Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Production Order #13
Broadcast Order #24
Original Airdate: 3/9/64
Starring Alex Nicol, Ruth Roman, Tim O'Connor.
Written by William Bast from a story by Lou Morheim and Joseph Stefano.
Directed by Robert Florey.

A group working on the moon uncover a perfectly spherical moonstone that turns out to be a refuge ship from the planet Grippia. When their call for help brings the Grippians' tyrannical pursuers, the team of Earthlings has to decide if they will provide amnesty, or turn them over to their masters for punishment.

JS: We interrupt our winning streak of episodes this week with a note from our sponsor. Meaning—if you need to take a bathroom break, now is the time.

PE: I don't usually take 49 minutes in the bathroom (even at my advanced age) but for this episode I'll change my habits. Call me when it's over. I'll be reading Schow's book instead.

I wonder why the Grippians like Brice the most.
JS: When they first found the Grippian exercise ball in the lunar quicksand, I was sure we had finally discovered the origin of The Prisoner's Rover.

PE: I assumed it was from the Lunar Patrol Volleyball Tournament the Sunday before.

JS: Having seen still shots of the Grippians, I was not overly impressed. I will say this—stills don't do them justice. In motion, they're actually very creepy and very effective. And in my opinion, they represent a bear once again tarnished by a far too mundane voice. I'm perfectly willing to accept why they can speak English, but the voiceover by Ben Wright, whose work I similarly didn't appreciate in "A Feasibility Study," seems inappropriate without some modulation or effect to make it at least sound different than the Earthlings.

PE: Seriously, I thought it was Burl Ives as the Head Grippian. I swear he mentions there are five "big shots" in that sphere but I only saw four. (They were taking turns looking in the viewfinder. You realize that by saying all Grippians look alike, your a racist. Or is that a speciest? -JS) Was Einstein sleeping? Aside from that voice though, these are pretty creepy critters. If they'd only had a story to go with them.

JS: I'm really beginning to recognize these Outer Limits locations. Am I on the moon? A gothic southern mansion? A top secret government facility? Those wildly spinning dials brought me right back to "The Man with the Power." I think...

PE: My head was hurting doing the math. Ok,  Korean war vets. That war ended in '53. Does this take place in '63? Is this an alternate universe where technology has advanced so quickly we have a spa on the moon? They mention "those guys" several times (damn Russkies!) so I'm inclined to believe it's meant to be early 60s. Yeah, it's The Outer Limits, and I had no problem at all watching a guy travel back in time to stop a man from being born, but maybe, because there's nothing else for me to concentrate on, this stuff bugs me.

JS: I'm a fan of Tim O'Connor, who I came to know as Dr. Heur on Leslie Stevens' Buck Rogers. He plays a bit of a limp noodle here, but that appears to be the role that was written.

PE: You're slipping, Scoleri. Where's your love for Hari Rhodes, who played the pivotal role of MacDonald in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes?

JS: Getting back to the moon—early on I figured that the Grippians were using the Earthlings for entertainment, as if they had accidentally tuned into a soap opera. Of course, after a few days watching the love triangle and questionable moral tales of Stocker's choices in Korea, I'd have blown myself up, too.

PE: No doubt about it. This one smelled like the inside of the Grippian ball. I loved how we have two stories moving effortlessly to one outcome here: Grippians in danger and asking for help from puny humans and the Anderson/Stocker feud about a village in Korea. Brice (Roman) is ready to dump her man over the tough choice he had to make in Korea, not even willing to hear his side. When our merry band of moon explorers are given the choice to surrender the ball or die,  Brice stands up in the bleachers and screams "Pass the f&%*ing ball!"

JS: And then there's the line, "No reason not to trust them." Really? Clearly I'm cynical, but one of these days, my conspiracy theory will come true. Kudos to Stefano and company for consistently fooling me into thinking the aliens have ulterior motives.

PE: Never mind that line. How about when Mendl  (Curt Conway) warns: "They've cut our communication. Apparently they mean business!"

JS: My favorite L-OL moment: Major Anderson's 'trip' aka dive into the electronic equipment.

PE: Pure cinematic poetry. I'll see your ballet move and raise you Major Anderson's recovery. Apparently Hugh Hefner was concerned enough to send up pajamas and robe and Anderson wanders the corridors to great effect.


David J. Schow on "Moonstone":
From The Outer Limits Companion, Copyright © David J. Schow, 1986, 1998.  All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission and by special arrangement with the author.

