Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Episode 3: The Mutation - 1/24/67

David Vincent has resumed his quest out in the desert under a hot, blazing sun. He is riding in a jeep with two guides and he asks them to stop. He claims they are going in circles and one of the guides tells him they're not, but that it looks the same everywhere. He asks how much further and the driver says it's maybe two or three miles. David asks if they're sure, and they say they don't lie, that they have told him they've seen lights of shining color and strange noises. 

David says he's given them 300 pesos, but they should forget about it if it's some kind of con. The guides exchange words in Spanish about what he means by 'con' and David says to forget it and turns back toward the jeep. This is when they decide it's not worth running him around for another two or three miles and one of the guides thumps him on the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. While he is out, they mock the 'estupido' about the lights of shining colors and strange noises while they remove his watch, his sunglasses, and the dinero from his wallet, and then take off in the jeep, leaving him laid out in the hot desert sun.

He stumbles through the desert, apparently suffering from heat exhaustion, with sand sticking to his sweaty chest and face, as his vision becomes blurred. He falls down and when he glances up, he sees a spacecraft sitting in the desert through his hazy vision, with green suited aliens milling about underneath.


Starring Roy Thinnes as Architect David Vincent 

Cue intro and William Woodson opening narration that lets you know why David Vincent is roaming the countryside and not doing any architect work.

Guest Stars: 
Edward Andrews as Mark Evans

Lin McCarthy as Officer Fellows 

and Special Guest Star: 

Written by:
David Chandler

Directed by:

Act I

Three weeks since the report of a crash and strange, glowing lights that brought reporters, the Air Force, and David Vincent to the border town of Rosario. Betrayed by his own kind, left to die under a blazing sun, he retains a vision of a ship launched by another kind, under another sun. Now the Air Force and reporters have gone, and David Vincent remains, to begin the search again. 

David leaves the hospital wearing a new pair of sunglasses and walks down the street during the narration while a man follows him. Another man walks up to him and introduces himself as Air Force Intelligence Officer Fellows. David remarks that he thought the Air Force left town a week prior. He tells him that before he even showed up their best men used helicopters and planes, and he asks David to guess what they found. He correctly guesses that they found nothing. He asks where that leaves David and he responds that it leaves him up the creek and that he's been there before.  

David walks over to a jeep in front of the Rosario County Court House and Fellows follows to tell David he can't leave until David calls it quits. David recommends he put in for hardship pay and tells Fellows that he's sorry, but he's sticking around. He tells him that he's sure he saw a disabled space vehicle and asks him to think about that. Fellows walks away while a sheriff steps outside and asks David to sign a release form for the jeep. David asks about the men who rolled him and is told the Mexican police are holding them. The sheriff suggests that David do everyone a favor and take his nightmares and get out of there, to which he responds that he will when he's finished. He walks down the street while the man who had been following him signals to two young guys in a convertible. 

As David crosses the street, they take off at full speed toward him, narrowly missing him as a man pulls him out of harm's way, asking if he's okay and calling him by name. David thanks him and goes into the Hotel Popular. The man follows and introduces himself as freelance newspaperman, Evans. He says he came to see him, thinking that if he were right about what he's seen that he'd have a story worth a fortune. He asks if he could use a few bucks and David declines until he informs him that he can help him since he knows someone who is telling the same story, who knows exactly where the spaceship is right now. David asks who it is, but he says he won't tell him until he agrees to give him the exclusive. He asks how reliable the informer is, and Evans tells him he's the expert and should decide.

Evans and David enter an establishment where a stripper is performing on stage to raunchy accompaniment. She is an unusual stripper in that she hides backstage after removing her clothing, while showing it to the audience. Evans asks how he likes her and David responds that it will depend. Evans clarifies that he was talking about the act, and David says he was also. The stripper comes out on the main floor in a robe and is directed to their table by a manager. She approaches Evans and asks him to leave her alone while he introduces her to Mr. Vincent. She says she doesn't want to talk about it and is tired of getting the 'fish eye'. David says he wants to hear her story and asks her to sit down. 

