Good evening, Sergeant. Good evening, Dr Hassler.
File 7842. Authority, please.
Your pen, Dr Hassler.
Oh, well. Now my plan is ruined.
See, this is not a pen at all, it's a secret camera.
Well, better luck next time, Doctor.
Thank you, Sergeant.
Now, we shall see.
My mistake. You were right. I'm sorry.
That's all right, Doctor.
Cigar? That's premature. You haven't won yet.
Do you wanna bet? Yeah.
Three thousand million pounds.
All right? Everything's fine.
One minute to go.
Last as usual. He's only got a hundred yards to walk.
Gentlemen. Gentlemen, please.
The 67th meeting of the European Space Exploration Council is now in session.
This is a momentous occasion for our organization.
Sun Probe One was an unqualified success.
We had some spectacular results.
However, this meeting is called to consider one single result, startling in its implications.
Dr John Kane, the project director.
Gentlemen, an unmanned satellite is naturally limited in the transmission of information.
Part of the sun probe's equipment was a cine camera set to take one picture a minute for the duration of the flight.
Roll the film, please.
The far side of the sun, over 100 million miles from Earth, hidden from the eyes of radio telescopes by the sun itself.
At this point, a strange thing happened.
The gyro mechanisms aboard were influenced by another magnetic field and the capsule slowly started to rotate.
If you watch your screens carefully, you'll see that the cine camera was panned off the sun towards the force that was attracting it.
That force, gentlemen, was the gravitational pull of another planet.
I'll hold the film to show you the first complete photographic evidence of a new planet.
Hold and zoom.
A new planet in our solar system.
Thank you. Photographic evidence is only part of the story.
Instruments aboard the capsule report it is in the same orbit as Earth, but directly on the opposite side of the sun.
Orbital speed precisely the same as ours is the reason it has remained undetected.
What information do we have from there systems on board?
Which brings me to the purpose of this meeting - a proposal from the chair that we should mount a manned flight to the new planet.
Lisa, book me a scrambled satellite call to NASA headquarters at the end of this meeting, please.
- It's already in hand, David. How come?
Instructions from Jason Webb. Oh. Thanks.
Well, Jason, how much is it gonna cost us this time?
- A point of order, Mr Chairman. Another one?
Mr Chairman will agree, will he not, that all delegates are entitled to share in EUROSEC information.
Then perhaps the chairman will share with us his estimate of the cost of this manned expedition.
A realistic estimate, gentlemen - three thousand million pounds sterling.
Mr Chairman, I'm sure I'm speaking for the whole of the community when I say that such a sum is out of the question.
Trust a German to louse it up!
They lecture us on penny-pinching economics.
The French are only too glad to agree with them.
The rest of the community goes whichever way the wind blows.
America's our only hope. If they contribute, the rest might follow.
Face it, Jason, we've had it.
Had what? This is only a temporary setback.
Did you see Poulson's face when you pitched the price?
No, I didn't. I did. And he's not gonna buy it.
He'll buy it. For God's sake.
- Yes? David Poulson on the internal.
Are you free to see him?
- Send him right up. Yes, sir.
You're gonna sit there and watch me take a man for one billion dollars.
The words of an egotistical megalomaniac.
Remind me to be as charitable to you when one of your rockets blows up on the pad.
Hadn't you better attend to that cardiac warning?
Just a minute.
I'll make a deal with you.
You stick to the science.
Let me handle the politics. I'll accept that deal.
I'll stick to the science if you handle the politics.
Scotch? Thanks, don't mind if I do. Straight.
Now, why don't you give it to me - straight?
Well, as you know, the United States has always cooperated with EUROSEC.
But in this case, we feel... I said straight!
It's no go.
We discover a new planet in our own solar system, with military and scientific implications beyond comprehension.
We ask our friends for a few dollars and it's "no go".
One billion dollars, Jason. Cheap at twice the price.
Are you sure about this? Yes. Give it to Jason tonight.
Delay could be dangerous.
You don't want anyone else to get there. How could they?
We have sole access to the information. Who else would know the planet existed?
You know perfectly well that we have a security leak.
Well, we all have our problems.
I see. I get the message.
Look, I know how you feel about this project, Jason. But the answer is no.
I'm sorry. I really am. So am I.
I'm going home now.
