A 1966 science fiction film directed by Arthur C. Pierce, starring Wendell Corey and John Agar.
A convoy of human spaceships are returning to their homeworld after a long mission; the mostly Caucasian crew is supplemented with "Centaurans", Human Aliens played by Asian actors and with a fittingly tense backstory of racial-slash-imperialistic tension. The tension comes to a head when one ship in the convoy is hijacked by some of the Centaurans aboard and crash-lands on the third planet of a distant solar system, killing most of the crew. Nevertheless, the admiral commanding the convoy disobeys orders and turns back to rescue any survivors of the lost ship.
Because of Time Dilation, the rescue ship only arrives some 20 years after the original ship crashed (local time). The crew begins searching the site for any clues to what might have happened, with many falling prey to the dangers of the jungle planet in the process. Meanwhile, one of the Centaurian crew, a girl named Linda, meets Tang, a young man of Centaurian descent and falls in love with him, while discovering another part of the story of the lost ship.
In the end, the admiral has to decide how far he'll go to protect his own, and Linda has to decide where she'll call home.
This film contains examples of:
- Fantastic Racism: Against the Centaurians.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: This big reveal is hinted at very early on.
- Parental Abandonment: For Tang, mostly because they're stuck inside a block of ice. (Or behind a pane of glass, but Willing Suspension of Disbelief and everything...)
- Slurpasaur: The rescue team encounters a "monster" that's just a close-up of an iguana.
- Time Dilation: In the few weeks it takes Cosmos I to reach the planet, twenty years have already passed on said planet.
- Too Dumb to Live: And why, pray tell, do they need to use that tiny branch to traverse the acid pit, when there's a clear path around the pit all of five feet away???
- Twist Ending: It's an Adam and Eve Plot, and this was Earth All Along.
The third planet from the sun will be known as... Earth.