SIX HOURS TO LIVE
First Aired: 9-8-1969 (28)
It is four o'clock PM at a farmhouse: Steve and Dan, with a complaining Fitzhugh, take oats and cornbread from sacks in a store room. Farmer Harry Cass enters and shoves a knife into the sack---aiming for Steve!
Dan and Fitz make it to a rat hole, followed by Steve. Cass throws the knife. His wife Martha stops him, not believing his story of little people. They do not seem to have heard of little people. The three Earth men overhear the pair talk about the execution of 23 year old Martin Reed who will be killed in six hours for a murder which Harry really committed. They have stolen money also. Harry puts tin over the hole. Back at Spindrift, Fitzhugh complains about ratholes, mouseholes, gopherholes, having to hide, and at their insistence on helping Reed, a man they don't know. Betty stays in the ship with the radio. Dan stops Fitzhugh's complaining with telling him that this total stranger could have been him. The other four leave (Mark, Val, Dan, and Steve) to go to the pharmacy for a tranquilizer. Fitz notices they left the pin and rope behind. He takes it to them. Reed tells Warden Sloan he is innocent. Sloan tells him the governor will call if that is true. The five Earth people climb into the pharmacy through a window they cut they screen on. Fitz smells real food, "steak and onions" and Steve pats Fitzhugh's stomach. He and Mark call Joe Simmons at the Morning Bulletin. Fitz finds a truth serum and Val jokes, "And you never tell the truth." Steve sets up a meeting with the newsreporter Joe. As Dan gets sparean, a tranquilizer, Fitz's sneeze knocks the can over. Val defends Fitzhugh to Steve, "It was an accident," when Mark tells him what happened. Steve delays the druggist, who heard the noise, until the others can escape, Dan not looking too happy that Steve would sacrifice himself to let them get away. As it turns out, Steve does also. The five meet Simmons at an old gas station on the corner of Monolith and 7th. He hears their story and moves to a phone booth, against Steve's request not to: if he warns the Casses they'll leave town for sure!
Simmons sees that the phone is out of order. He tells them the farmer couple took Reed in like a son and to all outsider eyes, treated him like a son. After more discussion, with Steve ready to give up on Simmons, Joe finally agrees to help. The giant is amazed when Steve suggests taking Dan and he into the prison by having them ride inside his camera! Steve sends Val, Mark, and Fitz to the Casses farmhouse to try to stop them from leaving if they can. Fitz doesn't like it as the two pilots are carried away by the giant---they are virtually prisoners now. The trio pass a water pump and puddle. Mark starts to drill through the tin cover over the mousehole, using the thermal gun, but a beam falls, landing across Fitzhugh's legs and knocking him out. Debre falls from the top of the wood. Val gets water and then quiets Fitz so the giants will not hear his groaning. She also stops the beam from rolling as Mark gets it off him. In the meantime, Harry listens to a radio broadcast which tells that the recluse Julian Angus (or Ankers) was the victim of the crime and at ten o'clock Martin Reed will die at the State Penitentary. It goes on to reveal spokesmen from the Hall of Justice have expressed doubt that the governor will issue a reprieve. When Joe Simmons arrives at the gate of the prison, gateman Arnold insists on taking Joe's camera! Arnold even pulls his gun out on Simmons, who uses the excuse of freedom of the press and the publicity that his death will bring on the state and the Warden. Warden Sloan is called and he tells Arnold to allow Simmons through---but when Simmons gets into the Warden's office---Sloan takes the camera and tells him it will stay with him until he leaves!
Mark climbs up to the table top to use the electro gun on the radio's back. Nag Martha stops Harry from drinking and from leaving. She hid the money they took from the old man Harry killed (if he did kill him---I'd bet Martha did the murder!). Simmons is able to pop open his camera, allowing Steve and Dan to hide in Reed's dinner tray and they make contact with the amazed young man--who also doesn't seem to know about little people. Sloan tells Joe, "It makes no difference what I belive. I have a job to do and I do it." (THIS IS A DIRECT LINE FROM THE TV SERIES THE FUGITIVE for which Dan Ullman often wrote!--not a bad influence and worthy of GIANTS to use it). Joe calls the Casses, prompting them to begin packing for a getaway. Martha acted up her motherly image for Joe, then just after hanging up says to Harry, crassly, "We're leaving!" The reprieve will not be given. Dan tranquilizes Reed's guard. Steve works on the lock as Reed holds him up to it. After getting it open, Steve orders him to put the guard's clothes on and not to be so nervous. At the farm, from behind a coat rack, Val, Mark, and Fitzhugh watch the giants prepare to leave. They decide to get the car keys to stop the Cass couple from leaving. Reed takes Simmon's car and puts Dan and Steve down outside it. Alarms ring out all over the area! The gateman stops Reed!
