Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Episode 6: Vikor - 2/14/67

We are at Vikor (pronounced Vicker, not Vee-kor like I thought) Enterprises, where the orange corrugated sign surely promises good things, a fact that is underscored by the high voltage fence and the guards patrolling.

A phone lineman, Phil, calls down to his colleague, Hank, for more line. Hank gets in his cherry picker and hoists himself upward. On his ascent, he notes an interesting scene through an open window, where several gentlemen are standing around watching a man in an enclosed tube emitting a red glow. As he glows, his skeleton becomes visible. One of the men inside sees that he is watching and goes to a phone. Realizing he's been spotted, Hank begins to descend. Phil yells at him to ask what's the matter and tell him he needs the line.

Hank runs to his truck, but is detained by one of the guards, who's pressing something to his neck. As Phil approaches, the guard says he thinks he's had a heart attack.

Phil is so unnerved that he forgets his coworker's name and begins calling him Phil, asking if he's okay. Hank haltingly tells of seeing a man in a tube glowing as if he were on fire. The guard tries to interrupt him, but the coworker pushes him away and drives off with him in the truck. The man who had been on the phone comes out and signals to the guard. The truck breaks through the barrier, as the guards dive out of the way.


Starring Roy Thinnes as Architect David Vincent

Guest Stars:
Jack Lord as George Vikor

Alfred Ryder as Mr. Nexus

and Special Guest Star:
Diana Hyland as Sherri Vikor


Written by:

Directed by:

Act I

David Vincent had read the story in the newspapers; how, before he died, a telephone lineman had described to his partner a glowing, burning man. The story was investigated by the police and promptly forgotten. Seeking the truth, David Vincent traveled to Fort Scott, Florida, headquarters of Vikor Enterprises, and perhaps, headquarters for a people from an alien world.
David Vincent walks up to the Visitor's Stop, just inside the gates at Vikor Enterprises, as William Woodson's narration informs us where he's at and what he's up to this week. George Vikor paces in his office with a limp, while expressing his displeasure with the alien who had been supervising the regeneration earlier, noting that the other telephone lineman also died. The alien states that he had an accident and Mr. Vikor exclaims that he wants no more accidents, as he's had a 'bellyful' of questions. The alien, Mr. Nexus, says the police seem satisfied, but Vikor says he is not. He tells Mr. Nexus that killing doesn't bother him, but that stupidity does. Mr. Nexus asks what he would have them do. He replies that he'd have them do nothing and that no one would have believed them.

Mr. Nexus asks if his conscience bothers him, but Vikor denies it, asserting that he gave his reasons. Mr. Nexus says that if it is his conscience, he should remember the importance of their work and his stake in it. Mr. Vikor walks to the wall where his medals hang, as well as a newspaper clipping entitled, "War Hero Home: President to Award Presidential Medal to Sgt. Vikor" and says he wonders sometimes if it is worth it. He tells Mr. Nexus that he makes it sound attractive but wonders how he knows he'll keep his part of the bargain. Mr. Nexus assures him that he'll have all the power he could use.

His secretary, Harriet, buzzes him and he reprimands her for not holding his calls as he asked, and then agrees to let the call through. He speaks to a sergeant, asking if she's alright, and tells him he'll be right down. He asks Mr. Nexus to excuse him as his wife has had some trouble.

David Vincent tells the guard at the Visitor's Stop that he's looking for work. He's told the personnel department isn't taking applications, but he could leave his name and address. He identifies himself as Daniel Baxter and says he's not fussy and will take unskilled labor. The guard asks if he drives and tells him they may have something for him later.

George Vikor is at the police department where he is informed that his wife was doing 90 mph when she was stopped, and that it's the second time in less than a month. Mr. Vikor asks if he'll file charges and the officer says he's pretty sure she'd been drinking too. He asks the sergeant to see what he can do.

