THE WEIRD WORLD
WRITER-ELLIS ST. JOSEPH
IDEA: ANTHONY WILSON
Mark, Fitzhugh, and Steve put out a fire started by a pipe smoking giant. In the jungle, Valerie, Betty, and Barry are brought to an Earth sized tape recorder by Chipper. Back at the outpost, Steve, Mark, and Fitzhugh are attacked by a giant crow.
Mark is hurt in the attack but a giant boy, without realizing it, frightens it off by firing his toy laser rifle. The toy goes out, the result of dead battery, which the boy drops into the forest. Steve gets the discarded battery which can help recharge the ship's solar batteries. Dan calls--the girls and Barry have turned up with something really important. Fitzhugh notices a box of provisions and his knife missing. Steve tells them they can't bother with it now and asks Mark how bad his arm is. They take off and now it is the time we see the titles. En route back to Spindrift, an unseen presence stalks them. Steve won't leave one man alone in the jungle, even to find out what it is. They hook up the tape recorder to the battery back at the ship camp. On the tape, Major Kagan tells them a year has passed since the giants captured his ship and equipment. He also explains giants have poor night vision and that he and his men will try to recapture their rocketship. Betty wonders if they are from the National Air Research Team in the Space Orbiting Lab over Earth. Night continues: they all turn in; Fitzhugh falls asleep on guard. Barry wakes up, finds Chipper is gone and gets no support from a mostly asleep Fitzhugh, and moves off to find his dog. He is grabbed, his mouth covered by a wild man in rags of a uniform.
Kagan has Barry and takes him to a gopher hole saying, "I've seen things that would drive a man insane." He questions Barry once inside the gopher hole where he has been living. Barry gives him a rundown on who those other people are. He tells the boy he can never go back to his friends believing them to be working as spies for the giants. Val alerts Captain Burton that Barry is missing and the man and Val stare at Fitzhugh accusingly. Steve rescues Barry from Kagan just as the boy escaped from the gopher hole when a giant gopher caused some shaking. Kagan is about to fire his bow and arrow at Barry but Steve stops him just in time. Steve brings the man back to camp where they all question him. Kagan refuses to answer questions; Mark tells him he will and threatens him; Betty tells "Mr. Wilson" that's not the way--they can only get through with kindness. Steve appeals to him by turning on the taped logs Kagan left as a warning to those who follow him into this world. Kagan tells them the giants have his ship at a Science Center, a complex of buildings used for various studies--the giants technology is 50 years behind Earth's in most areas but they shouldn't be underestimated, they're very clever. They will go to his rocket to find it and fly it back to Earth. When the others go inside the Spindrift, Val taunting Fitzhugh, "Packed already, Mr. Fitzhugh?" Fitz says, "Miss Scott!" Val goes inside. Fitzhugh, holding his valise, tricks Kagan into thinking they are lying.
Fitz calls all the others Judas Goats who lead other goats to slaughter. They captured him, too, Fitzhugh says--the victim of another spaceship wreck. Kagan tells Fitzhugh the boy is so innocent and the captain sincere. Fitzhugh lies about the others, making Kagan take him toward the Science Center via his gopher hole. Mark hooks up a spot light to the giant battery for Dan to use. Steve and Mark pursue Kagan and Fitzhugh after the others come out and find them gone. Val quips, "Looks like our thief has stolen our astronaut." A gopher, digging another tunnel, drops dirt and rock on Kagan and Fitzhugh, trapping Kagan under rocks and dirt. Steve uses flares Kagan stole from the outpost to delay the gopher smashing through the hole it made--when it crashes through it will kill all of them. Mark and Fitzhugh help undig Kagan while Steve uses the bow to fire an arrow to kill the gopher (which screeches like a hawk). Fitz tells them they can't blame a wanted man for trying. Kagan tells Steve he can't go back because of something he vaguely remembers--the terror--which is so horrible he can't recall what it is--some kind of death trap that trapped his men. Steve insists they've been all through this and Kagan promised to take them. He promises to try. Steve discusses the plans with the others. Mark and Steve lead the girls across an open area street to get to a lamp post just in front of the Science Center. Kagan leads Dan, Barry, and Fitzhugh through the gopher tunnels to the wall of the building near a vent (this was the easy way in--why didn't they all go this way?). Mark and Steve open the lamp post wiring door to put the light out since a watchman is there---and may see them, but the giant man hears this noise and turns toward them!
