THE BLIZZARD MAKERS
WRITER-WILLIAM WELCH and JOE MADISON (teleplay by same pair)
Philadelphia Times: Summer Snow Startles World.
Chicago Bull: East Paralyzed By Cold Wave--Death Toll Mounts As Mercury Dives
NY Chronicle: Freeze Panics Atlantic Coast--Summer Blizzard Rips Florida, Building Code Under Fire
DC Tribune: Nelson Blames Blizzard on Gulf Stream Drift--Washington Skeptical of Wild Theory, Ad Funding Reaches Goal-- Funding to Start Next Month
Miami Dispatch: Nelson In Florida--Seeks Backing of Dr. Melton on Gulf Stream Theory, Magic Man (or Mountain) Plans for Building Program.
A car passes a sign: Welcome to Sunnyvale, Florida--the sunshine city--the sign is surrounded by snow, ice, and wind. A bald man called Frederick Cregar says at all costs they must stop Nelson from getting approval and setting forth on stopping them. This is interesting as the man playing Cregar also was one of the men playing Dr. Gamma in ELEVEN DAYS TO ZERO and in ELEVEN used the term, "...at all costs." And was bald there, too. A man in the car is conversing with Cregar. They will do the telephone plan. A very old repair truck pulls up to Dr. Charles Melton's home. The man who has a tough guy, Brooklyn type accent all of a sudden, puts something in the phone mouth piece. Late at night--when Charles and Mrs. Melton (Sheila Matthews, looking lovely as ever) are asleep, the phone rings. Gas comes out of the mouth piece and knocks Charles out. The wife will be out for ten hours. Cregar comes in and organizes the men who take Melton away.
Seaview theme as it rides on the surface amid wind sounds and snow. On the Conning Tower is Chip and Crane, amazed that this rough, winter-type weather is the Gulf Stream. Chip wonders if the Admiral will be ready when Seaview gets there. Lee tells a wondering Chip, "If I know the Admiral, he'll be waiting on the pier." Ski comes up and tells them not to be surprised if there are icebergs nearby. Nelson has to get to DC to get approval so he will put to sea in the morning, he tells Lee he doesn't take anything for granted. Melton is the leading climatologist but right now he has a many diode thing on his head, asleep, while some doctor operates on him. The right frontal lobe is circumvented by a device put on Melton's stomach--a packet taped there. He can be programmed with tapes and the info only they want him to know. The leader, Cregar says, "We'll see," as if he doesn't believe it. Melton awakens with pain in his temples which will go away in an hour or so, the doctor says. Cregar shows Melton a tube and says it is Admiral Harrimin Nelson---and gives Melton a gun. Melton shoots the tube. They can record new instructions or change the old ones to new ones. Cregar orders Melton to shoot himself and stops the scientist when he starts to comply. The more intelligent the better the subject. Cregar tells him that happens to be right about the shift in the Gulf Stream. Melton asks for chemicals and for his notes and slides. He makes a liquid that can be treated to Melton's papers--a liquid which becomes dangerously unstable at higher altitudes--above 500 feet it will blow up. Morning--day--more snow--Melton is returned to home and into bed. His wife awakens after the crooks leave and feels like she's been drugged but has a hair appointment. Nelson is in his cabin: Crane brings Melton in. Melton gives Nelson his notes and slides for the trip to DC. Melton drives Nelson to the airbase--the Military Air Base Check in T-33. It is clear and cold weather for flying as a young Air Force Lieutenant tells him--he will be Nelson's pilot. Nelson tells Melton he will be seeing him but Melton just turns and leaves. He stops for a moment, then dismisses his own will and goes. A corporal stops Nelson on the way out and tells him he has a call from Washington DC. The Lt takes Nelson's bag to the T-33 plane. Later, from his car, Melton watches as the jet plane takes off and blows up into an inferno. At first, Melton seems shocked and surprised.
