Tales of Tomorrow – Plague from Space (04/18/52)

totplaguefmspace03We join Colonel Ward as he is taking a swig of booze at his desk.  He is so drunk he only sees 48 stars on his flag.  He is agonizing over men killed and equipment destroyed. They happened under his watch, so he expects to be relieved of his command when the General arrives.

A flying saucer was picked up on radar a few minutes ago and has now returned.  It is flying at 70,000 feet and going 2,000 MPH [1].  The Colonel’s response is a) do his duty and take a defensive posture to protect the nation in case it is hostile, or b) attempt to peacefully contact it, establishing a friendship which could benefit all mankind, or c) observe it and learn more of its construction and technology, or d) tell his men he ain’t running no planetarium here — in fact anyone reporting it will be busted in rank.

“That’s all I need when the General gets here — my best jets off chasing a meteorite!  No thanks!”  It would be pretty stupid to scramble jets as, by definition, a meteorite would be on the ground.  After being updated that the object is flying in 100 mile arcs [2] and reducing speed, Ward concludes this is no meteorite — he now thinks it is a missile, and maybe even in the air!  When it approaches for a landing, Ward orders that it be taken to hangar 7.


Captain Stillman was right — this view is awesome!

Wanting to assess the threat, Ward diverts all incoming flights to another base.  This includes the incoming General’s plane.  The General is not amused and immediately orders another officer to the base to take command.  I wonder if Ward will let him land.

The craft is hauled into the hangar and an unimpressive group of soldiers examines it. There is an inscription on the nose and a cryptographer determines that it is Martian.  This is pretty embarrassing even for Tales of Tomorrow — how the hell could they arrive at the conclusion that it was Martian?  Was there a Rosetta Meteorite that I never heard about?

Colonel Ward orders demolition to open up the craft.  Fortunately, they discover a bit of advanced technology known as a door.  On the inside, they discover a Martian.  He is dressed in a silver suit which matches his silver skin and silver head.  It does clash a bit with the shadow of the TV camera as it zooms in, but how could he have foreseen that?

totplaguefmspace18The Martian is taken away to be examined.  Ward receives word that the doctors examining him all dropped to the floor in convulsions. Some of the men from the hangar have been affected as have men all over the base.  The doctors did determine that the Martian is just an silver ape, with no higher brain functions. Ward makes some pretty good deductions that the Martian was sent here as a living host for viruses that would decimate Earth — germ warfare.

Ward explain the threat to his skeptical Lieutenant, “Don’t you get it?  These babies don’t belong to the UN!”  So they might actually be effective.  And, did he really say “babies”?  I played it several times.  It sure sounds like “babies”, but that is some pretty swinging lingo for a military officer in 1952.  Of course, he was tossing back the hooch earlier.

27 more men are infected.  He tells his aid to order an air-drop of “every available concoction here as soon as possible.  Serums, anti-toxin, antibiotics, the works!  Throw the whole medical book at them!”  After meeting with the doctor, Ward deduces that the real Martians are the germs that the silver guy was hosting.  They have now fled the silver ape and invaded the bodies of the humans.

His men continue dying until there are only 13 survivors out of 2,000.  When one tries to flee the quarantined base like Charles Campion, he is shot down.  Seeing no alternative, Ward orders an atomic strike on the base.  Even though he was tossing back the hooch earlier.

Another meh episode, but surprisingly sophisticated for this dopey series.


  • [1] I guess that was impressive in April 1952 when the record was 670 MPH.
  • [2] Whatever the hell that means.
  • Scotty from Star Trek is in here somewhere, but I could not pick him out.
  • IMDb and YouTube.

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