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This article is about the 1969 film. For other films with the same name, see Doppelgänger (disambiguation). Doppelgänger Film poster Directed by Robert Parrish Produced by Gerry Anderson Sylvia Anderson Written by Story: Gerry Anderson Sylvia Anderson Script: Gerry Anderson Sylvia Anderson Donald James Tony Williamson Starring Roy Thinnes Ian Hendry Lynn Loring Patrick Wymark and others Music by Barry Gray Cinematography John Read Editing by Len Walter Studio Century 21 Cinema Distributed by United Kingdom: Rank Organisation United States: Universal Pictures Release date(s) United Kingdom: 8 October 1969 (1969-10-08) United States: 27 August 1969 (1969-08-27) Running time 101 minutes Country United Kingdom Language English Doppelgänger is a 1969 British science-fiction film directed by Robert Parrish. Outside Europe, it is known as Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, now the more popular title.[1][2] In the film, a joint European-NASA mission through the Solar System to investigate a planet in a mirror position to Earth behind the Sun ends in disaster with the death of one astronaut (Ian Hendry). His partner (Roy Thinnes) realises that the planet is a perfect parallel duplicate of Earth, where all aspects of life run in reverse. The first major live-action film from Century 21 writers-producers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson,[3] who are noted for Thunderbirds and other 1960s "Supermarionation" puppet television series, shooting for Doppelgänger ran from July to October 1968. With Pinewood Studios as the principal production base, Parrish filmed on location in both England and Portugal. The professional relationship between the Andersons and their director became strained as the shooting progressed,[4] while creative disagreements with cinematographer John Read resulted in his resignation from Century 21.[2] The film premiered in August 1969 in the United States and October 1969 in the United Kingdom. Criticism has been directed at the parallel Earth premise, which has been considered clichéd and uninspired in comparison to standing precedent in science fiction. Doppelgänger has been interpreted as a partial pastiche of major science-fiction films of the 1960s, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, plot devices and images perceived as emulating such films have been considered poor adaptations of their originals. Sometimes seen as a cult film,[5] actors and props from Doppelgänger re-appear in another Anderson television series, UFO.[1][6] Although the Andersons added mature themes to the script in an attempt to distinguish Doppelgänger from their earlier child-oriented productions, cuts to the finished edit removed some of the more explicit detail to permit an "A" and, later, "PG" guidance certificate from the British Board of Film Classification. The film has had a limited run on DVD. Another Earth, a science-fiction film with a similar premise, was released in 2011. Contents 1 Plot 2 Production 2.1 Writing 2.2 Casting 2.3 Filming 2.4 Disputes 2.5 Effects 2.6 Post-production 3 Distribution 3.1 Theatrical release 3.2 Broadcasts 3.3 Home releases 4 Reception 4.1 1960s and 1970s 4.2 Post-1970s 4.3 Allusions 4.4 Legacy 5 References 6 External links Plot Travelling through the Solar System in 2069, the unmanned Sun Probe locates a planet that lies on the same orbital path as Earth but is positioned on the opposite side of the Sun. Dr Kurt Hassler (Herbert Lom) of the EUROpean Space Exploration Council (EUROSEC) has been transmitting Sun Probe flight data to a rival power in the East, but Security Chief Mark Neuman (George Sewell) uncovers the betrayal and shoots Hassler dead in his laboratory. EUROSEC director Jason Webb (Patrick Wymark) convinces NASA representative David Poulson (Ed Bishop) that the West must launch astronauts to investigate the planet before Hassler's allies in the East. With EUROSEC member states France and Germany unwilling to offer financial support, Webb obtains majority funding from NASA. American astronaut Colonel Glenn Ross (Roy Thinnes) and British astrophysicist Dr John Kane (Ian Hendry), head of the Sun Probe project, are assigned to the mission. Launched from the EUROSEC Space Centre in Portugal in the spacecraft Phoenix, Ross and Kane pass the first half of their six-week round trip in stasis, with "Heart Lung Kidney" machines managing their life functions. Three weeks after launch, the astronauts are revived in the orbit of the planet. Scans for the existence of extraterrestrial life prove to be inconclusive, and Ross and Kane decide to effect a surface landing. While the astronauts descend through the atmosphere, an electrical storm damages their Dove lander shuttle, which crashes in a mountainous region that is revealed to be Ulan Bator, Mongolia. When an air-sea rescue unit returns Ross and Kane, the latter fighting serious injuries, to the EUROSEC Space Centre in Portugal, it is apparent that the Phoenix mission has been terminated after three weeks and that the astronauts have arrived back on Earth. Neuman and EUROSEC official Lise Hartman (Loni von Friedl) interrogate Ross, who denies that he aborted the mission. Shortly after, Kane dies from the injuries that he sustained in the crash. Eventually, Ross assembles clues that lead him to the conclusion that he is not on Earth, but indeed on the unknown planet — a Counter-Earth that is a mirror image of his. Many, including his wife, Sharon (Lynn Loring), are baffled at his claims that all aspects of life on the planet — from the print in books to the plan of his apartment — are reversed. However, Webb is convinced of the truth when Ross demonstrates the ability to read aloud from a book, without hesitation, even when its pages are reflected in a mirror, and X-rays from Kane's post-mortem examination reveal that his internal organs are located on the wrong side of his body. Ross tends to the injured Kane after the Dove crash. The EUROSEC space suits re-appeared in the Andersons' 1970s television series, UFO.