episode #18 - Visitors From Beyond the Stars

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episode #18 - Visitors From Beyond the Stars

Post  BoG on Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:21 pm

episode #18 / Air Date: 01.13.67
written by Bob & Wanda Duncan; Directed by Sobey Martin

Doug & Tony land inside a spaceship and are confronted by two silvery-skinned aliens who explain their plans to destroy all life on Earth. The planet that the aliens hail from (possibly in Alpha Centauri) used up all its protein hundreds of years ago and so they steal it from other planets. The two time travelers assume that they are in the future or at least close to the present, so that Earth will be able to offer some kind of technological resistance. But, they soon find out that it's Earth year 1885. All four of them end up in Arizona, on a small, rundown farm, and capture the farmer. Though Tony saves the farmer's life at first, he is later killed. The nearby town of Mullins, meanwhile, is in danger from hostile Apache Indians who massacre the only cavalry troops in the area. Tony is sent to the town to explain surrender terms, but his story of aliens is not believed; Doug is compromised by the aliens via mind control. When the aliens pop into town themselves, the sheriff and townspeople have no choice but to believe.
This episode generates more tension than usual due to the seemingly unstoppable aliens with their higher technology and at least one two-faced local who wants to 'deal with the devil' as it were, but the ending is rather anti-climactic because all it entails is breaking the little gun gizmo that the aliens use. The aliens themselves are a bit annoying, speaking in a stilted manner at first, but this does explain how English is not their first language and advanced translation tech is required. Doug is mind-controlled again, so that aspect makes this similar to the episode Invasion, when he was brainwashed by the Nazis. There's an unusual coda at the end when aliens in the 1968 year appear in the Time Tunnel and threaten the personnel, thus involving them in the action, though the agenda of aliens has shifted by that time. This episode obviously had more of a sci-fi slant to it than the norm, though aliens would pop up more as the series drew to a close. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
Epilogue: Doug & Tony land in Italy during World War I and make their into a cellar to avoid the bombing... this cellar seems to house a spirit...

Tunnel Trivia: Ross Elliott plays the sheriff of the town in this; he is best known for his recurring sheriff role in The Virginian series. John Hoyt pops up as the head alien in 1968, almost like an unexpected cameo. Due to the strong sci-fi elements of aliens, the episode utilizes music from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and Forbidden Planet (56). Star Trek TOS actor alert: Hoyt played the doctor in the first pilot for the series, The Cage.
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