Chip and Crane get a message on Seaview. Melton goes home--Cregar is there, Mrs. Melton went to her appointment. He gives a gun to Melton and order him to shoot himself in the head but the bell rings. Cregar smiles, "I find it's these unexpected interruptions that give life its flavor." He waits in the bedroom. Melton opens the door to a running in Admiral Nelson! "I know you weren't expecting me but I'll only be a minute or so." The last minute call he received was approval from DC. When Cregar shakes his head, Melton does also. A good musical seque into the next scene helps as we see the nose of Seaview. Melton explains: the Gulf Stream is a narrow fast moving current which acted like a wall cutting off the warm equatorial waters but further east you go, the wall moves, the colder the Atlantic becomes. The diversion of the stream increases but this wall has been moved. Nelson wants them to dive to 200 feet that night to take readings. Seaview theme. In his lab, Melton takes out a pen and goes to Nelson's cabin while the Admiral is asleep. Curley logs navigational repairs to Crane. Crane sees smoke and tells him to sound an alarm. Crane pulls Nelson out of his cabin to Curley and Ski and they take him to Sickbay. Crane orders Seaview to surface sa the men put out the fire. Chip goes to the periscope and shows Crane the view: thousands of dead fish. They crack the deck hatch. Nelson in his robe, comes to sickbay. Crane supposes Nelson had some chemicals from the lab on his clothing that caused the fire. When Lee tells him he should be resting, Nelson tells him he needs fresh air but Crane tells him all he will find above is dead fish. Nelson asks a request of Lee who asks Curley to get it: one dead fish. In the lab, Melton tells Nelson radiation could be what killed the fish, possibly from a nuclear explosion. Nelson is not sure yet. Melton tells Nelson the idea never occurred to him. Nelson berates him, "How could you make such an idiotic blunder--it's inexcusable!" Melton tells Nelson he is a colleague and a guest on Seaview, not an employee, then feels his head. Nelson asks if he is alright, "Submarine duty doesn't agree with some people." A crewman brings coffee. Seaview is just under the surface. Con lookout gets an object--a buoy with an antenna. Nelson says, "Up scope," and looks out. Ski, in scuba gear, follows the chain that holds the buoy. Nelson tells him not to follow it more than ten miles down. Nelson says, "It doesn't make sense." Radiation may be from the chain which goes right down the ocean bottom floor and deeper. Sparks picks up a beam and uses the directional finder to find the source. Radar picks up an island which the finder leads Seaview to. There are many uninhabited islands near here, unnamed as well. They put a party ashore and will come back for the buoy. Melton tries to talk them out of this. Four men in a raft land on the island: Curley, Crane, Ski, and a crewman. We hear jungle sound effects. A burly man with a rifle watches them from the rocks ahead.
Crane has his hat on and sees a tower and Ski sees a way into the rock base around it. Ski wants to go in right away but first Crane calls Seagull to Albatross (Sparks on Seaview) to let them know they found a nuclear shot tower (huh?). They go into the cave entrance and a voice tells them to drop their weapons. The unnamed crewman goes for his and is shot dead. More shots keep the other three away from him. The voice telling them, "He needs nothing!" As they are pushed to Cregar's control room, Curley yells at his guards. Cregar entertains Crane. In one hour and 40 minutes to zero the nuclear tests for an unbelievable powerful weapon will continue. Crane tells him Seaview will blast him right off the map. Cregar tells Crane that Seaview is poised above the next bomb, "Admiral Nelson and the Seaview will cease to exist." Crane, Curley, and Ski are in a stone-like cage. Ski has his sailor hat on. Crane shows them a bug on the light. Curley and Ski joke about bugs--insects. Curley says, "I hope they don't forget to feed us." Then he whistles--the trio make fake talk. Crane from his boot side takes out a lighter which burns the door bolt and the three escape. Sector 4 is clear a guard says but they hit him near sector 5 and take his weapons. Outside, they seem to have a walkie talkie and a weapon each. Crane gets Sparks to get the Admiral--the hole in the ocean floor has a nuclear bomb, "You're sitting right on it." Crane tells him to fire a missile at the island. Nelson tells Sparks to report this to Washington DC. Melton takes a gun from an unattended small arms locker and shoots the radio out, "Seaview will go nowhere, Admiral, until the bomb goes off."
