Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Episode 2: The Experiment - 1/17/67

It's a stormy night at the airport and a group of reporters are hassling a professor who is trying to board an airplane, asking if he's been investigating UFO sightings for the last three months, if he really believes in these saucers, and if there really is evidence that there are invaders from other planets. They are shooed away by his son, who tells them the doctor is sick and exhausted. The sweaty professor takes his seat and looks out the window at the aircraft marshaller, who turns to look in his direction as he holds up his orange marshaling wand with pinky extended.

The nervous prof grabs his things and leaves his seat, telling his son that he's changed his mind and they're not going. He informs him that the man outside is one of the aliens, that the plane could be a death trap, and his son tells him to cut it out. He leaves nevertheless. They stop at the observation window and watch as the plane takes off and immediately explodes in a brilliant, fiery blast.


Starring Roy Thinnes as Architect David Vincent

Narration by William Woodson

The Invaders. Alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination, the earth. Their purpose, to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed, deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with a landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now, David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here. That they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.

Guest Stars:
Roddy McDowall as Lloyd Lindstrom

Laurence Naismith as Professor Curtis Lindstrom

Harold Gould as Dr. Paul Mailer


Written by:
Anthony Spinner

Directed by:
Joseph Sargent

Act I

Plot or paranoia? There was no doubt in David Vincent's mind. A celebrated astrophysicist, Dr. Curtis Lindstrom had discovered the truth, that alien beings were here on Earth. In less than a week, at a meeting of his colleagues, Dr. Lindstrom would announce it to the world. Then, perhaps, David Vincent could put down his burden. It all seemed so simple. 

David Vincent is on a bus reading a newspaper headline about the airplane crash and then turns to an article about the professor. He is let out in Covington, Pennsylvania, and asks the bus attendant to have his bags sent to the Covington hotel as he hands him some cash. He is met by a minister (Reverend Alden) who knows his name and informs him that Dr. Lindstrom is not feeling well and asked him to meet David and bring him out to the house.

Dr. Lindstrom is at home, emphatically stating to Dr. Paul that the world is blind, sick and complicitly marching to its own annihilation. He gets in his face and says he's not a lunatic and will not allow him or his son to lock him away in the hospital. He raves that he's not sick and does not need a psychiatrist, but the doctor and his son do not look convinced. He goes on to say the Invaders are real, they are here amongst us, and they intend to wipe us out like bugs. He tells them he can prove it and the Invaders know it and will try to kill him again, and that they can't afford to miss this time. He tells the doctor he's scared. Paul reassures him that he'll be safe at the hospital, that the doctor will keep personal watch over him, and Lindstrom finally acquiesces, but insists he'll go to the meeting Tuesday and will not be silenced.

David is in the taxi with the minister, who tells him to relax when he nervously checks his watch. David says Dr. Lindstrom told him he lived ten minutes from town and they've been driving for twenty-five. The minister interrupts him and says the traffic is heavy, though the roads are clear, and David remarks that there is no traffic. He begs forgiveness for telling David it's a pity that he notices very little as ominous music plays and the taxi driver turns to stare maliciously at him. David tells him to pull over, but the taxi driver raises the window. He attempts to unlock the doors and is told not to extend himself, that they're almost there. He manages to kick out the door, falling onto the road and narrowly avoiding being hit by a car. He is able to escape on a bus, while the minister tells the taxi driver he'd better hope that he doesn't make it to the hospital on time.

At the hospital, a doctor with bent pinky finger is preparing what is surely a jacuzzi of death for Dr. Lindstrom. Fortunately, David Vincent shows up first and introduces himself to the paranoid Dr. Lindstrom. He reassures him that he knows what he's going through, that he's been there himself, and that they're going to try to kill him today, that they just tried to kill David a few minutes prior to his arrival. He further states that they're afraid Lindstrom will share his knowledge with David and that they've got to get out of there right now. The nurse enters and asks what David is doing there. David says he has permission and asks him to go check, which he does.

