Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Episode 10: The Innocent - 3/14/67

At Clement Air Force Base, two military men enter a locked file room. One comments to his senior officer on how tired he must be since he hasn't slept for 24 hours, and he wishes he knew what he was looking for. The captain responds that it's similar to the Vincent report, it starts with a 'P', and he'll know it when he sees it. The sergeant helpfully directs him to the 'P' section, but the captain opens a drawer and finds it empty. He berates the sergeant for first losing the Ambrose file and now the P files. He sends him upstairs to look for them.

The captain starts pulling other files when another officer enters the locked room, saying Capt. Gardner wants to see him now. The captain questions why he'd want to see him at midnight, and tells the officer to let him know he'll see him when he can. The officer advances, insisting that he'll come now, as he pulls a gun and points it at him. He asks if he can get his briefcase and goes to the open briefcase and uses the gun inside it to shoot through the briefcase at the officer. He sees the man fall and a red glow emanates from the space behind the files where his body landed.

The sergeant comes running in and they creep towards the place the officer fell with their guns drawn, but all they find is a gun and some charred substance on the floor.


Starring Roy Thinnes as Architect David Vincent

Guest Stars:
as Nat Greely

as Edna Greely

as Helen

and Special Guest Star: 
as Magnus 


Directed by:

Act I

In a decaying lobster port in Maine, David Vincent searches for a man who has seen the Invaders: a fisherman named Nat Greely, who has taken one of their weapons - a strange, metallic disk. For a day and a half, Vincent has combed the tiny waterfront town, but Nat Greely has disappeared.
The Air Force sergeant we saw in the beginning is poking around in David Vincent's car at a pier. David asks if he's looking for someone and the officer ascertains that he's David Vincent. He tells him that Captain Ross wants him in Washington. He hands him a subpoena and directs him to follow him in his car, saying they have a plane waiting for him. Two menacing fisherman watch them leave, as one adjusts his collar, exposing his crooked pinky.

Captain Ross is yelling at David Vincent, mocking him for saying the aliens burn and vanish when they die. David determines that the reason the Captain is freaking out is because he's seen it happen. The Captain admits he has and asks if he's heard of the Peterson Committee. He explains that the committee was formed to look into his findings and says he wants David there to testify. David says he gave up his girl, his business and his plans to fight them. He shares that he once dreamed of developing a valley in California. He says he'll testify, but asks what makes him think they'll believe him. The Captain foolishly believes that the two of them together will convince them. David insists they need proof and that Nat Greely has the proof they need.

Two men in suits and hat approach a boy on a boat and begin chatting him up until his mom, Mrs. Greely comes out of the cabin. They ask for Mr. Greely and introduce themselves as two lawyers who want to locate her husband for a supposed inheritance. Mrs. Greely is not buying it, saying that the only thing passed on was a liking for liquor. They say if they can't find her husband, the money will go to the sailor's fund. She says she'll tell her husband about it when she sees him and dismisses the men. She digs around for the family bible and determines that the uncle the men said her husband was inheriting from died when he was fourteen, and that they must have been playing some sort of joke.

David Vincent approaches the boat and introduces himself. He says her husband is in danger and he can help him. She is reluctant to tell him anything. He gives her his Air Force buddy's card and asks her to call so he can vouch for him. She goes to a pay phone to make the call.

David goes into a closed off area of the pier. A sweaty Nat Greely turns a light on and points a gun at David Vincent, asking who he is. He says his wife told him who he was. He says he knows what he's going through, that the disc he has is one of their weapons, that they're after it and are trying to kill him. He asks where the disc is but Nat says he hid it after they tried to kill him. David explains that they need the disc to convince the government that the Invaders are here. Greely finally agrees and asks him to meet him at a wharf later.

Lil' Nattie sees the two bad men coming and tells his mom. She tells him to come inside, but he tries to run for help and the men grab him. They tell her they have a few things to settle. He tries to wriggle out of their grasp, but they say it concerns him as well.

David Vincent had a girl? Where was he hiding her? He has found another ally in government. Will he get the evidence he needs to prove once and for all that the Invaders are here on Earth? I think not.

Act II

Mrs. Greely goes running to her husband's hideout and tells him he can't give David the metal disc because two men came and said they want the disc as well as Mr. Vincent, and if they don't give them what they want, they're going to kill them.

David waits in the fog and walks out an alley when he hears Nat Greely drive up and exit his car, only to be grabbed by two aliens as he steps out of the alley toward Greely. A cloth is held over his face until he loses consciousness. Greely takes a swig from his liquor bottle.

David Vincent is taken to a mansion where he is greeted warmly by a man who commends Greely on his job, leading David to believe that Greely is one of them. The man denies that he is, but comments that he's been useful in returning the disc and delivering David. He asks Greely to wait inside the house and leads David, accompanied by guards, to a spaceship sitting out in his yard. He enters the ship with a look of disbelief and walks through a red lit room and then a green lit room where he is provided a seat.