Tell Neuman and Lisa I want to see them at 7:30.
Yes, Mr Webb. Oh, and John Kane asked me to give you this.
I want a rundown on the current security position.
We've housed all findings and visual data from Sun Probe One in vault two.
To whom? Yourself, John Kane and Mark.
I've reported the near certainty of a security leak.
We picked up radio signals this morning. And got a bearing.
Why not a fix?
Listen, that information is coded and radioed out in a two-second transmission.
And there are 86,400 seconds in a day.
All right. You made your point.
But when are you gonna nail him? What?
When are you going to nail him?
It depends how much rope we give him. All right.
Lisa, that access restriction must be widened.
To whom? Hassler.
You're serving up information on a plate to our prime suspect?
That's my responsibility.
Your responsibility is this - if he shows his hand, I don't want an arrest.
Has any information been transmitted? He wasn't broadcasting record requests.
So the existence of a new planet could be known outside Europe and the States.
I'm afraid so.
Preparations for a manned flight could be under way by somebody else.
Don't panic. It would take some time.
We'd have to check your information, examine Hassler's body, see the transmissions you monitored, check the manufacturing origins of his photographic equipment.
Arrange all that for Mr Poulson immediately.
And put John Kane in the picture. Right.
Could I have a look at the photographic equipment?
Does our side have anything like this?
We have now.
Give that back to Kane, will you?
Tell him I accept his apologies.
So... you're convinced now there has been a leak?
Yes. And I'm left with no choice. I agree.
It'll be up to you to persuade the rest of the community.
But you'd be prepared to recommend that the United States should contribute one billion dollars to a manned flight conducted by EUROSEC?
Yes. Full information sharing. Guaranteed.
What else do you suggest?
Putting an American astronaut on the team.
Who? I've already called Cape Kennedy.
They suggested our most experienced.
50 days of space flight, two manned projects to Mars...
The passenger from NASA flight 155 will arrive at gate seven.
Hold it, Mrs Ross.
Thank you, Colonel.
I'm Jason Webb. Welcome to EUROSEC. Glenn Ross. My wife Sharon.
How do you do? Hello.
This is Lisa Hartmann, security. How do you do?
Hello. Miss Hartmann.
Dr John Kane, project director.
Hello. Delighted to meet you.
Paulo Landi, public relations. He'll be looking after both of you.
How do you do, Mrs Ross? Hello.
I'll have a Scotch, please.
What's on your mind? I've been thinking, John.
About the second astronaut to accompany Ross.
Well, Borgner is the obvious choice. Or Mitchell.
- If we want just an astronaut, I agree. But?
It occurs to me we need someone more flexible.
Well, they're trained to... I mean in terms of knowledge.
Someone who could take full advantage of any findings on the new planet, however bizarre and unusual they happen to be.
You mean an astrophysicist?
Me? The idea doesn't appeal to you?
You must be joking. It'll grow on you.
Well, there she is.
We've been developing a lift body for controlled landings.
If analysis confirms an atmosphere on the new planet, we use that as the last stage.
Without seeming too eager, when does training start?
I can hardly wait.
450. 500. 600.
Fire retros. Hold it.
800! What are you trying to do? Kill him?
Are you OK, John? OK.
Yes, I'm OK.
Didn't know you'd be back.
We... drove into Lisbon to see the cathedral and then stopped over for dinner.
I could sleep for a week.
I had my first medical today. Did you? How did it go?
Doctors say everything's all right as usual.
Everything's all right.
We're not starting that one again, are we?
Look, face it, Glenn. It's your job.
You're up in space hundreds of days.
You're subjected to radiation effects. That's why we can't have children.
The doctors say different. They're employed by politicians.
Do you really think they'd tell even you the truth?
America's top astronaut - sterile.
Your doctors don't work for politicians so it can't be you.
For God's sakes, I'm not about to go through this again.
The brutal truth of the matter is that you went up there a man, but you came back less than a man.
Maybe this is why we're not having kids, huh?
If you have anything to say, you better say it now.
Is that how you prove your virility?
It really was the only way of attracting your attention.
You look like a man with problems. I'll tell you about 'em someday.
Would Mr Edwards please contact reception?
We don't often see you at administration. Jason wants to see me.
How is the training going?
It's tough for me, but it's hell for John.
