Friday, October 10, 2014

Forgotten TV Heroes: Anderson's The Day After Tomorrow

Clipped from Wikipedia: The Day After Tomorrow (also known as Into Infinity in the United Kingdom) is a 1975 British science-fiction television drama produced by Gerry Anderson between the two series of Space: 1999. Written by Johnny Byrne and directed by Charles Crichton, it stars Brian Blessed, Joanna Dunham and Nick Tate, and is narrated by Ed Bishop. It first aired in the United States on NBC, as an episode of the children's science education series Special Treat, in December 1975. In the UK, BBC1 broadcast the programme as an independent special in December 1976, and again in December 1977. 

Plot: The Day After Tomorrow relates to the interstellar mission of Altares, a science vessel of the future that can travel at the speed of light. Departing from its original destination, Alpha Centauri, Altares moves deeper into space and her crew of three adults and two children encounter phenomena such as a meteor shower, a red giant star and, finally, a black hole, which pulls the ship into another universe.

Origin: Originally commissioned to produce a child-friendly introduction to Albert Einstein's special relativity theory in the form of an action-adventure, Anderson and Byrne conceived The Day After Tomorrow as the pilot episode of a TV series. To this end, writer and producer proposed the alternative title "Into Infinity", although their limited budget precluded the production of further episodes. 

Reviews: Reception to The Day After Tomorrow remains mixed. Although the model effects and music have been praised, critics have offered both favourable and unfavourable comparisons of the programme's "psychedelic" images to the visual style used by film director Stanley Kubrick. While Byrne's script writing has been described as "lyrical", and it has been suggested that The Day After Tomorrow includes allusions to the 1960s TV series Lost in Space, the plot has been criticized for a lack of suspense, generally attributed to the fact that The Day After Tomorrow is primarily a children's science education programme. Further criticism has been directed at the acting, with Martin Lev's performance in particular being poorly received. Home video releases of The Day After Tomorrow are limited to one VHS and one DVD, both of which are available only to members of the official Gerry Anderson fan club, Fanderson. Author Douglas R. Mason's novelization of The Day After Tomorrow remains unpublished.

Release: Licensed releases of The Day After Tomorrow are limited to a 1997 VHS and a 2002 DVD, both of which are exclusive merchandise available to Fanderson members only. Space Police (a pilot that inspired the series Space Precinct) is included on the DVD, which presents both films in a digitally remastered format.

Fun Fact: The visuals of Space: 1999 influenced both special effects technician Martin Bower, the designer of the scale models that appear in the programme, and production designer Reg Hill, who re-used set elements from various episodes of Space: 1999 to construct the Altares interiors.

No comments: