Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) Gerry Anderson Pulls Away The Strings

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) poster

The incredible had happened. The mindblowing discovery of a new planet in our solar system! How can that be? Hidden behind the sun, following our own Earth’s orbital pathway, was another celestial body. Always hidden. The year is 2069. With data being processed from a returning Sun Probe, the shock findings throw intrigued and mild panic through the European Space Exploration Council. EUROSEC’s director Jason Webb (Patrick Wymark) mind goes into overdrive. They need to urgently send a manned mission to the mysterious new planet immediately.

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) eurosec base commandjourney to the far side of the sun (1969) eurosec's director jason webb (patrick wymark)

A few snags! One, they haven’t a rocket! Two, they haven’t enough money to build one. Especially in the short time slot before another agency beats them to it. And three, they need a pilot! What if there’s aliens? Jason Webb knew exactly the guy they needed. He’s dealt with extraterrestrials before.  He’d changed his name since and became the chief American astronaut at NASA. Glenn Ross’s past was only know to some, lucky Jason Webb was one. Ross had tussled with alien beings from a dying planet before. Under the name David Vincent (Roy Thinnes). If there were to be Invaders, this was the guy you wanted on your team.

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) colonel glenn ross roy thinnesjourney to the far side of the sun (1969) glenn ross roy thinnes jason webb (patrick wymark) john kane (ian hendry)

Jason Webb – “We discover a NEW planet! In OUR OWN solar system! Military and scientific implications BEYOND comprehension! We ask our friends, for a few dollars, and it’s, No Go!.”
David Poulson – “One billion dollars, Jason!”
Jason Webb – “Cheap at TWICE the price!”

So after a breach in security and the small change of three thousand million dollars. The rocket gets made. Now he’s got his Glenn Ross onboard but he needs an astrophysicist. More like steamrollered, Jason Webb puts forward his, so called friend John Kane (Ian Hendry) to reluctantly sit next to Ross on this dangerous mission. Cue harsh montage of terrifying and ridiculously tough endurance tests for John to be put through. Then the brave twosome are strapped to a colossal bomb ready to be blasted around the sun to their strange destination.

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) john kane (ian hendry) put through space rocket testjourney to the far side of the sun (1969) glenn ross roy thinnes jason webb in space john kane (ian hendry)

Tagline – Man has conquered the moon with the epic Apollo 11 flight! Now take another momentous journey!

What will happen on this fantastic voyage? A six week return Journey to the Far Side of the Sun? Lucky they get to sleep for three weeks, wired up to a hibernation machine. As they drift into deep sleep, blissful music floats around with cascading mountains of technicolor filling the screen. Tranquil beautiful visions accompanied with the strange mellow tones of the Theremin* so trippy, so relaxing…….. until that is, everything goes tits up!

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) eurosec's nasa space ship dockingjourney to the far side of the sun (1969) colonel glenn ross roy thinnes floating space

What will happen to Glenn Ross and John Kane when they arrive at the curious strange planet? What will they find? Could there actually be life? Will there be aliens wanting to suck out their brains through a straw? One thing’s for sure there’s lots of spinning disc drives, data print outs, control panels, Herbert Lom! and lots of thoughtful moody looking in mirrors! It’s well worth checking this fine, end to the sixties, science fiction gem.

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) colonel glenn ross roy thinnes smoking mirror

A few things

  • Directed by Robert Parrish who had made a few film noirs back in the 50s. Cry Danger (1951) is superb and also in the same year The Mob which I haven’t seen yet.
  • The story and screenplay are by the magnificent Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. After a “string” of extremely popular TV productions of children’s (for adults too I must add) fantasy adventure stories featuring puppets. So many classic shows. Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds and later in the 80’s Terrahawks.
  • Journey to the Far Side of the Sun I believe and I maybe wrong, was Gerry Anderson’s first and only attempt at an adult science fiction film, breaking away from the family entertainment market. Though Space 1999 did have some TV movies, though I believe they were double episodes edited together?
  • Known originally in the UK as Doppelgänger.

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) colonel glenn ross roy thinnes lynn loring shower scenejourney to the far side of the sun (1969) lisa hartmann played by loni von friedl roy thinnes

  • How could I forget the two super beautiful ladies. Roy Thinnes wife at the time Lynn Loring playing, well his wife Sharon Ross. And the EUROSEC scientist Lisa Hartmann played by Loni von Friedl.
  • Lookout for the Mongolian Sea Rescue Agency outfit! I desperately need that for the next time I go out dancing!

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) nasa future spacecraft ship

  • The incredible special effects and miniature work were overseen by Derek Meddings. Who worked with the Andersons through most of the projects. He’d also go on to work on a lot of the Roger Moore years of James Bond.
  • Composer Barry Gray applies his wonderful sound to the film. A long collaborator with the Andersons. Working on, to name a few, the theme tunes for Stingray, Thunderbirds, UFO and my favourite Space 1999. *Now I’m sure that is a Theremin during that mellow sequence, please let me know if not.
  • Parker Solas Probe – NASA has a robotic spacecraft launched in 2018 and currently on it’s way to probe the outer corona of the Sun! Whaaaaat it all might come true!

journey to the far side of the sun (1969) opening credit scene

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun has always been high on my favorite sci-fi film list. I just love the imagination, the set designs, and the character ideas. But most of all is the absolutely beautiful, realistic miniature work. The “grand scale” of the rockets and docking spaceships, land craft is outstanding and still stand up so impressively today.

With all it’s flare and quality special effects the story does unfortunately lose itself in the last quarter. Still I admire it’s ambition and I’m a sucker for 60s futuristic furniture design. And to add to that, it has David Vincent and that’s enough for me.

PS Thanks always for popping by my humble movie blog. Here’s a few more things.

Here’s my appearance with David Vincent on that lost episode of The Invaders called Mind Melt.

And Colonel Glenn Ross helped me out on a music mix sometime back! The Soul Mystery Number Five.

13 thoughts on “Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) Gerry Anderson Pulls Away The Strings

  1. Oooh, another of my faves, warts and all, as well as a film I mean to buy at some point. I do love that model work and the film taking a more serious tone (although some of those UFO episodes were decidedly kind of mature in a few ways – and not just thanks to those ladies in their skimpy moonwear and wigs, lol).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes your so right bro, the model work is something else. The detail! yep for sure UFO did go off on a more serious tone. Been eyeing up getting the boxset to rewatch the whole series again soon. Lots of the sets were recycled from “Far Side Sun” for UFO I read. More shows need skimpy moonwear and a purple wigs. Might have to order one myself! A purple wig that is lol 🙂


      • Oh, absolutely get that box set when you can. It’s out of print here, but I dug one up a while back and it was well worth the effort. You’ll see that Anderson did indeed reuse stuff and seemed to be on a budget on other bits (as in they seemed to have only one type of each life size actual car in the series built when they weren’t using models). Also, some of the discs have deleted scenes or alternate takes that make for a nice comparison (the more violent intro to the first episode, for example).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joachim. Yeah I kind of touch on the last quarter losing itself unfortunately but up to then it was most excellent. I’m a sucker for 60s future furniture design so I was in my element. The miniature work is outstanding too. All the best….. Mikey


  2. After watching Roy in The Invaders, this is one of his I’ve always wanted to see. And when I do see him in it, I probably won’t be able to see his character as anyone else but David Vincent…especially with the TV series and movie being filmed at about the same time. It would be cool if someone on the film set had some fun, and shot a scene with a man in a room with Webb who had a crooked pinky finger!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those dastardly aliens just couldn’t get the hands right could they! haha yes that would of been well funny. I’m the same and just see David Vincent. Loved The Invaders so much. …. Far Side is amazing to look at for its late 60s design and imagination. I’ve always loved it. There’s lots to really like and there’s even a great cameo by Herbert Lom. 🙂


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