She begins by telling him that she was coming back from sightseeing and 'all that jazz' in Mexico when it started to get dark and she unknowingly made a wrong turn and got lost. She pulled to the side of the road to take out a map when she suddenly saw some thing like lights flashing and a whining sound like twenty thousand jet engines. She looked through the lights and saw motors that were starting and stopping like they were trying to get away but were stuck bad. 

David asks if she could find the place again but she says when she "split that scene, it was goodbye, Charlie" and she didn't want any part of it. He asks again if she could find the place and she says she thinks so. Evans offers $100 cash and she asks if they can make it $200. David agrees and says he has a jeep. She agrees to meet him at 9am in front of the hotel. David stops her to ask if he can buy her a drink, but she says she'd better go back to work. Evans recommends that he stay for the second part of her show, but he says he's beat and that the show he wants to see starts at 9am. David spots Officer Fellows at the bar and leaves, as does Evans.

Evans enters Vikki's room and she places something in his hand. As red lights flash on his face from outside the window, we see that he holds a device that he speaks into, saying "he will be delivered tomorrow." We see an alien in green jumpsuit holding a similar device, that looks like the same thing used to kill Dr. Paul Mailer in last week's episode, as we hear Evans repeat that "he will be delivered tomorrow." The alien says they'll be ready. 

So the device not only kills humans, but makes a great phone. What else can it do? We don't know if David Vincent is fresh from his experience in Pennsylvania, or if he's had others in between, but by now he should be so paranoid that he doesn't trust anyone, yet he still gets taken by some thugs, and now by more aliens. How long will it take him to figure out that the stripper is an alien? They sure know how to get to David Vincent. Just keep throwing more pretty alien girls at him. Do the aliens have gender? Or do they just choose a human gender to assume depending on their function? 

Act II

David is walking downstairs with Evans, asking where the girl is and if he might want to come along. He declines and says that the crummy town they're in is all the adventure he needs, as we see Officer Fellows back at the bar, listening to their conversation as they pass by.

Vikki meets up with David and asks Evans if he's got the money. He gives it to her and she hands David a picnic basket she brought along. They head out in the jeep. Along the way David asks how far it is. When she remains unresponsive, he tells her he may not be paying for conversation but needs to know some things. She gets snippy and says they should just get it over with and cut out the small talk.

Evans is looking at a map in his room when there is a knock at his door. He slides the map into a drawer and finds Officer Fellows at his door. He says he has some questions to ask about a mutual friend. When he says it's David Vincent, Evans chuckles and says he does not need a friend like that. Fellows mentions that he was with him and that girl. Evans says that's what he means, that he "spent all week priming the pump and he takes off with the whole well." Fellows asks where to and he says she said something about visiting friends across the border.

Evans notices that he left his alien communication device laying out on the desk and walks over to it and sits on the desk to hide it behind him. Fellows asks if he knows why David is in Rosario, and he mentions the little, green men, though Fellows doubts that's what Vincent said. As he leaves, he asks if Evans will be around for awhile and he says he will. After he leaves, he speaks into his communication device saying, "They're on their way. Time of departure nine plus seven" which is heard by one of the little, green men underneath the spaceship.

David pulls out a cigarette and asks Vikki to give him a lighter from the glove compartment. He notices her very large pearl ring and compliments her on it. She says it has a flaw and adds, "but haven't we all?" David asks her if she wants something to eat and she nods. They pull in to a place to get a bite and as he offers her a hand to help her out, she doesn't move. He apologizes for losing his head and goes in without her. A little boy brings two coffees as Vikki enters, and he lets her know he ordered for her. Suddenly, the little boy screams as he has caught on fire in the kitchen. David runs in and throws a towel over the boy to smother the fire, but his sleeve ends up catching fire. He makes sure the boy is alright and the mother thanks him profusely.

David comes out to where Vikki is calmly sipping her coffee and steps outside and strips off his shirt. He dips into a jug of water on a table and splashes it on his burnt arm. Vikki comes out to ask if he's alright and he responds that he's just great. He asks her what's wrong with her sitting around sipping her coffee like it was a floor show. She asks him to leave her alone and when he grabs her arm, she says he's hurting her, and he responds that he didn't think it was possible. She offers him some cold cream, saying it's good for burns, and she carefully applies it to his arm, but when their eyes meet meaningfully, she suggests he do it himself, and she goes to the jeep.