[7] Ross conjectures that the two Earths lie parallel, meaning that the Ross from the Counter-Earth is living through similar experiences on the far side of the Sun. Webb suggests that Ross recover the flight recorder from Phoenix, and then return to his Earth. EUROSEC constructs a replacement for Dove that is designed to be compatible with the reversed technologies of Phoenix. Modifications include the reverse-polarisation of electric circuits, although neither Ross nor the scientists can be certain that the differences between the two Earths extend to the direction of electric current. The shuttle is re-christened Doppelganger, a term denoting a duplicate of a person or object in the original German. Lifting off and entering orbit, Ross attempts to dock with Phoenix. However, Doppelganger experiences a technical malfunction, indicating that current is indeed constant on both Earths. The shuttle detaches from Phoenix and loses contact with EUROSEC, plunging through the atmosphere towards the Space Centre with Ross struggling to disengage automatic landing control. The Space Centre is unable to repair the fault from the ground, and Doppelganger crashes into a parked spacecraft. Ross is incinerated in the collision and a chain reaction devastates the Space Centre, killing personnel and wiping out all records of Ross's presence on the Counter-Earth. Decades later, a bitter Jason Webb, long since dismissed from EUROSEC, has been admitted to a nursing home. In his dementia, the old man spies his reflection in a mirror, and rolls towards it in his wheelchair. Reaching out to touch his reflected self, Webb dies when he crashes into the mirror.[8] Production Crossroads to Crime, a 1960 B film, had been Gerry Anderson's earliest attempt to produce a live-action motion picture.[3] Since 1960, a proposal from talent agent Leslie Grade to shoot a film starring Arthur Haynes had been discussed but not commissioned.[3] In the summer of 1967, during the production of the Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Universal Pictures representative Jay Kanter arrived in London from the United States.[9] Hoping to set up a European production office, Kanter had declared himself free to fund promising film proposals.[9] Lew Grade, brother to Leslie and Anderson's ITC financier, arranged a meeting to pitch a plot concept revolving around the hypothesis of a "replicated" or "mirror" Earth.[3] Anderson recalls that he "thought, rather naïvely, what if there was another planet the other side of the Sun, orbiting at exactly the same speed and the same size as Earth? That idea then developed into the planet being a replicated Earth and that's how it ended up, a mirrored planet ... We were perfectly poised — I was Lew Grade's golden boy and the [Century 21] studio was a big success story."[3] Writing With the assistance of scriptwriter Tony Williamson,[9] the Andersons had drafted a 194-page treatment long before the meeting with Kanter.[10][11] Originally intending the production to be made for Associated Television as an hour-long drama, Sylvia Anderson explains that having "decided it was too good for a television play, I suggested to Gerry that we try to develop it as a movie."[10] On the suggestion that the film has "dark" scripting,[12] Anderson asserts that he aimed to produce an interesting plot concept to please his audience.[12] He also discusses the significance of the title, Doppelgänger, a suggestion of Century 21 co-director John Read:[3] "that's a German word which means 'a copy of oneself', and the legend goes that if you meet your doppelganger, it is the point of your death. Following that legend, clearly, I had to steer the film so that I could end it illustrating the meaning of that word."[12] After Kanter expressed dissatisfaction with a first draft, Donald James, a part-time novelist whom Anderson considered "a classy writer with a good reputation"[3] strengthened the characterisation.[9] Although the setting remained 2069 as first intended,[3] the scenes set on the parallel Earth underwent significant alterations as James completed his revisions.[7] Fundamentally, the characters of Ross and Kane switched roles: in the Andersons' draft, Ross is the Phoenix pilot injured in the crash and Kane the one interrogated at EUROSEC Headquarters.[7] In events absent from the final film, Kane is diagnosed with brain damage as a result of his apparent madness and Ross regains consciousness to find himself blind.[7] The return mission to Phoenix fails not through a computer error, but a structural defect in the second Dove module, as it disintegrates in the atmosphere with Kane onboard.[7] The EUROSEC Headquarters is left intact, and the attendants at Kane's funeral are his wife (named Susan), the Rosses and Jason Webb.[7] Although Kanter's response to the script remained lukewarm, he agreed to commission the production on the condition that he retain the right to select a "bankable" (trusted) director.[9] Anderson's choice would have been David Lane, who had supervised the production of the two Thunderbirds film adaptations, Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6, between 1966 and 1968.[9] After a ten-week delay to filming, Robert Parrish, an American director whose latest project had collapsed, accepted the position.[13] An expatriate in the United Kingdom, Parrish's film career up to 1968 included co-editing Body and Soul (winning an Academy Award for Best Film Editing in 1947) and co-directing the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale.[14] Anderson states that "Bob was very ingratiating, told us he loved the script and said it would be an honour to work with us. Jay Kanter gave Bob the thumbs up and we were in business."[8] Although he doubted Parrish's skill in light of the box office failure of Casino Royale, he recalls that the deal to shoot the film would have failed without his recruitment:[14] "It wasn't a question of, 'Will we get on with him?' or, 'Is he the right man?' He was a name director, so we signed him up immediately."[13] Casting Supporting cast[9] Actor Character Keith Alexander Flight Director Peter Burton Medical Technician 1 Anthony Chinn Air-Sea Rescue Operator Nicholas Courtney Medical Technician 2 John Clifford Gantry Technician Peter van Dissel Bonn Delegate Mallory Cy Grant Dr Gordon Alan Harris Public Relations Photographer Jon Kelley Male Nurse Annette Kerr Female Nurse Martin King Dove Service Technician Herbert Lom Dr Kurt Hassler Philip Madoc Dr Pontini George Mikell Paris Delegate Clavel Basil Moss Monitoring Station Technician Norma Ronald Secretary Pam Kirby Vladek Sheybal Psychologist Dr Beauville John Stone London Delegate Jeremy Wilkin Launch Control Technician Heading the cast of Doppelgänger is Roy Thinnes as Colonel Glenn Ross of NASA. Gerry Anderson, who perceived a likeness to fellow American actor Paul Newman, cast Thinnes as the male lead after viewing his performance in science-fiction television series The Invaders.