The First Men in the Moon - Mark Gatiss and Rory Kinnear
Edwardian scientist Professor Cavor (Mark Gatiss) and Julius Bedford (Rory Kinnear) © 2010 Can Do Productions

It’s been a while hanging around for a transmission date but now the wait is almost over.

First transmission on Saturday October 19, 2010 (UK)

The official details about the episode are as follows…

Mark Gatiss takes the lead role as Edwardian scientist Professor Cavor in his own adaptation of HG Wells’s science fiction classic, The First Men In The Moon.

It’s July 1969 and as the world waits with bated breath for news of the Apollo 11 astronauts, a young boy meets 90-year-old Julius Bedford who tells an extraordinary story of two men’s journey to the Moon, in 1909.

As a young man, Bedford chances to meet Professor Cavor, a somewhat unworldly scientist with an amazing invention called Cavorite. Anything to which it is applied becomes opaque to the force of gravity. Knowing a miracle when he sees one and with a keen eye on profit, Bedford encourages Cavor to think big. And so the two men construct a copper and cast-iron sphere which will fly them to the Moon. But what terrors await them in the lunar interior? And will they ever succeed in returning to Earth?

Mark Gatiss plays Professor Cavor and Rory Kinnear plays Julius Bedford. The cast also includes Alex Riddell as Jim, the inquisitive boy listening to Bedford’s story. Jim’s father is played by Peter Forbes and his mother played by Katherine Jakeways. Lee Ingleby plays Chessocks and Julia Deakin plays Mrs Fitt.

To coincide with the adaptation of Wells’s thrilling science-fiction romance, BBC Archive is releasing a collection of national radio broadcast excerpts from the future-facing father of science. HG Wells On The Future provides a unique insight into the genius of the author and sometime broadcaster, revealing his prophetic sense of the changes technological advance would bring. The fascinating collection is available from 15 October at