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  1. You've got to give "Moonstone" points for effort, even though it's another of OUTER LIMITS' "one-timers" for both writer Bast and director Florey (not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself; see "The Guests"). It manages an adequate feeling of remote isolationism, but whooo boy, is it ever a regression after the likes of "Sixth Finger" and "Man Who Was Never Born." Perhaps its most important contribution to the OUTER LIMITS canon is that it provided the press arm with plenty of pictures of guys in spacesuits, the better to emphasize the series as "science fiction" in countless newspaper and weekly TV-guide advertisements.

    Want to be unexpectedly fascinated by William Bast? Go HERE:

  2. Zzzzz ... oh, excuse me, that's another episode.

    (I can't get through this episode without slipping into a blurry coma ... as obviously one of DJS' pages posted here did, too.)

  3. I see CAPTAIN VIDEO has returned. What a disaster after getting our hopes up so high. When the Major cracked wise to the two star General, I practically spilled my beer. Anyone who has ever spent time in the service knows this would be a career ending joke. And then the Major acts surprised to learn that he will be transfered to Earth! Plus I didn't buy into how everyone accepted the aliens story as the gospel truth. This gets zero growlers.

  4. I beg to differ lads. Though it's far from being in my top ten, this ep. was an entertaining nugget of cool sci-fi fantasy. I'd like to offer concrete reasons or examples about what was so good about it, but I can't. It just had some intangible quality that I can't put my finger on that makes me give it 3 Zantis. Maybe it was the mass suicide the critters did in the end that won me over.

    They did sort of drop the ball when it came to the whole moral dilemma/bad decisions during war side story. Kind of off-topic, but if anybody is interested in a great noir concerning the after scars of war, I'd like to recommend 'Act of Violence' starring Robert Ryan. It's about two war veterans that play cat and mouse across an urban landscape which will have you questioning just who to root for.

  5. John and Peter, I have a feeling you could have gone on and on with this one; there's sure a lot o' fodder here. But you guys hit on some of the most amusing/absurd points. I also wondered about that Korean timeline/when this takes place--I suppose more than I should have.

    Nice that there's a healthy supply of "moonshine" on hand (sorry, someone had to say it).

    Ruth Roman was okay, but looked a little too "space mom". I do have to say her "scientific tapping" method was pretty damned authentic--the first thing any scientist will try when encountering an unknown object. And after a bunch of handling it barehanded, THEN she puts on gloves.

    I have seen this one waaaaayyyyy less than most, so it had been a while--but I was less impressed with the staging of Mendl's death this time.

    I was, however, impressed with the Grips, in fact in some compositions they remind me of one of those terrific 1950s Richard Powers sci-fi paperback covers.

    One Zanti, for Grippian sake.

  6. This one soured me on Tim O'Connor for years, but I eventually saw the light (somehow I missed season two's "Soldier" until I was well into my 20s). The Grippians are cool, and Ruth Roman's gravity-defying bouffant and space high-heels are good for a laugh. Otherwise, interminable.

    Happily, there's a long run of great or at least interesting episodes before OL gets this wretched again.

  7. I'm glad someone else saw the high heels--I thought I was imagining it! Did they all drink martinis at 5:00, too?

    In my post on Feasibility Study, I mentioned that it was unusual for a group of characters to solve their problem by committing suicide, but here come the Grippians just a few episodes later to prove that maybe it's more common than I think. I suspect the creators of this show wanted viewers to have a similar emotional reaction to that, but it ain't happening--and I bet the censor didn't have any problem with it this time around, either. If the creators had managed to build the kind of empathy with the aliens that we had for the residents of Midgard Drive, this might have been a much more memorable episode than it is.

    I like this one well enough on the B-movie level, though, I guess, and I definitely like the undulating Grippian eyeball effect, but overall, it's pretty routine. There are worse OL episodes out there (and we'll get to them . . . .)

  8. A time-and-place flashback: "Moonstone" was the first OUTER LIMITS episode I ever taped while it was being broadcast -- at 1 A.M., at a friend's apartment, on HIS brand-spankin' new Betamax.

  9. "SPACE MOM! (echo chamber) The OUTER LIMITS Spinoff That Never Was ..."

    ... starring many of the bitter, disapproving, staple-mouthed scolds who populated the distaff side of THE OUTER LIMITS' collection of Odd Couples: Ruth Roman, Geraldine Brooks, Jacqueline Scott, Priscilla Morrill, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Janet Blair, Olive Deering, Nina Foch, and many others, sourpusses all, resolutely NOT "babes" or "eye candy," standing fast, arms akimbo, ready to veto any and everything in their fine stiletto heels.