Lindstrom asks what the Invaders who tried to kill him looked like, but David says the better question is how they knew he was coming to see him. Dr. Lindstrom does not know, but claims he is supposed to be safe at the hospital. David tells him he is not safe anywhere as long as someone knows where he is and that he's got to go into hiding until the conference. The nurse enters with Dr. Paul and Lloyd Lindstrom, who asks what David wants. David doesn't answer him and instead pleads with Dr. Lindstrom, saying he'll go with him if he wants him to. The Dr. and son start yelling at him to leave the professor alone as David yells that it's a matter of life and death. Lloyd tells the nurse to get him out of there and he agrees to leave, but tells Lindstrom to do what he asks before it's too late, that he knows them better than he, and that if he needs him, he'll be at the hotel Covington. Lloyd asks if his dad is alright and Lindstrom wonders if David is speaking the truth, that it must be hell for him if he is, that he says he should leave. Lloyd reassures him that he's safe, but he is unsure.

David is at the police station trying to get protection for Dr. Lindstrom from another smiling, disbelieving Lieutenant. He asks him to at least call Lindstrom, which he agrees to do. He gets off the phone and tells him that his son checked him out of the hospital an hour ago, alive and healthy.

Two shady men in black drive up to the Pine Cone Inn, where Dr. Lindstrom is holed up. The proprietress barges in to his room without knocking, informing him she's going in to town and asks if he needs anything. He declines and goes to lock the door once she leaves. The men in black see her go and Lindstrom looks out the window and sees them walking up to the Inn. He leaves his room to use the pay phone in the hall to call David Vincent. The operator informs him there is no answer so Lindstrom leaves a message for him saying he has documentary evidence, but before he can say where it is, the two men enter and identify themselves as government agents who were asked to bring him to Washington. He asks how they found him and is told his son told them, that he's worried about him and seemed relieved they were taking over. Lindstrom thanks God and goes with the men, as one asks if he has the proof in his suitcase. He asks how they knew about the proof, saying he told no one. He struggles to get away, but is unable.

David Vincent is desperate to find someone who will believe his account of the Invaders since he is willing to travel across the country to meet Dr. Lindstrom. We can also determine that the sightings are widespread and not just contained to the southern California region. Unfortunately, he let his guard down by being fooled by a man of the cloth. He should know by now that the Invaders choose the most innocuous disguises. His first clue should have been when the minister told the cab driver to take them to Dr. Lindstrom's home without giving an address. I wonder how the minister knew that Lindstrom would be at the hospital, since that was decided while they were driving David around on a fool's errand. Have the Invaders infiltrated the government, or are they just masquerading as men in black?
In the pilot episode, David thought the Invaders wouldn't kill him since it might draw attention and validity to his claims. Apparently, this is no longer the case. It's difficult to determine how long David Vincent has been on his quest. We found out that Dr. Lindstrom has known about the Invaders for three months. David tells him that he knows the aliens better than he does, which may indicate that he has known them longer, or that he's had more personal experience with them.

Act II

A body is being carried up a steep hillside as a police officer investigates a wrecked car at the bottom of the valley. Lloyd and Dr. Paul look down at the wreckage and a photographer snaps Lloyd's picture as he turns away from the scene. A police officer tries to talk to the doctor to confirm what Lloyd told them and he says that Dr. Lindstrom was paranoidal and a very sick man. He goes to comfort Lloyd as Lindstrom's body is raised to the top of the cliff.

Lloyd stands by his father's coffin as David Vincent enters and informs him that his father was murdered. Lloyd tells him he thinks David is even more disturbed than his father was. He asks if he has any doubts that his father was disturbed and reminds him that a plane blew up and his car went over a cliff three days later. Lloyd doesn't understand why David is so concerned and states that he was the only one who knew where he was. He's about to say he didn't tell anyone and appears shocked as he stops himself. David asks who he told and he tells him there were some government agents who showed him their credentials.

