THE TIME TUNNEL
VISITORS FROM BEYOND THE STARS
Writer-Wanda and Bob Duncan
Tony and Doug land after the opening narration. Doug figures they must be 100 years into the future. They have come down onto a hard floor in a room with equipment that is over 300 years ahead of their own time's. Doug figures it might be 2268. They shake. Doug and Tony move across the room to find the operators of this place. Suddenly, there is a high pitched noise and they are stopped in their tracks! Two silver suited, silver faced (is there any other kind of alien on this series?) aliens appear. They are wearing red rings around their heads and Robinson space suits from LOST IN SPACE. This, the shortest opening teaser ends!
A word or more about this opening teaser and the cliffhanger tagged onto KILL TWO BY TWO. KILL TWO BY TWO has the following teaser which will lead to next week's VISITORS FROM BEYOND THE STARS: Tony and Doug fly through time after the events of KILL TWO BY TWO are over. They come down onto a hard floor of an alien spaceship. They stand up and do not say anything. Suddenly, two aliens appear (silver suited and...you get the idea) from thin air. Doug and Tony turn and see them--a different edit of the above. The aliens talk backward. Tony and Doug go to them and ask, "Who are you? What is this place?" The aliens move them over to a translation circuit board--which has a silly looking robotic shape etched into it against the wall. The aliens find out Tony and Doug are intruders from another dimension. Tony tells them they are from Earth. The aliens tell him they are under orders of leader Lentos and will raid planet 1-6, the first advance against the planet. When the boys ask to see what the planet is they will attack and steal all materials from, the aliens show them Earth on a device near the far wall (and it looks more like a globe or globe map with no clouds and only lines like a map--very unreal when we find out what the Earth really looks like from space). The music is a bit different from the version of this segment which we will see in Act One, not the teaser. Doug moves at the aliens, despite Tony's warnings they cannot do anything against them. They shoot a strange gun-like device at him and he falls. Tony checks him. The alien walks toward them and, in what builds to be an extreme close up, coldly says, "When we leave the Earth...we will leave no life on it...it will be a dead planet." END OF CLIFFHANGER and an eerie one it is at that...very atmospheric even if the rest of the episode didn't live up to that.
Now most of the above cliffhanger from KILL TWO BY TWO was seen in VISITORS FROM BEYOND THE STARS in the first act. A totally new edit of the material must have been used as the cliffhanger to give it more appeal. The teaser material just after Tony and Doug land and stand up to the end of the teaser where they are frozen is not used in the cliffhanger tagged onto KILL TWO BY TWO. This is not the usual way of the series and it seems very strange.
Act One, the longest act ever, opens with DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL music playing. Doug and Tony's paralysis ends and they watch the aliens talking. It sounds like they are talking backwards (oh no! Are they from JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN?). This is because that is what it is---the tape of their conversation has been played backwards--like to turn it backwards and see what the actors were saying which was then recorded backwards (?). One alien points the gun at them. They force the men over to an alcove that has a robot shaped outline against the wall. This is a translation circuit. One alien calls them intruders from another dimension. Doug explains they are time travellers and landed here by accident. Tony tells them they are from a planet called Earth. The aliens want to test them for composition of what they know to be Earth beings. The aliens are talking very slow and deliberate. They check the muscle and bone structure of Tony and Doug against what they know Earthlings to be. We hear FANTASTIC VOYAGE sound effects while the aliens declare their tests and find they have the same internal organs and glandular system as the remote data they have on Earth. They are project Alpha 1 under space director Lentos for a test raid on Planet 1-6. They will land on it and they show Tony and Doug the planet on one of their screens--Earth. It looks like a globe map. Tony stops Doug from trying to attack the aliens but he tries anyway and a sonic blast from the alien's strange projector gun stuns him to the floor. He falls. Tony brings Doug up to the alcove. The alien Centauri (although we really don't learn their names until the fourth act unless I just wasn't listening to them--it's not easy to keep attending to the aliens--they talk in monotone and want to put you to sleep or give your attention to something else!) says, "Resistance is impossible." Tony tells them they are from 1968. The alien says at the early stage of development. He calls their teleportation primitive and demonstrates their own more advanced method of teleporting. When the pair of aliens vanish, they can still talk to Tony and Doug. They reappear and put the boys under restraint--they can't move but can talk. Tony tells Doug someone's air force should be on them soon--they are on a spaceship. The aliens move over to a device set in the far side of the wall and put the gun onto it and then touch the pole tops of the device. They seem to be taking on an electric charge from it. The gun is programmed on their planet. It helps them learn the language better and they now talk more fluid. Doug notices. The aliens explain they come from a hungry planet---their protein was exhausted centuries ago. They raid planets for protein extraction to survive---survival is their only morality. Centuari comes up close to them as he says, "If necessary, when we leave Earth, we will leave no life on it. It will be a dead planet."