    WHY ARE THESE WOMEN SO MISERABLE? Because their men are all puffy, bloated, chunky, balding, simian, or thirty years older than THEY are. Because they were lock-stepped into traditional "female roles" limiting them being "romantic interests" for guys in smocks and uniforms -- guys who got all the good dialogue, in scripts written by OTHER guys. Because they got a gander at Shirley Knight, Jill Haworth, Sally K., Salome Jens and Joanna Frank and realized THE FIFTIES WERE SOOO OVER!

    SPACE MOM! Full of Girls Who Will Never Go Wild!

  10. I suspect Joan from MAD MEN would be the ideal SPACE MOM! viewer. Peggy not so much, but I bet she'd dig THE OUTER LIMITS...

  11. Yeah, regrettably, something has to qualify as the worst episode on the production schedule to date. I'd place this one a notch below "Specimen Unknown."

    It seems stodgy and hidebound, playing out too many shallow character and story dynamics we had seen in the first-encounter B-programmers over the previous decade-and-a-half. Against such, it stands up pretty well, a retro-'50s double-bill filler. The problem is, this wasn't TOL's already established level of play. We had already seen too many stylish classics by the time this one aired.

    I'm a shameless fan of '50s sf---my favorite guilty-pleasure decade. I like more of that stuff than most people will admit to. But they require a special license---a free pass on their antiquated conventions and techno-babble. From TOL we'd already seen numerous examples of TV-transcendent, cinema-worthy film. Thus, this one can't help but seem like a lightweight---BEACHBALL FROM PLANET AROUS. And Larry Blamire's right: I also shake my head at the casual handling of this unknown artifact---no thought to the existence of lunabombers?

    There are admirable elements: The Grippians are interesting, an original alien concept ingeniously realized on the cheap. (Who climbed the Beverly Hills light pole and stole the globe?) Chesley Bonestell's alien landscapes are always welcome. The episode opens up visually with those moonscapes that were nicely done, certainly for TV at the time. (Do those outcrops of rock look like totem poles to anyone else? Did Native Americans get to the moon before Native Earthlings?)

    Frontiere's four-note theme signifying growing menace is creepy during Mendl's death scene. Those eerie strains always make me mindful of so many chilling moments in the show's run. For me, it might be the signature musical motif of the series, if not the touching theme best utilized in the hand-holding sacrifice scene in "Feasibility Study."

    And the performances, as far as they're required to go, are all quite competent. In fact, I thought Ruth Roman was convincing in both her lunar heels and her oddly developed role. (I was also bothered by her abrupt, fickle turn against the general.) And was this not an exceedingly "veteran" cast of well-seasoned actors? Is it the oldest ensemble of any TOL cast?

    But there's just too much ho-hum to try to patch the hole in the---OK, "bubble"---left by that Anderson electrocution howler. The characters are generally flat, and the tension is superficial and unconvincing, despite the expositional stakes. The ending is so passive, from the standpoint of the humans: they sit and watch TV with the viewer. And as DJS has pointed out in the COMPANION commentary, the angry "tyrants" slink away into deep space with their tendrils dragging rather than exact vengeance, if only to vent at the humans who were complicit against them.

    This one's never worked for me.

    Larry also brings up the interesting point of TOL timelines. We sort of have to get used to these jarring references to bygone wars as character background in the midst of technological achievements that are beyond us now, much less in 1963. Here it's post-Korean War stress. Later it will be Nazi guilt as psychological torture on a hostile alien planet.

    The show wanted very much to be relevant to its time and culture while yet presenting stories that suggested imagined near-future shock. The moon in '63? No problem, we're almost there anyway. Interstellar travel? Well, hey---we're practically to the moon, so what's the next logical step? But we are who we are, and we'll be taking our guilt with us.

  12. "SPACE MOM"--- Hilarious, DJS! (And "in their fine stiletto heels" indeed! Nice utilization of one of my all-time favorite lines!)

    Would Miriam Hopkins be their house mother, calling them all to bitter tea and man-dissing?

  13. The most "on the nose" parallel between thematic conflict (Stocker's Korean decision) and current event (Stocker's Grippian decision) I've ever seen in a movie or TV show. "Moonstone"'s unintentionally smug resolution ("Sorry you had to learn it this way"/"I don't think I could've learned it any other way") still leaves me with the feeling of a guilty party trying desperately to rationalize his questionable actions, even if that really isn't the case. I'm assuming the backdrop Poplin acquired from MGM was from FORBIDDEN PLANET (looks it). That, combined with the MEN INTO SPACE paintings and stock shots, makes this particular episode a genuine MGM/UA confection, years before the companies actually merged.

