Five commissions to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first satellite.


Sputnik might be in space but here on Earth Ron Paget’s automated garage door has gone beserk. Communist plot? Or might it have something to do with his neighbour?

Writer: Andrew Smith
Reader: Trevor White

The Phantom Cosmonaut

For every successful space launch there were plenty of rumours about missions that went wrong and were never reported. Years before Gagarin, a small spacecraft breaks from its intended orbit…

Writer: Anita Sullivan
Reader: Neil Dudgeon

Drinking Vodka In The Afternoon

It’s October 1957, and Sputnik is in orbit. In an Irish village, Mary Margaret receives lessons from a mysterious Russian.

Writer: Tania Hershman
Reader: Niamh Cusack


All-American Sam is less than thrilled with his new Yugoslavian stepbrother, known to their classmates as Sputnik…

Writer: Benjamin Markovits
Reader: Ryan McCluskey

The First King of Mars

It takes a long, long time to journey to Mars with plenty of time (maybe too much time) to think. And when they finally land, the new colony will need governance…

Writer: Nick Walker
Reader: Peter Capaldi

First Broadcast:

Monday - Friday, 1st-5th October 2007 at 15:30 on BBC Radio 4

Production Credits:

Broadcast Assistant: Sarah Tombling
Sound Engineer: David Thomas
Producer: Lisa Osborne
Executive Producer: Karen Rose
Music: Absolute Space by Koop & First King Of Mars Anthem by Nick Walker & performed by Peter Capaldi

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