|Regina Kesslann is crossing Main Mission and pauses on the stairs to the observation level, as she senses something is wrong. The rest of the Alphans start to sense the same thing. They are thrown about by shockwaves rocking the Moon as it is being pulled toward the intense gravitational force of a strange|
|vortex in space. They are thrown again as the Moon enters. Their velocity goes off the scale before all scanners become non-functional. The rocking decreases as the moon becomes enveloped by pulsating lights of different colors. The Alphans experience double vision and a sense of disorientation, as a duplicate|
|Moon seems to split away from them, before passing out from the ordeal. They awaken with no side effects, with the exception of Regina, who is taken to Medical Centre. Victor tells John that their position in space has changed drastically. They find themselves entering another solar system, waiting for|
|repairs to the scanners to tell them more. Regina finally wakes in Medical Centre. She becomes easily excitable, as she alternates between believing that Alan and Koenig are dead or alive. Helena notices that she is developing a sunburn after Regina mentions how hot the sun is. Helena discusses her|
|condition with John and Victor, to see if the there may be a correlation between their recent experience and Regina's condition. Victor suggests that because the Moon had been traveling faster than light, that Regina could be living a past or future life, but feeling it now. Kano enters with data about|
|the solar system they are entering. The adjourn to Main Mission. Paul tells him there are nine planets orbiting its sun. Koenig has Paul focus scanners on the third planet. Computer confirms that it is Earth, and the Moon will be reentering orbit in 45 hours! Paul tries to contact Earth and receives no|
|response. In the Commander's office, John expresses his bewilderment that a space phenomenon could move them billions of light years across space to place them back in orbit around Earth. Victor theorizes that there is some frame of order to the universe, and that, ultimately, they belong on Earth.|
|Helena tells Regina that her condition seems to be improving. Regina attributes it to the return of her "husband"... Alan Carter, and asks why he hasn't been to see her. Helena asks Alan to come to Medical Centre. When he arrives, Regina flies into his arms, then goes into hysterics saying that he's dead.|
|Helena is forced to sedate her, and Alan carries her back to her bed. Helena tries to explain to Alan, who had no idea what was going on. She tells him that Regina believes she's living in the future in another place, and that Alan is her husband. She tells him that she hoped the shock of seeing him might|
|have had a positive effect. In Main Mission, Koenig learns that there are no controlled transmissions coming from Earth, and that there have been major geological changes. Despite these issues he feels compelled to let the Alphans know that they are going into orbit around Earth. As he is broadcasting|
|this news to the base, Regina has a psychotic episode where she envisions herself as a specter of death, then sees her distorted image in a mirror and smashes it. In reality, she hits Dr. Mathias with a heavy object, and knocks him unconscious. She takes his commlock and heads toward Main Mission.|
|En route, she is approached by a security guard. She hits him in the head with the commlock and takes his stun gun. In Main Mission, Computer confirms that the Moon has entered Earth orbit. The Alphans celebration is cut short when Regina arrives with stun gun in hand. She calls out for help,|
|but resists any attempt to help her, then cries out in pain and fires the stun gun. She drops it and runs to Alan. Telling him that she knew he didn't die, she passes away in his arms. Victor reports to Koenig when the radio map of the Earth's surface is complete. It shows that the Earth's axis has shifted between five|
|and six degrees, drastically altering the weather . With ice age climates in Europe, deserts and radioactive ash covering most of the Americas, there is only one spot capable of supporting life, called Santa Maria. Their meeting is interrupted when an identical Moon is discovered in orbit around the Earth.|
|the Earth. They receive a signal identical to their navigation beacon coming from the other Moon. Another Moonbase! Koenig and Alan take an Eagle to investigate. When they land at the other Alpha, there is no boarding tube for them, so they have to walk, and enter through an open airlock. They enter the|
|base and find it has been evacuated, and stripped of virtually everything of practical value. Operation Exodus. Koenig figures they abandoned the base for Santa Maria. He shuts off the navigation beacon, and turns to see Alan staring out a window. Outside is a wrecked Eagle. They go out to investigate.|