  14. Oh, SPACE MOM would STAR Miriam as the "house mom" who supervises all the other Space Moms on sexual matters.

    Gary: I have little doubt it's the FORBIDDEN PLANET backdrop. OUTER LIMITS was over at MGM every other day, and that's probably where they acquired the FP "space taxi" not seen in "Man Who Was Never Bored," as well.

    Please, no "Moonstone" jokes about Christina Hendricks, okay?

  15. I KNEW there was something left unsaid...

    We'll save it for "Bulbous Earthling."

  16. I hated SPACE MOM! when I was a kid--HATED it. DJS, yer killin' me.

    Ted, you're not alone here in your 50s B sci-fi movie love, whether the guilty pleasures or actual good stuff. OL has that subgenre fairly well-represented with ATTACK OF THE FISH MONSTERS and ATTACK OF THE FLOWER MONSTERS. But as you say, though, not this one.

  17. David, one of your scans didn't scan right and is blurred.

  18. Just watched this one again...well, it *is* full of blah to downright unappealing male characters, all right. Ruth Roman was never exactly a babe but she was a terrific and believable actress with a credit list a mile long. She's stuck between two equally annoying guys here. The General's simpering love talk is embarrassing, and she basically gives in just so she can go get some dinner, please, already. Pretty funny. The other guy is an obsessed crusader -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- but without any charisma to charm anybody to his side.

    Whatever the Grippians are reading into that computer, I think it's the same text that baby Superman was listening to in his space crystal on his way to Earth.

    I was thinking that maybe she was going to get possessed by the spirit of Sargon when she was examining the globe for the first time. Once you get a look at those eyeflowers in there, they're sort of creepy but a nice effect. (For a really horrifying related creature in a transparent container thing, did you see "Torchwood - Children of Men"? Yikes!)

    This episode is a lot of talk, but the Grippians have that all-knowing vibe that makes them interesting, for a while anyway. This episode is like "The Thing" without Howard Hawks and about a million times slower, "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" without the vim and verve. It plays more like a hospital drama, or something.

    Oh, well. Not horrible exactly, but extremely humdrum. You can't win 'em all!

  19. >> David, one of your scans didn't scan right and is blurred.

    (Control voice): There is something wrong with your television set.
    Be aware that Mission Control knows that page 3 looks a bit wonky and we're working overtime to make it just right.

    We now return you to "Four Big Eyeballs in a Globe When There's Supposed to be Five."

  20. One of the Grippians was just camera-shy, Peter.

    Larry---I know this isn't the right forum, but yeah, I'm addicted to the '50s/'60s sf B-movies and must own fully three-fourths of 'em. Good and bad alike, I can always find a quotable line, interesting idea or good-natured laugh in any of them.

    Lisa---very shrewd analysis of what's going on after hours on the moon. I agree that Ruth Roman is at least desirable enough to wonder how she rated no better competition for her attentions than these two chilled fish. Even her acceptance of the general's proposal feels like a decision based on boredom that she's going to shake off with her morning shower: "What was I THINKing?"

    And that info-transfer scene---you're right. It's Jor-El explicating the secrets of the universe, one tedious equation at a time. There wouldn't be enough acetate tape on Earth, much less the moon, to record it. Not to mention the 350 years it would take to dictate it all.'s The Outer Limits. And at its worst it never seemed to waste your hour of viewing.

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  22. Ted-
    This very much is the right forum to discuss 50s and 60s B-Movies. Think of it as a very large treehouse with a stack of Ripley's Beleive It Or Not comic books in the corner and the guys are sitting around in a circle, indian style, talking about their favorite stuff. Best thing about it is, of course, we let the girls up in the treehouse too! Anything pertaining tangentially to The Outer Limits is fodder for discussion.

  23. The slo-mo action (due to gravity) in the opening scene is a nice attempt at scientific accuracy (and a novel way to pad the running time of this show), but its PLODDING pace unfortunately carries over to the rest of the episode, rendering it almost totally impotent as drama.

    The Projects Unlimited effects team is the winner here; excellent design of the moon station's exterior and sky, with very effective globe/ship effects. But the cast---JEEZ--could it be any more dull and unappealing? Ruth Roman did some effective work in crime shows like "Untouchables" around this time, but seemed WAY out of place here. Alex Nicol is just no fun at all.

    "TIWAT" alert! -- I just made it up, as an acronym for "TROUBLED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TRANSFORMED". Increasingly in OL's first season, we meet characters with personal flaws/dilemmas of one sort or another, whose sad personal stories run parallel to the main action. And, as expected, their encounters with the weird and wonderful often help to resolve their moral problems. This element, admirable as it may be, becomes--for me at least---increasingly annoying as the season progresses, sometimes saddling an otherwise great drama with labored, distracting baggage.

    This moral dilemma element worked nicely in Stefano's "Feasibility"---the slavery thing that's driving Phyllis Love crazy in her marriage which ultimately resonates with her husband, leading to his final heroic decision. In the case of "Moonstone", though more of a "Stefano-influenced" script, the Korean War/Mi Lai sub-plot is grafted onto the main story---but here things turn out differently than one might expect: the Grippian ordeal does not cause Alex Nicol to renounce his war-time decision and "cleanse" himself of his guilt but, oddly, convinces the others (including his "Moon Bride") of the validity of his actions. I imagine there will be more discussion of Stefano's "troubled individual" syndrome as Season 1 progresses.

    BURL IVES as the main Grippian voice??! HA! Another of those "You had to go and ruin it for me" observations by our nutty hosts...I had a momentary attack of silliness myself when Dr Mendl decides to store the precious audio tapes for safekeeping, flinging them like a stack of pizzas into what looks like Ralph Kramden's ice box (there's probably a "To the Moon" joke somewhere in there).


  24. Peter's Treehouse of Trash sounds like THE cool place to pass a lazy Saturday, trading comics, popping Pez, and dazzling those unauthorized chicks with our encyclopedic recall of supposedly forgettable film fare.

    "Hey, babe---name the John Agar movie where he says (vapidly), 'Helium, hydrogen, and methane gases, but...nothing like THIS!'"


    "Hey, I'm impressed. Now name that planet."

  25. I live in a Treehouse of Collectible Trash but Peter's idea sounds great. In fact, we could give our wives and girlfriends the OUTER LIMITS QUIZ; if they pass it, fine. If they fail the test, then dump them. Remember the great scene in the film, DINER? The girl has to pass the football rule test before the guy will marry her, so she frantically studies, etc. I forget if she passes the test or not.

  26. If Moonstone was a prescription medication it surely would be Ambien.

    Or Propofol.

  27. An episode in which the script is so blandly colurless and unimaginative that it literally doesn't turn up, leavinf everyone to perform around a vacuum; only Frontiere's score and Perrin's narration (which is a given) spark any interest.



    ... as to the identity of the actor who plays the blond-ish "Technician"? Diana calls him "Tom," and he's wearing the much-used utility nametag "Brainard" seen in several other OUTER LIMITS episodes. I'm still tracking down a cast sheet on this so have no ID on either him or the other two techs, although "Tom" has dialogue and I don't believe the others do.

  29. It's interesting that people bring up the confusion about whether this is supposed to be the future or not (due to the Korean War subject), because to me (as crazy as I AM about it), the strangest instance of that kind of thing is The Man Who Was Never Born. After all, it has long space flights, and ones that sound like they might even be ROUTINE, that are definitely in 1963. The story even makes a point of that by giving the start of the flight a DATE. (Even Moonstone doesn't go quite as far as that.)

  30. People often wonder how someone like anti-social George Taylor in Planet of the Apes could be sent on a space mission after all the psychological tests he must have had. It's easy to wonder the same thing about Anderson - didn't anyone on earth find out that Anderson considered Stocker a war criminal before they ended up together on the Moon?

  31. In 1972 our high school had new Sony half inch video recorders. I asked the teacher if he would set a timer to record The Outer Limits that were being shown late in the night. Yes, this was the episode that was recorded. I had the idea, since the equipment provided the function, of sitting around and re recording the audio track. We had an absolute ball coming up with funny lines and inside jokes. We didn’t even know what the real audio was like, but our tales of the “Egg” are still remembered today. Seeing this show in its real form last night brought back many happy memories.

