The Sterling family goes on vacation to Egypt and visits one of the pyramids. However, they get lost while wandering around in the labyrithine interior of the pyramid. When they finally make it out of the pyramid, they discover that they're no longer on Earth. Instead, they've somehow been transported to another planet. And the natives (run by an autocratic dictator) aren't very friendly... Written by
Several of Syd Dutton's matte paintings were later reused in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. See more »
[Opening title narration.]
Other worlds lie outside our seeing. Beyond the beyond. At the edge... of within. The Great Pyramid: erected by the ancient ones as a barricade. At the portal between two dimensions, two separate realities. This is the story of one family, drawn through a mysterious vortex into the other world -- and of their perilous trek homeward.
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If Otherworld had gone into production 5-7 years later, it might have enjoyed a long run and been regarded as a classic of the genre.
The series revolved around the Sterling family, Hal, his wife June and their children, Trace, Gina and Smith, who while touring the pyramids of Egypt, found themselves whisked to the "otherworld," a parallel world with pockets of civilization or provinces, separated by a forbidden zone where only the "Zone Troopers" are allowed to travel. All this is ruled from the capitol province of Ymar (e-mar) where a portal back to Earth was said to exist.
What follows in the 8 filmed episodes are the adventures of the family as they travel from province to province, on a journey to Ymar, always hounded by Kommander Nuveen Kroll, the sadistic Zone Trooper leader the Sterlings ran afoul of upon their arrival.
Created by Roderick Taylor, a musician, Otherworld always maintained a surreal quality with music and effects, where everything is just off kilter, maintaining the feeling of another reality. Each province had it's own character, from a colony of androids to a repressed 50s style city, ripe for the introduction of Rock n' Roll.
There was no resolution to the series which disappeared after the last (and best) episode, "Princess Metra" faded out with the Sterlings continuing their journey home. This was a surprise, since Taylor had said in interviews, the network had commissioned 13 episodes, even describing a couple of upcoming episodes but apparently canceled before the full production run.
Still, there are rumors of several lost episodes that were never broadcast. So, who knows?
Too bad CBS never gave the series a fighting chance, choosing to bury it on Saturday nights. Stories were always, well written, entertaining and pro-family. Repeated often was the refrain that family was always the Sterlings main strength. Otherworld might have found a bigger audience with more promotion and a better time slot, but, in my opinion would have found great success in the kinder, gentler television of the 90s.
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