[14] The Andersons' draft script has Ross's first name as Stewart, and he is said to be the first man to have walked on Mars.[7] On the subject of the parallel Earth concept, in 2008 Thinnes commented that, "I thought [Doppelgänger] was an interesting premise, although now we know that there isn't another planet on the other side of the Sun, through our space exploration and telescopic abilities. But at that time it was conceivable, and it could have been scary."[15] To conform to the script's depiction of Ross, the actor smoked multiple packets of cigarettes in the course of the production, with the result that his respiratory health deteriorated.[16] Reporting on Thinnes' intention to demand a non-smoking clause in his next acting contract, Australian newspaper The Age stated in September 1969, "He smokes about two packets a day, but the perpetual lighting up of new cigarettes for continuity purposes was too much."[16] Meanwhile, Ian Hendry portrays Dr John Kane, a British astrophysicist and leader of the Phoenix project. Hendry, who had appeared in the television series The Avengers and, according to Anderson, "was always drinking",[14] presented himself in an inebriated state for the stunt sequence depicting the aftermath of the Dove crash-landing: "... he was pissed as a newt, and it was as much as he could do to stagger away. Despite all that, it looked exactly as it was supposed to on-screen!"[17] In the draft script, Kane's first name is Philip, and his wife's name is Susan.[7] In scenes deleted from the finished film, a romantic relationship between Kane and Lise Hartman, a EUROSEC official portrayed by Austrian actress Loni von Friedl, is played out at Kane's Portuguese villa and on a beach.[7] Lynn Loring appears as Sharon Ross, the Colonel's wife. The female lead role had first been offered to another American, Gayle Hunnicutt.[9] However, Hunnicutt's unexpected illness at the start of production led to the casting of Loring, a star of the television series The F.B.I., whom Thinnes had married in 1967.[9] Had she remained in the role, Hunnicutt would have appeared in a nude scene scripted to distance Doppelgänger from earlier Anderson productions.[14] In a 1968 Daily Mail interview, Anderson stated that he wished to alter the public perception of the Century 21 team, who had been "typecast as makers of children's films".[14] When asked to comment on rumours that Doppelgänger would receive an "X" certificate for mature content, he replied, "We want to work with live artists doing subjects unsuitable for children."[14] For the finished film, full nude shots are replaced with softer alternatives displaying Sharon stepping into and out of a shower.[14] The draft script describes Sharon as the daughter of a United States Senator, said to be pursuing an affair with EUROSEC public relations officer Carlo Monetti.[7] In the completed film, Italian actor Franco De Rosa[18] briefly stars as Paulo Landi. The liaison is suggested in one scene but not explored further,[14] leading Gerry Anderson biographers Simon Archer and Marcus Hearn to assert that De Rosa appeared in a role "all but cut from Doppelgänger".[19] A deleted scene depicts Landi together with Sharon at the Rosses' villa and the sudden arrival of Glenn, who angrily ejects the couple from a bedroom and throws them both into a swimming pool.[7] Archer and Hearn note indications of another subplot, which concerns the Rosses' attempts to conceive a child and the deceit of Sharon, who has used birth control pills to inhibit pregnancy without Glenn's knowledge.[14] Completing the principal cast is Patrick Wymark as Jason Webb, the director of EUROSEC. Selecting Wymark for the role based on his performance as the anti-heroic John Wilder in the television series The Plane Makers and The Power Game, Anderson likens him to Hendry as a good actor, but recalls that his similar drinking habits led to a number of slurred lines on set.[17] In shooting one scene set after Ross's arrival on the parallel Earth, Wymark "had to list these explanations ... and on take after take he couldn't remember that 'two' followed 'one'. We had to do it over and over again."[17] Archer and Hearn identify Wymark's portrayal of Webb, a character described as "John Wilder (2069 model)" in publicity material,[17] as an intense and dominant performance in the film.[17] The draft script describes Webb as a former Minister of Technology in the British Government, who is now romantically involved with his secretary, Pam Kirby.[7] George Sewell appears as Mark Neuman, a German Operations Chief in EUROSEC. He uncovers Dr Hassler's illicit deals with Communist China, and his parallel self assists in the interrogation of Ross after the Dove accident.[7] His surname in the draft script is Hallam.[7] Finally, Ed Bishop stars as David Poulson, a NASA official. Bishop replaced English actor Peter Dyneley, the original choice for the role and a voice actor from Thunderbirds, after the production staff decided that Dyneley appeared too similar to Wymark and that scenes depicting the characters of both Poulson and Webb would confuse audiences.[9] Filming Fifteen weeks of filming commenced at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire on 1 July 1968, ending on 16 October[9] and running alongside shooting for Joe 90.[7] A September location shoot in Albufeira in Portugal had to be truncated from one month to two weeks when politician Marcello Caetano deposed the incapacitated Prime Minister Antonio Salazar, causing Parrish concern about the effect that the coup d'état might have on the production of Doppelgänger.[9] Location footage filmed around Borehamwood in Hertfordshire made use of Neptune House, now a building of the BBC Elstree Studios, as a double for the exterior of the EUROSEC Headquarters.[7] Pinewood Studios' Heatherden Hall appears as the nursing home at which the old Jason Webb is resident.[7] To realise the EUROSEC teleconference sequence, the designers made use of forced perspective and a metallic studio backdrop, besides other special alterations to the set, at a cost lower than that of filming with actual monitor screens.[20] To form the illusion of the parallel Earth — apparent in sights such as inverted text — the production team recorded film as normal before reversing the negatives in an optical process known as "flop-over".