  32. 3 Zantis, I thought most of you were too hard on this one. I had hopes going in because it was directed by veteran Hollywood director Robert Florey, and written by William Bast, a quality TV writer. I thought the moon set, although really inaccurate (of course Kubrick's moon in 2001: A Space Odyssey doesn't look like the real moon either), looks pretty good- most moon sets of the time- First Men in the Moon etc. have those huge jutting vertical rocks ttoo. I though it was pretty progressive to see a black astronaut (has there ever been one?). I dug the cold war space race paranoia- was the moonstone left on the moon to spy on us. I didn;t care for Ruth Roman;s performance, the moonstone sounded like James Mason. I thought it was a nifty scientific idea, although its amazing they happened to dig up the moonstone when it had only 24 hours to live, that was pretty convenient. I was getting tired of the conflict between the 2 soldier/astronauts and Roman continually babbling about her rigid conceptions of the military vs. science, but it actually paid off when Roman got her comeuppance as when push came to shove she was ready to sacrifice the moonstone people as the General sacrificed his men in Korea. So there's a message in there even though it was rather clunkily handled, especially in their final dialog together: "I'm sorrry you had to learn it this way", "I wouldn't have learned it any other way." It seems to me that a lot of episodes in this series reflectg the view that the greater the intelligence, the greater the capacity for inventions that can create greater destruction and death. So its a pretty interesting episode, I usually like the high concept ones the best.

  33. I've recently bought both seasons on DVD and I'd prefer if you reviewers wouldn't take the piss so much...maybe it's watching all episodes in quick succession that you did this, i'm spreading them out- savouring them along with the old Twilight Zones...I love the era of sci fi t.v.- the stories and actors etc. The props and special effects are of their time and you have to allow for this..I thought the multiple eyes effect in Moonstone particularly striking and imaginative visually and the end had an air of tragedy about it that was poignant.

  34. Maybe Alex Nichol IS "no fun at all" in this, but one little trick is to imagine him as "Mickey" in THE SCREAMING SKULL (the movie he also directed that's mentioned above). Imagine Nichol playing, of all things, a Michael J. Pollard kind of odd character, and that's Mickey. He's even hidden behind longish hair and a beard, so it's accept that it's "General Stocker" that you're looking at.

  35. I'll say one thing in Moonstone's defense -- I've never forgotten the closing line, "Well, that's one way to defeat the tyrant."

    The Grippians' decision to commit mass suicide is powerful and the helplessness of the human crew reminds me a bit of Star Trek's great Let That Be Your Last Battlefield -- an effective change of pace because for once Kirk and the gang were helpless to do anything but watch the tragedy unfold.

  36. Moonstone on now, Cleveland, over the air TV on 55.3, This TV.
    They run a few late at night.

  37. In a funny way, Diana is as much of a "slightly ahead of her time" female character as Andra in A FEASIBILITY STUDY - she's engaged to an army general, but is very blunt about her reaction to military things. Assuming this IS meant to be the early ' 60s and not later, you probably wouldn't find Diana getting behind the war effort a few years later. (Or maybe at any other time, including right now.)

  38. One of the SLIGHTLY surprising things is the scientists warning the Grippians that their computers are much too slow to take in all the information in time. One of the generalizations about any period of time is that almost everyone in it thinks their technology is never going to be out of date, so it's just a little funny to hear these characters apologize for their 1963 computers.

  39. There were two of them the small one and the big big one the small one was a refugee from its home planet and was friendly the bog one was bad and was after the small one

  40. Eh, this is another one of those entries that isn’t terrible, but isn’t particularly good either. Like a number of other episodes, it was rather slow-moving and felt like it could have been told in half the time.

    I couldn’t get too invested in either the romantic subplot or the Korean back-story; I just didn’t care this time around.

    The effects were varied. The paltry set for the moonscape exterior shots wasn’t the least bit convincing ---tough to portray good lunar surroundings with such a limited budget, I suppose. But I did rather like the orbs-with-eyes effect, which surely would have made quite a nightmarish impression on me if I had first viewed this as a young child.

    Still wondering what the heck caused Anderson’s little accident; just a drunken stumble into a piece of electronic equipment? I suppose the whole point of having him get knocked out was so that the aliens could prove their amiability by healing him, but it seems kind of silly to see him walking around in his pajamas for most of the rest of the episode. And once again easily-avoidable bad science rears its head; so, the alien home-world is only ten billion miles away? The closest star to earth is 4.24 light years away, so just where do these aliens live?

    For being so amazingly intelligent, these refugee aliens are also incredibly stupid. So, they’re on the run from their home planet, and trying to hide. And what do they do to get rescued? Send a homing beacon directly to their home planet, that ANYONE could see, including those that are hunting them down. I think they deserve to get blown up at the end.


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