Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Episode 25: Dark Outpost - 10/24/67

Two ladies are standing near a man on the ground as an ambulance approaches. One of the ladies tells the ambulance driver that his name is Thatcher, and that he stumbled out of his room, made a call, and collapsed. As he's loaded onto the gurney, Thatcher mumbles that he's got to get to Cavanaugh.

As the ambulance speeds Thatcher away with siren blaring, a car drives up alongside, and cuts them off, bringing the ambulance to a stop. Two men get out and say they're from Public Health Service and that they received a call that the man in the ambulance has cholera. When the ambulance driver questions how they know, the man says they are taking him to their hospital in San Francisco to put him in quarantine. When the ambulance driver goes to confirm it on the radio, the man whips out his trusty lighted disc and applies it to the back of his neck. The other man similarly slaps the other EMT with a disc, and with both men down, they remove the patient from the back of the ambulance and load him into their car. The alien in charge instructs the other to wreck the ambulance. 

Starring Roy Thinnes as Architect David Vincent

Guest Stars:
Andrew Prine as Vern Corbett

Dawn Wells as Eileen Brown

Tim McIntire as Hal

Tom Lowell as Steve

Written by:
Jerry Sohl

Directed by:
George McCowan

Act I

An ambulance wrecked on a California highway, its two attendants dead. Cause of death: in both cases, cerebral hemorrhage. To the world, a bizarre coincidence. To David Vincent, much more. 
The woman who spoke with the ambulance driver about Thatcher tells David that Thatcher looked like he had chicken pox. David asks her if he had any friends or relatives who would know where he is, and she tells him he wanted to get to Cavanaugh.

David Vincent sneaks into a warehouse of Cavanaugh Van & Storage. He approaches a gated area instructing unauthorized personnel to keep out, and enters. He finds a pockmarked Thatcher stored in a standing locker. When some men approach, he hides in the locker adjacent to Thatcher's.

The men come and wheel his locker away, which is subsequently loaded onto a spaceship. David exits the locker and observes aliens in jumpsuits nearby. He enters another room, and is knocked down to the ground and loses consciousness when the ship takes off.

He regains consciousness in a very warm place, and opens a hatch in the floor and exits the spaceship, finding himself in a deserted canyon.

He begins climbing the rocks and comes across a woman with groovy sunglasses who is doing some kind of work on the rocks. When she sees him, she screams and runs off.

David comes across the woman with three other men. Dr. Devin welcomes him to God's country, aka Bowman County. Hal asks if he thought he was on Mars. David asks Dr. Devin to come see a flying saucer. They meet up with Steve and Nicole at the truck and all pile in to go see the flying saucer.

David leads them in the direction of the saucer, saying it's just over the hill, but of course, it is nowhere to be found. As they stare down at the spot where it was, a green suited, pinky raised alien watches them through a pair of binoculars.

Déjà vu! It feels like we're revisiting The Mutation, The Innocent, and The Saucer. Perhaps it's just that familiar desert scenery, along with the close encounter with a space vehicle. So what's going on with the pockmarked man and the alien lockers? Is this an Invader virus infecting humans, or a human virus infecting Invaders? It's always a great day when DV is hitchhiking on a spaceship and folks are getting slapped with lighted discs. 

Act II

Dr. Devin consults with his students on whether or not David Vincent is a crank. The kids note that he wears expensive shoes and he couldn't have hiked far in them. Hal suggests he parachuted in, to the annoyance of Devin, who would like to know more. He tells the kids to try and get along while he's gone. Vern goes after him, and Devin acknowledges that it must be rough for him after what happened the night before with Eileen. Vern considers hiking out, but Devin convinces him to stay and return with the rest tomorrow.

Vern and Eileen share an awkward moment as she slights his manhood, while Dr. Devin goes to investigate the alleged landing site with David Vincent. They find marks on the ground, which David claims were made by the landing pods. Dr. Devin notices tire tracks, and Vincent tells him they unloaded something that looked like lockers.

They continue exploring the area and come across a gated installation, manned by a soldier in US Army uniform. He tells them the area is restricted, and there's no chance of them seeing the commander. He tells them to turn around, and punctuates his demand by cocking his rifle, which invites David to go for the gun. He pushes the guard's head down at an odd angle, and slams him into the fence, which was all that was needed for him to glow red and disintegrate. He tells Devin it was one of his flying saucer people.

They both run up to a building, and wait while a green suited alien exits. Inside, they peer through a window to another room to see an alien operating an interesting set of controls with a cute little wheel, while two others stand by one of the lockers, which is glowing red and contains a man. They sneak inside the room. As the controls are turned off and the glowing stops, the man opens his eyes and exits the locker. The aliens remove another locker from a drawer, and open it to reveal Thatcher.

Meanwhile, David Vincent sneaks over to the controls and steals the cute little wheeled apparatus, and hides behind the machines.

The alien goes over to his console to turn on the machinery and notices his little wheel is gone. He directs some green jumpsuits to look behind the machinery, and they drag out Dr. Devin and give him the cerebral hemorrhaging lighted disc treatment while David watches. The alien in charge tells them to search him and they claim he hasn't got it, but tells them to search him again, and David Vincent uses the opportunity to sneak out of the building.

In the meantime, Vern is working under the hood of the truck, and Hal is annoying Eileen by nuzzling at her neck. When she asks him to cut it out several times, Vern's testosterone goes into overdrive and he goes after Hal, but is restrained by Steve. Hal smirks and tells him he forgot that Eileen doesn't want him anymore, and she warns Hal not to goad Vern. Vern says he's going to get Dr. Devin, and grabs a pick.

David Vincent comes running up to the group, saying they're in danger and need to get out of there, but they demand to know where Dr. Devin is. He informs them that the saucer men killed him, and are on their way to get them. Hal gives him a hard time, until they see soldiers arriving in jeeps. David Vincent hides the wheeled apparatus inside the air filter. The soldiers demand at gunpoint that they all come with them to see the camp commander. Vern says he needs to replace the air filter where David hid the apparatus, which falls out as he grabs it, and the unaware soldier inadvertently crushes it into the dust. Eileen sees a large fragment and picks it up, and they all pile into the truck to be escorted back to the installation.

It's a good thing David Vincent can tell Invaders from humans, or he could be getting himself into real trouble fighting with soldiers in the army. After showing such bravado to break in, he was pretty weak when it came to protecting Dr. Devin from the Invaders. He should have gotten them both out of there before the aliens noticed he had stolen their toy. And here we have yet another jilted lover on The Invaders to assure us that these folks are stupid humans and not aliens in disguise. 


One of the soldiers puts his hands on Vern, who displays his machismo by saying, "You try that again, friend, and we're going to war." The group is ushered inside a vacated barracks, and they turn to David Vincent for answers. He explains that the soldiers are really aliens and were responsible for killing Dr. Devin.

Eileen apologizes to Vern for what happened the night before, and he tells her to do what she wants with Hal, but not in front of him. Hal tells him to relax and be a good loser, and Vern walks away from them. Vern asks what building Devin was killed in, and he tells them it was the one next door. They ask what he was doing there, and he tells them he was getting evidence of their existence. He says that they searched them and brought them there because he hid it. Vern suggests he return it, but David says then they would have no reason to keep them alive.

A uniformed commander enters and identifies himself as Colonel Harris. Hal asks why they were brought there and searched. They are told it's a secret military base, and they stole an important piece of equipment. David asks what's missing, and he says it was a circular crystal. Nicole asks about Dr. Devin, and Col. Harris says he had an injury and is being treated. They all look to David Vincent, who says he'd like to see him. Col. Harris tells them to return the stolen property, but Steve insists they see Dr. Devin before they return the crystal. As they leave, Hal tells Vincent to give them the crystal. Harris turns around and asks which one is Vincent. David steps forward and says he is, and then both Vern and Steve claim they are Vincent. Harris tells them to take their time playing their games.

Vern complains about being pushed around while he was in the army and being pushed around again now that he's out. Hal says it's groovy to be locked up with two squares, a freak, and Eileen's ex-boyfriend. She says her ex-boyfriend is cooler than a lot of people she knows. Nicole claims they don't even know David Vincent, and Steve says they'll go along with him as long as they can't produce Dr. Devin.

Col. Harris speaks to the group through a blinking hypnotic device attached to the ceiling, saying they will see what he wants them to see and hear what he wants them to hear. His voice is unheard as he says a man will enter their barracks in a few minutes.

As the gang discusses what the army can and can not do, Dr. Devin enters the barracks, smiling and saying hello. Hal goes after David Vincent, who restrains him, insisting he saw them kill Devin. Vern demands that he give the crystal back, which David refuses to do. Fake Devin says the colonel knows he has it. He adds that David lied about the saucer and about him dying, and asks what he wants.

Col. Harris enters asking which one is Vincent, and this time only David steps forward. He asks him where the crystal is, and David asks if it's important because it's used as part of their equipment to cure his people. David insists he has it and he should let the kids go because they don't. The colonel refuses, and David and Vern ask why not. Col. Harris claims their project is so important that the lives of everyone in the country depends on it. He tells them if David refuses to return the crystal, they will be taken out one by one and executed as enemies of the country. Vern says they don't have the authority to do that, and everyone starts freaking out. Harris instructs the soldiers to start with one of the men and leaves.

They go for Hal, and the rest attempt to fight them off. Vincent and Hal get knocked out and the soldiers decide to do Steve first instead. Nicole attempts to pull them off, but they drag Steve outside, as one of the soldiers shoots at Vern's feet to keep him from following them. They wipe the dirt off the windows to see what's happening outside. Vern sees Steve led up to a gallows where a noose is placed around his neck, while David sees him prepared to be shot execution style, and Eileen sees him tied to a pole in front of a firing squad. They all watch as Steve is executed in three different ways.

Those crazy aliens with their mind control devices! I'm surprised they don't use them more often. They'd better hope these three don't compare notes on Steve's execution, or the jig is up. Too bad nobody asked Dr. Devin some pointed questions to expose him for the imposter that he is, but I guess there wasn't time. I thought this was a well done, anxiety inducing segment, though I was sort of surprised that David Vincent didn't give in and lead the aliens to the crystal rather than risk the kids' lives. I suppose he assumed they were goners either way. 

Act IV

Vern tells David that he may as well tell them where the crystal is since they're going to be finished off anyway. Col. Harris enters and asks where the crystal is, and David tells him it's in the air filter in the truck. They leave to go find it, and Nicole is thankful it's over. As David, Eileen and Vern watch through the window, the aliens look in the air filter and can't find the crystal, so they proceed to search the whole truck. David insists that's where he hid it and Vern tells fake Devin that Steve was the one to put the air filter back on.

Nicole is resigned to die and Vern is determined to find something to fight with, as he tries to shake Hal out of his stupor. Eileen digs into her purse that holds the fragment of the alien part, and removes her compact to make sure she looks good before dying. Vern tells David that being shot in there is better than being hanged like Steve in a public execution. David says he saw him shot with a pistol, and asks Eileen how she saw Steve die, which she says was by firing squad. Fake Devin asks what he's talking about and David tells them they're making them see what they want them to, and that they're being brainwashed.

Fake Devin tries to tell them not to listen to him, as they locate the mind controlling device on the ceiling. Vern removes it and fake Devin tries to stop David from destroying it, but Vern pushes him aside, and as the device is destroyed, fake Devin is revealed to be one of the army officials. He leaves, and the group is stunned that they were duped. Nicole realizes that Steve's alive and Hal wonders for how long.

Col. Harris realizes that the group destroyed the crystal when his officer shows up. As Eileen is going through the items in her purse, David sees that she has a fragment of the crystal, which she believes is a rock specimen. The kids think that since they didn't break it, they will be let go, but David says he doesn't think so, since they know of the aliens' existence.

Col. Harris returns with Steve and says he's done playing games and that they will die if he doesn't get his crystal back. David says he wants the kids to be let go and he will get them the crystal. Harris says the kids are free to go and he and the soldiers lead David Vincent away. As the kids exit the barracks, the soldiers outside stop them and hold them at gunpoint.

David Vincent tells Harris that he hid the crystal in one of the ventilator holes in the room where he took the crystal. Harris asks which one and he says the first one, but he claims he wouldn't have put it there as it would have broken when it hit the floor. He says everything happened so fast that he doesn't remember what happened to it. Harris starts slapping him around and repeatedly asking where it is.

As the soldiers continue to hold the kids at gunpoint, Eileen tosses the crystal fragment at them and asks if it's what they're looking for. When the guards are distracted, the boys rush them and start throwing punches. Vern uppercuts one of them with a rifle butt, causing him to glow red and disintegrate, to their surprise.

He tells them all to get in the truck as he goes to save David Vincent from being slapped to death. Vern uses his army training to shoot down all the aliens in the room as David escapes. They jump into the truck and take off.

Col. Harris turns out to be another flawed alien. He wastes all that time trying to make them believe that he was killing their friend Steve, when he could have really been killing their friend Steve. What is up with that? Was he really going to let them go if they gave up the crystal? I find that hard to believe, but then why spare Steve? If that crystal is so vital, why don't they keep a backup crystal on hand? Is it really so critical to curing aliens of chicken pox? And what is up with slap happy Col. Harris? Apparently he was not allocated one of those spinny truth telling crystals, or he could have gotten the truth out of David Vincent without so much effort. I guess the aliens are issued only one mind control device at a time. Silly aliens!


David Vincent returns to the barracks with Eileen and Vern to show an army official the alien installation, which has now been cleared out. He says that it used to be Camp Crowley, which was deactivated in 1947, and is inspected regularly. He says that they have their depositions, which will go into the report, and that they'll continue to search for Devin.

He dismisses them, and Vern asks David if he ever gets discouraged. David says yes, and asks if Vern does too, but Vern says not lately, as he guides Eileen out of the room.

The Army report will be thorough and painstaking, but without proof, its conclusions will be negative. And David Vincent resumes his war against the high command of another army--the army of alien Invaders. 

William Sargent as Dr. John Devin
Kelly Jean Peters as Nicole
White Bissell as Colonel Harris

Susan Davis...Mrs. James
William Stevens...Sergeant
William Wintersole...Carr
Bard Stevens...Ambulance Driver
Walter Reed...Major
Sam Edwards...Thatcher

Director of Photography:
 Andrew J. McIntyre

Invaders theme by:
Dominic Frontiere

The aliens are catching chicken pox at a rate that requires a whole operation of aliens stuffed into lockers and transported by spaceship where there is only one very crucial piece of equipment available to cure them. It was rather funny that the aliens were responsible for crushing their own lifesaving device during their attempt to retrieve it, but then they just waste the rest of the episode playing with their mind control toys, and scaring young people, when they could have really applied the screws to this group and made things happen a little faster. It was fun to see the lengths these imperfect creatures went to in order to cure chicken pox, which must be very unpleasant for Invaders. 

It was a fun episode to watch, with a nice tour of a spaceship and many alien devices on display, but when the Invaders showed they weren't willing to start killing their captives, they ended up appearing weak. I would have given 3.5 pinkies just for David Vincent having his shirt unbuttoned through most of the episode, but that half pinky gets lost because the Invaders in this episode were so wimpy, and also because I'm trying not to think about why Vern would get back together with Eileen. 

Invaders veterans, Michael Rennie, Diana Hyland, and William Windom return next week


  1. A bit belated, but I lost track of this site for a while ...

    Did You Know :
    - that Tim McIntire and Kelly Jean Peters were married to each other in real life?

    A couple of years after this, circa '69, McIntire and Peters played young marrieds in a sitcom pilot that didn't sell, titled JUSTICE FOR ALL.

    You can find this show on YouTube, along with a revised version from a year later called THOSE WERE THE DAYS, in which the McIntires were replaced by other young actors - and then another revision from a year after that, with the young ones recast again, that was retitled ALL IN THE FAMILY.

    Really - check them out.

  2. You showed incredible restraint by not writing, "Eileen says, 'Vern, I wouldn't want you if we were stranded together on a desert island.'" I, sadly, showed no such restraint. Seriously, Dawn Wells showed range here. Not a Mary Ann-type performance.

    Big picture-wise, I agree with something Larry Cohen said. The show suffered from too many aliens. The fun would've been in guessing who was and who wasn't. But when they were all over the place, well...It also begged the question, how did they infiltrate this country and the government and the military so well with only one architect really figuring it out? Even an unbelievable premise needs credulity within its universe, and IMO, there were too many aliens by season 2.

  3. It's Christmas Eve 2021....Dawn Wells passed almost one year ago today(12/30/20) at age 82. The age-old question of Mary Ann or Ginger was always a no-brainer....I & millions simply adored Dawn.

    When I saw this INVADERS episode on MeTV recently,I was pleasantly surprised to see her as an opening credits guest star. I agree that she did a nice job in an un-Mary Ann-type role but she did a lot of TV dramas in the early 60s & was always very believable. I had lunch with Dawn back in the 80s (long story) & she was as wonderful & charming as you'd expect. I miss ya, sweetheart.