He enters the interrogation room where his besotted wife is playing an invisible piano on the table. She cheerfully greets him and he asks if she had another long, lonely afternoon. She claims she only had two martinis and asks if she's headed for a 30 days on a rock pile. He asks her what's wrong and says she could have killed herself. She asks why she would do that when she's got everything any woman would want, including a beautiful house, beautiful clothes and beautiful money, and that she even remembers having a husband once. He says he's got to get back to the plant and she plops back down in her chair. He tells her he left a top level meeting and can't walk away from his obligations. He says that he's got hundreds of people working for him and soon will have hundreds more. He tells her he'll hand her the world one of these days and she tells him she'd settle for just the two of them.

The sergeant enters and says they're all set. When Sherri asks about the rock pile, the sergeant says her husband has a lot of influence, which may not help next time. Mr. Vikor says there won't be a next time since his wife won't be driving for awhile. She asks him how she'll be getting around and he tells her not to worry about it.

David Vincent arrives at the Vikor house, introducing himself as Daniel Baxter, the new chauffeur, and that he's there to see Mrs. Vikor. He goes to where Mrs. Vikor is having a massage and informs her that her new chauffeur, Mr. Baxter is there to see her. She comes out wrapped in a sheet, saying that her houseboy informs her that he's her new chauffeur. He ascertains that Mr. Vikor did not inform her about him, but explains he probably meant to, and that he only hired him an hour prior. She says there's been a misunderstanding and calls her husband. She is unable to reach him and tells Harriet she'll see him later. He asks if he should drive her to the plant and she says she can drive herself. He explains that Mr. Vikor gave him her keys and told him not to let her have them under any circumstances. She asks him to bring the car to the front.

They drive into Vikor Enterprises and she asks him to wait for her. He asks if he can look around and she tells him to do what he wants but that he shouldn't go in the security building. He begins walking around the building, scoping out the security building which has two guards standing by an orange sign giving access only to authorized personnel. He sees the catwalk where the linemen had been working and goes up a set of ladders to access the catwalk and run to the next building. He is blocked by a guard with a crooked pinky while two others come up behind him to prevent his retreat. They grab him and sock him in the stomach.

We have another resentful, neglected wife with a powerful husband who is preoccupied with his work. The aliens have realized that they don't need to fool around with fancy crystals or triangular mind melding beds and drugs to control humans when they can easily find power hungry people willing to collude with them. They must have been studying Earth history. This should be interesting. It's a safe bet that they will not hold up their end of the deal and that things won't end well for George Vikor. For the record, I would be totally cool with having David Vincent chauffeur me around. Any day. Any time. Any where.

Act II

David Vincent as Daniel Baxter is being escorted by three guards to another building. George Vikor is telling Harriet to tell Chicago not to expect him and he turns around to see his smiling wife sitting in his office chair. She begs forgiveness for being early but that she wanted to discuss something with him, and he correctly guesses it's about the chauffeur. He tells her that he loves her and says, "I don't relish the idea of scraping you off the highway.

Harriet keeps buzzing him and he finally responds and says to tell Mr. Nexus he'll see him in a minute. He explains to Sherri that Mr. Nexus is one of his new investors and that he's only there for a few days and he can't keep him waiting. She doesn't understand why not and he explains that Mr. Nexus is very important. She says he's also important and he tells her that he's not going to settle for second or third best, that he's going to go all the way. He says that these people can make him the biggest and most influential man, and she adds "in the cemetery." She questions who these people are and he says they're foreign business men.

Mr. Nexus barges in, saying he was afraid he'd forgotten them. He signals to a guard outside to bring David Vincent into the room. George Vikor asks what it's all about and David says he should ask him. Mr. Nexus details the time he entered the plant with his wife and that he was then found in a security section. Vikor asks what he was doing up there and he tells him he was looking for his office. Vikor responds that he was there earlier and knew his office wasn't in the security building. He claims that he was lost because the buildings are alike and that he was on his way to tell Mrs. Vikor he was going to go to the gas station when the 'stormtroopers' jumped him. George asks Sherri to excuse them and she says she's changed her mind about lunch and asks 'Dan' to drive her home. Vikor says they won't keep him long and she tells him she'd rather not wait. He repeats himself a little too loudly and then agrees to let him go.

