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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Jack Klugman makes his third of four appearances in TZ and Ross Martin returns after 'The Four Of Us Are Dying' from series one. What kept me interested in this story was whether the three spacemen could end up alive somehow even after finding dead bodies of themselves. Some interesting theories are put foreword by the headstrong Captain Ross (Klugman). I watched knowing that spacemen have a generally low survival rate in TZ.
The flying saucer and tilted camera effects somewhat date this entry. There are bright moments also some real conviction shown by Klugman and especially Martin. Yet I consider this a lesser TZ as you get the feeling of deja-vu. There are certainly earlier episodes that this resembles. Die-hard Zone fans might almost expect them to pass by Rod Taylor up in space.
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