next?
Then ... look up the movie on the internet. This blog post is definitetly spoiler-free.
I will me making more entries on other "classics" soon but that will have to do you for now.
So until the next time.... "tttttthat's all folks!"