Steve and Dan tranquilize the gateman, Reed scoops them up, and he drives out. Sloan calls a captain and tells him maybe Reed will want to see a chaplain (once more proving LAND OF THE GIANTS world has some kind of religion on it). Just then, Sloan gets notice of Reed's escape. Martha, while packing and nagging Harry, seems too protective of her good china which she puts in their car (perhaps this box is where the stolen money is and not her china or both may be hidden in it). While the giants pack, Fitz and Mark get the car keys from the table top while Val helps from the floor. They lower the keys down. Finished, the two men climb down and hide at the coat rack. Steve and Dan arrive, calling first. The two use the razor-hatchet-matchstick to keep the Cass phone connected to Sloan's office at the jail. Reed shows up, acting like a restless, vengeful spirit. He gets them to confess. Sloan calls the police. Martha feels Reed is real when she bumps into him, pushed by Harry. When she goes to her bedroom to get the money (supposedly), she returns with a rifle--ready to kill "an escape prisoner" like a good citizen is bound by duty to do! Harry even tells her not to! She points the gun at Reed!
Sloan tells the police to check Reed's hometown with the City Attorney's office. The regular police arrive, stopping Martha and taking her rifle. The police arrest the two. Sergeant Miller suspects he will find the money in the car. Reed inadvertently thanks the little people in his own secretive way. When he goes outside, Miller finds the hatchet on the phone but wondering and looking around a bit with his eyes, he does not search the house. After Miller leaves too, Fitzhugh puffed, "That woman---she's enough to drive a man into permenant bachlorhood!" The others laugh and the five leave their hiding spot behind the back of the now broken radio.
REVIEW: A rather routine but enjoyable tale aptly acted by all involved with great guest stars. Simmons was a good character--a moral, yet stubborn reporter. He would have made a good, reoccuring ally to the Earth travelers. Anderson is a vetern of films and TV, having acted n many classics (FORBIDDEN PLANET, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN TV SHOW, THE BIONIC WOMAN and more). Martha is properly annoying. From her actions, one would wonder if she was the actual killer. If not, I am sure she prompted Harry Cass to do the murder as much as she could. He seems to drink a lot and maybe he felt guilty or worried over the murder. But he didn't want her to shoot Reed at the end. My money (pun not intended) is on her being the real killer and maybe blaming Harry--we never find out the real details of the murder--at least not specifics. We also never find out if the money they stole is in the car or not---or if the box containing Martha's so cared about china ware is really where the money is hidden and she put that in the car. Still, it doesn't spoil a rather good, tense episode. Having a deadline is a good idea to accentuate the tension. The plot, nothing new, was also once used as one of the segements in the old THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN show, one of the best of that series. Sam Elliot in an early role does a very good, nervous young man. I also think Dan Ullman used one of his lines or some other writer for the line of Warden Sloan, "...It makes no difference what I believe. I have a job to do and I do it." This sounds very like several speeches made by Lt. Gerad in the excellent THE FUGITIVE TV series which Dan contributed to often. Not a bad influence to use although it has more impact coming from Gerad in THE FUGITIVE since is the one chasing Kimble. Now if Inspector Kobick said it about the little people and whether or not they are enemy aliens or not...it would have had more impact in some other episode, perhaps THE UNSUSPECTED, NIGHTMARE, or DOOMSDAY or some previous Kobick episode. The cog in soceity just doing his job, following orders and not questioning what he is doing---blindly following a system he believes is right---it is the system, not the individual and not the special circumstance that is important. There was always that feel to the SID and Kobick stories. Although some mention is made of the scare of the state and of fearing it (loyal bound duty of citizens, annoyance of the press), this episode had more democratic conventions and institutions than any other (governors, City Attorney, Hall of Justice, the free enterprize of the pharmacy business). All these could just be a ruse by the Supreme Council to make the dictatorship-oligarchy rule by a few to look as if it were democratic---or it could be this is the running of the state when it is not facing an emergency---such as the seeming invasion by little people. When the emergencies come, then the stricter government may come into play under the powers of the Supreme Council. Some giants