Vikor tells Mr. Nexus that he questioned him thoroughly and that he's no pro since he wouldn't have been caught so easily if he were with FBI or Air Force Intelligence. He suggests Nexus check him out for himself if he doesn't trust his judgement, to which he responds, "Whatever you say, Mr. Vikor."

'Dan' arrives at the Vikor home with Mrs. Vikor and says he'll put the car away if there's nothing else. She says there is something else as she begins to pour herself a drink. She offers him one and he declines. She says he lied about the gasoline because she filled the tank herself the night before. She asks for the truth about why he was in the security building. He says it was a foolish mistake and she tells him she doesn't believe him. She lists her suspicions and says she believes he's making something other than industrial machinery and that he's there because he knows what it is.

He takes out a cigarette and says her husband is working for a foreign power that is planning an invasion. She asks what foreign power and he says he can't tell her that. She says he just accused her husband of treason and that he has to be more specific than that, so he blurts out that they're alien beings trying to take over our planet and her husband is helping them. He asks if that's specific enough. She laughs a little, asking if he really believes that, and he says he's seen the spaceships and the aliens too. He says that others have seen them as well, and that she's also seen them at the plant. He says some of them have a crooked fourth finger. She doesn't believe it and questions why her husband would help them, as she pours herself another drink. He suggests she ask him. She tells him she doesn't enjoy his humor and asks him to leave. He states that she wanted the truth. As he goes, she stops him and asks what they can do to help him.

George Vikor is listening to an LP recording of his acceptance of the Presidential Medal of Valor on a cool phonograph player that pulls out of the wall. The narrator on the record begins describing how Sgt. Vikor was victorious in capturing an enemy hill as he pushed on even after his whole platoon was killed. As the cheers of the crowd swell, the narrator states that Sgt. Vikor has made his appearance, and George gets a little misty. He resets the needle on the record to replay the cheers of the crowd and turns up the volume.

Sherri drives herself into the plant and as a guard approaches, she explains that her husband is working late, and asks the guard to take a briefcase to him. While the guard is off on the errand, she gets in the car and Vincent sneaks out, creeping alongside it, taking off running to the security building as she turns and drives away. He is unable to get into a door, but luckily, someone has left a garage door open just enough so he can squeeze in under it. He sneaks up on a guard and after a struggle, punches him and sends him flying down the stairs.

He continues up the stairs and finds crates and a regeneration tube on its side. He enters another room, which is set up with at least six regeneration tubes. Outside, a blue van hurriedly pulls up and two men in white Vikor Enterprises jumpsuits unload two glowing aliens from the back, and help them into the building. David hears them approach and hides behind a wall. The glowing guys are stuck into the regeneration machines and the tubes descend and make an oscillating alien sound. David peers around the wall and watches as the two men glow, while the two in white jumpsuits observe through protective goggles. The men glow a bright pink and their flesh dissolves, revealing two glowing skeletons.

Outside, Mr. Vikor and Mr. Nexus approach and enter the security building. The flesh reappears on the glowing aliens and they stop glowing. The white jumpsuits leave the room. David turns to look at the aliens in the tubes and goes to open the door and leave when he hears Nexus and Vikor outside and is forced to run and hide again. The two men enter and Mr. Nexus explains to Mr. Vikor that without the tubes, his people can't maintain their human form. He says that thousands of his people will be there soon and that he must have his guarantee that he will fulfill the new production quotas. He says he's got it.

Harriet interrupts them with a call informing him that a teletype just came in with information on the chauffeur he hired. After they leave, David comes out of his hiding place and hears the tubes ascending, signalling an end to the regeneration process. He runs out of the room. The newly regenerated aliens seem a little groggy and unaware of his presence. The white jumpsuits find the guard David knocked out on the stairs and engage an alarm. David sneaks through the bushes outside and hops the fence.

