- Episode aired Dec 28, 1975
The crew of the lightship Altares are lost in space when the craft is struck by a meteor shower and goes out of control.The crew of the lightship Altares are lost in space when the craft is struck by a meteor shower and goes out of control.The crew of the lightship Altares are lost in space when the craft is struck by a meteor shower and goes out of control.
..seems to be where it's gone.
I haven't heard a word about this film since I saw it when I was ten; I remember that it seemed rather uneventful - nothing much happened until the end - but I enjoyed it anyway because it seemed to present a plausible future. I suppose it came right at the end of that optimistic period that began with 'Destination Moon' in about 1950, that told us that the future held great adventures in space that we could look forward to when we grew up. All I remember about the story is this: A family is chosen to be the first pioneers to go into interstellar space on a newly developed starship. They potter around in Earth orbit for a while on a space station, being prepared for their adventure, then off they go in their ship. One of the few shots I clearly remember shows the Doppler light shift on the planet Pluto as they pass it at near-light speed - red as they approach, blue as they leave it behind. Towards the end, the ship falls into the gravity well of a black hole and the family suffer from various uncomfortable photographic effects for a while, but they emerge out the other side safe and sound, where they find they have a whole new universe to explore, where the stars all appear to be seen through special filters to make them look prettier and more pointy, and the sky of space is a deep bright blue instead of black. They all look out of their spaceship window in awe, and there the film ends, just when it looked like getting interesting. It at least had the virtue of presenting a realistic view of what space exploration might be like in the future (except perhaps for the black hole bit) and was worth the effort just for that, but of course Star Wars came along soon afterwards and redefined science fiction in the popular consciousness as 'action movies with spaceships and monsters', and suddenly the medium regressed to the days of Flash Gordon, which is where we seem to have been stuck ever since.
- Aug 8, 2004
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