As the film opens, a bombastic music
cue is quite similar to the one used
at the end of the teaser acts of
episodes of UFO. Afterward,
a high-pitched cue sounds nearly
identical to that used as the
Century 21 production cue at the
beginning of most episodes. (The
music score of the film was composed
by Barry Gray, who also did UFO,
and most all of the Andersons'
UFO teaser cue
Century 21 cue
The font of the opening credits looks very similar to that
used on the Andersons' later TV series Space: 1999.
The central space agency seen in the film is EUROSEC, the
EUROpean Space Exploration Council. This is a fictional
institution. Notice that the sign for the complex at 0:19 on
the DVD indicates it is located in Portugal (the sign
actually refers to
European Space Exploration Complex rather than Council).
The printed documents seen shortly after refer to the
European Space Exploration Centre. It's hard to gauge
whether these are continuity errors within the film or
simply excusable variations in divisions of the European Space Exploration
Notice that the
EUROSEC complex has red laser fences around it and a blue
laser fence at the gateway.
EUROSEC building at 0:49 on the DVD, Dr. Hassler and Colonel
Ross are required to empty their pockets and persons of
metallic objects. One of them sets down an eyeglass case
Polaroid brand name on it.
Also at 0:49 above, some people's names are seen on plastic
squares set into the console. Who are they? What is their
significance? One is Colonel Ross, but who are the others?
At 0:53 on the DVD, notice a phone behind the sergeant at
EUROSEC reception desk is nearly identical to the design
used in a number of episodes of UFO. These phones
are seen throughout the film.
Dr. Hassler is revealed to be a spy who was wearing a fake
eye that took photographs of the EUROSEC sun probe
documents. He later removes his eye and attaches it to a
power screwdriver like device and dips the spinning ocular
module in three separate baths of solution before drying it
over a compressed air vent. It seems he was developing the
film inside the eye, though there seems to be a missing bath
from the traditional developing process of developer (to
bring out the images on the film), stop bath (to stop
further development), fixer (to fix the images permanently
onto the film and make it light resistant), and a bath to
rinse off the remaining chemicals. Of course, given that the
year is supposed to be 2069, he should have used simple
digital photography! (Digital photography was not widely
even considered as a possibility back when the movie was
made in 1969.)
At 5:37 on the DVD, a data tape spool
has the Scotch logo on it. Scotch is a brand name used by
the 3M Company
for various products manufactured by them; this once
included Scotch audio and data tape, but these lines were
discontinued in the 1990s.
At 5:51 on the DVD, a typewriter ball is seen with the
letters ASA OCR on it and the number 10. The "10" means it
has 10-point characters on it, i.e. it types 10 characters
per inch. "ASA" stands for American Standards Association,
which determined specifications for carriage control
characters used in printing from computer mainframe
printers, largely determining line spacing on the printed
page. "OCR" stands for "optical character recognition", in
this case a type of font readable by a computer.
The electrical device at 7:22 on the DVD appears to be an
oscilloscope with a time base control. An
oscilloscope is used for measuring an electrical signal over
time, as would be used for receiving and interpreting
signals from a space probe. A
oscilloscope is seen at 25:45.
A folder title at 7:56 on the DVD suggests that the EUROSEC
sun probe mission was referred to as Operation Sun Probe.
At 8:22 on the DVD, notice that the
EUROSEC secretary is played by Norma Ronald, who played
Straker's secretary Ms. Ealand in UFO. In this same
scene, also note that the desktop microphones are the same
props later used in UFO.
At 8:27 on the DVD, NASA liaison David Poulson is played by
Ed Bishop, who would go on to play Commander Straker in
UFO. Upon hearing about a proposed manned
probe to the newly-discovered planet, Poulson later remarks,
"How much is it going to cost us this time?", ironic
considering Bishop's character of Straker is the one
frequently facing criticism for his funding requests for
SHADO throughout the course of
The director of
EUROSEC addresses six national members of EUROSEC via a
video teleconference. The attendees are labeled as being
from Bonn (West Germany), Rome (Italy), Paris (France), the
Hague (Netherlands), London (England), and Brussels
(Belgium). It seems odd that other European countries are
not represented as well.
The far side of the sun is said to be over 100 million miles
from Earth. This is more-or-less true; the distance between
Earth and the Sun varies as Earth moves from perihelion
(closest approach) to aphelion (farthest approach) through
the course of a year.
In the movie, it takes until 2069 for an Earth probe to
discover that there is a planet orbiting around the sun,
opposite Earth. In our time, we already know from our own
space probes and telescopes that there is no planet in an
opposing orbit to Earth around the Sun.
At 12:34 on the DVD, notice that the painting in the
background appears to be a representation of a rocket launch
from Earth to the planet on the far side of the sun. Later
in the movie, it depicts the position and path traveled by the
The video communicator on Webb's desk at 12:53 on the DVD is
very similar to ones seen in
UFO on Straker's desk.
At 16:46 on the DVD, notice that the character of Mark
Neumann is played by George Sewell, who played Colonel Alec
SHADOcar and SHADO Jeep designs were first seen in this
At 26:18 on the DVD, Ross holds up a case of his wife's
Femina contraceptive pills. This is an actual brand of birth
control pills, but I've been unable to determine if it
existed when the film was made or was meant to be
At 29:16 on the DVD, the
building is actually one of the buildings at Elstree Studios
in England, the same building used as SHADO headquarters
(Harlington-Straker Studios) in
UFO. The flags flying in front of the building are
all of European nations (presumably the members of
EUROSEC): from left to right: Portugal, Italy, Netherlands,
Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany. Oddly, Great
Britain's flag is not seen even though a EUROSEC council
member from London is seen earlier in the film.