Mr. Vikor reads from the teletype that his chauffeur's real name is David Vincent, and that he's an architect from Santa Barbara who has reported alien activity to police, newspapers and elected officials. Nexus calls someone and says there's been some trouble.

While Sherri is at first skeptical, she seems all too ready to accept David's assertion that her husband is helping alien invaders to take over the planet. Maybe it's because she's been drinking and those sweet baby blue eyes had an effect on her. So Vikor Enterprises has become the first company specializing in alien regeneration tubes and we finally get to see the process of regeneration in action. Glowing skeletons are always cool to see. Well, at least Vikor is not helping make alien ray guns, controlling crystals, or lighted metal discs that simulate a brain hemorrhage, right? Unfortunately, they are on to David Vincent and he'd better get himself far away from those tubes. Since the aliens are wont to eliminate all traces of evidence once discovered, this could spell trouble to the Vikors as well.


A truck that looks a lot like the one the phone linemen made their escape in at the beginning of the show drops off David Vincent at the police station. Rather than going inside to make a report, he stops a patrol officer driving by and asks for help. The officer steps out and says with a smile, "Sure thing! Climb in, Mr. Vincent!" while pointing a gun at him with his crooked pinky extended. David slams the car door on him and thumps him on the back a few times until he falls to the ground.

We then see David Vincent at Wilson's Tavern calling Mrs. Vikor on a pay phone inside. He asks if she's alone and she says she is now but they were there looking for him awhile ago and she thinks they should call the police. He says some of the police are aliens, but she can't hear him because of the mellow jazz playing in the tavern, and he repeats what he said and tells her they have to call the FBI office in Miami. She offers to call them for him, but he says he first needs to get out of the area. He asks if she can help him by giving him her car. She asks where he is and he tells her. She repeats the information as the camera pans to a recording device stuck to the underneath of a table nearby. She tells him she'll leave right away and be there in a half hour, as a man listens to what she's said through an ear bud, while operating a tape recorder. He begins to make a call.

Sherri drives up to Wilson's Tavern and hands David Vincent a gun. He offers to drive and opens the door to let her in the passenger side when a cruiser pulls up behind them with lights flashing. The man who'd been listening in on their conversation steps out, and the alien cop tells him it's the end of the line. Sherri is surprised to learn that his name is Vincent. David asks how they found him and the cop says she told them. She begins to say the police had no right to bug her home and is told it wasn't the police.

Vikor drives up and tells the sergeant he'll take care of these two. The alien cop explains that Mr. Nexus gave him specific orders, but Vikor repeats that he'll take care of it. The cop tells his partner to watch the back door and then tells Mr. Vikor that they'll wait. Vikor goes into the tavern with Sherri and David where some humans are doing some freaky dancing. They sit down and Vikor asks Sherri why she is helping a man who broke into their plant. She tells him she knows all about his 'foreign investors'. He asks David what kind of poison he's feeding her. He tells him that she knows all about the regeneration tubes and Vikor tells Sherri that he's a psycho, that his real name is David Vincent and that he's a mental case. He goes on to say he's been treated for delusions and fantasies. He tells Vikor to take her to the third floor of the security building and show her how crazy he is. He repeats his assertions that he is a sick man. Sherri asks to go to the plant.

Vikor leaves the room and stares at a fire in a fireplace. Sherri goes to him and asks why he's doing this awful thing, as David looks out the window at alien cop at his cruiser. Vikor says he's doing it for her and that he wants her to have everything. She says she had everything. He tells her that the aliens will be running this planet and they'll be on top with them and have everything they want.