[9] This proved to be a much quicker and cheaper technique than building sets and props with reversed elements and closing roads to film cars driving on the "wrong" side, although all sequences set in the parallel EUROSEC Headquarters or its surroundings required meticulous co-ordination with actors and crew prior to shooting.[9] The treatment of the filmed footage results in some continuity errors: for example, the terminals of the Heart Lung Kidney machines onboard Phoenix, to which Ross and Kane are wired, connect first to their left wrists, then their right.[7] The production team encountered difficulties in realising a scene which depicts an international teleconference being held on high-resolution monitor screens.[20] Due to both the rarity of colour television images at the time of production, and the need to avoid black-and-white images to honour the futuristic setting of Doppelgänger, the staff decided to place the actors performing the conference delegates behind the wall of the set, into which spaces had been cut in the shape of monitors.[20] Silver paper fixed to a wall behind the actors reflected light, producing realistic impressions of high-definition screens.[20] Altered eyelines deepen the audience's perception that the delegates are facing cameras rather than the other characters in the scene, and are in different locations around the world.[20] Archer and Hearn select the conference scene as an example of how Anderson "proved once again that his productions were ahead of their time."[20] Disputes As the shoot progressed, the production ideologies of Gerry Anderson and Robert Parrish came into conflict, a situation that Anderson recalls: "On two or three occasions we had to go and see Jay Kanter so he could mediate between us ... [Sylvia and I] both knew how important the picture was to our careers, and we both desperately wanted to be in the big time."[4] In one session, Parrish had decided not to film a number of scenes from the script on the basis that, in his opinion, the sequences in question did not need to appear.[4] When Anderson reminded his director that ignoring the script would violate the terms of their contract, Parrish called out to his actors and staff, "Hell, you heard the producer. If I don't shoot these scenes which I don't really want, don't need and will cut out anyway, I'll be in breach of contract. So what we'll do is shoot those scenes next!"[4] Anderson discusses the changes in production approach required to make Doppelgänger, explaining, "I had worked for so many years employing directors to do what I told them ... Suddenly I came up against a Hollywood movie director who didn't want to play and we ended up extremely bad friends."[4] Summarising his memories of producing the film in his 2002 biography, he states that "The only regret I have about the Doppelgänger situation is that I hired Bob Parrish in the first place."[4] Sylvia Anderson expresses similar views, recalling, "I think his direction was uninspired. We had a lot of trouble getting what we wanted from him."[11] A dispute between the founders of Century 21 — Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, Reg Hill and John Read — resulted from the shooting of other scenes, including one in which Lise Hartman bathes in a shower.[21] Read, as cinematographer, had complied with Parrish's orders to light the sequence in silhouette.[22] Anderson, who intended the sequence to present Loni von Friedl nude on-screen, demanded a reshoot, arguing that Read should honour his obligations not just to Parrish as his immediate superior but to his Century 21 partners.[22] In the words of Sylvia Anderson, "Gerry was very keen to show that he was part of the 'Swinging Sixties' and felt that seeing a detailed nude shot — as he visualised it — was more 'with it' than the more subdued version."[23] He also objected to Read filming special effects shots of Phoenix in space using Parrish's suggestion of a hand-held camera, again asking for the sequence to be remounted: "I was furious because I knew enough about space travel to know that in a vacuum a spacecraft will travel as straight as a die ... [Parrish] told me that people were not familiar with space travel and therefore they would expect to see this kind of movement."[2][20] Refusing to reshoot the scenes on the grounds that Parrish's instructions had precedence, Read resigned from both Century 21 and the production of Doppelgänger on the orders of the Andersons and Hill.[22] Anderson elaborates, "I said that if [Read] felt he was in no way responsible to me, then he should not be a director of the company ... Clearly John was in a difficult position. I do now understand how he must have felt, but in my heart I feel he couldn't play a double role."[2] Effects In a special effects sequence from the film, the Dove shuttle (right) exits the Phoenix spacecraft (left) as Ross and Kane prepare to land on the uncharted planet. Reception to the scale model and effects shots of Derek Meddings has, in general, been positive, and the sleek form of the Phoenix and Dove modules has been praised.[24] The Doppelganger shuttle which Ross later uses is identical to Dove. The production base for special effects remained the Century 21 Studios in Slough, Berkshire,[9] which had been prepared for shooting on the final Supermarionation series, The Secret Service.[4] Effects director Derek Meddings supervised the completion of more than 200 shots, which included the obliteration of the EUROSEC Headquarters at the conclusion of the film.[4] A six-foot (1.8 m) Phoenix scale model, which copied the design of the NASA multi-stage Saturn V rocket, had to be rebuilt after igniting and almost injuring a technician.[4] For authenticity, the effects team mounted the Phoenix lift-off shots outdoors, in a section of the Century 21 car park, against a genuine sky backdrop.[4][9] Archer and Hearn describe the sequence as "one of the most spectacular" special effects efforts produced at the Century 21 Studios.[4] Sylvia Anderson, who remembers that, to her, the sequences seemed indistinguishable from a real Cape Kennedy launch, states that she is "still impressed by the magic of the effects. Technology has come a long way since the early Seventies, but Derek's effects have endured."[10] Although Century 21 had constructed a life-size Dove capsule in Slough, it could not be used for shooting at Pinewood Studios due to an arrangement with the National Association of Theatrical Television and Kine Employees (NATTKE) to build and film such props on-site.[20] After the incineration of the original, Pinewood carpenters rebuilt the prop, but Anderson remains disappointed with the inferiority of the finished product.