The alien in charge tells him there's nothing to be afraid of and instructs him to sit so he can explain. He acknowledges that the Invaders have committed blunders, that they've used terror and violence and have even killed, but notes that it's in keeping with Earth history.  He says that they have orders to stop and he wants to show him that they're only here to help, to contribute their knowledge. He tells him he wants him to come on a short trip with them to see how they can help each other.

His head is secured in the seat and the alien explains it is to protect him, and further states that the trip may cause him to lose consciousness. Lights flash and David's eyes close as he looks pained. Aliens stand around him, holding metallic orbs. He regains consciousness and the head alien asks if he's alright, telling him he was only unconscious for a little while. He says he should rest and tells him he has a surprise for him. He asks him to think of a place he's always missed: a place that he believed held the key to his future happiness, that was once a valley until drought made it a desert. The view screen opens on a view of a valley and David identifies it as Santa Margaretta Valley.

They descend the ladder of the spaceship and David is amazed to see the lush valley and asks how they did it. The alien says there's more to see and that the car waiting is for them.

Michael Rennie is perfect! David Vincent goes for a ride on a spaceship! The aliens have decided that conquering Earth is not working out so they're going to help the people of Earth instead. Yeah, right. More alien trickery. David has aspirations he's kept hidden, but the bigger question is how did the Invaders know about his dreams of developing the Margaretta Valley?


David drives the head alien up to the architects' building, and admires the architecture before entering the building. David asks how they accomplished the development without water and his alien escort boasts that their advanced technology was able to build what was believed to be an impossible dam. David comments that only one engineer he knew, Billy Stearns, thought it might be possible.

They enter the building where some doors open up and men in suits pour out of the room. David recognizes one of the men as Billy Stearns and they greet each other happily. Billy says they told him David was coming but he didn't believe them. David asks what he's doing and he admits he's working for them. He says he fought them at first, until the alien leader made him understand. He tells David that the building is made of a material they were looking for since college. They make a date to see the dam that Billy is building. David notices that Billy is not limping and his alien friend says injury and disability are human concepts. He asks if they can work miracles and he says they can do whatever he wants.

As they walk and talk, a young redhead comes running up, calling David's name. He sees her and recognizes her as Helen, and goes running to meet up with her while the romantic music swells. He embraces her and she is surprised he remembers since it was such a long time ago. The alien says he'll leave them alone, and she takes him for a drive.

David and his gal pal are riding through the Santa Margaretta Valley with the top down and smiles plastered on their faces. David says he doesn't understand any of what they did with the town and that first there was Billy working there and now her. She says it's a world where anything they want can be accomplished and that the Invaders can teach them how not to let human emotions get in the way of what they want. She acknowledges that that's what happened to them–that they were so in love that everything was an emotional crisis.

She asks him to stay with her at her house by the lake where they can swim all morning and she'll fix them some drinks. He begins to look concerned and she asks what's the matter. He says something's wrong with the town and the whole valley. He wonders why the dam wasn't mentioned in the newspaper and she says it's because it's all so new. He asks why she's lying and she denies that she is. She says it's just the two of them, but he remembers that she's married in England and she tells him to forget all that. He says he was there a month ago and there was nothing, but she says he's ill from the flight. He repeats that there's something wrong and she asks him to stay with her.

She starts screaming repeatedly for Magnus and he steps out of the architect building as she pulls up to it. David runs toward him as she continues yelling and then disappears with the car. Magnus disappears and a group of people run to surround David as we hear Magnus repeating, "Stay with us, Mr. Vincent." We see David back in the chair with the head restraint as a group of alien men encircle him and lay their hands on him. David regains consciousness and realizes it was all in his mind. Magnus says it would have been easier if he'd cooperated, but now they'll have to do what has to be done a little differently.

It's possible that David was into this redhead but threw her over for his quest to expose the Invaders, so she got married and went to England. So how did they obtain this personal information about David Vincent? Did they dig it out of his brain or get it from their mole in the government? What are they going to do with him now? It was obvious David Vincent was dreaming when we saw him smile a toothy grin for the first time ever. It looks like Sgt. Ruddell is one of them. Did David see him when he was coming out of his trance?

Act IV

Back at alien headquarters, Magnus enters the room where David is seated. He informs him that Captain Ross has been informed by now that neither David nor Greely has showed up at the flight to take them to the Committee to testify. He tells him he wants him to call Captain Ross and tell him that he knows nothing about the Invaders and that they exist only in his imagination. David notes that he's afraid of his testimony at the Peterson Committee and refuses to call. Magnus gives a signal and Greely is brought in to beg David to do what they want or they will kill his wife and son.

