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Sunday, January 20, 2008

I have LOST it!

I have the BOX...but the DVD is missing. Gerry Anderson did this amazing, and amazingly bad movie, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (aka Doppelganger in Europe). The effects were up to SUPERMARIONATION standards. Derek Meddings ALWAYS rocks. The soundtrack by Barry Gray is lush, and his use of electronica in the space sequences is inspired, but overall, it is a tad turgid for the subject matter. Yeah, I have blasphemed.
I like the music, a lot, but it IS overdone.

I shall be like the woman who lost her dowry coin in Jesus' parable, who turned her house upside-down to find it. I've GOT to find it. It's OOP, and the MINIMUM I've seen it for online is $99.99.

Synopsis (Spoiler city Ahead) (thanks wikipedia)

The film begins with the discovery of an unknown planet orbiting exactly the opposite side of the Sun from Earth (an idea reminiscent of the Antichthon or Counter-Earth proposed by Philolaus in the fifth century B.C). The European Space Exploration Council (EUROSEC) and NASA send British astrophysicist John Kane (Ian Hendry) and American astronaut Col. Glenn Ross (Roy Thinnes) to the new planet in a rocket which resembles a Saturn 5 rocket.

During their long voyage, they are put into hibernation, and are maintained by a pair of on board Heart/Lung/Kidney machines, meaning that they will have no recollection of the journey. When they awaken, they enter orbit of the planet and do an initial survey. They find the planet's atmosphere to be breathable but they see no signs of life. They decide to go forward with a landing. They suit up, and go through an access tunnel to reach their lifting body lander which slides out the rear of the mother ship.

As they enter the atmosphere, the ship's controls begin to short out and malfunction. They lose all control of the craft, which clips a mountaintop before crashing into rocky terrain. After the crew is clear of the burning wreckage, a suited figure picks them up into a hovering unfamiliar ship.

They find they have been taken aboard an air-sea rescue craft. It appears that the crew have somehow returned to Earth instead of going to the planet. They are discreetly returned to the space center, with Kane in critical condition. He later dies of his injuries.

Ross is grilled by EUROSEC officials who accuse him of aborting the mission. Ross denies turning back, saying he and Kane actually arrived at the new planet, and could not explain why he is now on Earth.

Soon, Ross puts together the shocking fact that he is not on Earth at all - but on the planet, which is an identical Earth where everything is a mirror image of our own. At first, his own wife Sharon (Lynn Loring) and others at the space agency think he is insane for claiming signs and even the layout of his apartment on the spaceport's base are backwards, but he convinces the director of EUROSEC, Jason Webb (Patrick Wymark) that it is true by easily reading documents and written directions shown as a reflection in a mirror. Ross theorizes that everything that is done on his Earth is done on the planet at the same time, but opposite to it. If he tries to go back, he will return as if nothing happened.

Concern over whether the duplicate shuttle craft he and Kane used to come to Earth from the spaceship share the same electrical charge is raised, but Ross decides to try. He takes off in a shuttle he has named "DOPPELGANGER," meaning "double," (written in our manner of left to right) to dock with the Earth ship he came in to retrieve its flight recorder. But as he docks, the electrical systems short out -- they were wrong, the polarity of electricity is the same on both worlds. He loses contact with the ground base, and his shuttle craft undocks from the ship, hurtling towards the ground with the automatic approach system locked on. This locks out his controls resulting him having no flight control as he decends into the atmosphere. When ground control realizes his situation, they disengage the system, but too late, resulting in the shuttle crashing into a second mission rocket. He is killed instantly and the crash causes a chain reaction of explosions destroying the space center in a style typical of Gerry Anderson production.

The final scene shows an elderly Webb, long ago dismissed as head of the space agency, institutionalized and telling the staff there about what had happened (the disaster had destroyed all evidence). In his dementia, he sees his reflection in a mirror mounted in front of a window, and in an attempt to touch his mirror self, crashes through the mirror and window to fall to his death.


Rigel Kent said...

We already knew that Aardvark. Oh, oops, you're talking about a dvd. Sorry, I was thinking of something else.

The Aardvark said...

Droll, Norton...VERY droll!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Sounds...well...sounds like MST3K fodder.

The Aardvark said...

Oh, no, no, NO, Mrs. P.
It's got its really good points, but it is REALLY a child of its era, 1968...

Then again... I'd so sit down with the lot of you, with some Reddenbacher and pop...or beer...and let the comments fly.

Anyone up for a party?

If I find the DVD??

MacLaren said...

I'm up for a party. I'll bring beer. And more beer. And more.

Maybe we can watch it once, then play it again with my alternative soundtrack?



Ha ha!

Rigel Kent said...

I miss out on all the fun.

MacLaren said...


Unless you like trying to ward off unwelcome advances from a cigar-smoking guy in his fifties, you might want to stay away from the Aardvark's house.

The sci-fi stuff is fun, but sometimes it gets tiring.

The Aardvark said...

NOW I know who's been coming into my house when I'm not at home.

Movin' my stuff...

Gee, maybe this banning idea has its points. Comin' into my blog...promoting his stuff...

Vidad would probably bring Budweiser, anyway.

I can get as good from the horse pasture across the road.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, can't make it that day.

What? You didn't specify a day? Oh, sorry. It's just that I have to wash my hair that day.

(And then there are days when I think I'm funny.)

MacLaren said...

No Budweiser.

The cheapest I'll go is Amber Bock. Killians is good... Dos Equis is better.

And actually, my favorite drink is a gin martini. It's the best drink for serious alcoholics.

The Aardvark said...

No Budweiser.
The cheapest I'll go is Amber Bock. Killians is good... Dos Equis is better.

Well thank Henson!
You do have SOME taste...none of which shows in the folks you hang around.

Makes me think. I hereby commit to calling Bud


Huh... huh?" HA!

Martinis are the only civilised way to eat olives.

That's OK, Mrs. P. Personal hygiene is a good thing. I never cease to be amazed that gals wash their hair SO much.

...every date....