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Old 21-02-2013, 06:50 AM   #1
The Voice of Voyager One
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Default Journey to Where

Some questions about the 1976 episode "Journey to Where" are bouncing around in my mind...

How could a British-made TV series get Scottish history so wrong? As I understand it, (the Catacombs page is down, but I remember from their critique...) there was no English spoken then, and they got their Scottish history wrong anyway.

I cannot for the life of me understand why Koenig agreed to the transfer while there was a danger from any earthquake. Any ideas? It was like "Hell yeah! I used a phone booth on 'Devil's Planet' and the ride was fine. Let's risk our lives on this one!"

While Koenig's party is languishing in Scotland, all three of the wayward Alphans are either huddled together or scattered and out-of-touch with each other. Why? They still have their comlocks, right?

If the funky transmat watches can communicate with Alpha, why can't Koenig use a comlock to tap in on the watch and enable at least a text message while they sit by the campfire?

Since the runaway Moon has a nasty habit of drifting into "space warps", can we assume that the Moon's position will shift yet again after its next stumbling through hyperspace, allowing the Moon to again have line-of-sight communications with Earth? (The whole idea of a "galactic eclipse" is silly anyway.)

So, Moonbase Alpha now has its own matter transport machine (or "transference dome") and they should be able to learn from 22nd century Earth's technology (plus what happened in "The Exiles"), right? Guess they had other priorities, like curing Helena and rescuing Alpha from Tony's micro-brewery.

Everyone was in awe of the Dorcons, but with some 22nd century Earth technology, Alpha is poised to play catch-up, right? After all, Alpha collaborated with Alpha to successfully transport three people and probe over many light-years.

If Space Station One's computer was broken, why didn't Earth just switch to someone else's computer? Only one on the whole planet? Too bad.

If there's no chance for anyone to transfer off the base to return to Earth, didn't anyone at least think of using the communications link to share information both ways? (Earth would like to know about Voyager One's flight recorder data, and no doubt Alpha would benefit from some 22nd century pointers on technology, I bet.)

I thought it was tachyons that traveled faster than light, not neutrinos. (Neat how Alpha was able to both receive and transmit, eh?)


Despite some hilarious fumbles, this was a genuinely entertaining and somewhat interesting episode.
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Old 21-02-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
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Hmmmmmm, especially the disco ropes, that ran around the metropolis domes-man they must have partied 24-7!


Oh and to answer all your queries about the episode's historical/scientific/plot holes, I will ask another. Was the episode written by Fred Friedburger????
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Old 21-02-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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Well, these sort of things happened, especially in Season 2. As fans, we are required at times, to use a maximum dose of suspension of disbelief.
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Old 21-02-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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The writer for "Journey to Where", at least as credited on TV, is Donald James. No indication that FF had any involvement, but it is naturally possible he did behind-the-scenes.

Last edited by The Voice of Voyager One; 21-02-2013 at 04:18 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 21-02-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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Hmmmmmm, especially the disco ropes, that ran around the metropolis domes-man they must have partied 24-7!


Oh and to answer all your queries about the episode's historical/scientific/plot holes, I will ask another. Was the episode written by Fred Friedburger????
Isn't that what "Space: 1999" was, essentially disco astronauts?
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Old 21-02-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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It's been a while since I saw this episode. In the Space: 2099 remaster this is the last episode, hinting that everyone got back to Earth via teleport and thus giving the series a happy ending.

But there are other problems: ie. moon's velocity would be unknown to the people of Earth, therefore any signal sent from Earth would be Doppler shifted. (A similar problem occurred with the Cassini probe to Saturn/Titan if you may recall.) Telemetry of any kind would be impossible between Earth and moon.

As for the neutrino problem: the CERN experiment from 19th Nov 2011 has since been discredited due to a loose wire

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...xperiment.html

So, I don't know.
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Old 21-02-2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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For me (and this is just me), I simply imagine that whenever the Space Station One folks say "neutrinos", they actually mean "tachyons". As I understand it, tachyons are faster-than-light particles. It really doesn't matter, though. The really confusing thing about "Space: 1999" as a whole is that they always have instantaneous long-distance communications. Even when the obviously faster-than-light Voyager One and Sidons ("Voyager's Return") were involved, Alpha's characters think nothing of using scanning and communications technology that would have to exceed the speed of light in order to function at all.

In order for Earth to call Alpha, and for Alpha to respond, Earth must've sent out probes to find the Moon, and once found, to create a stable wormhole nearby for both communications and transference. That's the only thing that makes sense to me anyway. So the mention of neutrinos in the end doesn't mean anything.

