January 25, 2017 at 9:29 pm #1753
Earl’s previous regenerationSpectator
Synopsis from IMDb:
Guy is an experienced British fighter pilot who is in command of Britain’s first manned mission to space. He has trained for this for three years at the height of the Cold War and now he is alone in space with a malfunctioning capsule. He has limited contact with the UK, some unusual communication with the US and some unorthodox communication with Tyuratam deep in Soviet Russia. Who will help him? Will he make the right choice?
I had read about the production of this movie a while back, involving a fictional British manned mission to space that beat both the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the punch, but didn’t watch it until a friend of mine got on Facebook asking if the on-screen text at the end of the movie, claiming that the story was real, was accurate. (It wasn’t.)
That being said, it’s a neat little movie, though once you know the twist you’ve pretty much burned through any repeat value. Most of the movie is shot within a tiny practical set, with windows through which 4K footage from the ISS was projected, thus freeing the filmmakers from having to match-move the window views in post.
Of interest to Big Finish Doctor Who fans: Lisa “Flip” Greenwood appears as the main character’s wife.
I admire the physical production of it – it’s very clever, and the lead character is on camera nearly every second of the story, so that actor had to bring his “A” game (and he did). Really, it’s a fine modern specimen of what UK sci-fi has always had to do: concentrate on characterization and acting because the rest of the resources are extremely limited. Recommended for at least one viewing – it’s a good little mindf**k.January 27, 2017 at 4:40 pm #8126
Sorry, I got distracted by the main character’s name: Guy
Two thoughts on the movie (I haven’t seen the movie yet, just the trailer):
– Looks like the pilot loses it occasionally (or a lot). Goes against the whole image Astronauts have had for the past 50 years of being cool and collected during a crisis. Or is the movie saying British pilots can’t deal with pressure? (Goes against the reputation they got during WWII and the Battle of Britain). I know, I know, it’s to raise the tension and the drama of the film but it appears to be a made at the expense of the credibility of the character as an experienced fighter pilot.
– This movie appears to be the ultimate “bottle episode”. At least, that’s what it would have been called if it was a single episode in a TV series. Heck, there are probably a couple Twilight Zone episodes featuring a single character alone in the universe (big theme in TZ) and at least one or two episodes in the Star Trek franchise. With that in mind, the title of the movie is particularly apropos.
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