I finally got around to watching Marooned
, which I recorded last month. I don't think I've seen it since the cut-down, retitled Space Travelers
home-video version they used on Mystery Science Theater 3000
. The original film is a mixed bag. I love the realism, the effort they put into depicting the space program accurately in a film that came out just months after Apollo 11
landed on the Moon. And I'm forgiving of the unconvincing special effects since it was made in 1969 (although 2001
did much better the year before). But they're too quick to throw out credibility and consistency when it suits them. After Gregory Peck spells out all the reason why it's impossible to mount a rescue mission in less than several weeks, the President tells him to go ahead and try to do it in 40 hours anyway, and then all the logistical problems are ignored aside from a brief bit about streamlining the checklist. And the same thing happens later -- first they say there's no way the Soviet capsule in orbit could rendezvous in time, and then suddenly it shows up without explanation. So it doesn't really hold together.