He appears devastated and asks what David wants. He tells him his father called and left a message for him just before the accident to tell him that he had documentary evidence that there are invaders from another planet here on Earth. He knows the Invaders didn't get it because his hotel room had been ransacked, and he stresses that they must find the proof before they get it. He asks Lloyd to trust him and help him find his father's evidence. Lloyd looks at his father's coffin and agrees, but says he can't help him until tomorrow, that he must be with his father now.

As David leaves, Lloyd clutches his head in apparent agony and the minister appears from behind a curtain and tells him he did well and should stay close to David. Lloyd complains about the headaches he's had since Maryland, and the minister tells him it will all be over soon.

Dr. Paul, Lloyd and David Vincent are listening to a recording of Dr. Lindstrom ranting about how he's got to stop the Invaders from taking over the Earth. The doctor stops the recording and asks if Mr. Vincent is satisfied, and David asks if he's sure Dr. Lindstrom didn't say anything about where he hid the proof. The doctor says if he hasn't found anything, then there is no proof, but David says he's not convinced and is going to search the Inn where Lindstrom spent his last hours. Lloyd offers to go with him, but David suggests he check his office at the university and that he'll call him later.

The doctor asks why he's cooperating with Vincent and Lloyd begins having an excruciating headache. He drops a container of pills as he is about to take one, and the doctor snatches them up and asks what they are for. He tells them they are for violent headaches, and as the doctor continues to question who gave them to him and why there's no prescription number, Lloyd angrily grabs them away from him and takes one, which appears to give him immediate relief. He manages to evade any more questions from the doctor by saying he's going out for a breath of air. The doctor looks worried as he opens his hand to show some pills he palmed.

David is searching under the mattress and rug at Lindstrom's room at the Inn and steps outside the room, exasperated. The proprietress says through her cigarette that she told him he didn't leave anything behind. He asks if he could have left a package with a handyman or gardener, but she says she runs the place all alone. She suggests he could have mailed it to himself as she finds a receipt showing a registered package was delivered to an address in New York. He begs her for it, but she is hesitant that it might get her in trouble for tampering with mail. He tells her it's okay because he's dead and further suggests that she call Lloyd Lindstrom, who will vouch for him. She looks into his pretty blue eyes and hands it over, admitting she never could resist a good looking man. He flashes a million dollar grin, but declines her invitation to lunch.

After he leaves, she goes to the payphone and calls Lloyd Lindstrom. Lloyd is snoozing on his desk when the call comes in, but he becomes more alert from hearing the news from the proprietress. Lloyd grabs his jacket and looks at a portrait of his dad as he begins to get another headache.

The Invaders have somehow coerced Lloyd to work with them, possibly using the painful headaches and pills as a means of control. It's diabolical that they are using family members to turn against one another. Fortunately, David Vincent flies solo. What kind of evidence will David find, and will Lloyd reach him in time to get it away from him?


David is in the elevator at Lloyd's New York apartment with the superintendent, who is expressing his regrets over Dr. Lindstrom's demise, and telling him he put the package on the bureau when it arrived. He says he shouldn't be doing this, to which David responds by handing him some cash, and he goes on to say that David has an honest face. David opens the package while the superintendent looks over his shoulder. He lifts the lid on a box and as the super gets closer, he says excuse me and turns away to get him to back off.

Inside the box are photos of Invader spaceships, tubes like the ones he saw in Kinney, and the work tables and equipment we viewers saw at the Kogan Enterprises base in Bakersfield during the pilot episode. There is also a sworn statement from a Brigadier General at an Air Force Base dated November 1966, and a statement from a farmer in Galveston dated September 1966.

The phone rings and the superintendent says it's Mr. Lindstrom calling for David. Lloyd asks where he's been, that he's been trying to reach him. David asks how he knew he was there and he tells him the lady at the Pine Cone Inn called him and told him after he left. He asks if David found proof and he tells him there's enough evidence to blow the lid right off. Lloyd says he's coming over as he wants to be there when he turns it over to the conference. David tells him he's not going to the conference, but is going to see his old army buddy, Jack Bride, with the CIA in Washington. He's planning on meeting him at his apartment first thing in the morning and that every capital in the world will know by noon. David hangs up and Lloyd looks distressed as he makes another call to relate what David just told him.