It's a crash course in space preparation.
Glenn, there is something I shouldn't tell you.
What's that? I know why Jason wants to see you.
Why? He plans to put the launch date forward.
Well, we'll see about that. Good luck, Glenn.
Thanks for the warning.
I'm forwarding the launching date four weeks.
You're pushing too hard, Jason. You don't understand.
In Germany, budgetary troubles. In France, political troubles.
Somebody will suggest withdrawing from the project any day.
You're an administrator. You know when a rocket's ready, but not a man. Kane isn't.
I know more about human nature than anybody else at EUROSEC.
That's why I'm in this office.
And I'm telling you, Kane will make it.
And I'm telling you he won't.
Where do we go from here? There are other American astronauts.
That's right. You'd be right back to zero again.
Nevertheless, I am informing you officially that the launching date will be brought forward... two weeks.
My instincts tell me there's a little bit of transportation around here somewhere.
Don't the rules say we walk? Sure.
What's it like up there? Where?
Same as down here. No different.
You mean you've got to have someone with you down here up there?
It's got to be the right person, though, or it makes no difference.
Home again. Yeah.
This is the part we have to make look good. We're back uncomfortably early.
I could grow attached to them. That's the idea.
Now you can be hooked up to the heart, lung and kidney machine during flight.
With sedation you will sleep for three weeks there...
and three weeks back.
That part I'm looking forward to.
Operations, this is EUROSEC Launch Control.
Dock ne one stand-by. Dock two operational. 0246.
Four down, three injectors.
Procedures check. I have three greens. All go.
Roger. Switch to RT-410 computers.
- Roger. Operating now. Roger, green.
Scope three standing by. All scopes blue.
- Fueling first stage complete. Roger, fueling.
Warp index 2.7.
Liftoff now minus 7 hours 46 minutes.
QRS complex good.
No T-wave depression.
Cardiac response normal.
This is EUROSEC Launch Control.
Liftoff now minus 6 hours 51 minutes.
Astronauts' preflight checks in four minutes.
Repeat, astronauts' preflight checks in four minutes.
I wanted to wish you luck. I thought you were coming with us.
No, I mean it.
I have three greens. All go.
- Five under control. Stand by.
- Are we ff the count? No. Continue count, Control.
X three, Y four, Z minus seven.
Environmental systems go.
Capsule from launch control. Switch to external.
- Capsule condition. Stand by.
This is EUROSEC Launch Control.
Liftoff now minus three hours.
Stand by, capsule, to receive astronauts.
I think we're expected.
Tank is pressurized. Water chiller is operational.
Water separator unit reading A-OK.
Water bicarb evaporator reading A-OK.
Steam vent line clear. Cabin pressure refill.
Suit heat exchanger operational.
Main water system go.
Main oxygen system go.
Main suit system go.
Cabin temperature control system go. We have a computer report.
Orange suite beta reading 47532.
All phase-three stations progress position X24. Check back.
Tower-jettison motor, launch-escape motor are all go.
Control, this is Phoenix command. Hatch secure. Ready for all systems check.
- Gas circulation normal. Procedures check.
- Electrics green. Go.
Flight Control, I have a low-pressure reading on oxygen inlet number three.
Down two and a half pounds. Fuel temperature correct.
Liftoff now minus 1 hour 26 minutes.
Medical One to Flight Control. Colonel Ross - pulse...
- Remove gantry. Roger. Stand by.
Remove fuel injectors. Roger.
Have X-ray Bravo keep us informed about that weather front.
- Cabin pressure seems low. It's being checked.
Medical One to Flight Control.
Colonel Ross - pulse 74, blood pressure normal, respiration normal.
Medical Two to Flight Control.
Dr Kane - pulse 110, blood pressure raised 150 over 100, respiration normal.
Phoenix, switch to internal.
Roger. Internal. Remove umbilical.
Liftoff minus two minutes.
- Stages check. Command on internal? Affirmative.
- Telemetry in launch condition? Affirmative.
- Missile on internal DC? Affirmative.
- Pressurization complete? Affirmative.
I have a check-complete light. Lock tanking secured.
This is EUROSEC Launch Control. Ignition sequence commences.
T-minus 27 seconds and counting.
All recorders and oscillographs to fast vario start.