here almost seem nice---Sloan is not the evil monster that Warden Barmak was in THE CREED. I realize these are two different jails but the warden in SIX HOURS TO LIVE seems like a nice guy, underneath really caring about Reed, allowing for him to have a meal of hash browns. Again, hash browns give us another reason to think that Earth and this giant planet are connected in some way. I doubt any of that was planned--it is just conjecture by the fans and the writers of the spinoff material--the novels and such---I doubt the writers had any guide to write for the show because it seemed they used whatever institutions the story called for. This produced, in the overall look of the entire show, a mishmash of oligarchy, democratic overtones, and police state tactics. It gave LAND OF THE GIANTS more mystery that is for sure but it was extremely inconsistent among itself. The democratic episodes don't seem to contradict themselves. Similarly, the police state episodes don't contradict themselves but when comparing the democratic government segments to the police state ones, it leaves one with a jarring feeling of---what is going on? Still, it made the LAND OF THE GIANTS more puzzling. Again, we have names of the giants that do not seem the least bit alien--Joe, Martin, Harry, Martha, Reed, Sloan, Miller, Arnold--these giant names couldn't seem more American and Earth like! Other episodes that have Earth like names include TERROR GO ROUND (Pepe, Luigi, Carlos--Italian and Spanish giants?), DOUBLE CROSS (somewhat--Hook and Lobo aren't exactly normal names or are nicknames but they sound more Earth like than alien), THE INSIDE RAIL (Rivers, Moley, Mannikin), GIANTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ (Biff, Hanley, Nell, Fred), THE CLONES (although Arno and Gault are alien sounding names, Gault's first name is Greta), COMEBACK (Max is not ver alien even if Quigg and Krull are, and this is the episode with the infamous French doors that the giants have on their land), NIGHTMARE (Andre, Berger), HOME SWEET HOME (Ranger Wilson !?!?--no relation to Mark---THAT I KNOW OF---and Ranger Jack), OUR MAN O'REILLY (with Harry the bartender, Jake and Cunningham---no relation the HAPPY DAYS family BUT the name Krenko is alien enough), PANIC (which has alien sounding names such as Marad and Kirmus but then has Evers, Rogers, and Willis!), PAY THE PIPER (with Timmy), DOOMSDAY (North and Grear don't sound alien but Kamber could be and his home town is not alien sounding--Cedarsville), THE DEADLY DART (with Earth names like Barker, Grayson but also some alien names as well), and A SMALL WAR (Alek could be alien in its spelling but it is also sounding like Alec or Alex---no relation to Fitzhugh), and finally THE MARIONETTES (we have Lisa!!!!, Goalby, Brady--no relation the BUNCH, knife thrower Carl or Carlos, and Diane--winner of the appear on LAND OF THE GIANTS contest). We also get last names in some episodes (the families in both SHELL GAME and RESCUE have first and last names (as does Alek's father in A SMALL WAR). Other giants in other episodes do not give such first and last names (SEVEN LITTLE INDIANS, THE SECRET CITY OF LIMBO). Is it Mr., Mrs., Sir, Captain, etc. or is it just Bryk, Melzac, and Gorak, etc.? Sometimes one writer would use both alien sounding names and contrivances as well as common Earth ones---in the episode!
The end theme for SIX HOURS TO LIVE, which I've wandered from slightly, was the first season music theme song. Music from this episode was lifted from SEVEN LITTLE INDIANS, THE CHASE, and others, used to good extent. And for once---HOORAY!---NO ONE BECAME CAPTURED BY GIANTS!!!! In fact, the little people operated in secret here--as if they were the team on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, quietly doing their cons and hidden tactics to fool the giants into thinking something that was not really happening. Although it much cruder here than on a much more cerebral show like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, the feeling of being spies and undercover operatives who hear things they shouldn't and manipulate events behind the scenes is here. One flaw is that the Casses and Reed don't seem familiar with the idea of little people. Is the government keeping them from some people? THE INSIDE RAIL gave us the racetrack bum Moley, who didn't know about little people. Barry asked him if he read the newspapers, implying that there have been stories of little people in the papers---but there have been stories about Bigfoot in our papers and he, it, may not be real or conceived by some folk as being real. Whatever the case, the fact that they did not know about little people is odd and could have been explained: they are living far off on a farm and Reed is from an even more backward country or area than the Casses, from a place that never knew of little people. Joe is aware of little people.