[20] Reviewing the scale models of Doppelgänger, Martin Anderson of the Den of Geek website describes the separated Phoenix command module as "beautifully ergonomic without losing too much NASA-ness",[24] and the Dove lander capsule a "beautiful fusion of JPL gloss with classic lines".[24] He declares that the Phoenix launch sequence remained Meddings' finest model and effects enterprise until his contributions to the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker, and applauds his efforts in light of the absence of computer animation in the 1960s.[24] Post-production Composer Barry Gray recorded his score, his personal favourite out of all his soundtrack work on the Anderson productions,[25] between 27 and 29 March 1969.[2][26] A total of 55 musicians attended the first studio session, 44 at the second and 28 at the final session.[26] A track titled "Sleeping Astronauts", which accompanies the sequence of Ross and Kane's flight through the Solar System, includes the notes of an Ondes Martenot,[26] a contribution of French ondiste Sylvette Allart.[25] Archer and Hearn credit the piece as "one of the most enchanting pieces Gray ever wrote".[2] The biographers state that the soundtrack, which has not received a commercial release, evokes a "traditional Hollywood feel" to contrast with the 2069 setting of Doppelgänger.[2] The title sequence is based on a theme of espionage connected to EUROSEC's traitorous Dr Hassler: a miniature camera is seen concealed inside the character's ocular prosthesis in what Archer and Hearn describe as an imitation of the style of 1960s James Bond films.[17] Distribution Theatrical release When production on Doppelgänger wrapped in October 1968, all 30 episodes of Joe 90 had been completed and the Andersons' upcoming television project, The Secret Service, had entered pre-production.[7] A mediocre response to the final cut from Universal Pictures executives led to the postponement of the film's release for 12 months.[7] It received an "A" certificate from the British Board of Film Classification on 26 March 1969,[9][27] dispelling earlier rumours of an "X" rating and fulfilling the Andersons' intention that Doppelgänger should remain suitable for children if viewed with adult accompaniment.[14] To attain this rating, cuts trimmed scenes containing more explicit violence and sexual detail, reducing the film's running time from the original 104 minutes.[27][28] The film opened at the London Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square on 8 October,[9] after premiering on 27 August in the United States.[29] On 1 November, it appeared in Detroit in Michigan, commencing another round of presentations in American cinemas.[29] The film received a disappointing box office reaction on general release.[7] British distributors Rank released the film under its original name in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.[2] The title Journey to the Far Side of the Sun has been adopted in the United States and Australia[2] since Universal Pictures determined that the audiences of these countries might not understand the meaning of the term "doppelganger".[5] Biographers Simon Archer and Stan Nicholls admit that Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, which has superseded Doppelgänger as the more popular title,[2] provides a clearer explanation of the plot, but suggests that it lacks the "intrigue and even poetic quality of Doppelgänger".[5] Broadcasts Two 35 mm prints of Doppelgänger in its original British format are known to exist.[1] While the British Film Institute retains one, the other is in the possession of Fanderson, the official fan organisation dedicated to the Gerry Anderson productions.[1] The original prints of Doppelgänger place Ian Hendry before Roy Thinnes in the opening credits.[7] In Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, Thinnes is billed before Hendry.[7] A number of British prints alter the final scene starring the old Jason Webb with the addition of a brief narration from Ross, repeating a line spoken to Webb earlier in the film: "Jason, we were right. There are definitely two identical planets."[1] For broadcasts in the United Kingdom, Doppelgänger has appeared under the Journey to the Far Side of the Sun title and has been formatted accordingly.[1] Transmissions have often included an inverted picture due to a mistake made in transferring an original master print to videotape.[1] Prior to a screening in the 1980s, a telecine operator viewed the print and, being unfamiliar with the plot, concluded that the parallel Earth sequences had been reversed in error.[5] An additional "flop-over" edit restored the image to normal, which became the standard for all broadcasts but compromised the plot: if Doppelgänger is screened with this modification, the viewer is led to conclude that the parallel Ross has landed on the "normal" Earth after the Dove disaster.[5] Home releases Previously available in the laserdisc format,[1] Doppelgänger has appeared on NTSC Region 1 DVD in both 1998 and, digitally remastered, in 2008.[30] The 2008 release includes PAL Region 2 for the first time, although in this region the film is marketed as Journey to the Far Side of the Sun rather than Doppelgänger.[31] No additional material is present on the Region 1 releases,[32] although the Region 2 edition contains a film trailer.[28] While the Motion Picture Association of America has certified the film "G" since its first appearance,[29] on its 2008 home release the British Board of Film Classification re-rated Doppelgänger "PG" from the original "A" for its "mild violence and language".[27] Reception Since its original release, Doppelgänger has received a mixed critical response in both the United Kingdom and North America, although Archer and Nicholls argue that it has attained cult status.[5] 1960s and 1970s There were some great sequences and the special effects were outstanding. Perhaps the mistake I made was in insisting that we incorporate "Gerry's view of the future", where everybody is squeaky clean and everything is sparkling and shining and sanitised. Unfortunately that isn't what most people see as humanity's natural state ... Star Trek was similar but succeeded because it had a philosophy attached to it. It also had believable people with good characterisation. Gerry Anderson (1996 and 2002)[2][5] In his review published in The Times in October 1969, John Russell Taylor praised the concept of the film as "quite ingenious"[2] but opined that the title and pre-release marketing had revealed too much of the plot for the film to maintain the interest of its audience.