Science Fiction Theatre – The Stones Began to Move (08/09/55)

Truman Bradley points out a coil of rope and a pyramid, saying “both are unsolved mysteries of the ages.” He demonstrates how a fakir does the ol’ Indian Rope Trick.  Well, he does the rope trick, but disgracefully leaves it open whether it is science or magic. In suggesting the Rope Trick is a legitimate scientific mystery, he says this kind of anti-gravity trick is nothing new — that may be how the pyramids were built.  I love Ancient Aliens and love young perky aliens even more, but this is just wrong.

In New York City, scientist Paul Kincaid leaves his lab late one night.  Wandering down a deserted street near the waterfront, he ducks into a phone-booth.  He tells the operator to connect him with Dr. Berensen at the United States Scientific Research Commission in DC.  Expecting the government employee to be there after 5 pm, he is clearly not a rocket scientist.

Getting no answer, he goes across the street to an arcade.  For $.25, enters a booth to make a record for Dr. Berensen, telling him he is being followed.  He recently returned from Egypt where he opened the tomb of Ahmed III without knocking.  He stumbled onto a miraculous “property entirely unknown to modern science.”  As he begins to describe the “staggering concept” he is shot and killed.  Maybe the miracle is a bullet that can kill a man in a glass booth and not break the glass, because that’s what happens.

The police take the record to Dr. Berensen.  He says Kincaid had a “very impressive bee in his bonnet” about the pyramids.  While Detective Crenshaw is grilling Berensen, he gets a phone call — Kincaid’s lab has been ransacked like Ahmed III’s tomb.  They go to question Kincaid’s boss.  It must be getting close to 5 pm as Crenshaw bails after getting no info, leaving Berensen to further question the man.[1]

They find a photo from inside the tomb.  A sword appears to be hovering in the air over III’s sarcophagus.  Notes on the back suggest a force field and mention Seja Dih who Kincaid saw perform the Indian Rope Trick in Benares and make a lady disappear at The Sands.[2]

Berensen goes to see Kincaid’s wife Virginia who was also his partner.  He is greeted at the door by a maid who might be the worst actress I’ve ever seen.  She says Ms. Kincaid’s bed hasn’t been slept in, so Berensen immediately calls the police.

Berensen’s secretary calls to tell him that Seja Dih is dead but that his granddaughter lives in New York, working as a chemist.  I have to give SFT credit — they did feature a lot of female scientists when that was probably a rarity.  Diversity has its limits though — the Indian guru’s granddaughter is played by an Irish actress in a cute little pixie hair-do, and she doesn’t even get a name.  Oh well, baby steps.

She says Kincaid had contacted her to buy some emerald rings which had belonged to her grandfather.  He believed them to possess the power of anti-gravity.  One of the artifacts recovered looted from Ahmed’s tomb has the same mineral.  Well, would have had it, but the minerals were removed from the artifact before it was shipped to New York.

When Berensen gets home, he finds Virginia Kincaid there.  Before saying a word, he offers her a cigarette.  She says she ran away because after her husband’s death, the house was scary.  She says the minerals weren’t stolen, they were given to her husband by the Egyptian government for research.

Yada yada, there is a boring confrontation.  Then Berensen demonstrates the power of the stones to the government.  The government seizes them under the PATRIOT Act and gives some senator’s brother a $10 million contract to research them.  Although that is just speculation on my part — the $10 million figure, I mean.  The rest sounds about right.


  • [1] He is played by Basil Rathbone, the most iconic and the 2nd most humorously-monikered portrayer of Sherlock Holmes.
  • [2] Coincidentally, this episode aired the same year Moe Greene got whacked.  On second thought, there’s nothing coincidental about it.  There is no connection.

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