BTW, this episode is posted in its entirety (at least, as much as I've ever seen) on YouTube. Just sayin' for reference purposes.

"Journey to Where", flawed as it obviously was, would've made a far better series finale than "The Dorcons". But again, that's just me. Having said that, given the state of Planet Earth and what Alpha has discovered about the greater cosmos, I'm not clear that the inhabitants of Alpha would be better off returning to Earth. If anything, the conclusion of "Journey to Where" (for me) was that Koenig & Company were better off on the Moon. (Earth looks like it has become a giant super-moonbase anyway, and there's always the chance some of those nasty aliens could bother the homeworld regardless.) If there was any positive exchange between Space Station One and Alpha, it was probably information. Texas City's folks did give Alpha an interesting piece of 22nd century technology, didn't they?
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Old 22-02-2013, 02:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Voice of Voyager One View Post
Since the runaway Moon has a nasty habit of drifting into "space warps", can we assume that the Moon's position will shift yet again after its next stumbling through hyperspace, allowing the Moon to again have line-of-sight communications with Earth? (The whole idea of a "galactic eclipse" is silly anyway.)
this is close to what happens in the last German novel - where the Steel Planet knocks the Moon off its course, regaining line-of-site, and letting Alpha talk to Earth again. It ends with the thought that they will all soon be back on Earth, but wondering if perhaps they will soon wish they had stayed on the Moon.
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Old 22-02-2013, 03:16 AM   #9
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One interesting line of thought: if humans living in Jetson's domes on Earth (similar to Gil Gerard's "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" did only a few years later) have the power to track down the runaway Moon, communicate with Alpha using faster-than-light technology, and use matter-transmission technology to offer to return the inhabitants of Alpha home, then they must have the power to begin restoring their own planet.

Another interesting thought: if Earth has the power to reach out and contact Alpha and offer to beam Alpha's people back over many light-years, they must have the ability to launch faster-than-light rescue ships... or launch ships that can find and claim other habitable worlds. (Unless everyone in the Galaxy is PO'd at humans and won't allow it.)

Here's a new angle: if you could go back in time to 1976 and take the reins from FF, how would you rewrite the script for "Journey to Where" to make it a better story? Despite its amusing flaws (and a very annoying resemblance to other astronaut-reduced-to-fighting-with-sticks-and-stones stories like "The Full Circle" or "Star Trek" episodes like "Friday's Child" and "The Savage Curtain") I still enjoy "Journey to Where". I think it would've had potential if it just wasn't half-baked.

Any thought on this?

Last edited by The Voice of Voyager One; 22-02-2013 at 03:17 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 22-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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For me (and this is just me), I simply imagine that whenever the Space Station One folks say "neutrinos", they actually mean "tachyons". As I understand it, tachyons are faster-than-light particles. It really doesn't matter, though. The really confusing thing about "Space: 1999" as a whole is that they always have instantaneous long-distance communications. Even when the obviously faster-than-light Voyager One and Sidons ("Voyager's Return") were involved, Alpha's characters think nothing of using scanning and communications technology that would have to exceed the speed of light in order to function at all.

In order for Earth to call Alpha, and for Alpha to respond, Earth must've sent out probes to find the Moon, and once found, to create a stable wormhole nearby for both communications and transference. That's the only thing that makes sense to me anyway. So the mention of neutrinos in the end doesn't mean anything.
From what I understand a neutrino is a particle with negligable (or zero) mass and no charge. Gerald Feinberg proposed tachyons in a 1967 paper, although none have been discovered and they are (so far) purely theoretical. Chodos et al proposed that neutrinos can be accelerated beyond the speed of light in 1985 (which is what the CERN experiment was about) but this was criticized because of the General Theory of Relativity. Tachyons do appear in a lot of science fiction, however. The energy needed for a matter transporter, however

Quote:

Here's a new angle: if you could go back in time to 1976 and take the reins from FF, how would you rewrite the script for "Journey to Where" to make it a better story? Despite its amusing flaws (and a very annoying resemblance to other astronaut-reduced-to-fighting-with-sticks-and-stones stories like "The Full Circle" or "Star Trek" episodes like "Friday's Child" and "The Savage Curtain") I still enjoy "Journey to Where". I think it would've had potential if it just wasn't half-baked.