Lock tank pressurized.
Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
Flight Control, this is Phoenix.
We have ignition. Say again, we have ignition. All systems go.
Well, she flies. Course she bloody well flies.
See you in three weeks. Let's hope the alarm clock goes off.
It better. You made it.
Bang on target.
Clouds. There are clouds, Glenn. So there is an atmosphere.
All right. Preliminary orbit 34,000 miles from planet's surface as planned, right?
OK, two orbits to mark out electronic survey, then we decide... to land or not to land.
Well, let's have it.
Mass and gravitational pull similar to Earth.
There's an atmosphere. Oxygen present.
Suitable landing site? Established.
Seascape and vegetation.
So far no sign of life.
All right, mate. What's the next move?
Well, like you said - to land or not to land.
This is one we can't put through the computer. What do you think?
I think, on the result of the survey, we don't have a choice.
You? I'm for go.
Let's go, then.
Landing orbit coming up.
Cabin pressure zero.
Ready for transfer to landing lift body.
30 seconds. OK.
The on-board computer should take us within five miles of the landing site.
Ten seconds. If we have any trouble with the guidance system, give me manual.
Check. Here we go.
Computer checks. Main retros five seconds.
Roger. Three, two, one.
Three minutes to manual, four minutes to touchdown.
Give me manual.
Vertical jets, full flaps.
Do you speak English?
I'm air-sea rescue, Ulan Bator.
I will get your friend.
Well? Results of the electronic medical check.
He's in pretty good shape.
But the readouts on items 20, 27 and 32 don't make sense.
They certainly don't. Check the computer.
It was checked out this morning. Then check it out again.
Never trust them.
Any improvement? No.
Has he spoken? Disjointedly.
It's impossible to make out a meaning.
Arrange for anything he says to be recorded.
Mark, I want a total security blackout on news of their return until we find out what the devil's gone wrong.
What about that Mongolian rescue team?
I called my opposite number in the Soviet Academy of Space Science.
They've agreed to cooperate. Does the clampdown include Mrs Ross?
No, tell her to stand by.
No one except authorized personnel are to see any results until all computers have been completely rechecked.
You're responsible. It's my department.
Well? Dr Kane is still unconscious.
And Colonel Ross? Apart from the shock and superficial...
Is he fit? I don't want details, I only want to know one thing.
Is he fit for questioning? Yes.
Do I have to go through with this? It's your job.
Before we start, this is the interrogation room, not debriefing.
That's right. Sit down, please.
Why did you turn back? We did not turn back.
You claim you completed your mission? We reached the new planet, yes.
You agree that to fly there and return takes six weeks?
You accept that you have returned three weeks after launching?
Well, I can't explain that. All I can say is...
You completed the electronic survey? Yes.
Of the new planet?
Yes. And returned to Earth?
We crashed. On Earth?
On the planet. You're here! On Earth!
To the planet and back in three weeks?
I don't know. There's a lot I can't explain. You left Earth.
Three weeks later you return - crashed.
It takes six weeks to travel to the new planet and return.
You were gone three weeks. So you turned back!
We did not turn back. Why?
I'm sending Ross home. You won't get any more out of him today.
The interrogation leaves us with two possibilities.
One - Ross aborted the mission and turned back.
If that was the case, he'd deny it for obvious reasons.
Two - Ross genuinely believes he made the journey to the new planet and is as surprised as we are that when he landed he found himself back on Earth.
This is the theory I prefer to believe.
Only one snag.
Why was there no sign of life on his electronic survey?
Well, that could be explained.
Their orbit took them over the Pacific, Atlantic and the poles.
The land they crossed is mainly uninhabited.
All right. So we prefer the second theory.
But three weeks to the planet, three weeks back. That's six weeks in all.
They were only away three weeks. That's right.
So they turned back. It still doesn't make sense.
The world's most experienced astronaut and a leading scientist.
The Council felt railroaded into this from the start.
They'll turn like a pack of wolves now it's failed.
They don't know yet. And they won't know until I establish exactly what happened.
You can't do that without the flight recorder. And that's still on the Phoenix.
Arrangements have been made to bring that back.
When is Poulson due back from the States?
Not till the 17th. Thank God for that.
Was it rough? Yeah.
Glenn, what really happened?
What do you mean?