David interrupts to say that it's excellent terms and that all he has to do is sell out the human race. Vikor starts going off on the precious human race of liars, phonies, and hypocrites. He says he came back from Korea as a celebrated war hero who was offered all kinds of promises until he really needed help. He relates how he was refused a small loan to start a sheet metal shop, because he was told a man with a plate in his head and a wooden leg was a financial risk. He bitterly adds that the only place you can borrow money on a Medal of Valor is in a hock shop, and that he promised himself that some day he would be the man in charge and the one to say no. David says it's nice he'll be the man in charge so he can see that his wife has a proper funeral, that she knows too much about them and they'll kill her. Vikor says they wouldn't dare and he'll see to that, but when David asks how, he doesn't seem to have an answer.

He says he wanted the world and now he's got it and asks if he's going to give it to them or destroy them. Vikor says they'd destroy him first and David tells him they're going to do that anyway after they've finished using them. He says he's got every piece of evidence they need to get rid of them. Sherri begs him to help them and he says he never realized she'd be in danger. David says they're running out of time. Vikor agrees and says David has to trust him and allow him to do it his way. David asks for enough time to get the FBI. The three go outside and Vikor tells the sergeant to take Mr. Vincent to the plant and make sure nothing happens to him. The alien cop tries to refuse, but Vikor tells him to keep him under guard in his office for questioning until he hears from him or Mr. Nexus. The cop agrees and the other man escorts David to the cruiser and gets in the back with him. Sherri asks if he'll be alright and Vikor says he told her to trust him.

Is Vikor really helping David Vincent, or did he just sell him out to be used as a bargaining chip to protect his wife? We get some insight into Vikor's motives, and commentary on the poor treatment of folks in the service, especially once their service has ended. While we can sympathize with his anger over the lack of support he got when he needed it, it's difficult to feel sorry for him for aspiring to become part of the problem rather than the solution.

Act IV

At home, Sherri asks if George is going to go through with it. He asks if she thinks he'd let anything happen to her. She asks about David Vincent and Vikor says he'll be alright and tells her to go upstairs to rest while he calls Mr. Nexus to settle the matter. He begins to talk about the things she found out about that he's done and she goes to embrace him and says nothing matters after tonight, signalling that she's surely a goner.

Vikor limps to the phone and starts to dial when he hears a rapping on the window of his patio door. He finds Mr. Nexus on the patio and asks what he's doing there. He says he was about to call him, telling him that he's got David Vincent under guard at the plant. Mr. Nexus asks about his wife and he says she's upstairs and asks why. He signals to two aliens standing by and they head for the door while Vikor blocks them. He says he's not going to let him do it, that he's got Vincent and she won't give them any more trouble.

Sherri calls to him from inside to ask when he's coming up. She steps out onto the patio and the two men grab her. Vikor struggles with them, yelling at them to take their hands off her. Mr. Nexus yells at him and says they must all make sacrifices. He says he gave them David Vincent and asks Nexus to tell them to leave her alone. He says there will be no pain and that it will be a simple suicide, describing her as "an unhappy woman who drank too much and drove too fast and finally turned on the gas." She begs George to help her. He says he can't let them do it. Mr. Nexus reminds him of the rewards of wealth and power, that there will be a slave population, but that he will be a master rather than a slave. He says he's sensible and asks how he could give up so much for so little. He leaves while Sherri calls after him and the aliens drag her away.

Mr. Nexus calls the cop guarding David Vincent who says they'll take care of it immediately. The other alien takes out the lighted metal disc and David pulls out the gun and shoots them both into glowing red death. He runs out of the Vikor Enterprises building and gets in the police cruiser, taking off with the light flashing.

In the house, Sherri is lying on the couch with a book on her tummy as the sound of gas escaping emanates from the fireplace. David Vincent breaks through the door, calls to her and breaks a window in the room. He finds the bugging device on the floor and he picks her up and takes her to the open door and instructs her to take deep breaths, as she begins to revive. He holds the bug while he pretends to make a call to George, saying she's alright and that he got her just in time. He speaks into the listening device, saying it was a good idea for him to give him the gun. He goes on to say that the government wants him to remain under cover, letting them think David is responsible when he is the key man and the only one who can help destroy them. He adds that Sherri sends her best as she looks on unhappily.

