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?
Genre : SF/History
Country : UK
Edmund Kingsley : Guy Taylor
Lisa Greenwood : Charlotte Taylor
David Wayman : Harry
“I realize I’m stuck up here now.
And missed my re-entry point…
but my oxygen is down to 14 percent.
What the hell am I supposed to do?”
Looking for an action packed movie, full of thrills and spills? Such a film full of swirling action scenes or unprecedented conversations? Well just skip this movie then. The film is limited to an impressive solo performance, on board of a manned space capsule launched by the United Kingdom. The spacecraft looks as if Bob the Builder has put together this absurdity. And this indicates that this launch took place long before high-tech space shuttles occupied space. And not only the spacecraft looks primitive, but also Guy Taylor’s spacesuit (Edmund Kingsley. Yep son of!) looks as if it’s pieced together by the local carnival association. No wonder the amateurish structure starts to show some flaws, which leads to Guy finding himself in a hopeless situation with his capsule out of control and a lack of oxygen causing devastating effects.
Respect to the creators of this low-budget film. It’s a considerably low budget, as I could notice during the movie. Except for the opening image of the capsule in space and earth in the background. That looked promising. Unfortunately it’s the only spectacular fragment used in the entire film. From then on it’s limited to the few square meters available to Guy. And his interactions are also fairly limited. First there is the ghost of his lovely wife Charlotte. Then there’s a certain Harry, from a space center in England, Guy has contact with. And finally he has radio contact with the Russian intelligence service, the CIA and NASA. Apparently the secret services of both superpowers follow this unknown manned space object. Probably they are impressed that a puny, small country such as the U.K., could achieve this. And at the same time they are full of suspicion since we are in the midst of the Cold War.
Kingsley’s acting was impressive at times. Then again, there was no one he had to compete with or someone he could surpass when it comes to acting. That was the easy part when you look at it that way. But it was still an admirable piece of work. He effortlessly went through a whole palette of emotional feelings. Panic, euphoria, determination and desperation seized him at the appropriate time. Besides a few stiff looking Russian soldiers, there was nobody else to be seen throughout the film. There were a few implausible moments as well. Especially Guy’s clumsy behavior. He looked like a sort of hobbyist and space enthusiast, who applied for the job and indiscriminately pushes a few buttons and randomly replaces a fuse.
All in all this was a fairly boring movie. Not only by the total lack of variety, but also because the outcome was quite disappointing. Granted, you can start fantasizing whether there is some truth to that legend about the success or failure of a manned space flight by England. Even if it sounds credible, with the serious-sounding text during the end credits, I don’t believe it’s based on true facts. I think this would have made public after the cold war, so the U.K. could take the credits for the first manned spacetrip. As a short film this story would be more appropriate. The duration of the film was too long to fill it with this limited story.