As he is hanging up, Dr. Paul appears in the doorway and says he had his pills analyzed and was told it's like nothing the chemist has ever seen, and he demands an explanation. He tells Lloyd he can trust him and that he's got to tell him what's behind the phone call he just had, the pills and the headaches. He says he'll stand by him, but Lloyd stands silently unresponsive with his eyes closed. When the doctor grabs his arm, he removes it, opens his eyes and slowly states that his father was an enemy, and that what happened to him was necessary. Dr Paul appears shocked and backs out of the room.

He pulls over and runs into a phone booth, asking the operator for New York City, telling her to be quick because a man's life may depend on it. He looks over his shoulder and closes the door to the booth. The phone rings in Lloyd's apartment. David is at the elevator and hears the phone ring. He starts back, but changes his mind and heads into the elevator. The doctor hangs up and exits the phone booth. A figure walks toward him and he runs to his car and gets in to drive away. A man pops up from the backseat and slaps a colorfully lit device on his neck that causes him to scream and fall forward onto the steering wheel.

David arrives at his buddy's apartment and is shown in by his manservant. As he approaches his friend seated at a desk, the man turns, and he sees it's the alien cab driver. Lloyd steps out of the shadows asking for forgiveness because his friend lives across the hall and that they changed the directory. David attempts to leave, but is intercepted by the minister, who claims it's good to see him. He's thumped on the back by the alien from behind, who instantly knocks him out and removes the briefcase with evidence. Lloyd asks if he'll be taken to Maryland and the minister says he will.

We get to see another cool alien toy. It's cute, it's colorful, and it causes instant screaming death when slapped on the neck. Another witness has been eliminated. I wonder why they didn't just use one of these on Dr. Lindstrom instead of going to all the trouble of staging a car accident. I guess they like to mix it up. I hope David Vincent has learned not to share his plans with anyone from now on. He's not getting that evidence back. What's going to happen in Maryland? Will he also be getting the headaches and pills to keep him under control? It's creepy the way the alien minister addresses David as 'my son'.

Act IV

David is being treated to a repose on a bed at "Maryland's Finest" Cedarview Health Resort. Lloyd brings him a tray of food and he asks if it's a last meal and gets up. He tries the door, but finds it locked. He says he understands why Lloyd would betray him, but asks why he would betray his father. Lloyd says his father was an enemy and that what happened to him was necessary. He asks what David is afraid of and says they're not going to execute him. He tells him that they're just going to change his brain patterns and impose they're will on his, but that's all. David asks how they do that. Lloyd says he was the first and David will be the second and suggests there might be more after him. David asks why they don't just kill him and Lloyd tells him that he contacted his friend in the CIA saying he had proof, but now he'll attend the conference and say there never was any proof. The alien who masqueraded as a government agent walks in and politely apologizes for him not being able to finish his meal, but that it's time. David goes with him and Lloyd yells out as another violent headache grips him.

David is being laid out by four men on a triangular shaped table that's lit up with a red light and has poles that support another platform above it. He's secured in place with metal bars and a whirring sound begins as the minister alien turns a knob on a control panel.

The men walk away from the table and stand next to screens around the room. David is lowered as the table sinks down, causing the upper platform to drop down. The polite alien observes him through the red lit window, and he gets very sweaty and his face shakes as the aliens observe his skull and brain on a monitor. His brain is being lit up.

They raise the table up, but then he is lowered back down for more treatment that appears to cause him more pain. He sees the men peering in at him from all around, and his brain is lit up once more. They raise the table and assist him off of it, but he breaks away from them. They chase him down and the polite alien tells him he is a very foolish man since he can't understand that there is no escape.

