The Stranger (1973)

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The Stranger (1973)

Post  BoG on Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:57 pm

The last time I saw this one was when it first aired on TV, so it had been awhile until I acquired a DVD-R just recently. It first aired on Feb. 26, 1973 and was directed by Lee Katzin. The teleplay was by Gerald Sanford.

Glenn Corbett plays an astronaut named Stryker who ends up on Terra, a twin planet of Earth. The government on this 'other Earth' - named "The Perfect Order" - is more severe than the U.S Government, being a Big Brother-type of society, and Stryker is targeted for extermination (he's a threat to perfection, it seems). Stryker at first thinks he's been captured by the Soviets when he starts to get suspicious at the hospital he's sequestered at (see the film 36 Hours-1965 for such a plot involving the Germans). He soon realizes the much more fantastic truth when he sees 3 moons up in the night sky.

Everyone on this twin Earth is left-handed and subject to the whims of this Perfect Order; there's a building called "Ward E" for example, where people are tortured and mind-altered; this gets chilling by the conclusion. Stryker eventually may have a way of getting off the planet, but since this was a pilot for an unrealized series, it's a safe bet that he won't make it. The story is similar in some ways to the film Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969 aka Doppelganger). This telefilm also starred Cameron Mitchell as the grim main agent of The Perfect Order and Sharon Acker as a doctor who falls for Stryker, with Lew Ayres (The Questor Tapes), Dean Jagger and Tim O'Connor. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10

Strange Trivia: Star Trek TOS actor alert - Corbett played Cochrane, the inventor of warp drive, in Metamorphosis. Sharon Acker appeared in The Mark of Gideon.
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