Meanwhile, back at the spaceship, four of the aliens are setting up a viewing device, while others mill about behind them. In the jeep, Vikki is complaining about how fast David is driving and he notes he hasn't changed his speed in an hour. The aliens watch them arrive on their view screen. Vikki tells David to stop. He asks if it's where she saw the ship and she says she thinks so, that it was over the rise.

He tells her to wait and he gets out of the jeep. She gets out and runs after him saying she made a mistake and that it isn't the place. She continues to try to get him to leave but he spies the ship. She tells him to get out of there while the aliens watch them on the view screen. He sees a glint coming from the ship and he runs out of the way, pulling her along with him, as the aliens shoot the jeep and it glows red, leaving a pile of smouldering ash behind.

He sees the aliens running out of the ship and he starts running through the canyon. Vikki follows him and begs him not to leave her, saying that they'll kill her because they'll think she warned him. He thinks for a second and then grabs her by the arm and takes off running. They climb the rocks as the aliens follow with some sort of guns in hand.

They stop and David says now she is supposed to start crying and apologizing. He asks why the kids in the hot rod, Evans, and the strip tease. She says it had to be that way, that the ship was in trouble and David was getting too close. He asks why she wanted to help him back there, but she doesn't know why. She says he's alive and asks him to leave it at that and trust her. He says she's one of them and he can't trust her.

Fellows is on the phone trying to convince his superiors to let him stay, but agrees to take the next plane out. Four aliens are running around the canyon and David and Vikki are climbing. He tells her not to go too far, that he's got to keep an eye on her. She admits she is an alien, but that she is to them too. He doesn't understand what she means by that and she says he couldn't possibly understand. He says he could try, so she tells him that she's different. That ever since she was little, she had this difference, that the person he would call her father also had this difference and couldn't live with it. He stood up against them and they killed him.

David asks what the difference is, and she says she's not sure but that she can't be like the others, that life and death means something. David says that she's capable of feeling and she tells him he says it like it's a good thing. Just then, they see the four aliens coming with their guns drawn. When they've gone by, they come out of their hiding place, and then see that another alien has appeared. David knocks the gun out of his hand and they start duking it out. David climbs to the top of the rocks and manages to send the alien flying over the edge. The alien rolls down the hillside and glows red and leaves behind a bit of ash. Vikki explains that's what happens to the aliens when they die on Earth. She asks what he'll do and he says if they can get back to civilization, he'll call Fellows to get him out there.

Well isn't that just dandy that the aliens don't even leave a body behind as evidence when they die. They've really got all the bases covered. I'm hoping that David Vincent is keeping this alien chick close by to be able to use her somehow, and that he truly means it when he says he can't trust her, and hasn't forgotten the last alien woman that tricked him. He should realize that if the other aliens really didn't like that she was different from them, they would have left her behind on their dying planet instead of bringing her along to Earth. We learn the aliens are incapable of feeling, just like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  


Officer Fellows has his taxi stop off at the dive where Vikki performs her striptease to ask the manager some questions. The taxi driver pokes his head in to say that he needs to leave now if he wants to catch his plane. Fellows asks if he did any checking on her. He says that he called the guy she said was her agent but that he never heard of her. Fellows tells the taxi driver to take his bags back to the hotel.

David and Vikki are hot and exhausted when they come upon a ranch house. Vikki says she can't make it and David goes to help her. They knock on the door and when the man of the house answers, they burst in and close the door behind them. He asks what they want and David tells the señor they want help, that they're running from bad people who would destroy them. The man says he can't help them, that they have problems of their own. David asks if his truck runs and says he'll pay him for it, but the man says something is broken on it. He tells David in Spanish that he hasn't used it for a long time, when Vikki stumbles as though she will pass out. The man tells his wife in Spanish to help her and to get some coffee, but she responds that some water would be better.

The man asks David if he knows anything about trucks and tells him if he can make it run, there's a telephone at a station west of there called Dos Lobos. David says he'll try to get it to run and will be back as soon as possible. The man asks him to wait a moment and goes to get a rifle and hands it to him, saying he may need it.

