Alpha Child

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Alpha Child

Post  BoG on Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:53 pm

Air Date: 10/16/75  Arrow  written by Christopher Penfold  Arrow  Directed by Ray Austin

The episode begins with a singularly momentous occasion on Alpha Base - the birth of the first child on the moon. But, literally minutes after this great event, things go south - suddenly, the child is 5 years of age!  No one, including Dr. Russell, understands why this happens, though the audience is aware of some alien entity hovering nearby. Understandably , the mother of this new child is in shock. The Alphans do their best to make the small boy feel welcome, but Koenig has suspicions - he thinks that the child is not what it seems, perhaps hiding dark motives and intelligence - even though there are no signs that he is right. Until, that is, the child seems to take control of Alan momentarily... eventually, it's revealed that the kid is the vanguard of an unusual invasion: the child grows again, this time to full manhood (Julian Glover), whereupon the alien explains that he and his people are able to take over bodies at the opportune moments of birth and death. The mother is next - she dies, then taken over by an alien female. The plan is direct - the aliens, currently in 4 alien ships, will take over all the Alphans. This way, they plan to escape their pursuers.
The sudden rapid maturity of a baby or a child is nothing new in science fiction, including sci-fi on TV.  The episode is a bit more exciting and adventurous than the norm for this series because the aliens seem unabashedly hostile and dangerous in their motives. But, the script throws in some extra musings towards the end that raise this tale of invasion above the usual fare - one of the alien's last remarks suggests that he behaved the way he did because he took human form and was therefore mimicking human behavior. As with several episodes during this time, this suggests that human behavior is usually not something to be valued, a negative commentary on the human race. As if to confirm all this, when the alien supposedly reverts back in his own demise, he becomes the provider, providing for an unexpected happy ending. In addition - or more properly, in omission - we never find out anything about the alien pursuers; we just see their huge ship (nice FX).  This is in contrast to the standard sci-fi TV shows, which provide pat answers to everything by the conclusion. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
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