|They enter the wreckage of the Eagle and find two bodies in the cockpit. When they wipe away the dust that had settled over the helmet's visors, they each see the other's corpse. They return with the bodies to their Alpha for examination into the cause of death. Helena performs the autopsies,|
|and as she is covering the bodies, John walks into the room to learn her findings. She tells him that they died in the Eagle crash about five years ago, and that the vacuum of space preserved their bodies. He tells her that he thinks the rest of the other Alphans made it to Santa Maria. She is concerned that what|
|happened to Regina might happen to them when they get closer to Earth and their other selves. In Main Mission, Victor discovers that the other Moon is traveling faster than theirs, and they will collide in forty-eight hours. John orders the first phase of Operation Exodus. Helena tells him that only he and Alan|
|should go, as their other selves are dead, but that she has no choice but to go to asses the medical implications. As they fly over Santa Maria, Alan spots a settlement from the air, and picks a place to land just beyond. They disembark, and approach the settlement. John decides to start at one end, and has|
|Alan and Helena work their way down from the other. John moves in closer and sees a hooded figure and watches as the figure becomes aware of two Moons in the sky. It's Victor. John reveals himself to the other Victor. On the other side of the settlement, Alan and Helena approach one of the|
|structures. Alan looks in the window to see Sandra and Helena cooking dinner. As Helena Moves to take a look, he tries to stop her. She pulls free and looks in the window. The other Helena sees her, as does Sandra, who screams, causing Paul, Kano, and Tanya to rush to their aid. Paul and Kano have their|
|stun guns drawn, but Koenig calls out to them before the situation can escalate. As the sun rises, Victor explains to John that this is not the Earth that they once knew. A world where mankind has never existed or has yet to be born. There are relics of another civilization scattered all over, but the "other"|
|Alphans are alone on this Earth. Victor is interrupted by the approach of Paul and Sandra's children, who run away at the sight of "the ghost" of John Koenig. Victor goes on to describe the risks involved with starting again, but tells John that it was worth it. Koenig says he thinks it was a wise choice.|
|Victor responds, that he should, since he was the one who made it. Alan visits Regina's grave, where Paul tells him of her death. Alan tells Paul that their Regina died at the same time, which Paul believe' is "hardly a coincidence." Helena meets with her other self, who asks if she understands what is|
|going on. Helena replies that all she knows is they were the same person once. The other tells her that she had married John Koenig, and that there was so much to do, even after his death, but now her time was done. She is ready to return to herself, and through Helena find all the people she loves again.|
|She exits, walks over to John, kisses him, and then dies. The "other" Alphans take her away. When they return, Paul tells Koenig that if the rest of "his" Alphans try to settle there, the same thing that happened to Regina and to their Helena will happen to all of them. Sandra tells him that they have children, a|
|future, and will not let them destroy it. Koenig tries to suggest building in another location, but they will not hear of it. The situation escalates, but Victor intervenes. He tells Koenig that they are trapped in different times, and that when the two Moons collide, time will reset itself, but if they are not back|
|on their Moon when time corrects itself, they will have no place to die. Helena asks John to take them back, saying that their place, and their time is on Alpha. They take off in their Eagle as the "other" Alphans wave goodbye, and head back to their Alpha as the Moons move closer together. Back in|
|Main Mission they await their fate. The two Moons join with the same shaking, pulsating light, and color with which they split apart. When the turbulence settles, and they pick themselves up, one look at the big screen shows them to be in a different region of space. Alan wonders aloud whether the|
|"other" Alphans made it, if they survived time correcting itself. Either in response, or as an extension of the thought, Koenig asks if they ever really existed. As they contemplate the unknowable workings of the universe, Helena reaches down, and picks up the bouquet of flowers given to her by the "other" Victor...|
Another Time, Another Place is a brilliant episode, dealing with alternate timelines in a way that is totally unique. Not only does it succeed on the large scale, with memorable images like another Moon disappearing into the distance over the lunar surface and two Moons in orbit around the Earth, but on the personal level, with several interwoven storylines focusing on how the splitting and merging of timelines affects several characters emotionally. This is a thoughtful, and thought provoking, story with wonderful performances by the entire cast.
