Some real good effects from the art department help move things along as an unmanned probe finds a planet on the other side of the Sun. The next step is to send a manned ship to find out all about it. TV fans will recognize Roy Thinnes from “The Invaders” (1967-68) and in a small part Ed Bishop from “UFO” (1970-73).
Dr.Hassler (Herbert Lom) is from an unnamed country and uses a camera contained in a fake eye to take pictures of top secret stuff at Eurosec, an international space organization. It’s headed by Jason Webb (Patrick Wymark). He finds out about Hassler and orders him gunned down. The move gets him the money he needs From American David Poulson (Ed Bishop) to build a manned spaceship for a mission behind the Sun.
The world’s best astronaut, Colonel Glenn Ross (Roy Thinnes) and Eurosec scientist John Kane (Ian Hendry) will make the trip. Glenn and his wife Sharon (Lynn Loring) arrive. The two aren’t getting along. She wants kids and blames his time in space at making him sterile. He discovers that she’s been taking contraceptives. Okay..enough of this marital blitz. Time for Glenn and Kane to start training.
It’s really tough on Kane who has never trained for anything like this. It’s not exactly a breeze for Ross but they both get through it. Time for blast off. They’ll be in suspended animation for the three week trip. Now the art department and special effects crew take over for a nice sequence as they wake up and get into orbit. The soundtrack by Barry Gray adds a lot to the atmosphere.
Speaking of atmosphere, the planet has one just like Earth. A probe doesn’t show life so they decide to land. They aren’t the best drivers in the world and crash land. Kane is out cold and seriously injured. Ross spots a searchlight and carries Kane to some rocks. The next thing Ross knows is they’re back on Earth after being rescued by an unknown air and sea rescue craft.
Kane dies and Ross is interrogated to find out why he’s back in three weeks from a trip that should have taken six up and back. He’s accused of deliberately turning back and Webb wants to know why. Ross can’t explain it. Then….he comes up with a theory.
The ending is completely unexpected, at least by me and that makes it one to look for and check out.