Tales of Tomorrow – World of Water (05/23/52)

ttworldwater01Last week we began at the Bureau of Scientific Investigation; this week we begin at the similarly generic Department of Agricultural Research.  As they both seem to be located in the Capitol, we can assume they are up to no good.

Lane is studying a map of the 48 United States.  He calls Les Nelson in to have a chat about the search for Dr. Kramer.  They flash back to their last encounter.  In his boarding room, Kramer is ladling sand into a beaker testing his discovery to turn to sand to water, or else making the world’s driest martini.

His much younger neighbor Nicki stops by to pick up tickets he promised her.  She complains about how hard waitressing is on her feet.  Kramer suggests “someday you will not have to be a waitress.  Maybe  someday it will be somebody who will be serving you.  Somebody who will be happy to do things for you.”  Yeah, that’s the vibe at get at Arby’s.  They’re f***ing thrilled to serve me. [1]

ttworldwater08Nicki thinks that is unlikely and complains about the seats Kramer got — not near enough to the front for her.  She is clearly using the old fool for the gifts, but is at least honest enough to say this to his face.

Nelson knocks, breaking up the loveless-fest.  He is trying to recruit Kramer to make “murder weapons.”  To be fair, in his old country, the government took his work, used it kill thousands and threw him in a concentration camp.  So I can understand him being leery of getting involved in a criminal enterprise like the US Government.

Nelson looks over Kramer’s bucket of sand and tub of water.  He asks if this is related to Kramer’s theory on diatomic water even though Occam’s Razor would have suggested sand castles.  Nelson has heard that the diatomic water could dissolve any substance on earth, so maybe inventing something to store it in should have been the first step.

ttworldwater12Nicki returns and tells Kramer he was crazy not to go to work with Nelson.  After all, she says to his face, it would enable him to buy her more gifts.  He asks Nicki to travel with him, maybe even get married.  She warns him that anyone marrying her would have to have a lot of money as she has expensive tastes.  She continues to taunt Kramer about his age, his lack of employment, his experiments — at this point, I was wishing this was an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

He gets angry with her, telling that a “counter-girl” should be thrilled to marry Dr. Franz Kramer.  He is giving this cocktease a little too much credit as she hasn’t worked her way up from waitress to counter-girl yet.  He shows her his miracle solvent that could make him financially solvent if he just sold it.  He tosses in lab equipment — which in the 1950’s naturally included an ashtray — which she watches dissolve in the liquid.  To be fair, he does mention that the giant beaker is made of the only substance immune to diatomic water, and only he knows the secret.

ttworldwater04Lane and Nelson learn that Boston, New Haven, Baltimore and now Philadelphia are now underwater, and not just from corruption and lavish government pensions.  They can’t quite figure out what connects them.  I wonder . . .

When Kramer learns his niece has been killed in an atomic blast, he cracks up.  He promises “they are going to pay!”  Then he vanished.  Like Nicki.  I wonder . . .

Lane and Nelson get an update that new pools have formed in Atlantic City, Wilmington and Scranton.  This leads Lane to proclaim that the floods are moving inland!  Well, I’ll give you Scranton, but Wilmington is pretty close to the ocean and Atlantic City has a bloody boardwalk on the ocean.  Christ, did no one on this show own an atlas?  Or finish 6th grade?

They find Dr. Kramer sitting outside Lane’s office.  Inexplicably Lane just goes on his merry way; well, as merry as possible, given the destruction of 5 great cities and Baltimore.  Kramer takes responsibility for the disasters, but has a demand, which he doesn’t ever actually demand.

ttworldwater13The police interview anyone who knew him.  Sadly, they begin with Nicki who I  hoped had been liquefied.  His landlady correctly speculates that the death of his niece set him off.  Lane rants that Kramer must be found or we risk the entire earth being submerged. “This is a manhunt that must be successful!  Our world is drowning!”  The episode closes with stock footage from various floods.

So, like a Batman villain, Kramer is creating floods all along the east coast.  However, even by the end of the episode, he never reveals what his demand is.  Some men just want to watch the world flood.

Another lackluster episode.  A little more science-fictiony than last week, but that’s not saying much.


  • [1] In fact, my last two visits there were so disgusting I will never go back.  But I digress.
  • Kramer’s discovery was the anti-Ice-Nine.
  • Capital vs Capitol.
  • How can anyone not like Waterworld?

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