episode #49 - The Probe

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episode #49 - The Probe

Post  BoG on Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:21 pm

Episode #17 of 2nd season; Air Date: 1/23/65  
writer:  Seeleg Lester, from a story by Sam Neuman  Arrow  Director: Felix Feist

Survivors of an airplane crash during a storm on the ocean suddenly find that their raft is sitting on top of a solid surface. When I first read of this and started to watch it many years ago, I thought that the ocean itself had solidified - what a cool idea, I thought. Well, that wasn't the case; the survivors (including Mark Richman, back from The Borderland, as the pilot) actually find themselves inside an alien... probe. This turns out to be an automated probe, there to probably gather info about Earth. A couple of problems: the stranded humans don't know how to get out and there's an enlarged germ crawling around. I think it swallows one of the hapless trapped humans (I say I think because the others spend the rest of episode wondering about this and there's no definite answer).
Despite an intriguing premise (placing humans under a supposed microscope) and a lot of mystery, this isn't all that interesting these days. There's only so much that can be done with a small group puzzling about what kind of big contraption they're stuck in (the TZ episode Five Characters in Search of an Exit at least went for the metaphysical & surreal in shock value). I also never could figure out how they got inside with their raft; getting out was a case of finding the right small door. It really starts to drag with the characters, especially the female, speaking all their thoughts out loud, espousing about humanity, and Richman is surprisingly amateurish, talking as if he wants to make sure the audience understands all his words. But, all the expository dialog probably doesn't help matters. It's still mildly diverting (and, the final episode).  BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

Outer Trivia:
Star Trek TOS actor alert -  back again is Janos Prohaska, crawling around in the germ suit, similar to his later Horta in The Devil in the Dark
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