David starts looking under the hood and Vikki comes out and says she wants to go with him. He says it will be safer for her at the ranch and that he'll be back soon. David determines that the truck has a problem with the fuel line and calls the señor, who asks what he wants. David asks if he has gasoline, which he says is in the corral. When he leaves the gate open, he reminds him to close it because of the horse.

Vikki asks if he plans on making her go with him to the authorities, and when he tells her that's right, she says she can't do that. She says that helping him is one thing but betraying them is another. He points out that they'd destroy her if they had the chance. She asks again that he take her with him. She tells him that he thinks she should be happy about being able to care and to feel, and says that for the first time she is happy about it, while a romantic melody plays. She says that before she met him she was ashamed of caring because there was no one to care for, but now there is and she wants to stay with him. He says she came millions of miles in a different form from a different world and she says it doesn't matter. He apologizes and says he has to go, so apparently it does matter to him. As he leaves, she takes out her alien communication device and says he's on his way to a place called Dos Lobos to call a man named Fellows.

I am having a problem with David Vincent leaving this alien lady behind with two innocent people. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. He should be keeping her close by just to keep an eye on her. It also does not make much sense that the rancher would give David a rifle, especially if it was his only rifle. I hope it wasn't, as he may need one himself.

Act IV

David is on his way to Dos Lobos while Vikki stares out the window. The rancher couple share a concerned look and the man goes to comfort her, saying not to worry and that he'll be back soon. David is on the phone at Dos Lobos to call Señor Fellows, asking if they can break in because it's an emergencia. Fellows is on the phone to another party saying he'll lead the search himself and that he wants a plane gassed and ready to go in forty minutes. Apparently, he's told it will take a few hours, which he say will have to do. He further states that he does not want to clear it with Washington or Mexico City and that he'll take the responsibility. He also tells the Lieutenant he's speaking to that he does not want the name of Vincent mentioned.

After he hangs up, David gets through and says he's got to meet him right away, that he's pinpointed the location of the spaceship. Fellows asks if the girl is with him and he says that she's one of them, but for some reason she's helping him. He says the newspaperman Evans is running the whole thing and that he's got to meet him down there right away. Unfortunately, it appears as though Evans is listening in on the conversation, as Fellows agrees to come and David tells him where to find him. Evans hangs up and asks the manager to make up his bill and call him a cab as he thrusts some cash into his hand.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, some green suited aliens are heading to the door with guns drawn. The kind rancher lady asks Vikki if she'd like some beans, but she declines. The green men burst in and grab the nice folks, giving them an alien pinch on the shoulder and shoving them into another room. Vikki stares at them and says nothing.

David heads back to the ranch. Vikki tells her alien buddies that they're wasting time, that David may not come back and that they'll be needed at the ship. David returns to the ranch and sees that the gate is open and the horse is out of the corral. He calls to Vikki from outside, and inside she tries to bargain with the aliens, asking how he could hurt them, and that when the spaceship is gone, nobody will believe a word he says. She argues that it's better not to kill him, because with him dead, people will ask questions and wonder. David calls for her again and she runs out, warning him to watch out, as one of the aliens steps out and shoots her, causing her to glow red and become ash. David starts firing his rifle, easily taking out the three aliens, as he sees the spaceship take off and fly away.

I guess alien Vikki had a thing for David Vincent after all. It was hard to tell after she told her alien buddies where he was going. Hell hath no fury like an alien scorned. Once again we hear the argument that it's better not to kill David Vincent to prevent anyone asking questions and wondering about the validity of his claims. Of course we know it's so the series won't end prematurely. 


Officer Fellows arrives at the ranch to find a despondent David Vincent at the kitchen table. The rancher wife is tending to her husband's injuries while David says the spaceship's gone. Fellows asks where the girl is and he says she's gone too. He asks where she went and David says they killed her. He says there's no body, there's nothing, but they were there, and he tells him to ask the rancher couple. They tell him that horrible, strange men burst into their house and that David helped them. Fellows asks who the strange men were, and the man describes them as terrible men with faces like masks of steel.

