Friday, April 10, 2020

The Twilight Zone (2019) -- Season 1 Episode 6 (Six Degrees of Freedom)

Earth is on the verge of launching a mission to Mars.  A crew of five is just waiting for the final word to launch.  Over their celebratory singing, they hear that a nuclear attack has been launched by North Korea.  The decision has to be made:  Launch or evacuate.  They know the shuttle is a target, so staying would likely mean their deaths.  If they launch, they’d likely be the last surviving humans.

They launch.  Things aren’t easy, but they prepared for that.  The only difference is that they have no ground support.  It’s also unclear if they have anything to look forward to when they get back, if they ever do.

Normally, I don’t like stories like this.  The entire story revolves around what is ostensibly the last remnant of humanity.  It’s possible that there are still people left on Earth.  Even if there are, there’s no way to contact them.

This episode wasn’t so bad, as it wasn’t as intense as other stories I’ve seen.  We also don’t have crewmembers going after each other.  There’s more a sense of solidarity.  The only exception is when paranoia sets in.  (One of the crew members thinks the whole thing may be a simulation.)

There is also a more hopeful ending, in that they do reach Mars.  Then comes the twist.  We find that the paranoid crewmember may have been on to something.  It is one of the most radical endings of the series so far.  I’m not entirely certain what to make of it.

I haven’t seen the final two episodes yet, but I’m wondering if all of the episodes tie in.  There are connections to other episodes, like a mural for a Mars mission appearing in Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.  This episode features a model plane similar to the one used in Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.

Taken by itself, the episode was kind of disappointing.  It might make more sense in that context.  The series has been hit and miss so far.  I may have to wait and see.



Alex Diaz-Granados said...

Cool series. I'm going to wait until it, too, is available on disc, like Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard.

In my view, not that it matters, these shows deserve to be on CBS proper, but with the networks' reliance on reality shows and the public's embrace of streaming, they are where they are.

Brian Kuhl said...

It's about how they can get the most money. They are a business.