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Spaceflight IC-1

Spaceflight IC-1 (1965) starring Bill Williams, Norma West, John Cairney, Linda Marlowe

Spaceflight IC-1 (1965) starring Bill Williams, Norma West, John Cairney, Linda MarloweSpaceflight IC-1 seems to be about mankind’s first attempt at interstellar colonization.  It also appears to be an attempt at mutiny that goes wrong.  Both of those are true, but only on the surface.  The movie is actually about life under the rule of fascism and the consequences.  The people on the journey, set in the “distant” future of 2015, are under the control of R.U.L.E. — as is everyone on Earth.  The people on the multi-year journey aren’t allowed to have children — without permission. There is no insulin on board ship; the rationale is that only healthy people are going to make it to the new colony.  The unhealthy are expected to die along the way.

Spaceflight IC-1 does have some very nice touches for the science fiction setting.  For example, children are born, raised and educated on the ship’s long journey.  Educated by teachers, and entertained by a holographic clown.  One member of the crew is literally a head in a jar, who is available 24 hours a day.  But although he no longer tires, he no longer feels.  Not only pain or pleasure but emotion or attachment.  The audience wonders if he volunteered, or if R.U.L.E. “volunteered” him.

Spaceflight IC-1 is one of those rare science fiction films that plays on two levels, and is very enjoyable, and strongly recommended.  I rate it 4 stars out of 5.

Cast of characters in Spaceflight IC-1

  • Capt. Mead Ralston (Bill WilliamsThirty Seconds over TokyoRio LoboThe Adventures of Kit Carson).  The by-the-book captain of the expedition, who will brook no disagreement.  Not an evil man, but one who will follow the rules, regardless of the human cost.  Later, it’s revealed to his much-younger-wife that he’s a member of R.U.L.E. — and has been before their marriage.
  • Jan Ralston (Norma WestAnd the Ship Sails On).  The captain’s much younger wife, educator of the children.  And even she isn’t immune to her husband’s “monitoring” and insistence on pro-R.U.L.E. indoctrination of the children.
  • Dr. Steven Thomas (John CairneyA Night to RememberJason and the Argonauts).  The doctor in charge of the colonists’ health on the journey, and monitoring those in cryogenic suspension.  When his wife becomes fatally ill, and the captain refuses to return to Earth to save her life, he becomes an unlikely mutineer.
  • Dr. Helen Thomas (Linda MarloweTinker Tailor Soldier Spy).  A nice, kind, compassionate doctor on the ship.  She develops an issue with her pancreas, and surgery could save her life — except R.U.L.E. has prohibited insulin on the ship.  She seeks permission from the Captain to have another child before her death.  He refuses, and this leads to her depression, and committing suicide.

Editorial review of Spaceflight IC-1 courtesy of Amazon.com

Spaceship IC-1 hurtles toward a planet which can hopefully be colonized. When the wife of the ship’s doctor (Linda Marlowe) comes down with a potentially fatal pancreas ailment the Captain (Bill Williams) refuses to turn back to Earth so she can be cured. He also declines to let her have a second child and she kills herself. This enrages her husband (John Cairney) who thumps the Captain, locks him up and takes control of the ship. But not all the ship’s crew supports this turn of events–will one of them release the Captain who has threatened to execute the doctor? Future star Mark Lester appears as a child in this fine British sci-fi drama. DVD-R