David asks if it still sounds like a tale told by an idiot. He says that he'll pick up Evans when they get back to town, but David says he won't be there, and asks if he believes him. Fellows says he would have had a quick answer a few days ago, but now he's not so sure. David asks if he'll be sure when it's too late. He gets into Fellows car and they both drive away as William Woodson begins his narration.

For a moment, in the desert south of Rosario, a man and woman came together across a void of space and time. Two people, star crossed, from alien worlds. In the months to come, David Vincent would remember that moment.

Roy Jenson as Alien #1
 Rodolfo Hoyos as Miguel

Val Avery...Manager
Argentina Brunetti...Luz
William Stevens...Cobbs
Tina Menard...Mama
Tony Davis...Boy
Roberto Contreras...Guide #1
Pepe Callahan...Guide #2
Ted Gehring...Cab Driver
Pedro Regas...Beggar

Director of Photography:
 Andrew J. McIntyre

Music by:
Dominic Frontiere

The Invaders are successful at making sure David Vincent is left with no evidence of their existence, especially when they don't leave much residue behind after they glow red and die. Still, I'd expect David Vincent to at least try to scrape up some alien ash and take it to a lab for analysis. I truly wonder why he never thinks to have a camera on hand. 

We learn from the alien stripper that some aliens have developed emotions through a mutation. I think it's interesting that she describes herself as an alien. We can understand why Vikki might develop feelings for David Vincent after he strips off his shirt. Or was it seeing him save the little boy from fire? Hard to tell. Maybe both. We do find out that not all aliens want to harm humans. Will this soften David Vincent's attitude toward them and make him more susceptible to deception?

It was a good episode, but not as good as the last two. It may have been too soon for alien romance. Edward Andrews needed to have a lot more to do, and Lin McCarthy showed up every now and then to remind us he was in this show.

Mark Richman and Arthur Hill are featured in next week's episode.


  1. This episode is one of my favorites, maybe because I've always loved Suzanne Pleshette so much. Her performance (along with the always good Edward Andrews) really carries the show. Interesting that they did this episode so early in the series, what with the themes of aliens with feelings and the alien-human love angle. Watching the episode now, especially if you're viewing them out of sequence, probably works better than the original network showing. Pleshette does a good job playing initially a hard, jaded "stripper" who's evidently doing a mission she doesn't relish, yet who starts to have real feelings for David Vincent. The fact that she almost lets her alien friends fry him while they're approaching the saucer, then suddenly changes her mind -- and later she reluctantly contacts them when David (rather foolishly) spurns her at the ranch, shows that she's in major conflict, emotionally. (And I agree -- whatever their feelings for each other, I'd of kept her close, regardless! David taking off alone was very foolish) This turn of events bolsters her evident disdain for emotions, and why she contacts her fellow aliens. Remember that she had openly questioning why she should feel lucky to possess them, while chatting in the desert with David.

    Maybe I'm just an 'old romantic' but I found myself actually hoping she and David could really "get together" and find love. Interesting how towards the end of the episode, especially at the ranch, she was willing to give in fully to her attraction to David, and profess feelings for him -- but it was HE who wouldn't follow suit. Also interesting his disdain for her (and maybe for himself for feeling something for her, an alien) would occur so early in the show; we must presume from chronological order that this desert adventure was fairly soon after his discovery of aliens on earth. He had yet to go through one-twentieth of the ordeal and loss that might harden him to an attractive alien that did show feelings for him, and was helping him. But, in the standard TV formula, poor Vikki has to pay the price -- doubly, in her case. First for being an alien, and even more for helping and FALLING IN LOVE with David Vincent! That ending, where she's burned up, was a blow and is still hard to take for me. I'd of much rather have Vikki live, and maybe even come back again to aid David on occassion. Maybe by second season, he could finally gives into his love for her...? Afraid we'll never know how that scenario might have played out. Instead, when the lovely Miss Pleshette returned to "The Invaders", it was as a psycho-alien who goes around murdering people! Such a waste....

  2. "Fellows asks who the strange men were, and the man describes them as terrible men with faces like masks of steel." I always loved that description and the actors really sold it. They really did manage to look impassive and inhuman, especially the alien that shot Vikky with the ray gun.