At 29:30 on the DVD, notice that the dress and boots worn by
Lise Hartman are the same ones later worn by Jo Fraser in
the UFO episode
At 33:10 on the DVD, notice that Ross is carrying a large
wicker bottle behind his back as he and Kane approach the
EUROSEC gate after their training exercise. It's probably
some kind of liquor obtained from the wagon driver who
gave them a lift (note that the same or similar bottle is
dangling from the wagon less than a minute earlier).
The EUROSEC mission control room
seen at 34:40 on the DVD is later
used as a SHADO mission control room
in the UFO episode
"The Man Who Came Back".
At 34:42 on the DVD, actor Keith Alexander is seen as one of
the men in mission control. He goes on to play Lt. Keith
Ford in UFO.
At 35:18 on the DVD, the same rocket
appears here as is later seen in the
"The Man Who Came Back". The
launch pad area is slightly altered.
|Launch pad in
Journey to the Far Side of the Sun
||Launch pad in
"The Man Who Came Back"
The spacesuits worn by Ross and Kane are nearly identical to
those worn by astronauts in
At 38:04 on the DVD, Kane is seen approaching the right-hand
doorway and seat of the Phoenix, while Ross is already being
loaded into the left-hand seat. Just seconds later, they are
seen being loaded into the opposite seats! But after this,
they are back in the original seats again.
The dream sequence and swirling lights during the two
astronauts' three week sleep in their journey to the sun may
have been intended as a touchback to the psychedelic trip
through the stargate near the end of 1968's Stanley Kubrick
film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Arriving at the unknown planet after their three week sleep,
the capsule's sensors detect atmosphere and oxygen, and even
a suitable landing spot, on the planet, but no signs of life
thus far. But since the world is later revealed to be a
mirror-image of Earth, they should have detected radio
signals and even satellites in orbit. And shouldn't a
mirror-image of Earth also have a mirror-identical Moon? The
environment of Earth would be very different without the
effects of its moon.
At about 1:01:21 on the DVD, as the two astronauts are
discovered by the inhabitants of the mirror-Earth, the music
becomes that which is heard at the end of the closing
credits of each episode of
UFO, as the sinister
planet comes into view.
Starting at 1:03:01 on the DVD, notice that labels on
control panels, devices, and uniforms are seen in
mirror-image, an early indication of the mirror nature of
this new planet.
At 1:03:04 on the DVD, a mirror image of a
Cambridge reel-to-reel audio device is seen.
Some viewers of the film remark that there is a continuity
error at 1:03:24 on the DVD, in that the input ports for the
heart-lung-kidney machine on Ross have changed from the left
wrist (seen earlier in the film) to the right, allegedly
caused by the reversal of the film for the mirror-Earth
scenes (used to make writing, labels, props, sets, etc.
appear backward). But earlier, at 33:23, we can see that
there are input ports on both of Kane's wrists; it's logical
to assume that his fellow astronaut also had them on each
At 1:08:11 on the DVD, notice that Webb's office is mirrored
At 1:08:19 on the DVD, the
continents on the image of
mirror-Earth on the painting/display
do not really look like the mirror
continents of our Earth.
At 1:12:03 on the DVD, Ross spots a bottle of Fresh Appeal
cologne in the bathroom mirror. Seconds later, Glacial cologne
is seen on the shelf. These appear to be fictional brands.
The remnants of a bottle of Solari lotion are seen at
1:15:12 on the DVD. This appears to be a fictional brand.
At 1:16:06 on the DVD, Dr. Beauville is played by Vladek
Sheybal, who will go on to play Dr. Jackson in
At 1:25:57 on the DVD, notice that the denizens of
mirror-Earth shake hands with the left arm rather than the
At 1:28:19 on the DVD, notice that the new ship piloted by
Ross from the mirror-Earth is called Doppelganger.
At 1:28:33 on the DVD, why aren't the connections on Ross'
spacesuit mirrored like the rest of the planet?
At 1:32:16 on the DVD, the designation of
on the side of Ross' craft is missing!
At 1:33:39 on the DVD, an E.S.V. reactor on the Phoenix
is seen to have been manufactured by
Rolls-Royce. I've been unable to determine what "E.S.V."
At 1:37:04 on the DVD, one of the
EUROSEC buildings at the launch complex is seen to descend
into the ground for protection against the out of control
descent of the
Doppelganger. In UFO, Straker's office at
Harlington-Straker Studios also descended into the ground to
deliver its occupants to the secret SHADO base underneath.
How is Ross able to understand and speak the "English"
language of the mirror Earth? Shouldn't it sound like
backwards gibberish to him?
Why does Ross' communications gear aboard the
as it docks with the
Phoenix near the end of the movie? It's not explained
outright, but would seem to be the result of the
Doppelganger having been wired for reverse
polarity of electrical circuits expected aboard the "real"
Earth's Phoenix craft, but which turns out to not
be reversed despite the mirror imaging of most other aspects
of the two worlds.
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