Melton moves through the Control Room and blasts the helm controls. Chip tries to get him but is stopped; Nelson distracts Melton while two men grab him from behind. Nelson gets the gun back. Chip puts a detail on steering repair. Sickbay: they find the control pack. There is a man there who may be a Seaview doctor or a corpsman--it is not Richard Bull's doctor. The man is a walking receiver set--like a pacemaker--except this device sends messages to the brain. Nelson saw an experiment just like this once before. If Chip slows down the beeps on the tape in the device he will find a burst transmission which will have coded messages and instructions for Melton. Melton seems to come out of it--he recalls the plane--he feels horrid that he killed the young pilot on the plane. Nelson tells him, "No, you didn't--you're no more guilty of murder than a gun is. The guilt belongs to the man who pulled the trigger." They hear a message to deliver Nelson to central control. Nelson wants him to follow those instructions. He and Melton go into a raft to the island. The other three spot them from the rocks and bushes. Ski wants to pick off Dr. Melton since they see Melton holding a gun on the Admiral. Crane figures out what Nelson is up to and stops Ski. Nelson has his hat on. Cregar apologizes for the meeting. Nelson says, "Oh, Crane got away did he, good." Cregar tells him, "No one will get off the island." Nelson looks at the devices, calling it sophisticated equipment. One more test burst after the one that will destroy Seaview will make the country of Cregar's join the nuclear "club" even though the blast tests have altered the Gulf Stream. The tower has the last bomb which will go off after he and his men leave the island. Cregar orders Melton to kill Nelson but Melton tells him, "The bullets in this gun belong to you, Mr. Cregar." Crane, Ski, and Curley come in and clear the men out of the room (one is wearing a bad shirt). Before Cregar is taken out he tells Nelson he is wasting his time trying to stop the bomb countdown--it needs a proper code sequence. Nelson opens a control panel--he can't stop it. They can convert the telemetry--the US uses the same relay series to act the firing mechanism. Nelson can act the tower bomb to go off at the same time as the bomb near Seaview. The system can only handle one at a time. Then he joins the second group of wires with the first--they can't stop the countdown but with no signal the other bomb will go off at the same time as the tower bomb--thus giving Seaview time to make repairs. Crane tells them the guards are coming. Nelson urges Cregar to stop the countdown but he won't. Ski shoots a man as more and more guards arrive and the Seaview men and Melton run out. Ski blocks the guards with more machine gun fire. They get to the raft and soon are climbing down the Seaview ladder to the Control Room. Nelson orders Chip to flank dive. Nelson and Melton look out the periscope in turn as the blasts go off, destroying the island. In the lab, they test the water temperature--normal density and salinity. The last blast put the Gulf Stream back!? That illegal test series did it but now it is back to normal. Crane comes in with the weather report from Penscola--the weather is fair and warm.
REVIEW: There is something unforgettable about an episode that has major snow storms hitting Florida. Milton Selzer is marvelous as the timid scientist who has been taken over by enemies--not evil minded, he portrayed Dr. Charles Melton, a man who seemed to be a quiet, self appraising man--but in reality he was trying to cast off his brainwashing. I will never forget the phone that was sabotaged to gas the good doctor and the exploding plane Nelson was supposed to be on. The feel of snow in Florida even during the bright day lingers in one's memory. I saw this for the second time after one of the worst snow falls in NY history. A good episode if a bit unsound. I suppose a blast could alter the currents but one blast altering it back? I don't know. It sounds good and makes a good adventure. Interesting to note that the actor Werner Klemperer is one of the actors who portrayed Dr. Gamma in ELEVEN DAYS TO ZERO--the unaired version and is back here, using some of the same mannerisms of Gamma. Could this have been Dr. Gamma using a different name or perhaps Cregar was his real name and Gamma just a code name.