Getting the light off, the watchman is distracted long enough for the four to sneak inside--unseen: Steve tells them he can get the grappling hook to the door to open it. They run inside and open a locked vent for Dan and Fitzhugh on the inside. Barry and Major Kagan wait outside--Kagan to afraid to go into the vent. Steve, Dan, and Mark climb up a table where a giant scientist is sleeping on his desk. The find Kagan's ship--dismantled. While they look for what they can salvage, the giant starts to wake up. The trio climb down--Mark on the rope, Steve and Dan on the lamp cord...which moves the lamp, drawing the giant's attention. He looks under the table as they climb down. Once down, Steve pulls the lamp over the table and it falls, causing darkness. They hide in a corner as the giant goes and gets a watchman, telling him he heard something in that room. The two giants return and the Earthers scatter. Barry, hearing a noise, runs inside the drain and runs straight into spider web and is stuck. Steve and Betty are trapped in another corner but Steve uses the hatchet on the giant's hand. Fitz tries to get into the drain but sees the huge feet of the giants coming at him. Dan and Mark explode the magnesium in the light bulb, hooking it up to their battery, blinding the giants. Everyone gets out the vent. Kagan is paralyzed by fear as he hears Barry's screams for help from him: a giant spider--a tarantula is crawling down the web at him.
Kagan runs into the vent and pulls Barry off the web but falls into it himself. As Barry runs to the arriving others, they witness Kagan being killed by the creature, wide eyed. The next morning, Barry finishes Kagan's last log entry, "Major Kagan died last night. He was a very brave man. He saved my life. Thanks to him, we gathered valuable information which will help return to Earth."
REVIEW: Perhaps an even more action packed episode than THE CRASH and one which gives us a bit more about these stranded people from Spindrift. The giants were huge, frightening, very lumbering monstrosities with little involvement in the interactions. This made them extremely scary and more alien than they would later seem, especially combined with the wide angle special lenses. Angles also aimed upward from lower points of view of the Earthlings perspective (ie--looking at and seeing the giants) and downward from above points of view of the giants (ie--looking at and seeing the little people). The angles were kept throughout the show's two seasons but the lenses seem to go three fourths through the first year. This is a pity as they made the giants seem very...giant. Later in the series, the roles of the giants were wisely expanded with more lines and more personalities. This show had to this in order to survive. Val and Fitzhugh in THE WEIRD WORLD still call Steve, "Captain" instead of the later, less formal, "Steve." Fitzhugh is called, "Mr. Fitzhugh" almost all the time. He is sly, devious, and almost evil in his conning of Kagan--willing to abandon the others just because he says he is a wanted man. Whether he was or not is a question open for interpretation by fans and viewers. The fact that this was aired so late in the season (11th) makes this confusing to viewers--Fitzhugh was semi-good in some of the episodes that were aired before this one. The effect of his "conversion" to more of an ally in THE TRAP--is lessened by it coming 8th in the air order--before his "badness" in THE WEIRD WORLD. Just another reason for me to harp on the production order being the only real order to view the series. The special effects in THE WEIRD WORLD are fantastic. One problem with this one is that the gopher sounds very unlike a gopher (just as the cat sounded very unlike a cat in THE CRASH and more like a lion). It sounds like a hawk. I appreciate that the production team wanted to make it sound as if the animals were louder and more fierce than their Earth counterparts and were not the same in proportion and would sound very odd to our ears; however it doesn't work and doesn't look right; it being more scary hearing a cat be a cat even when it is towering over our spaceship. It would have been more appropriate if the cat and gopher sounded like an Earth cat and gopher (in that order!). This episode, production wise, was the first to feature another Earth person stuck on the LAND OF THE GIANTS. Other include THE GOLDEN CAGE (which oddly enough was chosen to air a week after this one--two Earth "guest stars" one right after the other. To add insult to injury, air order-wise, THE LOST ONES, another Earth visitor tale--visitors actually--was aired right after THE GOLDEN CAGE. This gave viewers three other shipwrecked survivors in a row, week after week for three weeks. This is highly unlikely and would have been better space out, story wise. Rating wise, it may have been smart to do it the way they did, air order wise but that remains to be proven. Other episodes would mention other ships and crash victims: GHOST TOWN, UNDERGROUND, THE TRAP, THE CREED, BRAINWASH, and ON A CLEAR NIGHT YOU CAN SEE THE EARTH. The original version of SABOTAGE had Bolgar claim he and Zarken accidentally killed another Earth man before this episode. Mark does not wear the tie or jacket for the rest of the episodes and Matheson was correct not to--this is survival not a fashion show. Ellis St Joseph wrote a two part BATMAN episode featuring Catwoman and Sandman, one of BATMAN's more serious efforts.