Film (1969; vt Journey to the Far Side of the Sun). Century 21 Productions/Universal. Producers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Directed by Robert Parrish. Written by the Andersons, Donald James. Cast includes Ian Hendry, Herbert Lom, Lyn Loring, Roy Thinnes and Patrick Wymark. 101 minutes, cut to 94 minutes (US). Colour.
The first live-action feature from the Anderson production team responsible for a number of television series featuring puppets in sf adventure scenarios, Doppelganger, though panned by most critics, displays its illogical plot with some style. Scientists discover a counter-Earth, an exact duplicate of Earth that is always hidden on the opposite side of the Sun – a centuries-old idea that popped up occasionally in Pulp sf magazines, as in Split Image (1955) by Reed de Rouen. An expedition is mounted to reach the counter-Earth, and the confusions of the subsequent story, involving sabotage, characters meeting themselves and apparent conspiracy between the two planets, are compounded by the fact that the story is told in flashbacks by a scientist in a mental asylum, giving a Dr Caligari-like ambiguity to the whole film. [JB/PN]
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