[2] Commenting in New York magazine in November, Judith Christie introduced Doppelgänger as "a science-fiction film that comes up with a fascinating premise three-quarters of the way along and does nothing with it."[33] She lauded the production for being "nicely gadget-ridden"[33] and for offering an intellectual debate between politics and science, but also criticised the film for containing "scrappy bits of dumb sex scenes" due to poor editing.[33] A review in Variety magazine underlined a confusing plot, and related the crash of the Dove module to the coherence of the writing in its declaration that, "Astronauts take a pill to induce a three-week sleep during their flight. Thereafter the script falls to pieces in as many parts as their craft."[34] Although argued to be better-than-average for its genre in The Miami News[35] and The Montreal Gazette,[36] the Pittsburgh Press dismissed the film as a "churned out science-fiction yarn ... Let's hope there's only one movie like this one",[37] and ranked it among the worst films of 1969.[37] Meanwhile, The Montreal Gazette affirms that although the scripting quality deteriorates as the film nears its conclusion, "until then it's a reasonably diverting futuristic melodrama."[36] Post-1970s In his 2008 review on the Den of Geek website, Martin Anderson praises Robert Parrish's direction and Derek Meddings' special effects, although the dialogue, which is described as "robust and prosaic",[28] is said to sit "ill-at-ease with the metaphysical ponderings".[28] He also expresses concern about the pace, stating that each special effects shot precedes "a corresponding shot with that 'Hornby' factor, slowing up the narrative unnecessarily."[28] Doppelgänger is awarded a rating of three stars out of five, and is summarised as "an interesting journey with many rewards".[28] Also in 2008, Glenn Erickson of the website DVD Talk echoed Christie in his evaluation the plot, asserting that Doppelgänger "takes an okay premise but does next to nothing with it. We see 100 minutes of bad drama and good special effects, and then the script opts for frustration and meaningless mystery."[32] He complains of a lack of enthusiasm in the filming, comparing it to the set-up of Thunderbirds insofar as "people stand and talk a lot",[32] while defining the script as being composed of "at least 60 percent hardware-talk and exposition ... How people move about — airplane, parachute, centrifuge — is more important than what they're doing."[32] Made as a science-fiction thriller by imagination producers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, events since its filming may well demand the dropping of the word "fiction" from its description. In today's space terminology it almost rates as science — and pure reportage through film. Still it evolves as a fascinating motion-picture entertainment. Southeast Missourian (1970)[38] On the subject of special effects, Erickson states that such shots as "the thuddingly generic, drama-challenged main rocket launch"[32] detract from the human factor of the film as a result of poor integration into the narrative.[32] Other design work is also criticised: while the costumes are seen as dated, Erickson adds that "at home, the actors are defeated by the Barbie doll house surroundings",[32] and suggests that the visuals of the film relate to an ethos of "the future will be a shopping mall".[32] Although he considers Doppelgänger a "Good" film (higher than "Fair" but lower than "Excellent"), the opportunities that the parallel Earth concept offers to science fiction are said to be squandered in the determination to make the Anderson production "an excuse to show cool rocket toys".[32] The film is rated two-and-a-half stars out of five in a negative review on the Film4 site, which praises the effects work and costume design but denounces the Dr Hassler scenes for their length and irrelevance to the general narrative, and the subplot of the Rosses' strained marriage for being a curious diversion.[39] While Ross and Kane's mission through space is described as a "brief, trippy light show",[39] the review proceeds to question the originality of making a parallel Earth the film's main focus, and the depth of the Andersons' vision: "Anderson's has to be the cheapest alternate Earth ever. Whereas audiences might expect a world where the Roman Empire never fell or the Nazis won World War II, here the shocking discovery is that people write backwards. That's it."[39] Doppelgänger is only recommended for fans of the Anderson productions, and is considered "an occasionally interesting failure".[39] Director Robert Parrish has made some extraordinarily expressive movies (The Purple Plain, The Wonderful Country) but must have run up against too many uncontrollable elements on this show — namely, producers that dictate every detail as if all the actors have strings attached to their heads and arms. Glenn Erickson (2008)[32] Gary Westfahl of the SF Site webzine agrees that the use of a near-perfect parallel Earth is uninspired, calling the setting "the most boring and unimaginative alien world imaginable".[40] Among other more recent reviews, North American magazine TV Guide describes the 1969 production as a "strange, little film"[41] with an "overwritten script"[41] and considers the subplot involving Dr Hassler's double-dealing a distraction.[41] It awards a rating of two stars out of four.[41] Sylvia Anderson suggests that American audiences, less familiar with the Supermarionation productions of Century 21 than people in the United Kingdom, received the film with greater enthusiasm.[10] She explains, "It was all too easy to compare our real actors with our puppet characters and descriptions such as 'wooden', 'expressionless', 'no strings attached' and 'puppet-like' were cheap shots some of the UK critics could not resist ... Typecasting is the lazy man's friend, and boy, were we typecast in Britain."[10] On her personal response to Doppelgänger, she remarked in 1992, "I saw it on TV a couple of years ago and I was very pleased with it. I thought it came over quite well."[42] To Chris Bentley, a Supermarionation historian, Doppelgänger is a "stylish and thought-provoking science-fiction thriller".