The first storyline focuses on Regina Kesslann, played beautifully by Judy Geeson. I was impressed by how she threw herself into the role. She didn't hold anything back, and because of that, her performance was passionate and full of life. When she ran into Alan's arms, it was full tilt. You believed she desperately missed her husband, and couldn't wait to see him again. When she was in pain, you couldn't help but feel empathy for her. Her final words to Alan were both touching and heartbreaking. And when she died, you really felt that she was gone. She truly appeared lifeless.
Regina's story works not only to set up the situation at hand, but also lays the groundwork for different characters motivations later on in the story. Regina's "illness" serves as a warning to the Alphans that, what should be, the happy circumstance of returning to Earth may not be without a darker side. Her relationship with Alan, also gave Nick Tate a chance to work in a broader emotional range than he is usually afforded, and he makes the most of it. Regina's apparent psychosis gives us, and the Alphans a sneak peek into the lives (and deaths) of the alternate Alphans on Earth. Her death serves as a warning of the dangers of meeting your alternate self, and helps the Alphans know who should go down on the reconnaissance mission.
The second storyline focuses on John Koenig and Alan Carter. When they discover the corpses of their doppelgangers aboard the wrecked Eagle, it not only has the emotional impact upon them, but shows that Regina's "fantasy world" may be a little more real than they originally thought, and puts her mourning into better context. This also plays into the third storyline focusing on Helena.
Helena who is now convinced that Regina's alternate life is more than a fantasy is forced to go down to Earth and risk meeting the same fate. Barbara Bain plays this very subtly when the Eagle lands on Earth, and is very distant prior to disembarkation. She seems to hold her breath when the passenger module door opens, which conveys her fear nicely, without being overplayed. Helena is the only person who actually confronts her other self in the flesh, and they really make the most of it. The scene where the alternate Helena is willing to let go of her life to "return to herself and those she loves" is very moving, Barbara Bain makes the most of pulling double duty in the scene. She is at peace with her mortality, and yet excited to see John one more time as alternate Helena. And she is grief stricken as Helena, at the realization that she is the cause of the death of her counterpart.
Barry Morse does an excellent job with alternate Victor. While the character is not terribly different from how he usually plays Victor, we get to see a little different side of him. And the part which stood out the most for me was when Paul pulls the stun gun on Alan, and he orders them to "Wait!". This is the most forceful I've ever seen Victor in any episode, and displayed a power belied by his usually calm exterior.
Other highlights of this episode
would have to include some of the effects. The Alphans disembarking from the
Eagle was something they had never tried before, and never tried again, despite
it's successful execution (excluding the re-use of footage from this episode in
Testament of Arkadia).
They also did a brilliant job with the split screen scene of Helena meeting her alternate self. What really sold this shot was the use of "line of sight" between the two Helenas. As one Helena would stand, the other Helena's head would tilt up to follow her movement, and likewise, as the other would sit, her opposite would look down following the motion.
This episode benefited from being extremely moody. From the bleakness of the alternate Earth, to the utter darkness of Regina's nightmare. Her dementia, as filmed, was certainly darker than anything that I would have imagined based on the context of the story. There was some beautiful cinematography adding to the mood as well, including the scene just after the splitting of the two Moons, and the scenes in the abandoned Alpha. Speaking of which, I really liked the use of the Commander's chair to highlight the emptiness of the base.
All of theses aspects, along with others that escape me at the moment of this writing, set this episode apart as one of the truly stand out episodes of the series.
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Victor has no explanation for
the phenomenon that Alpha
Koenig compares Alpha's
situation to Regina's illness.
The Moon approaches a
"new" solar system.
Regina can't distinguish
between her two realities.
Regina exhibits physical
manifestations of her other reality.
The Alphans learn that they
are returning to Earth.
Koenig is baffled by the
mysteries of the universe.
Regina freaks out, and Alan
learns his part in her world.
Regina throws a wet blanket
on the Alphans' celebration.
|The Alphans discover another Moon|
Helena has reservations about
the Alphans meeting themselves.
The Moon is on a collision
course... with itself.
Victor muses that the Eagle's
crew is going back into future time.
Alternate Victor tells John what
he knows about the alternate Earth.
Alternate Paul and Alan discuss the
deaths of their Reginas.
|The Helenas meet.|
The alternate Alphans warn
against settling on alternate Earth.
|The Alphans survive the resetting of time.|