Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Episode 17: The Condemned - 5/9/67

Mr. Tate is digging through files in a safe while his nervous cohort urges him to hurry. Tate finds the file he's looking for and, as they make for the door, they hear someone jiggling the handle and head for another exit.


They walk down the hall as cool as cucumbers, despite the fact that Tate is not concealing well the file that sticks out from under his coat. They go to the fire exit, but when they see someone coming, head in the other direction. A man sees them and sets off an alarm. Tate stashes the file in some sort of vent, and he and his partner try for another door, but men start emerging from the doors around them and they are forced to fight them off. They get away and lock a steel gate behind them. The pursuers recover and go to unlock the gate.


Tate's buddy, Ed, is freaking out, saying they'll find them no matter where they go, as they make their getaway in a truck. Sure enough, a car pulls up alongside them and runs them off the road. Ed is knocked out with a head injury. A little girl who's playing with her dolly inside her playhouse watches out the window as Tate gets out of the truck and hides in the bushes. Three men get out of the car and the two with ray guns fire on the truck and disintegrate it. The little girl screams and cries for her mommy.





http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0611994/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt


Starring Roy Thinnes as Architect David Vincent

Guest Stars:
as Morgan Tate

as Carol Tate

as Lewis Dunn


Written by:

Directed by:



Act I

A little girl's story of a truck that melted and disappeared eventually reached the newspapers and the eyes of David Vincent. Aware that such things can happen in the nightmare world of the Invaders, David Vincent had come here to Sands Point, Oregon. And now, the nightmare enlarges as the girl describes a man seen running from the ill-fated truck, a man she had recognized as Morgan Tate, head of a nearby communications laboratory.
David Vincent leaves the home of the little girl and heads over to Peninsula Telecommunications Laboratories in a cab. Inside, men are speaking into glowing red microphones in a variety of Earth languages. The English speaker announces a landing occurring on the night of July 7th when 18 of their people will be moved into the London area.


The alien who was present at the destruction of the truck meets with David Vincent and introduces himself as Lewis Dunn, who leases the plant from Mr. Tate. David asks to speak with Tate, but Dunn tells him he's out of town for a few days and can't give out his number. David says he'll call when he knows where he's staying to leave his contact number and leaves.


As he passes outside the security gates, he observes workers near a fence putting together electrical wires and electrocuting each other while remaining unharmed. As he stares transfixed, the security guard comes up behind him and thumps him on the back of the neck, knocking him to the ground.


Down on the beach, some kid is wrestling a bikini clad girl in the sand. As they giggle and roll around, he sees David Vincent fighting with the guard up on the cliff. They watch as the guard lunges for David, who ducks, causing the guard to sail over the fence down to the sandy beach below. The guard glows red and disappears out of their sight. Two of the kids go to call the police while the rest detain David as he makes his way down to the beach. Dunn and two other men stop pursuing him when they see the kids. One of them goes to check where the guard landed, but the spot is empty, and reports to the others that nobody is there.




The cops come out and a diver searches the water but is unable to find a body. David tells Detective Carter they won't find a body out in the ocean. He tells them they need to investigate the plant, and the detective agrees to do so, but is told they can't allow it due to security reasons. Carter suggests they ask Morgan Tate, but Dunn tells him it won't be possible because David just killed him.


David's court appointed lawyer is irritated and telling him to level with him, so David complies by informing him that Morgan Tate is alive and that Lewis Dunn is a creature from another planet who is working to conquer Earth. The lawyer recommends he not go for an insanity plea since it's unlikely there will be a death sentence without evidence of a corpse. Detective Carter enters the room and shares a note with the lawyer who tells David that a corpse believed to be Tate was found in a fisherman's net. The lawyer says he may want to work on his insanity plea after all.



I find it difficult to believe that this little girl could specifically identify Morgan Tate, even if it wasn't at such a great distance. That was somewhat ridiculous. Also, what the heck are two Invaders doing electrocuting each other in broad daylight with folks passing by? For beings known for their meticulous level of detail in covering up their presence, that was an egregious oversight. I don't understand why the electricity doesn't harm their human forms. I have to assume the aliens are speaking Russian, German, French, etc, because they are communicating with human collaborators, otherwise I would expect them to speak in their own language. 


Act II

David is at the morgue with Detective Carter to view the badly battered corpse of Morgan Tate. Carter tries to make a deal with Vincent to not go to trial, but he insists he's innocent.

Meanwhile, Tate's hostile daughter is brought into the room to identify his body in the presence of his suspected murderer. She's irritated and in a hurry to get it over with. She says she's not sure if it's her father since she hasn't seen him in over nine years, but when Carter says some men at the plant said it was him and asks her to look again, she glances at the corpse and says it's him. David steps forward and tells her it's not her father and that she can confirm it with a little girl on Seashore Road. Carter explains that the little girl has a good imagination because she said she saw a truck melt and disappear. David says her father wasn't in the truck and was seen running from it, but she dismisses him and tells the detective she'll be at her hotel if he needs her to answer any more questions.


The detective offers to call her a taxi, but Dunn is in the reception area and says he has a company car waiting. He tells her he'll take care of the funeral arrangements. She pauses and he asks if something is wrong. She tells him that David said her father was alive because some little girl saw him. He escorts her out of the morgue.

One of the deputies takes David out onto the steps in front of the morgue to arrest him, but David tosses him down the stairs and escapes.


Dunn talks to the little girl and her mother on the lawn in front of their house and then leaves. He goes back to his car and makes a call to Carol Tate, saying he needs her to come to the plant to sign some important papers as soon as possible. After he hangs up, Mr. Finney asks how they know Tate hasn't gone to the authorities already, and Dunn responds they would have paid them a visit by now if he had.


David Vincent knocks on the door of Carol's hotel room and gets his foot in the door when she tries to close it. He tells her it's important that he find her father, and asks if he has a cabin or some place he might hide out. She says no and tells him she hasn't been on speaking terms with her father for some years. She has she has to go and leaves the hotel room and heads for the elevator. She tells him her father won't be able to stay in hiding long because he's a diabetic.

She shows up at the plant where Mr. Finney and Lewis Dunn wait in an office. Dunn offers her a drink but she says she'd just like to sign the papers and be on her way. He admits there are no papers and says that they asked her to come to help get back a file.  He says he just found out her father is alive and that he took a file from them that could cause them to lose what they've invested if they don't get it back. He insists that she stay until she convinces her father to return it. She says she'll be delighted to help him. He says they'll get along and she accepts his renewed offer for a drink.



The aliens are using Tate's daughter to try and force him to hand over the file that is already hidden at the plant. I imagine we'll learn the source of their estrangement before the end of the episode. Ho hum. Does anyone much care? It will be interesting to find out how David Vincent wiggles out of a charge of assaulting a police officer.


Act III

Some kid at a pharmacy is folding newspapers with photos of David Vincent getting arrested on the front page when David shows up and asks him if anybody is around. He tells the kid he's looking for a diabetic man who's very sick and asks if he can look through the prescription files. The kid balks at first and then agrees to let him do it for a buck. He watches as David goes through the records and finds that insulin was delivered to a motel. He gets directions from the kid and once he leaves, the kid calls the police.


He shows up at the motel where Morgan Tate is pacing in his room and tells him through the door that he needs to speak to him and that he's not one of Dunn's people. Tate observes him through the blinds and David tells him they can help each other. As Tate grabs his coat to make a getaway out the back, the cops show up and arrest David. He watches as David is taken away in the back of a police car and then sees his photo on the front page of the newspaper. He turns the paper over and sees a photo of his daughter. He heads to a phone booth to call her and an answering service informs him that all her calls are to be transferred to the Peninsula plant.


Tate calls the plant and asks for his daughter. She tells him she hoped she would never have to talk to him again. He tries to talk to her, but she talks over him, saying she wants him to return the file he stole from Mr. Dunn. He tries to warn her that she's in danger, but she hands the phone to Dunn before she hears it. Dunn informs him that they're quite desperate to get the file back and tells him to bring it back in person.

David is led to an interrogation room where Morgan Tate explains that he and David did not have a fight, but that David tried to help him when he stumbled. Tate pays his bail for assaulting a police officer and David is released.


Tate says there's a price for getting him released and they go to a bar to discuss it. They sit in a booth and Tate says he needs a middle man to go to the plant to get Dunn to trade him for his daughter. He says that Dunn also wants a file. He tries to explain to David that they are not really people and David says they are aliens. Tate is surprised, saying he didn't think there was anyone else. He explains that they came a year ago to lease the plant. He says he didn't know what they were doing, but when he found out the week before, he decided to do something about it. David asks what's in the file and he tells him that it contains a list of the eleven key alien leaders on Earth. He says his lab has become the hub for transmissions from the mother planet to the key leaders. He tells David that the file is hidden at the plant and asks him to help get his daughter out. David agrees to help if he can have the file.



