Matter of Life & Death

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Matter of Life & Death

Post  BoG on Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:13 pm

Air Date: 11/27/75  Arrow  written by Art Wallace & Johnny Byrne  Arrow  Directed by Charles Chrichton

Since the moon is swinging by a planet, it offers the Alphans a possible opportunity to settle on an Earth-like planet. Eagle One is returning to Alpha after checking out the planet and the report looks good. Then, some kind of electrical charge knocks out the two men aboard. After the ship lands, the Alphans find 3 men aboard - besides the 2 they expected, there's Dr. Russell's long lost husband (Richard Johnson), who was presumably killed 5 years earlier on a mission near Jupiter. He seems to be semi-unconscious for the most part and later registers some strange readings - first normal and then as if dead. It appears that he temporarily gains the lifeforce of people who touch him. Eventually, he gives Dr. Russell the warning that they should avoid the planet, but Koenig gives the go ahead for "Plan Exodus." The advance party of 5 encounter some strange doings on the planet...
This begins well, with a mystery involving the supposed dead husband (possibly a disguised alien?) and the prospect of settling on "Terra Nova" (the designated planet of the episode), but falls apart in the last few minutes into nonsensical, incomprehensible revelations. It has to do with anti-matter, with there being no such thing as death (only the transference of matter) and with the news that something really weird happened 5 years earlier near Jupiter. But, the presentation in these last few minutes is jumbled, garbled and awkward. At one point, it seems as if time is reversed due to wish-fulfillment - a fantasy. There's much mention of "billions" - first that the moon is now billions of miles from Earth (which would place it just outside our solar system) and that it took mankind billions of years to evolve. It also gave Bain the opportunity to emote and weep - she still comes across as cold and stiff, but it is the most emotion we would ever see from her. I think the awkwardness and lapses in script logic were due to this being one of the earliest episodes filmed. BoG's score: 5 out of 10
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