As you can read, the above is a bit different from what was presented to us in the cliffhanger, making this a bit of a cheat. We saw Doug go down and then the alien made his little speech about leaving Earth dead. In the above Act One, it is all rearranged differently.
The tunnel staff watch the space station (?) space craft flying, in a circular fashion toward Earth. It appears this is stock footage or model work from a Roger Corman movie WAR OF THE SATELLITES, also used in LOST IN SPACE-THE SKY PIRATE and much later in DEADLIEST OF THE SPECIES. Ray finds it difficult to believe but Kirk mentions there have been unidentified flying objects seen and reported since back to the time of the Bible and tells him to check the computer for proof. Ray finds Doug and Tony are at 112 west latitude, 34 degrees north, North Arizona. Ann runs for an Arizona survey map. The alien tells the boys they are only a convenience alive---they find that others on other planets that they have raided cooperate willingly, others must be controlled, and yet others who cannot be controlled must be destroyed. The alien tells them it is 1885. The ship circles itself toward Earth. The aliens land and soon, they and the boys are walking on a farm. No ship is seen landing. A farmer, who we later learn is Jess Crawford, comes out with a bucket of water, "What kind of crackpots are you?" Tony stops the aliens from killing the farmer, telling them if they start by killing, the people on this planet will burn and destroy everything before the aliens can use it. They agree but to show them their power, they set a barrel on fire using their strange gun. The farmer gets mad as the aliens order him to get food stuffs, grain, and livestock and hand it over to them. There is no one else in the house. The farmer grabs a pitchfork, telling them the Apaches ran off with his stock, the drought ruined his crops and he's had a belly full. Tony grabs the pitchfork and punches the man down so as to save him from the aliens' gun. They are going to bring him into the house but the aliens order Tony to stay outside with them. The entire set here is magnificent and very outdoor-ish. Doug brings the man inside.
When Tony questions their conditioning to kill, the aliens tell him they only kill when necessary. The town is Mullins, Arizona and the aliens tell him to ride into town and deliver an ultimatum to a delegation of the town leaders--come to meet with them in one hour or the town will be destroyed. The leaders, if they come, must turn over the town to them. Tony doubts he can do this but they don't care---in two hours, if he is not back, the two men in the house will die. They tell him to ride due east, follow a road he will see south. Tony runs to a horse and rides off. On the way, he sees a bare chested Apache giving smoke signals atop a ridge rock cliff. The Native also flashes signals with a mirror of some kind. Tony rides into town--another great set.
Tony tries to convince the Sheriff (no name credited for the character--a real problem with Irwin Allen's first three shows---many of the characters are not even fleshed out enough to have names!) to help him. He has just sent Sam (whose name we also don't find out until later), his deputy, out to get the men in the saloon to help the army. The army warned the town about an Apache attack and the women and children of the town have been evacuated--thus, the need for an empty town. Tony tells the sheriff about supernatural creatures, "I know how that sounds" and "I don't know how to convince you," are phrases Tony uses. Sheriff tells him the Indians cut the telegraph lines two days ago and warns Tony not to panic the town even more or he'll be put into jail. He also told Tony the farmer's name is Jess Crawford.
