All the drama and preparation involving the first men in space with Captain Drake along with Professor Ericson at the forefront.


(story "The Cave of Night"),


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode credited cast:
Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Drake
Herself - Commercial Spokeswoman
Tom Greenway
Jo Kaiser
Art Lewis
Professor Eric Carson
Captain David Roberts
Clete Roberts
General Finch


All the drama and preparation involving the first men in space with Captain Drake along with Professor Ericson at the forefront.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

11 May 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

looking forward to space travel
26 June 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Back in 1954, science fiction writer James E. Gunn was speculating over what could motivate the public to accepting space travel. He wrote the short story "The Cave of Night", hoping it might be published in Collier's Magazine, which had recently published a special issue by Wehrner Von Braun about space. In the end it appeared in the February 1955 issue of Galaxy Magazine and was dramatized on the radio program X Minus One.

When it was planned to make a television spin-off of X Minus One, the story was purchased for the pilot episode. This didn't eventuate, and the rights were sold to Desilu who changed the title to "Man in Orbit" (and changed the plot a little).

Lee Marvin is the astronaut and E.G. Marshall one of the scientists planning the first space mission. They wonder whether it is worthwhile cutting corners to send the first man into space. When they decide to launch, worldwide attention is focused on the plight of Lee Marvin's character.

James E. Gunn later wrote: "Science-fiction writers get reputations as prophets. They aren't really in that business. Their intention is to write plausible scenarios about possible futures. Sometimes, by chance, one of them coincides with reality." When the first American in orbit, John Glenn, passed over Perth, Australia, in 1962 the town turned its lights on and off to signal him as he passed overhead. I had a sense of deja vu -- because I'd already seen that happen in this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'The Man in the Funny Suit ' nmptheatre3
Neville Brand The Untouchables 42ndStreetMemories
Discuss Man in Orbit (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: