Tales of Tomorrow – Sneak Attack (12/07/51)

totsneakattack01The first thing that registered as I wrote down the title was, Hey this aired 10 years to the day after Pearl Harbor!  Amazingly, for a medium that managed to show 5 seasons of Gomer Pyle without mentioning Viet Nam, the episode actually starts with, “Can Pearl Harbor happen again?  Tonight we present Sneak Attack.”  But then, people back then weren’t complete pussies.

The action begins “in 1960, in a hospital room somewhere on foreign soil.”  Major Ray Clinton is the patient, having just had 5 slugs removed from his legs — the lead kind, not the mushy kind.  His doctor seems to think that Clinton is actually a plant sent by their own government to spy on them.

That night, the doctor comes back to his room to try and figure out who he is.  She believes that if he were really an American, the military would have killed him rather than bring him to a hospital.  And she is suspicious that he survived a close-range machine gun blast with only 2 superficial leg wounds.  Clearly this is before movies where sustained machine gun blasts at close range generally result in zero wounds for the hero.  He tells him that he, in fact, is able to walk.

totsneakattack04Clinton gets dressed.  She tells him there is a secret weapon being designed in this very hospital for a sneak attack on the USA.  He is baffled why she would tell him this.  When another doctor enters the room, she takes his temperature with her tongue (orally, I hasten to add).  So apparently getting caught talking to a spy is bad; swapping spit with him is dandy.

A stentorian voice-over tells us that in New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and 20 other cities, the skies were darkened by planes bearing America markings.  The pilot-less planes landed for reasons unknown.  While the politicians are yakking in the White House, the plane in Denver blows up and destroys the entire city.  This is more like it!  After destroying the earth in the first 2 episodes, Tales of Tomorrow had gotten a little squishy.

We get some shot of the carnage which I assume is from the war, ended only 6 years earlier.  We are told there are 46,000 dead in Denver.


I appreciate the little runway model, but this airport design is just a recipe for disaster.

Now that we’re in the mood, we cut back to Clinton and his doctor.  The other doctor who caught them doesn’t care that they were kissing. As he leaves the room, he even turns off the light.  That must have been fairly scandalous in 1951.

When Clinton learns about the sneak attack, he demands to be given his clothes; especially his right shoe.  His doctor retreives it and Clinton is able to send a message to the White House telling them he can stop the bombs.

He has his doctor pretend to take him  to the bombs at gunpoint.  When they reach the guards, he wrestles with one, leaving his female doctor to wrestle with the other. Somehow, and I have absolutely no idea how, this results in the control room blowing up.

When the deadline passes without the country being destroyed, the sanctimonious president says that the enemy just can’t understand that we’ve had “a taste of Liberty” — a mere 184 year sip at that point — and “prefer death to life on our knees.  When will they realize that we want only peace and freedom.”

Well, OK but they better bomb the shit out of that other country if they expect to get re-elected.


  • Sponsored again by Jacques Kreisler Watchbands.  My favorite feature is that they demonstrate how the women’s band easily slides up the arm so she can do the dishes.
  • Added bonus:  the announcer clearing his throat during the credits.

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