Ann gets the computer study on the UFOs. In Look Magazine (Look In?--just kidding) it was reported that a couple saw and entered a UFO in October 1966. On September 3rd, 1965, more than 60 people saw a UFO in Kensington, New Hampshire, reported by Look also. In Life magazine photos of UFOs seen in Perth, Australia were published. There have been hundreds of sightings by sober, hardworking people. Kirk says so many that the Air Force financed an independent university study. Ray wonders how something like what is happening in Mullins can happen and not leave any reports. Kirk finds reasons--perhaps no one who saw it would come forward.
Men in the saloon talk about the situation with the Indians. Williams, the bar keep, a cowardly type who utters old time platitudes when in fear, feels they should just buy off the Indians and give them beads! The Sheriff and Sam feel that there are too few Calvary men at Smith's Flat. As Tony comes in and asks for help against the creatures, just as he was about to get an answer (and I can bet what I would be), an explosion rocks the saloon. The men rush out as the barkeep warns them--there is a fire and they should get over to the firehouse or the fire hose. Tony, alone, leaves as men with buckets run past him. We see stock footage of a fire burning a wooden house. Sheriff stops Tony at gun point and when Tony tries to tell him it was the aliens, the Sheriff tells deputy Sam to lock Tony up good.
Act Two---the aliens are setting up their plans and endlessly discuss these with each other and the leader (the voice of which sounds like John Hoyt who not only does this---but also plays the alien leader in the present of 1968). Their primary base is established and the secondary is under attack. The aliens? Or did the aliens attack the secondary base--the town? Who knows or can follow what these dullards are saying! The gun is their control system. Doug tells the farmer that Tony saved his life. Doug plots: he will go around outside while Jess fires the rifle up inside the house. Doug tells him to stay inside but does he listen...? Noooooo. Doug figured the only thing they have that they can use against them is the unpredictability (that and a can of right guard will get you through the door!). Doug sneaks out and hides. He picks up a rock to attempt to attack the alien with the gun. The farmer runs at the alien with his rifle in hand but the alien--Centauri blasts him down with the gun. The aliens claim this is Doug's human resourcefulness and they will have to change him to their will.
Ann reports on Mullins. It is a ghost town, abandoned in 1885 and no one knows why. It is still a mystery in 1968. Kirk feels that mystery is about to be solved. They try to locate the jail Tony is in both on the survey maps. Kirk hopes Tony will stay put so they can get him out. While Sam reads the newspaper with zeal, Tony claims he has to get out. Then Tony hits upon an idea: he tells Sam he is a reporter of Harper's Weekly. He wants to enlist Sam's aide to cover the fire. Tony tries offering him five dollars. Sam wants the recognition and the money it appears. Tony asks for Sam to hand him a pencil and paper, promising not to tell the Sheriff. Tony grabs Sam's arm and knocks him against the cell, choking him, taking the keys and getting out. Tony gets a rifle and as the Sheriff comes in, sees Sam recovering, Tony covers the Sheriff. He will take him to Crawford's place. The Sheriff is a stubborn mule as most anyone Tony or Doug have to convince of something but even more dangerous, "You take me out of this town when it needs every man it can get, and the first chance I get, I'm gonna kill you." As they ride out, we see stock footage of Indians fighting the Calvary--the last barrier between the Apaches and the town. Apaches kill many of the soldiers, some shoot back but most are scalped as we see an Indian remove a fallen man's hat--it looked like a cowboy hat!?! The Indians kill all of the soldiers. Tony looks away from the Sheriff to see what is happening and the Sheriff uses a piece of wood from the ground to hit Tony away. They scuffle and Tony ends up on his back with the rifle at his throat in the sheriff's hands, choking! Tony holds onto the rifle!