George Vikor is in a room with Mr. Nexus and two guards as they all listen to the recording of David Vincent's phony call to him. Vikor looks horrified and yells that he's lying in order to frame him, that he didn't betray them, as the guards hold him down and apply the lighted disc to his neck, as his tongue lolls and he groans and gurgles.

Wowza! George Vikor sells out his wife and David Vincent gets him back in the best worst way possible for it. That was a terrible, but satisfying, turn of events.


Sherri is taking down George's medals in his office. David Vincent enters and she asks if he's had any luck, but he responds that they destroyed all the evidence in the security building. She asks him if he thinks they'll keep after them, but he says no. She says the police said her husband died of a cerebral hemorrhage, but she says he started dying years ago when he was given his medals. 

David says it takes a lot of courage to get one of the medals she holds and also to do what she did. He says he has to go and she asks where. He says he'll go wherever they go for however long it takes. Their eyes meet and he says goodbye. She calls to him as he leaves and says goodbye back to him. William Woodson begins the narration as David walks outside the building at the plant. 

As the Invaders move, so does David Vincent, for they must be stopped. They must be exposed. And if he doesn't do it, who will?

Richard O'Brien as Police Sergeant

Sam Edwards...Hank
Joe di Reda...Phil
Hal Baylor...Guard #1
Larry Duran...Houseboy
Max Kleven...Guard #2 

Director of Photography:
Andrew J. McIntyre

Music by:
Dominic Frontiere 

I liked that we got to see more crooked finger aliens in this episode, that we learned more about how the regeneration tubes worked, and we saw an increasing level of organization and more terrifying degree of advancement of the invasion, with an admission that enslaving humans is the goal. The alien cop is a throwback to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, removing the sense of security that there is someone to go to for help.  

This was a pretty dark episode, with a power hungry husband willing to help the Invaders enslave the human race and trade in his wife in the bargain. While David Vincent has only been punching out the Invaders so far, he did not hesitate to shoot them dead in this episode. He really goes over the top when he sets up the human conspirator to be murdered. I guess they crossed the line with him when they went after the pretty woman. Jack Lord is an amazing actor to watch. I rate this episode four of the crooked fourth fingers.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Don't miss Robert Emhardt, Jeanette Nolan and James T. Callahan in next week's episode!

1 comment:

  1. A very good episode, which spends more time on plot development and the motivations of people who are willing to help the aliens. A refreshing change from murky plots to conquer Earth. I agree that Jack Lord's performance is what makes this episode. His portrayal of a "self-made" man who pulled himself up without anyone's help, and the drive that made him do it (discarded, forgotten war hero) is excellent. He's a man driven by vengeance on humanity who's willing to "use" the aliens to get what he wants -- but who then has to try and walk a tightrope when he sees just how ruthless the aliens really are. His final betrayal of his wife is a jolt, and hence makes it quite satisfying when Vincent turns the tables and sets him up for the fall. This is also Alfred Ryder's first turn as an alien, and he's odd-ball and sinister enough to make a good one. I'll always remember him as the stuttering assistant to fake medium Gladys Cooper in "The Outer Limits" episode "The Borderland". He and Cooper injected the only life into that otherwise limp story! This episode also shows the regeneration process, and has nice effects with the glowing skeletons. But it does lead to later continuity problems, such as in "Labyrinth" where Virginia "Mrs. Olson" Christine (of Folgers Coffee commercial fame!) has X-rayed an alien, and what we see is a metal, robotic-like structure and NOT like a human skeleton. Of course, continuity was a problem for any weekly TV show, what with the tremendous pressures to get them 'in the can' fast for broadcasting, so it can be excused. The whole X-Ray "McGuffin" of Labyrinth worked well for that story.