I’ve been enjoying a bit of a Martin Sheen festival here at home. After reading the biography he and his son, Emilio Estevez wrote, I’ve been trying to watch some of the movies they told tales about in their book. Today I watched The Final Countdown (1980). What an amazing time travel adventure.
Sheen is an efficiency expert sent out to observe on a aircraft carrier. They go through some kind of electrical storm in the Pacific and end up in the middle of the Japanese invasion force heading for Pearl Harbour, Dec. 6th, 1941. They observe two fighter planes en route that strafe an American yacht carrying a senator, his assistant, and her dog, Charlie. James Farentino plays the carrier’s wing commander and rescues the survivors plus one of the pilots they have struck down. The captain is played by Kirk Douglas. The carrier is in a war situation and the top brass on board are unsure as to who their commander-in-chief is. It just might be Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
What ensues is an esoteric debate about how to proceed. The senator, in charge of the senate committee of defence, is also from 1941, and had disappeared just before the attack. What do they do with him? Do they engage in war? What do they tell the crew? When the Japanese prisoner grabs a gun and takes over the sick bay, it complicates everything further. I’m not going to spoil this for you. It’s an incredible piece of alternate history science fiction. I absolutely loved it. * * * * *