10 September 2005 | lemon_magic
Hackwork TV remake of "Doppelganger" with none of the pathos or drama (or budget)
This movie takes the plot behind the sci-fi flick "Doppelganger" (an astronaut from our Earth crashing on a 'counter-Earth' on the opposite side of the Sun, and the Cold War totalitarian vibes on that world) and tries to turn it into a pilot for a TV series. However, the whole thing sank without a trace, and TV is probably better off for it.
Everyone here is perfectly adequate in a 'made for TV' way. Cameron Mitchell turns in his usual solid performance. So does Glenn Corbett (who seems to be a kind of poor man's John Saxon) who plays the rugged individualist whose very existence poses a threat to the foundation of the 'World Order' on counter Earth.
But the low budget and low energy and inconsistent script and the lack of any real imagination in the set designs and cinematography keep this Sci-Fi adventure firmly tethered on the launch pad.
I'll give one example: in the original template for this pilot, ("Doppleganger"), the astronauts lose control of their landing vehicle in a thunderstorm, and crash their ship in a truly appalling sequence (it was obvious that their ship was never going to fly again). Then the two astronauts stagger helplessly from the smoking remains of their vehicle in the middle of howling rains and winds, only to be smacked down and overcome by faceless men yelling through loudspeakers.
In "Stranded in Space", the astronauts are sitting in their seats when buzzers sound, things start shaking, and the camera blurs into a blackout (and as a friend pointed out, it was pretty obvious that the actors were simply shaking themselves on their seats, the director wasn't even shaking the camera or the set). I've seen episodes of "The Twilight Zone" and "The Outer Limits" that took more effort to establish mood and setting than this made-for-TV mediocrity.
And that, in essence, is what's wrong with "Stranded In Space". No budget, no time, no imagination...just making the token gestures and hoping the sci-fi Fan Boys' imagination and enthusiasm will fill in the rest. Sorry, guys, it didn't work.
I'm sure that everyone here just finished their work on this one and walked away, and never thought of it again, except as a listing on their C.V. And that's what you, the viewer will do. You'll remember, if pressed, that you once watched a TV movie called "Stranded In Space", but it made no lasting impression on you, and you can't recall too much about it.