Science Fiction Theatre – Out of Nowhere (04/30/55)

sftoutofnowhere02After a lesson on sound waves from host Truman Bradley, we cut to a maid vacuuming on the top floor of the King Tower Office Building.  She is startled when a flock of migratory birds crash through the window. Truman tells us the birds were “victims of progress.  If men didn’t build skyscrapers, then birds wouldn’t get confused and fly into them.”  More accurately, they were victims of having a brain the size of a pea.

Dr. Kennedy, an ornithologist from the local museum is called.  In a feat of stunning perspicacity, he identifies four of the creatures as bats.  They should call him Dr. BirdHouse.  He calls Dr. Osborne, an expert in aerodynamics and bird navigation.  One of the surviving bats is taken to his lab for examination.  He determines that something in the vicinity of the building created a disturbance to the bats’ sonar signal.  He should have studied the leadership qualities that enabled four bats to lead a flock of birds to their death.

Their equipment tells them the signal is stationary and coming from above.  They conjecture a hostile space station is the source.  They discover a mysterious signal and go to Dr. Milton, the inventor of the radar telescope.  He tells them his telescope could not be responsible for the signal they are investigating.

sftoutofnowhere05That evening at 2 am, the signal begins again.  Milton coordinates with every telescope in the US. Unfortunately, they find nothing and give up around 5 am when women in the neighboring high-rises lower their shades.

Drs. Osborne and Jeffries decide to catch breakfast.  A couple of other dudes are enjoying a nice game of pool at 5 am, giving them an idea that the beam might be bouncing around like a pool ball.  One quotes the Law of Reflection, “The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection.”  He, however, dangerously forgets, the angle of the dangle equals the heat of the meat; and the booty-cutie corollary.

They go back to the General’s office.  Using a map and a string, they are able to determine that the beam is originating from the Johnson Park area.  They are unaware of anything in the area that would create this electronic signal.  They theorize that a hostile power with such an ability could enable their planes to fly atomic and hydrogen weapons into our country.

This episode was fairly excruciating up to this point.  There were 9 dull men and 1 dull woman.  The host and voice-overs took the place of dialogue for several minutes in the opening.  It was just difficult  for me to get excited about this buzz confusing the birds.  They had a chance to win me over at the end, though.

sftoutofnowhere09After the discussing the doomsday scenarios of commies dropping A-bombs and H-bombs on us, they cut to the source of the transmissions — a toy factory.  Had they they shown some remote control gizmo and ended episode right there, I would have been surprised and amused.  It would have also bred some suspense as no one would suspect the toys and they would go merrily on endangering the country.  I’ll say this for Tales of Tomorrow — they didn’t hesitate to destroy the earth.

Instead we get a short hum-drum ending where the toy factory is a cover for commies. In seconds, the cops come in and arrest them.  It felt like one of those neat Alfred Hitchcock wrap-ups where the network prevents anyone from getting away with murder.

I rate this:  Nowhere.


  • Available on YouTube, but why would ya?

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