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After taking captives from a planet in the Centaurus star system, three spaceships set out for their home planet. En route, the captives on one of the ships revolt [apparently as a result of the racial prejudices of certain crew members], and the craft is forced to crash-land on an unexplored young planet. Three months later, the expedition's flagship, under the command of Admiral King, returns to the young planet to search for survivors. Owing to a time warp, 18 years have passed on the planet, which is inhabited by wild, prehistoric people and menacing creatures, including giant lizards and spiders; and a search party led by Commander Scott and Dr. Farrell finds the spaceship abandoned. The sole survivor of the crash, a Centaurian child, Tang, has grown into manhood, and when he encounters Linda, a Centaurian girl from the rescue ship, he takes her as his prisoner. Although she persuades him to return to the rescue ship, they are attacked by a group of wild inhabitants, and Tang is shot and wounded by mistake as Commander Scott comes to Linda's rescue. A threatening volcano forces the rescue ship to leave the planet, but Linda escapes to rejoin Tang. As Admiral King leaves the two young people to begin a new world, he gives the unknown planet a name--Earth.