At first I thought the kid was dumb for allowing David to look through the prescriptions lists for only a dollar until I realized he set him up. It all worked out in the end, since Tate sprung David so that he can disrupt the alien communications center in the next act. 


Act IV

David is at the plant talking to Dunn to make the exchange while Tate waits in a cab outside. David meets with Tate outside and says he hasn't found the ladder to the roof. Tate tells him where to find it and David tells him to stall Dunn as long as possible. David asks why Carol hates him so much and Tate explains it's because she thinks he killed her mother. He says her mom was an alcoholic who told him to leave, and that six months after he left she killed herself, leaving a note blaming him. He says Carol is the only person he cares about and she's never forgiven him. Dunn walks out with Carol and Tate says she looks well and she gets snippy with him. He says goodbye to her as she and David leave in the cab.


David tells the cab driver to taker her back to her hotel and gets out to head back to the plant. He cuts the barbed wire on the fence and climbs over. He heads to the ladder and makes his way to the roof. Dunn takes Tate to the communications room and dismisses the transmitting aliens. He says he can appreciate the irony of the file being hidden at the plant and asks where it is. Tate says he's trying to remember, that everything happened very fast, and he needs another minute. He sees David come down the ladder and says he's still trying to think. Dunn's henchman backhands him across the face and Dunn says his daughter is free now but may not stay that way.


Tate retrieves the file and while Dunn examines it, David jumps out, and both he and Tate start punching the aliens. The henchman goes for a ray gun and when Tate warns him, he propels Dunn forward so that he gets hit instead. Tate knocks out the henchman while David grabs the file and heads back up the ladder. Tate follows him, but the henchman disintegrates him with his gun. David avoids getting hit and gets away.





The henchman goes to the communications microphone and transmits a message, saying they are abandoning operations and that the usual steps should be taken immediately. He repeats that they have lost Command Roster One.




What?! I can't believe we have been denied the pleasure of seeing a self destruct switch thrown at the plant. What a disappointment!

  

Epilog 

David rides in a car with the cop he assaulted, who tells him to be out of town by midnight.  He drops him off at Carol Tate's hotel. He goes to her room and she asks if her father sent him to accompany her to Boston. He tries to tell her he's dead, but she interrupts him and says she knows. He tells her that her dad loved her very much and that she should know some things about him. He asks if he can ride to the airport with her and they leave together.

Carol Tate had lost her father to a nameless enemy. But the enemy had also suffered a grave blow. They had lost Command Roster One. In the days that followed, eleven key aliens either resigned, disappeared, or died in a tragic accident - their bodies never to be recovered. The Invaders' timetable for conquest had received a major setback.

Co-Starring:
Larry Ward as Detective Carter
John Ragin as John Finney
Wright King as Ed Tonkin

With:
Garry Walberg...Detective Reagan
Harlan Warde...Ed Peterson
Paul Bryar...J.O. Brock
Kevin Burchett...Paul
Gordon Wescourt...Joey
Geoffrey Deuel...Teenager
Debi Storm...Victoria
Seymour Cassel...Driver
Stuart Nisbet...Coroner


Director of Photography:
 Andrew J. McIntyre

Music by:


This episode was a bit of an underwhelming end to the season. It was cool to see a major alien communications center established and learn that the aliens had taken over key positions around the globe, but I really didn't care to know why Carol Tate hated her father. I would have been happier if the Invaders had taken her out instead of her dad, though his death was quite dramatic, as it was. His sacrifice will earn this episode a passing grade. 



Season 2 returns September 5th with Antoinette Bower, Jason Evers and Mort Mills.

1 comment:

  1. I recall this episode as a kid, and Ralph Bellamy dying at the end was a real shocker. He was a pretty big name still, from his movie days, so we just naturally expected he'd live. But that was one of the great things about The Invaders -- it went so against type by having major characters, even "heroes" getting killed. Heightened the feeling that NO ONE was really "safe". Also, David Vincent wasn't really "winning a battle every week" in his war against them. Sometimes the only victory he could claim was saving the life someone previously a stranger to him -- and often at the price of having to surrender some important piece of evidence. Vincent's basic "humanity" definitely was a handicap in his battle -- a weakness the aliens knew they could exploit. I can't speak to today's TV (since I watch so little of it), but back in the Sixties many aspects of this show went so against what audiences were used to, that it was quite a dark and rather pessimistic show. My folks watched it, but I don't think they really liked it. Yet it was The Invaders being so different in tone that was the appeal!

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