What made you turn back? We didn't turn back.
Then it doesn't make sense. Right.
You're covering for John Kane, aren't you?
No, there's nothing to cover for.
What the hell are you doing? He was on the wrong side of the road.
It must have been rough.
I'll go make some coffee.
Sharon, what's going on?
Sharon? What is it?
You know damn well what it is. This room.
What about the room? It's changed. What the hell happened?
Some disorientation isn't unusual after a protracted period in space.
I understand that, but it's never happened on any previous space flights.
Keep me informed. If things get worse, I promise immediate action.
What is it?
What's wrong? The writing is reversed.
Everything is reversed.
Jason Webb, please.
Jason, this is urgent. I must see you right away.
Excuse me, Colonel. Yeah, what is it?
Over here, Colonel. What the hell is this all about?
Do what they say, Glenn.
He called me. From where?
Our bathroom in here.
See for yourself.
He shouldn't have been sent home. He could've killed me.
This does it. I'm getting out of here.
You don't mean that, Sharon. You bet I do.
What happened after he smashed the bottles?
He went crazy. He said his handwriting was reversed, my watch. Everything.
Well, look at this. Does this look reversed to you?
The man's gone out of his mind. We don't know that yet.
Well, you may not, but I do. I'm his wife. Remember that.
He's been violent before.
Like this? He hit me.
It was the flight. It was before the flight.
And like I said, I'm getting out of here.
We know about your personal life, Mrs Ross. It's our job.
You better forget about leaving. You can't stop me.
I can't stop you leaving this house, but I can and will stop you leaving EUROSEC.
You can talk to him now. So everything is reversed, huh?
Everything. Glenn, we're going to check a few things.
Set it up.
Now, watch the mirror, please.
Here we go. Read it!
"Fire emergency checklist."
"In the event of fire priorities are assigned as follows:."
Documentation, research specimens, "photographic material, progress..."
All right. Good enough for you?
What the hell more do you want?
I don't envy him.
You completed your mission?
- Why did you turn back? We crashed.
Why? Why? Why?
Why? Why? Why?
You completed your mission?
Why did you turn back?
Why? Why? Why?
Why? Why? Why?
That I was telling the truth about the new planet.
You're bound to be a little confused until the drug wears off.
You're trying to check out my story, yes? Uh-huh.
You couldn't fault it, right? No, we couldn't fault it.
You'll hear the same story from John Kane.
I'm sorry I'm late. I was detained at the medical center.
Come and sit down. What I have to say to you is very important.
No, Jason, you sit down.
You've interrogated me, looked into my brain and found out nothing.
I want you to sit down and listen to me.
Now, what I'm going to tell you is bizarre, weird, but it's the only theory that fits the facts.
I propose a complete duplication of matter - a situation where every single atom, every molecule here, is duplicated here, except that it's in reverse.
Now, when I left Earth to travel to the new planet, another man left the new planet at precisely the same time to travel to Earth.
Another Colonel Ross.
The man you know as Colonel Ross is on the other planet standing in an identical, except reversed, room, talking to an identical Jason Webb who's sitting in an identical chair rubbing his hands together at this exact moment.
Now, what do you see?
You see the mirrored images of Jason Webb and Glenn Ross.
There are now four people in this room - two Jason Webbs, two Glenn Rosses.
What I'm trying to say is these two planets have a physical connection.
One is the mirrored image of the other.
But, unlike the reflection in the mirror, they both exist.
For every person on one planet there is a double on the other.
Don't you understand? Until a few days ago, you and I had never met.
Are you trying to tell me that you don't know any of the people here? Your wife?
Only their doppelgängers. Their what?
Doppelgängers - doubles.
If you want a literal translation, the mirrored images of themselves.
I think I'd better get you a drink.
All right, I know how it sounds.
Can you think of anything better?
I wish to God I could.
When I got your call, Dr Pontini had just completed a postmortem on John Kane.
Kane's internal organs were found to be on the opposite side from normal.
My normal, that is.
It was all there on the computer readout when you had your electronic medicals.
I assumed, wrongly, that it was a fault.
Lesson number one - never distrust a computer.
So, you see, your theory holds up.
It would seem I'm not the Jason Webb that you know, only an impish doppelgänger.
How do you do, Colonel Ross?