[43] Allusions Journey to the Far Side of the Sun seems to be infected with "2001-itis". Several very Kubrickian visuals are on view, starting with a preponderance of giant close-ups of blinking eyes. The idea of space-dreaming while in suspended animation is expressed through a psychedelic light show more or less comparable to 2001's Star Gate. A feeble asylum patient sits in a wheelchair in a corridor resembling Dave Bowman's holding cell on the alien planet beyond the Star Gate ... Unfortunately, these borrowings are all fluff without any deeper meaning. Glenn Erickson (2008)[32] Archer and Nicholls cite among possible causes of the commercial failure of Doppelgänger its "quirky, offbeat nature"[5] and the loss of public interest in space exploration after the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.[5] The subject of the Moon landing dominates a review in The Milwaukee Journal from that September, in which Bennett F. Waxse noted comparisons with Doppelgänger: "... the spacemen find a few bugs in their 'LM' and crash on the planet. And do they ever have their hands full in getting back to Earth!"[44] Writing that the proliferation of technical dialogue hampers the acting, he concluded, "... the makers of this space exploiter may get lots of mileage at the box office, but Neil, Buzz and Mike did it better on TV."[44] Decades after the disastrous conclusion to the Doppelganger mission, an older Webb meets his death in a sequence seen to incorporate images similar to those of films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey. Such pastiches are considered to demonstrate excessive reliance on the work of other film directors.[6] It is also suggested that the appearance of the 1968 films 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes set an unachievable standard for other motion pictures of the science-fiction genre.[2][32] Erickson argues that the film is inferior to 2001: A Space Odyssey in its depiction of a realistic "working future" in which humans remain fixed in their attachment to commercialism.[32] At Film4, the closing sequence involving the character of Jason Webb is described as "hell-bent on recreating the enigmatic finale of 2001 by using a mirror, a wheelchair and a tartan blanket."[39] Anderson discusses connections between Doppelgänger and other science-fiction films of the 1960s and 70s, such as Solaris, noting a "lyrical" tone in the dialogue.[28] However, Doppelgänger ultimately "doesn't bear comparison with Kubrick or [Solaris director Andrei] Tarkovsky."[28] Erickson contrasts perceived script deficiencies with the efforts of Nigel Kneale on the 1958 BBC serial Quatermass and the Pit and the 1964 film adaptation of the 1901 H.G. Wells novel The First Men in the Moon.[32] Meanwhile, both Douglas Pratt and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts liken the concept of the alternative Earth to the plot of "The Parallel", a 1963 episode of the American television series The Twilight Zone. In this episode, astronaut Major Robert Gaines returns to Earth to find that both his home environment and the wider world have undergone noticeable changes, some trivial and some drastic, concluding that he has slipped into a parallel universe.[45][46] Critic S. T. Joshi compares the theme of duplication in Doppelgänger to the plot of the 1956 Don Siegel film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which characters' fears that their relatives have been abducted and replaced with impostors are found to be justified after the appearance of the Pod People, an extraterrestrial species with the power to form doppelgangers that are almost indistinguishable from real humans.[47] Legacy The polarised critical response and commercial failure of Doppelgänger did not deter Lew Grade from offering the Andersons further opportunities to produce in live action.[22] The first Anderson television series to star human characters is UFO,[22] which premiered in the United Kingdom in September 1970. Doppelgänger is considered an immediate precursor to UFO,[1] and has been described as a "trial run" for the second live-action Anderson series, Space: 1999.[6] Actors, costumes, locations, music and props are re-used from Doppelgänger.[48] Of the film cast, Ed Bishop, Keith Alexander, Cy Grant, Martin King and Jeremy Wilkin had been associated with earlier Anderson productions: all but Alexander had provided voices for Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, while Alexander had contributed to the penultimate Supermarionation series, Joe 90. With 11 other cast members, all but Grant and King appeared in at least one episode of UFO, in which Bishop performed the lead role of SHADO Commander Ed Straker.[7] Re-appearing special effects elements include the scale models of the Phoenix spacecraft and Dove shuttle.[7] Futuristic cars – which consultants from the Ford corporation based on the chassis of the Zephyr Zodiac[49] – and jeeps, adapted from British Leyland Mini Mokes, also make second appearances.[7] Filming location Neptune House becomes the face of the Harlington-Straker Film Studios home to SHADO.[7] Tracks from Barry Gray's score that can be heard in UFO include "Sleeping Astronauts" and "Strange Planet", the latter functioning as the ending theme music.[1] The teleprinter images present in the Doppelgänger titles constitute a creative element which is imitated for the opening credits of UFO.[50] In a retrospective of Anderson's career on the IGN website, it is stated that the political and economic aspects to the plot of Doppelgänger contrast with the customs of 1960s science fiction.[6] Furthermore, such elements are reflected in the atmosphere of the subsequent television series insofar as the "protagonists were constantly having to deal with the pressures of having to show progress under the scrutiny of accountants and elected officials, much the same way NASA was starting to in the US. The feel that permeated Doppelgänger continued into Anderson's first live-action series, UFO."[6] Commenting on the parallels between the film and the television series, Anderson makes another connection to Kubrick: turning his attention to scripting, he asserts that "the most interesting common ground between the two projects remains the bleak ending(s) and the slight flirtation with the acid-induced imagery and mind fucks of 2001."[28] References ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Feature Film Productions: Doppelgänger". Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Archer and Hearn, 178. ^ a b c d e f g h Archer and Hearn, 172. