One series I liked as a young boy that I don't think ever made it to the US was "Adam Adamant Lives!" I don't believe that there was much science fiction in it apart from the McGuffin that set up the series, though.
The main character was a victorian "gentleman adventurer" who was trapped and frozen in a basement by his Moriarty-like nemesis. He was unfrozen in the 1960s when the building in which he was trapped was demolished.
@OmegaMan: Re your comment "Starship Troopers has been made into a movie... also The Puppet Masters? I would like to see "Tunnel in the Sky" made into a movie."
"Starship Troopers" was a wonderful book, but the movie was dreadful -- it didn't address any of the political issues in the book at all.
"The Puppet Masters" was an OK film for its time, but it could stand being remade with modern effects and technologies.
"Tunnel in the Sky" would make a WONDERFUL film, as would "Time for the Stars," "Red Planet", "Between Planets", and "Farmer in the Sky" (to name but a few)...
Starship Troopers has been made into a movie... also The Puppet Masters? I would like to see "Tunnel in the Sky" made into a movie. A group of young people are dropped off on an unknown world for survival testing... but are never picked up, and have to fend for themselves.
I remember as a kid thinking that if you were in space the planets would all just be "hanging there like fruit"...
It was reading books by Heinlein and Asimov where they explained that if you were in a spaceship entering a solar system all you would see were little points of light, and you would have to take lots of pictures and maybe change your location a few times (taking pictures each time) to locate any planets.
I guess you are unaware that habitable planets are surrounded by a space-time distortion field. This explains why one can travel between stellar systems in hours but passing a (habitable) planet is a relatively slow process. This field also seems to draw ships to pass close to the planet. (Space: 1999 was not unique in this; Blake's 7 also had near-planet slowdown and attraction--sometimes even when just passing through a stellar system.)
Based on the frequency of extraterrestrial visitation on Earth, Earth's field might be unusually strong. (Since visitations tend to be more frequent in modern times, perhaps there is some psychic component to the field generation correlated with intelligent brain mass.)