Interstellar travel, time travel, and parallel worlds, are the three final frontiers of humanity. Our current level of knowledge in these three areas are almost non-existent yet our imagination continually leaps us forward, or brings the future to our present. This is where Alpha Gateway or The Gateway is about. The beauty and consequences of a technology that allows us to travel between parallel worlds.
As with any review, SPOILER alert!
Alpha Gateway or The Gateway was an Australian indie Sci-Fi drama film about a particle physicist who accidentally discovered parallel world travel. Jane (Jacqueline McKenzie) is grieving over the loss of her husband which prompted her to take their experiment to the final level, human transfer.
Jane Chandler found her husband’s doppelganger and brought him back to her world and lived happily ever after. But “lived happily ever after” is fantasy. Her troubles began the moment she stepped through the machine into the other world. From the scientific concerns to the ethical issues of a well-documented person who died in an accident to that person showing up alive and healthy.
Also starring in the film is Myles Pollard as Matt Chandler (Jane’s husband), and Ben Mortley as Regg (Jane’s partner). The story was written by Michael White and director John V. Soto.
The acting was good especially coming from veteran actors Jacqueline McKenzie and Myles Pollard. From playing a very happy, perfect couple, with two perfect kids, to having their world shattered because of reality. It was clear that they brought in their experiences from their respective earlier films in this one.
On the design side, the transition from one world to another was kept simple. No over intricate and multi-layer contrast between worlds which are usually seen in this genre. One world is all scientificy (if that is even word) of white and blue, while the other was black and red. Easily, one would identify the white and blue motif for the original world as our world but it could also mean a corporate-controlled world. While the black and red combination could be easily associated with Authoritarian Communism, Fascism, or even Nazism, but could only be another violent world.
The same can be said for the effects. They did not go for huge machines with a lab composing of a hundred scientists and specialists, or some electrifying effects whenever the machine was doing its magic. By choosing to keep it simple, they prevented any distraction from the message of the movie. Simple is better. Science-fiction is not all about grand effects with huge differences to differentiate one world from another.
Then there is the story. It is rare today to see a film with a strong message, Alpha Gateway or The Gateway is one of those rare few. Does having access to a parallel world the answer to our loss? Do we have the right to bring someone across worlds even if circumstances seems to have aligned? Is our personal biases or need more worth than the safety of our family and the world? What does it mean to wake up in a world where parallel world travel is a reality? These are the questions tackled by the film and leaves audiences to answer for themselves. How far would you go in the name of love, family, and science?
But all stories must end. As with most movies of this genre it ends where the audience can feel good about the movie and the rest are up for their imagination. In this movie, it went beyond and introduced even bigger questions. It ended in a way where another film can be made or a TV series can continue from. As a Sci-Fi story, this is important, engage the audience. Keep the story open.Overall, I give Alpha Gateway or The Gateway 9.3 out of 10 stars. A must watch if you are a fan of Sci-Fi parallel world drama which engages the audience to put themselves in the shoes of the characters.
Bonus: How Many Worlds Were Featured?
In total, there were six (6) worlds shown in the movie.
- Alpha World (Level 1; 350 PW; 36.9MHz): The origin world of Jane, our main character.
- Beta World (Level 3; 350 PW; unknown): Origin world of Matt “Beta”; the one Jane “Alpha” brought back home.
- Charlie World (Level 1; 350 PW; unknown): The world where Jane “Alpha” saw herself and her family complete.
- Delta World (Level 1; unknown; unknown): The world where Jane “Alpha” thought she’s in her own world.
- Echo World (Level 3; unknown; unknown): Home world of Matt “Echo” who was in the Delta World.
- F World (Level 2; 400 PW; unknown): Where Matt “Echo” was sent to by Jane “Alpha”.
In this film, there are two things that governs parallel world travel. The power and the frequency. We only know for certain that Jane’s Alpha World is at 350 petawatts power and 36.9MHz frequency; and the Beta World and Charlie World are at 350 PW as well.
The “Level” in the list above refers to the Max Tegmark’s multiverse classification system. Level 1 is the infinite multiverse, Level 2 is the chaotic eternal inflation, and Level 3 is the Everettian Many-worlds theory or quantum branches. There is a Level 4 where everything is different. As what Regg “Alpha” said, we only want a Level 1 and Level 3 parallel world.
When Jane “Alpha” got stuck in the Beta World and met Regg “Beta”, they had their settings wrong when they used Regg’s machine. They landed in the Charlie World where Jane saw herself and her family complete and happy. She ran back out and told Regg “Beta” they were in the wrong world.
Then when Regg “Beta” sent Jane “Alpha” to another world again, in their rush, Regg “Beta” probably had a minor but deadly error when he set the frequency or the power. Thus, Jane “Alpha” landed on Delta World, a world where events transpired almost exactly as it did in her own world (the Alpha World).
Later, Jane “Alpha” was successful in stopping Matt and sent him to the F World (which she didn’t know of course, she only assumed it’s a world far from her their world). Two months later, Regg “Beta” showed up at her home and told Jane “Alpha” that she is in the wrong world.
In other words, the Myles she sent to the F World was Matt from the Echo World. We knew this Matt was from Echo World because Jane “Alpha” was holding his weapon, similar to the weapon she found with Matt “Beta”. In addition to that, this revelation also meant that Matt “Beta” is still in her own world–the Alpha World.
Two months she was living in a world that she thought was her world while Matt “Beta” did whatever he wants with her own actual children and relatives.
Where is the other Jane?
The location of Jane “Delta” is anybody’s guess. She could still be stuck in the Echo World or lived for two months in another world similar to the Alpha World and Delta World, she thought was her own world. She probably received the same bad news from Regg “Echo”.
We can only hope there was another Jane that ended up in the Alpha World to send Matt “Beta” to the F World.
Is a bibliophile and technophile other than being an early adopter, an avid gamer, anime otaku, trekker, and photographer. He is an advocate of “Free Culture”, “Open Knowledge”, “Creative Commons”, “Free/Libre Open-Source Software”, and the “Fediverse” (federated social-network).
His first online project was in 1998 when he launched the unofficial website for Ansalon MUD (a text-based online game) and his own community forums Laibcoms.Community. Today, he owns a variety of online properties and help others establish their online presence.
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The Gateway (2018) to Parallel Worlds by Yuki (雪亮) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Legal Notice.