Science Fiction Theatre – Death at 2 AM (06/04/55)

sftdeathat2am1In the alley at 300 Lincoln Place, a fight is taking place.  All we see are shadows on the wall, and it looks a little like the arm-swinging, jete-ing fight style of the Jets and Sharks. One man is killed, and the other beats it.

At the Hall of Organic Science (est. 1906, BTW), Detective Cox is looking for Bill Reynolds.  His hot assistant Paula explains to Cox that Reynolds and Professor Avery are busy investigating the electrical properties of nerve tissue.  When they come in, Cox begins patting Reynolds down.

Cox asks where he was last night.  Reynolds said he was conducting a seminar on “the motor skills of the guinea pig.”  He has a list of 10 students and a lacerated rectum to prove it.

The dead man, Eric Munson, was strangled.  Reynolds is a suspect because stole a car when he was a kid and Munson was blackmailing him to stay quiet about it.  This is back when a college’s faculty actually tried not to embarrass the school.  Avery vouches for Reynolds as a brilliant bio-chemist, although his research to discover a college president with a spine seems quixotic at best.

sftdeathat2am2After Cox leaves, Reynolds asks Avery if he purposely scheduled that seminar so Reynolds would have an alibi.  Reynolds had earlier told Avery about Munson’s blackmail scheme.  Avery counters that he could not possibly have strangled Munson because “Munson was a giant.”

The next day, Cox comes back in wearing the same clothes.  Hmmm . . . Paula is also wearing the same clothes.  You don’t think?  Cox asks to see the animals they do experiments on.  Avery takes him to the lab zoo.  Reynolds stays behind and tries to move a box that Avery just lifted with ease.  He discovers it weighs 250 pounds.

In the zoo, Cox discovers a cage where the bars have been pushed apart.  Avery says the monkey must have escaped.  Cox says the detective found five animal hairs on Munson’s clothing — a rabbit, a lamb, and 3 from a monkey or 3 monkeys who shared a comb.

Avery later calls Cox and warns him that the monkey is “under the influence of experimental drugs and is extremely dangerous.  Give your men orders to shoot it on sight.”  Avery confesses to Reynolds that he killed the giant Munson.  For years he has been “researching factors that increase muscle efficiency.”  He then gives Reynolds a ludacris demonstration which mostly proves his brain is not a muscle.  He shows that his new serum can make “a frog as strong as a lamb.”  Reynolds hilariously exclaims, “This is one of the most important discoveries of the century!”

sftdeathat2am3Avery cautions that the serum must remain secret.  Reynolds agrees that “It could upset a lot of things.  Make a champion out of a mid-class pug, put a claiming horse [?] in the winners circle at the Kentucky Derby.”  So far, I’m only seeing how it would be dangerous to bookies.

Avery continues, “Quacks and fly by night drug companies would have a field day with it.”  Avery has been grooming Reynolds to continue his research.  He shamefully admits to taking the drug; he “forgot the traditions of science, the lessons of Pasteur and Leeuwenhoek.”  In his fury at Munson, he took the drug enabling him to kill the much larger man.

They find the monkey dead, and rush Avery to the hospital.  He describes the sensations to Reynolds as his body fails and he dies.  Reynolds calls, “Death at 2 am”.

More SFT dreck.


  • Title Analysis:  Just lazy crap.
  • Unless this gang had a Jack Baueresque 24 hours, they wear the same clothes to work every day.
  • The next SFT episode is Conversation with an Ape.  Will the title turn out to be the best thing about it?  Yes.  Yes it will.

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