David is back on the bed, sweaty and in pain. He opens his eyes and is greeted by Lloyd, who tells him he's been sleeping all day. He says it's not going to do any good to fight it, and that if they don't break him the next time... David finishes his sentence, saying he'll die, and Lloyd asks what that is going to prove. David tells him to get out and tell his friends they're wasting their time. Lloyd says David's an even bigger fool than he was. He asks if he means his father. Lloyd starts having a terrible headache as he reminds him that his father was an enemy and what happened to him was necessary. David asks if he gets the headaches when he starts remembering. He pulls out his pills, but David grabs them away and says it's how they hold him as it kills the pain and keeps away the memories. Lloyd begs for them and they struggle as he screams and passes out on the bed. A red light begins blinking in the room and David lays him on the floor. The polite alien enters and asks him to go with him peacefully this time.

He's back on the triangle table for another alien brain treatment with blinking lights that are lighting up his brain and making it twitch. Lloyd regains consciousness in the room. David is in a lot of pain as he rolls his head back and forth. Lloyd gets up and leaves the room. David's got lots of electrical impulses firing in his brain. They raise the table up as Lloyd enters the control room and throws a chair into a panel that has a catastrophic effect, causing explosions and sparks to fly out of the machinery and aliens to be thrown from side to side from the force of the blast.

David gets off the table as fires erupt in the room and Lloyd enters the room with a bat and starts bashing aliens. One alien throws him over his shoulder and he screams, but is rescued by David, who grabs the bat and slams him in the midsection, causing him to drop Lloyd and fall into the fire screaming. David grabs Lloyd and they make their way out of the burning building. The minister screams as the fire engulfs him.

We finally get to see the experiment in action, and the type of brain imaging the aliens have available is pretty impressive. It passes right through the cranium to specifically highlight the cerebrum, while the cerebellum and medulla oblongata are not visible in this high tech scan. It also provides a still image, despite the patient's thrashing around. It would serve the aliens well if they could coerce humans to help them achieve their goals of worldwide domination, though it appears that both Lloyd and David have mucked up the machine, so it's back to the drawing board. I find it interesting that all the worker aliens have taken the form of human males.


David and Lloyd are making their escape, but Lloyd is not doing so well as he crumples against a wall. David tries to help him along, but he collapses on the ground, saying his father was an enemy and that what happened to him was necessary. David says he wasn't responsible for what happened to his father. Lloyd says they were wrong and that David must stop them, and as he starts to repeat what he must do, he dies in mid sentence. David begins hearing sirens and runs away as William Woodson begins his closing narration.

For David Vincent, another beachhead destroyed. For the Invaders, evidence that the human race can never be enslaved.


Dabbs Greer as The Minister
Lawrence Montaigne as First Man

Willard Sage...Lt. James
Stuart Lancaster...Superintendent
Jackie Kendall...Proprietress
Roy Sickner...Cab Driver
Mel Gallagher...Male Nurse
John Ward...Trooper
Soon Taik Oh...Houseboy

Director of Photography:
Andrew J. McIntyre

Music by:
Dominic Frontiere

If the Invaders are looking to enslave humans, they may not want to wipe out all Earthlings, though it remains to be seen. We find out from the beginning credits that their planet is dying and they want to make Earth theirs, and they seem to be going to a lot of trouble to make sure that humans remain unaware of their presence.

I am wondering what the reason was for having only one female cast member in this episode. It's seems to be rather purposeful. David Vincent is in quite a bind. He can trust no one, but he will have to in order to band together with others to expose the alien invasion. Will he get better at knowing who to trust? I suspect not.

I'm giving this episode a four alien finger rating mostly because I love Roddy McDowall. My favorite line of his from this episode was: "they're just going to change your brain patterns, impose their will on yours, that's all." I also liked that we got to see more alien technology, and that we found out that David Vincent is not alone in knowing that the Invaders are here. Plus, we got to see him use his charm on a lady. Also, there were a lot of cool, fiery explosions at the end.

Be sure to return next Tuesday for the incomparable Edward Andrews and the remarkable Suzanne Pleshette.

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