It's only a theory. It's the best we've got.
But we can't prove it till we've recovered the Phoenix.
If we're right, your version of the Dove won't be able to dock with the Phoenix.
We'll have to reverse the controls and the electrical systems.
Or does the polarity of electricity remain the same?
Well? Does it?
If we're wrong, you do realize what would happen to you?
It's a chance I'm willing to take. And the other Colonel Ross?
Are you willing to take a chance on him too?
That was a penny for your thoughts.
If they are as confused as mine, maybe sharing them would help.
Did you say a penny?
Well, it's a buyers' market. What would you like to know?
Sharon's left? Yes.
In a way, she left a long time ago.
- Are you going to recover the Phoenix? Yes.
With reversed vision? How will you operate the controls?
It should be interesting.
Don't do it, Glenn. You've done enough for Jason.
Well, it's not really just for Jason.
I don't understand.
Well, you know how it is. There's so much I'm not supposed to talk about.
Do you mind me coming over?
No. As a matter of fact, I'm glad you're here.
Someone to talk to.
Why did you reverse "Doppelganger", Colonel?
It's an inside joke between me and myself.
Good luck, sir. Thank you.
Network check complete? All set.
Proceed condition. Proceed condition.
This is EUROSEC Launch Control. Phoenix on horizon.
- Liftoff eight seconds. Roger, Control.
On-board computer indicates liftoff five seconds.
Four, three, two, one.
Report on ground systems.
Procedures check. All systems go.
You couldn't stay away, hm?
Launch Control, this is Doppelganger. Airspeed 12,500.
Countdown for second stage... ten seconds.
Four, three, two, one.
Control, this is Doppelganger. Now leaving Earth's atmosphere.
Roger, Doppelganger. Rocket shutdown... five seconds.
Three, two, one.
Launch Control, this is Doppelganger. In orbit.
Roger, Doppelganger. Stand by for computer report on Phoenix position.
Doppelganger, this is EUROSEC Launch Control.
Computer reports Phoenix 20 miles ahead.
Your orbit is correct for automatic approach to EUROSEC should there be an emergency condition.
Thank you, Control.
I see it now. See it now, Control. Beginning docking maneuvers.
From now on, it'll be just as easy as parking a car.
For a man with reversed vision?
Launch Control, is Jason Webb there?
Jason Webb here. About to dock. Any additional orders?
- Proceed with docking. Roger.
Launch Control from Doppelganger. Jason, we were ri...
There are two planets. There are definitely two identi...
Doppelganger, say again. We lost your last trans...
Jason, I'm not reading... Repeat, we lost your last transmission.
I'm not reading you. Maybe you're reading me.
The retros on the Phoenix have fired. I don't know why.
I'm pulling out.
Again, there are definitely two planets. Identical, but reversed in some way.
Launch Control, if you're reading me, come in, please.
Give him the automatic-approach system.
- Dove now on automatic control. Roger.
Yellow condition. All stations stand by.
Doppelganger to Launch Control. If you're reading me, come in.
I've pulled out of the Phoenix. Extensive damage all systems.
The one thing that's not reversed is the polarity of electricity.
Negative still negative, positive still positive.
- Phoenix re-entering. Is there a separate reading for the Dove?
No, sir. Re-entry speed?
Speed 19,000 reducing.
Second blip on screen. Could be the Dove.
Speed? Stand by.
Speed 12,000 reducing. Controlled re-entry?
As far as I can see, sir.
Angle of entry - fair.
Launch Control, cut automatic-approach system.
I say again, cut automatic-approach system.
Unable to affect landing at EUROSEC. All vertical thrusters have...
Maintain automatic-approach system. We'll bring him right down the beam.
If you read me, cut automatic-approach system. Unable to get off beam.
Angle of approach 30 degrees.
Red alert. Repeat, red alert.
All stations, red alert.
All stations, red alert.
Launch Control, cut automatic-approach system.
Unable to affect a landing at EUROSEC. All vertical thrusters failed.
There's no sign of manual control, sir.
Cut automatic-approach system.
Glenn Ross, John Kane, Dr Pontini...
The only witnesses - gone.
Records, X-rays, documents...
So, are you surprised that no one believes me?
Come along now, Mr Webb. Once you get talking...
Put me through on an emergency signal to Dr Green.