Act Three begins with Tony telling the Sheriff he is condemning the town to death. Tony gets control of the rifle and after a fight, gets the Sheriff to stop. The Sheriff tells him to go ahead and shoot but that will bring every one of the Indians down on them. The Sheriff gets on his horse and leaves. He won't see the town overrun by Apaches who go riding cross country with a madman. This "madman" could only have been a reference (and a very poor and relentlessly unfair one) to Geronimo, who, yes, did kill and steal, but who had seen his people degraded, lied to, killed without mercy. Geronimo was born in Arizona and also led "renegades" and "outlaws" throughout it. They also were pursued by soldiers and believing every hand was against them killed almost everyone they came upon--after one of many escapes from forced reservation life. Settlers tried to reach the safety of forts but many did not make it. At one time, one of Geronimo's own people betrayed him and at another, Geronimo's men captured a young boy and took him to live with his people--after killing his parents.
Tony returns to the farm and tells the aliens the bad news. Doug tells Tony that Crawford had to be destroyed and that the aliens are not evil creatures--yes, they attacked the town but gave ample warning. The aliens tells Tony to stand near them and Doug. The four of them vanish in a blast. At the saloon, the men discuss the Indian problem. Williams tells them to be reasonable with the Indians (great, and he's represented as a coward) when the aliens arrive, Tony and Doug in tow. One of the townsmen, Johnson (and we find out his name later when Williams mentions it), wearing a cowboy hat fires bullets at them. The aliens blow him up in a cloud of sparks and smoke. The aliens demand livestock for ten Earth miles be turned over to them. The Sheriff tells them he is in charge. They burned one fourth of the town and killed Jess Crawford whom the sheriff says was... "the slowest man to anger." If he says so but it didn't seem that way to me. Williams tells them he will do anything they ask. Doug speaks for the aliens and asks for all food that Williams has. They direct Tony to tell everyone in town that the food should be moved into the streets and Doug is still considered a hostage.
Ray looks at Doug from the tunnel, "They've taken his mind away." Kirk asks Ann about the plans of the area and the town, feeding them into the computer by remote may work they figure. Tony looks in the window as Williams brings food. Another man, who seems to have been alienized--he doesn't utter a word--and seems in a trance--tells them Williams is lying about the food he brought being the only food in the saloon. Williams asks that they leave him something but Doug punches him down into a table. The aliens transfer the food in a blast. Tony runs to the Sheriff's office where he is packing, "Going somewhere, Sheriff?"
The man responds with, "You know I thought you were crazy before mister. I gotto apologize. Indians are one thing but these creatures, they're another." Sheriff claims if he can get to Tucson to Fort Whipple (?), he might be able to send help.
There isn't time Tony implores. Tony tells him they keep gaining strength and that gun they carry is giving them more and more power. "They've made Doug one of them and they'll do the same to everyone in this town if we don't stop them!"
As they talk, Sam comes back inside and move to the corner of the room. He turns around to face them with what he was doing--getting down a rifle from its hold, "They aren't gonna harm us."
"Watch out!" Tony yells as the deputy fires on them both! They duck!
Act Four begins with a fast paced, well staged but brief fight as Tony and the Sheriff work together to avoid Sam. The Sheriff throws things and distracts Sam. Tony, closer, jumps up and punches Sam down after the deputy tries to brain him with the rifle (which falls apart into two or more pieces). Sam is knocked out (again!?) and they pair looking at him, see three dark upraised marks on his neck. The Sheriff asks if Doug attacks them, what will Tony do? Tony tells him the aliens have to be stopped. Doug and Centuari appear at cattle--what they say are the last of the herds. In a badly done sequence, the cattle are frozen in time and then will be sent to their planet when the proper coordinates are set. Why are the aliens using ships if they can merely transport the cattle via teleport. Perhaps they meant they will load the cattle onto their ship. The cattle appear to be bulls or cows at different times. When the stampede was frozen we hear music from WILD ADVENTURE on LOST IN SPACE. The aliens report about their second test objective.
Williams is asked by Tony and the Sheriff to help them in their plot. Tony tells him, "There is no place to hide." He needs some food as an excuse to go to the aliens. The Sheriff has a week's supply of dried beef. He will fire through the window. Sam is in the jail cell (which reminds me of the later BILLY THE KID set--only in BILLY it was much darker). Williams will be look out while Tony goes in to talk to the aliens. Tony tells the cowardly man to stay in the street and fire a warning shot if the other alien returns.