Magnus picks up the phone on his end of the table and David reluctantly picks up the phone in front of him at the other end. He asks for Captain Ross and tells him he'll have to go to the Committee without their testimony and that there never have been any aliens. Captain Ross asks if he is in some kind of trouble, but he says the only one in trouble is him. He hangs up the phone and asks if they should get on with it. Magnus tells Greely that he's free and Greely tells David he only did it for his family and that they promised him they wouldn't kill David.

Greely leaves and an alien brings a tray of liquor bottles and sets it in front of David. Magnus offers him a drink and when he tries to leave, he is restrained and liquor is poured down his throat. Outside, Greely says he can find the highway himself, but they offer him a car and club him when he goes to get inside it, pouring liquor over him. Meanwhile, David is choking on booze and has only made it through two thirds of one of the four bottles laid out in front of him, but he's already blotto.

Magnus holds out a set of keys to David, which he follows. The two aliens pile him into the backseat and drive him out to a steep grade where a car is parked on the side of the road. Greely is already in the driver's seat and David is placed in the passenger seat. Magnus opens the driver's side door and says goodbye to him while another alien puts the car in gear and pushes it so that it begins descending the steep cliff.

David calls to Nat, but realizes he's worse off than he is. He grabs the wheel and attempts to drunkenly steer it, with non-functioning brakes. He careens down the mountain and drives through construction barriers, coming to a stop and rolling at a construction site. Nat crawls out of the overturned car, which is now smoking and drags David out and away to safety. The car explodes as they look on.

The scene with the forced inebriation and staged car accident seems familiar. Now where have I seen that before? Perhaps Roger Thornhill knows. These aliens can't decide if they want to kill David Vincent or not. They went to a lot of trouble to set him up in a fantasy world and then staged a car accident when that failed. Why not just give him a good old fashioned alien disc induced brain hemorrhage and get it over with? Alien beings from a dying planet indeed.


Back at Clement Air Force Base, David has a bruised face and an arm in a sling as he and Nat Greely sit in front of a displeased Captain Ross. David still wants to meet with the Peterson Committee, but Capt. Ross tells him he informed them they had no proof. David tells him to send men to the mansion to find proof. Capt. Ross said he did send men, but they found no proof, and he suggests David and his drinking buddy go find another bar.

There's a knock on the door and Sergeant Ruddell enters to speak with Capt. Ross. When he leaves, David says that Sgt. Ruddell was on the ship, but Capt. Ross tells him to get out. After they leave, he calls security and asks them to check up on Ruddell.

A trip to a nightmare world. A committee disbanded. Another defeat, another hope lost for David Vincent - maybe. Or maybe it's a hope begun.

Dabney Coleman as Captain Mitchell Ross
Robert Doyle as Sgt. Walter Ruddell
Frank Marth as Alien #1
Paul Carr as Billy Stearns

Johnny Jensen...Young Nat
Harry Lauter...Alien #2
Erik Holland...M.P. Alien
Director of Photography:
 Andrew J. McIntyre

Music by:

Captain Ross may discover that David was telling the truth after all, but it will likely be too late when he does, so I'd say it's a hope lost rather than a hope begun. The aliens continue to successfully keep their presence hidden through the most convoluted means. How long until they are exposed to the world? They are good at staying hidden and not so good at conquering Earth, but that could be because they lost their plans for taking over Earth in last week's episode. Michael Rennie elevates this episode and the dreamlike quality made it interesting. 

Get ready to be schooled with the Invaders next week!


  1. Watch the part where the aliens are getting David drunk. You never see one of them put the bottle in David's mouth, the view is always blocked.

    That is because Roy Thinnes had recently had his teeth capped and he wasn't going to chance having them damaged by the person holding the bottle, so he said no to someone shoving a bottle into his mouth.

    1. I don't blame him. No wonder this was the first episode we actually saw him flashing his pearly whites. He was just showing off his new chompers. It worked well to create the impression that things were amiss in this episode.

  2. This was almost like "two episodes in one". The rather tedious plot with the fisherman and his family (and since he's such a lush, what makes Vincent think he'll be a credible witness for the Air Force?). Then the superb 'episode within an episode' about Vincent's abduction and dream. Agreed -- Michael Rennie gives probably the best performance in the entire series here. Interesting casting choice as well, because he was so associated with a much "better" alien in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in the public mind. Whether planned or not, his casting here helps bolster the dark, sinister aspects of The Invaders once again. I'd really have liked it if they'd expanded this whole dream sequence into an episode in and of itself. Gone much more in depth on Vincent's aspirations, his life "before" the invasion, his love interest, etc. As for how they could have "created" this elaborate sequence from David's own thoughts, and memories... perhaps they gleaned it during "The Experiment" episode (with Roddy McDowell)?