In 1997, the spaceship E81 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 E81. 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 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 a man who will not see anything he does not choose to see - including his own death. A man of such indomitable will that even the two men beneath his command are not allowed to see the truth; which truth is, that they are no longer among the living, that the movements they make and the words they speak have all been made and spoken countless times before - and will be made and spoken countless times again, perhaps even unto eternity. Picture of a latter-day Flying ...
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The spaceship from Forbidden Planet is used again. I even think of this as Forbidden Planet 2...well almost. This is all about a pain-in-the-bum Captain (Jack Klugman) who can't understand what is going on with his "death ship". I first viewed this episode when I was 17 (in 1983) and it never really escaped my memory...the closing narration plays in my head whenever I encounter stupid people doing the same thing all the time. But is the episode a classic? No. The teaser, act one and the end are classic but a good part of it is crap. It feels like a 51 minute episode that should of been a 25 minute show.
It gets high marks for the use of stock Jerry Goldsmith music played during the bit where Klugman glares at the dead crew. And, as I said, the closing narration is a mind-blower.
I love spaceship shows on television and Death Ship would have to go down as one of the first produced to really capture my imagination. Twilight Zone was not the only series to steal from Forbidden Planet, it is common knowledge that Star Trek/Lost In Space stole from Forbidden Planet but the underground city in The Time Tunnel pilot (1966) was designed after the underground city seen in Forbidden Planet.
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