The tunnel gets a fix on Tony but Ann can't locate Doug, "Could they have killed him?" Tony says if he can't make, the Sheriff should fire his gun into the window anyway. He brings the food from the jail to the aliens. Centauri and Doug reappear outside the saloon--gee, why--when they went to it the last time, they just appeared inside--perhaps they wanted to check on how the other food gathering was going. Williams doesn't fire the rifle but puts his hands up to Doug and the alien, "One good turn always deserves another." He tells them that the Sheriff and the stranger--Tony--are after the aliens machine device. We hear DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL music as Will is crying, thinking the alien was going to kill him. I also thought this. The alien does seem to walk away, after enjoying watching Williams cry and squirm but Williams was still alive.
The Sheriff fires his gun at Doug from outside but Doug enters the saloon. Doug, once inside, attacks Tony savagely and the fight goes over to the bar--Doug goes over the bar! They use chairs. Doug pushes Tony into the other alien--Taureg---this makes the alien drop the gun and Tony gets it. It is a projector. They hear the alien voice of Lentos, the leader. Tony tells the aliens to return everyone to normal. To do this, Centauri claims he will need the projector. Tony, at the Sheriff's insistence, smashes the "thing." Doug comes to his senses and is himself again. The aliens move together and talk alien (backwards again). They have lost their power.
The tunnel will try for a transfer. Suddenly, two aliens appear in the complex. They look slightly different in different type of uniforms. Ann asks, "Are they same as...?" Kirk says, "No."
"We come in peace to investigate the disappearance of one of our spaceships." This alien, the leader (Lentos? We don't find out) tells Kirk they picked up the time tunnel signal and they located their spaceship in the past. Now they demand cooperation. Kirk yells, "You have no right to demand anything."
The leader comments on the tunnel's computers being ancient, the data processing system being primitive, and the molecular electrons being in the elementary stage. They also claim the Earth people are in their very early stage of time development. The leader tells them humans from Earth have finally reached the Moon. There is female tech. The leader tells them if the 1885 spaceship was destroyed, they can easily destroy the Earth now, Ray tells Ann. The leader tells them if their ship was destroyed in 1885, the will indeed, destroy Earth in 1968. When Kirk says they have had nothing to do with its coming or going, the leader tells him to prove it. The alien summons electric flashes and lightning, also wind! Ann yells---about fixing the image and stabilizing, "I can't! I can't! I can't!" Finally, with Ray and Kirk doing this, they see the image of the spacecraft flying on its way. The leader tells the staff his people often pass through the galaxy of Earth but they no longer have a need for materials." The leader and his aide (Warren Stevens in silver cameo) vanish and when they do, the leader in particular, leaves behind powdery footprints.
The Sheriff tells Tony and Doug he is going to clear out of town. He won't tell anyone or report what he saw at this place (what about Williams--surely he'd tell someone?)--he doesn't want to ruin his chances of getting another job. Tony and Doug vanish just after the Sheriff leaves.
CLIFFHANGER: Tony and Douglas fly through time and land in front of a stone wall with trees, vines, and a few rocks nearby. They are near some type of villa with snow on the ground. They figure the Alps--Northern Italy or Austria. They spot troops walking in the mountains and think they look like World War One uniforms. As whistling rockets or shells head their way, Doug grabs Tony's arm and leads him into a basement window of the villa. They go inside and the quietness is unnerving: they explore the area and it is creepy. They see a hole which seems to be blasted into the concrete or brick. A large blast hits close to the basement and the boys are knocked down, unconscious. One beam hits across their bodies. The camera, a rare moving one, zooms in on Nero's name on the tomb as it appears to be. The slab opens and inside is a skeleton. A sword flies out and another rare shot of the point of view of the ghost is seen as the sword moves at Tony and Doug's prone bodies. The sword points at Tony, then turns Doug over. It moves Doug's head once and then back again.
NEXT WEEK SEE THIS FANTASTIC ADVENTURE IN THE TIME TUNNEL.