In 1997, the spaceship E-89 arrives at the 13th planet in star system 51. Their mission is to collect plant samples to take back to an overpopulated Earth so it can be determined if the planet could be colonized. What they find however is a crashed spaceship of Earth design. Inside the ship they three dead crew members - but the dead are their duplicates and the crashed vessel is the E-89. The captain refuses to accept that they might be dead and explores several possibilities to explain what has happened including the theory that they may have time-traveled. The two crewmen hallucinate and come to believe they are already dead but the captain refuses to accept that and intends to prove that they are very much alive. Written by
The story's "novum," which is the notion that in 1997 spaceships are being sent from an overpopulated Earth to find planets suitable for colonization, was later used as one of the main premises of Lost in Space (1965), a series which starred many Twilight Zone (1959) alumni. See more »
The introduction to the show says that it is 1997 and the earth is over crowded. But when the crew members go back to their previous lives, the setting are all rather "normal" not over crowded. See more »
Picture of the spaceship E-89, cruising above the thirteenth planet in star system fifty-one, the year 1997. In a little while, supposedly, the ship will be landed and specimens taken, vegetable, mineral and, if any, animal. These will be brought back to overpopulated Earth, where technicians will evaluate them and, if everything is satisfactory, stamp their findings with the word 'inhabitable' and open up yet another planet for colonization. These are the things that are ...
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Very good, though I would have preferred a more ambiguous ending...
"Death Ship" is a very successful one hour episode in that the show did not seemed padded and was able to use the time slot well. This is a com0plaint I have with some of the hour-long shows, but not this one.
It begins with a ufo-like spacecraft from Earth exploring for habitable planets. I thought it was rather funny that this interplanetary ship was supposedly traveling in the futuristic year 1997! When the ship lands, however, things get very, very confusing The three astronauts (Jack Klugman, Ross Martin and Fred Beir) are very confused to say the least. There is a crashed ship next to them...and it looks exactly like their ship! The Captain (Klugman) is very rigid and insists they cannot jump to conclusions. But, when they investigate the wreck and find themselves dead in the wreckage, what conclusions are they to draw?! Is this REALLY them? If so, how can they be looking at their dead selves?! Overall, this is a really good episode. My only problem with it is that there are multiple possibilities as to what is happening. It could be that residents of the planet are causing this and many other hallucinations in order to either scare them off or cause them to destroy themselves. It could be that they are dead and are seeing themselves but cannot accept it. Or, there could be another excellent possibility. I loved the ambiguity of this and was very disappointed when, at the end, the narrator makes it very clear exactly what has occurred. This seemed unnecessary and like over-kill. Still, a fascinating show and one that shows that season four's one-hour format could work.
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