Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (Doppelganger) Reviews
Anyway, the premise of this film (just like the Twilight Zone episode "The Parallel") is that there is an undiscovered planet resembling Earth on the "other side of the sun". This planet is of course exactly like ours except that it's inverted. This basically just means all their letters and signs are reversed and people drive on the wrong side of the road.
Sound intriguing? Well, that's pretty much it for the plot. The first hour or so is dedicated to the preparations for the journey to this other planet. It's just tedious scenes of switches being pressed, exterior shots of the launching pad, banal dialog, etc. There's no point to it whatsoever. To help matters, Gerry Anderson somehow managed to find the most boring actors in the history of cinema to play these roles.
Anyway, once the crew FINALLY lands on the planet (after an interminable sequence of the astronauts sitting and literally sleeping in their spaceship), Roy Thinnes astutely notices the copy is all backwards on a bottle of cologne and hops back on another ship to tell people about what he has discovered. Oops he never gets to do it as he crash lands and dies. The end!
Oh wait, there's a bonus scene of one of the space executives hurling himself into a mirror in his wheelchair at the end. I guess he wanted out of this film too.
I'm really surprised a under-developed premise like this could get made even back in the 60s. It actually made me feel like I had to "make up" for wasting the 2 hours I spent watching it by doing something, anything more rewarding.
For fans of Gerry Anderson it's a must.
The story line is intelligent and the special effects and model work are superb.
Gerry commissioned a range of road-worthy full size vehicles to be made for this movie which he later used in his UFO series. The music by Barry Gray is wonderful, the costume designs (although dated by today's standards) still look good and the cast is impressive.
Everything was set for the making of a blockbuster movie, but unfortunately it didn't do too well at the box office. (But by the same token, neither did Thunderbirds Are Go, but that doesn't stop it from being a much-loved movie)!
If you liked the "UFO" tv series (which came after this) and/or the Anderson's other works, you'll love this. Just re released (2008) on DVD.