To mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik Sweet Talk commissioned Nick Walker to write a short story that recaptured the spirit of American 1950s B-movies or the pulp science fiction of magazines like Astounding or Amazing Stories.
What followed, to enormous acclaim, was The First King of Mars, the story of the first manned mission to the red planet.
Unfortunately, the extreme isolation of space has a negative affect on the commander, who goes a tiny bit wacko.
His plans to become the all-powerful King of the red planet leads to the first on many insurrections by his crew.
In The Further Adventure of the First King of Mars, five stories which came hard on the heels of the initial adventure, our hero had reckoned without the monkeys.
After a landing that, to be honest, could have gone better, the King (with a new and, to be fair, quite inspirational national anthem) has a problem in that there appear to be no subjects for him to rule over.
The progressive disappearance of his crew only makes matters worse.
Only the final episode, does our fearful (or fearless) cosmonaut discover that the monkeys have already colonised Mars underground, creating a well-ordered and tranquil society, a Nirvana in fact.
So seductive, that the crew have never been happier.
In the new series, The Revenge of the First King of Mars, our hero takes on the monkey kingdom, and their ruler, the rather aggressive Roger.
Read by Dave Lamb
Written by Nick Walker
Producer: Karen Rose
A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.
The King takes on the monkey kingdom and their aggressive ruler, Roger.