Despite its title, The Earthling is not a science fiction opus. Instead, it's a low-key character study about a doomed man who finds a new lease on life by helping another lost soul. Suffering from terminal cancer, Patrick Foley (William Holden) returns to his native Australia. Intending to live out his last few months alone, Foley comes out of his shell long enough to teach impressionable young orphan Shawn Daley (Ricky Schroder) a few Bush Country survival skills. Ironically, director Peter Collinson was himself a cancer victim, who died shortly after the film's completion. The Earthling works best on a kiddie-matinee level, with Holden's performance and the gorgeous photography its chief assets.