Any thought on this?
Well, the BBC Radio series Journey into Space had a story where the astronauts travel to Earth a thousand years into the future but are not sure if it is really Earth and they are having problems trying to adjust to conditions in the new era. (A 36 hour day for instance, changes in language, cultural changes, etc.)

So, assuming that the matter transporter idea is credible, I'd like to explore the 22ndC in a similar way. "An Earth" was shown in "Another Time, Another Place" but we never really know if it was "the Earth" or a parallel reality. Also, what happened over the next couple of centuries since the moon blasted out of orbit? That would be my take. Then leave Koenig with the dilemma of whether to live in a world where culture has radically changed as to make adjustment virtually impossible, or return to the moon.
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Old 22-02-2013, 09:42 PM   #11
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Re: a 'rewrite' of JtW...
A couple of years ago (maybe more like four years by now) I made a copy of the transcript for this ep, then completely re-wrote it to be in the Season One format, using all Season One characters (Bergman replacing Maya, Morrow for Verdeschi, and so on). I also swapped tachyons for neutrinos. I even worked in the Kaldorians having landed on Earth in 2074, and with their help, the metrocomplexes were perfected & proliferated. (This could still be accomplished in the Season Two ep by editing shots of the crew reacting to new dialogue looped in, during Carla's 'tour' of Earth on the Command Center big screen. In fact, as long as Martin Landau, Barbara Bain and Isla Blair would be willing, perhaps they could supply the looped dialogue, if they're voices don't sound too aged nowdays.) I even hinted that the Kaldorians bred with humans, and that Carla might be a partial Kaldorian offspring, hence her weird white hair. (I know, it was a wig, but I like to try to explain things 'in universe' whenever possible.)
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Old 23-02-2013, 01:56 AM   #12
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Being from the USA, I had no idea that the whole "Bannockburn plus twenty-five" was farce until I read about it on The Catacombs recently. Having practically no knowledge of 14th-century Scotland (and I'm of partial Scots-Irish ancestry), I always assumed that the makers of a British TV show took care to at least get the Scottish history right.

Let's assume that the basic structure of the "Journey to Where" plot was the same: Texas City radios Alpha, an experimental matter transmitter is built and tested, and then Koenig, Carter and Russell try it out and accidentally pull a "Doctor Who" and wind up in the British Isles of the distant past. What would be a more convincing (and historically accurate) situation for them to land in?
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Old 25-02-2013, 03:08 PM   #13
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I've just been rewatching this episode.

There are a lot of inconsistencies. For a start, they say "We've been months in space." It's almost as though season one didn't happen for them. Also, the Earth is a desert not because of the moon blasting out of orbit but because of pollution (?!!!)

But what I noticed most (apart from the shell suits, which they got right about the future!) was the way Freddie Jones' character is almost exactly the same as his Sir George Uproar character from The Ghosts of Motly Hall, which he was doing around this time.
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Old 26-02-2013, 01:20 AM   #14
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I've just been rewatching this episode.

There are a lot of inconsistencies. For a start, they say "We've been months in space." It's almost as though season one didn't happen for them. Also, the Earth is a desert not because of the moon blasting out of orbit but because of pollution (?!!!).
These two issues I did not have a problem with. Here's why:

"We've been months in space" could easily mean a year or more.

The "ruined Earth", to me, seemed consistent with the "disaster movie" theme of "Breakaway". Short-sighted Earth lost its only Moon due to poor handling of "nuclear waste". Seems fitting that they would ruin the planet itself as well. Fits well with the story, too. Why would the cooped-up inhabitants of Alpha want to return to Earth when they would simply exchange one birdcage for another much larger one?

Quote:
But what I noticed most (apart from the shell suits, which they got right about the future!) was the way Freddie Jones' character is almost exactly the same as his Sir George Uproar character from The Ghosts of Motly Hall, which he was doing around this time.
The alleged fashion of the Space Station One characters was revolting to me. That woman with the wig looked absolutely ridiculous. The whole Space Station One set and character assembly looked like a low-budget deal. The only thing that saved it for me was the see-through countdown display.

Freddie Jones was awful as Dr. Logan. He looked and sounded like a Brit trying (and failing) to imitate an American. Anyone who wants to see a real Mission Control should rent "Apollo 13". If you want to hear what a quintessential Texan sounds like, try this: a recording of President Lyndon B. Johnson. You can't get any more Texan than that! Enjoy!
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:01 AM   #15
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How did Alpha manage to reply to Earth's messages? Earth had this fancy technology, but Alpha didn't? Shouldn't the Alphan's replies have taken centuries to reach Earth?
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