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Archer and Hearn, 176. ^ a b c d e f g h i Archer and Nicholls, 138. ^ a b c d e "Featured Filmmaker: Gerry Anderson". IGN. 3 September 2002. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Bentley, 307. ^ a b Archer and Hearn, 173. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Bentley, 306. ^ a b c d e Anderson, 65. ^ a b Marcus, Laurence (October 2005). "Gerry Anderson: The Puppet Master—Part 3". Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c Anderson, Martin (27 August 2008). "The Den of Geek Interview: Gerry Anderson". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b Archer and Nicholls, 136. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Archer and Hearn, 174. ^ Harris, Will (24 May 2008). "A Chat with Roy Thinnes". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b "Up in Smoke". The Age (Melbourne, Victoria: Fairfax Media): p. 25. 18 September 1969. ISSN 0312-6307. OCLC 222703030.  ^ a b c d e f Archer and Hearn, 175. ^ Archer and Hearn, 193. ^ Archer and Hearn, 190. ^ a b c d e f g h i Archer and Hearn, 177. ^ La Rivière, 188. ^ a b c d e La Rivière, 189. ^ Anderson, 36. ^ a b c d Anderson, Martin (15 July 2009). "Top 75 Spaceships in Movies and TV: Part 2". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b Titterton, Ralph; Ford, Cathy; Bentley, Chris; Gray, Barry. "Barry Gray Biography" (PDF). Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c de Klerk, Theo (25 December 2003). "Complete Studio-Recording List of Barry Gray". Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c "BBFC Certifications". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Anderson, Martin. "Den of Geek Review". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c American Film Institute Catalogue: Feature Films 1961–1970 (2 ed.). Berkley, California; Los Angeles, California, London: University of California Press. 1997 [1976]. p. 560. ISBN 0-520-20970-2.  ^ Wickes, Simon (26 June 2008). "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun DVD Released in US". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ Wickes, Simon (8 August 2008). "Doppelgänger / Journey to the Far Side of the Sun DVD Region 2 in September". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Erickson, Glenn (2008). "DVD Savant Review". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c Christie, Judith (17 November 1969). "Movies: Brave Are the Lonely". New York (New York City, New York: New York Media Holdings) 2 (46): 64. ISSN 0028-7369. OCLC 1760010.  ^ "Variety Review". Variety (Los Angeles, California: Reed Business Information). 1 January 1969. ISSN 0042-2738. OCLC 1768958. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ "Miami News Entertainment Guide". The Miami News (West Palm Beach, Florida: Cox Enterprises): p. 13. 25 September 1969. ISSN 1528-5758. OCLC 10000467.  ^ a b Stoneham, Gordon (22 April 1972). "Movie Week". The Montreal Gazette (Montreal, Quebec: Postmedia Network): p. 93. OCLC 44269305.  ^ a b "The Lively Arts". Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: E.W. Scripps Company): p. 50. 28 December 1969. OCLC 9208497.  ^ "On the Rialto Screen". Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, Missouri: Naeter Bros.) 65 (279): 9. 4 September 1970. ISSN 0746-4452. OCLC 10049209.  ^ a b c d e "Film 4 Review". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ Westfahl, Gary. "Gary Westfahl's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Film: Gerry Anderson". SF Site. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ a b c d "TV Guide Review". TV Guide (Radnor, Pennsylvania: Triangle Publications). ISSN 0039-8543. OCLC 1585969. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ Turner, Steve. "Sylvia Anderson Interview (1992)". Supermarionation is Go! (Blackpool: Super M Productions). OCLC 499379680. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ Bentley, Chris (2001). The Complete Book of Captain Scarlet. London: Carlton Books. p. 114. ISBN 1-84222-405-0.  ^ a b Waxse, Bennett F. (26 September 1969). "Journey Rides Apollo Coattails". The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Journal Communications): p. 39. ISSN 1082-8850. OCLC 55506548.  ^ Pratt, Douglas (2005). Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult and More. UNET 2 Corporation. p. 1281. ISBN 1932916016.  ^ "Institute of Contemporary Arts Review". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.  ^ Joshi, S. T. (2007). Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares. 1. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 205. ISBN 0-313-33781-0.  ^ Archer and Hearn, 188. ^ Archer and Nicholls, 146. ^ Archer and Hearn, 192. Bibliography Anderson, Sylvia (2007). My Fab Years! Sylvia Anderson. Neshannock, Pennsylvania: Hermes Press. ISBN 1-932563-91-1.  Archer, Simon; Hearn, Marcus (2002). What Made Thunderbirds Go! The Authorised Biography of Gerry Anderson. London: BBC Books. ISBN 0-563-53481-8.  Archer, Simon; Nicholls, Stan (1996). Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Biography. London: Legend Books. ISBN 0-09-978141-7.  Bentley, Chris (2008) [2001]. The Complete Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Episode Guide (4 ed.). Richmond, London: Reynolds and Hearn. ISBN 1-905287-7-47.  La Rivière, Stephen (2009). Filmed in Supermarionation: A History of the Future. Neshannock, Pennsylvania: Hermes Press. ISBN 1-932563-23-7.  External links Doppelgänger at the Internet Movie Database Doppelgänger at Allmovie Doppelgänger at Rotten Tomatoes Doppelgänger at the TCM Movie Database Trailer at v · d · eGerry Anderson Television The Adventures of Twizzle · Torchy the Battery Boy · Four Feather Falls · Supercar · Fireball XL5 · Stingray · Thunderbirds · Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons · Joe 90 · The Secret Service · UFO · The Protectors · Space: 1999 · The Day After Tomorrow · Terrahawks · Dick Spanner, P.I. · Space Precinct · Lavender Castle · Firestorm · New Captain Scarlet Film Crossroads to Crime · Thunderbirds Are Go · Thunderbird 6 · Doppelgänger Companies AP Films · Century 21 Productions · Group Three Productions Techniques Supermarionation · Supermacromation · Hypermarionation Fandom TV Century 21 (a.k.a. TV21) · Lady Penelope · Century 21 Merchandising · Fanderson Collaborators Sylvia Anderson · Tony Barwick · David Elliott · Alan Fennell · Christine Glanville · Barry Gray · Reg Hill · David Lane · Derek Meddings · Arthur Provis · John Read · Shane Rimmer · Desmond Saunders · Dennis Spooner · Ken Turner