The Outer Limits (1963) s01e16 Episode Script

Controlled Experiment

We've got to set it on hold.
(speech speeded up ) Stop, you went past it.
( man ) There is nothing wrong with your television set.
Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
We are controlling transmission .
We will control the horizontal.
We will control the vertical.
We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity.
For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all you see and hear.
You are about to participate in a great adventure.
You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to The Outer Limits.
( man ) Who has not seen the dark corners of great cities where small and shabby creatures wander without purpose in the secret corners of the night? Without purpose? There are those whose purpose reaches far beyond our wildest dreams.
(bell rings) - Good, you've made it.
Did you have a nice trip? - Horrible.
Well, the service at these outposts isn 't always very good.
How long did it take you? - 1 1 microseconds.
- That's not bad.
lt's only 1 1 million miles.
lt should be instantaneous.
- When l first came it took me a full minute.
- How do you stand it? Outpost duty would drive me mad.
Especially in a dregs-of-the-universe planet like this.
Atmosphere polluted with microbes and exhaust fumes, not to mention human beings jabbering and jostling, ugh! l suppose we caretakers are hermits at heart.
We get into a little hole and send in our reports year in year out.
Though l confess l was a little bit nervous when l heard the control centre was sending down a senior inspector.
Here are my credentials.
lt must have taken very superior intelligence to get a rating like this.
- May l examine yours, please? - Oh, yes.
Yes, of course.
N to the 1 0th power, cube root of minus omega.
You were born on the Martian satellite of Deimos, 220 years ago.
Accredited caretaker, assigned to outpost duty on planet Earth.
Yours is cube root of pi sigma but l can 't work that out in my head.
l'll take your word for it.
l was born on the Martian satellite Phobos, Senior inspector, solar system.
Control centre told me that l was to give you They mentioned a controlled experiment.
l brought some very special equipment with me, to use in direct observation .
lt's a miniaturised temporal condenser.
lt squeezes time.
- lsn 't that very dangerous? - Oh, very.
That's why they sent me.
lt must be used sparingly and with great precision or you can rip a hole in the space-time continuum and release negative matter.
But why send such powerful equipment to a tenth-rate planet like Earth? Due to your reports on atomic energy.
Ever since the Earth creatures started to explode atomic particles, central control has become very uneasy.
But they only use it blow each other up.
That's exactly what interests central control.
This process of Earth creatures destroying each other, this What is it called? - Killing.
-No, that includes animals.
- Oh, murder.
- Murder, yes, of course.
So extraordinary, l can never remember it.
Deliberate obliteration .
lt's so fantastic.
lt happens only here on this little planet, nowhere else in the galaxy.
Well, it doesn 't matter, really.
They only murder each other.
What if it becomes an epidemic? Or proves to be contagious? Or if they use atomic explosions to murder each other? Mars does not want Earth to overheat.
We can 't afford to have a new supernova radiating everything to a crisp.
Tell me, are you going to destroy the source? We would prefer not to.
After all, Earth creatures are a form of life even if unspeakable.
No, l'm going to conduct a controlled experiment to find the exact nature of this ''murder''.
lf it's random, thus relatively harmless, except to the victims, we shall let it go.
But if it proves to be contagious, with a tendency to spread, and malignant, then we'll have to close and find you another outpost.
( knock ) - What is that? - Just one of them.
He wants in .
- l'll hide behind these coats.
- lt's not necessary.
He'll think you're a customer.
But l'm not used to them, so l'll observe.
Perhaps you'd lend me your communicator to report my observations to central control? - Yes, by all means.
- Thank you .
( knock at door) (buzzer to open door) Central control? This is Phobos One, reporting from planet Earth.
Am now in Earth planet outpost station where an Earth creature has just entered.
Skull is of medium size, containing about 3,000 ccs of so-called brain matter.
Ears flat, lying back against the head.
No appreciable points.
No antennae of any kind .
but sensory receptor openings in the snout portion .
And a set of small, beady eyes.
Oh, it's starting to speak.
- What do you say, Charlie? - Sorry, Mack, we're closed.
- So how come you let me in ? - What have you got? l got a rebuilt worth 40 bucks.
Nothing doing.
- Well, l'll let you have it for 30.
- 5.
- 25? - Uh-uh.
( mouths) OK.
OK, 20 bucks.
Wait a minute.
l'll give you 25.
- Yeah, sure.
lt's a good machine, ain 't it? - Yeah, sure.
There's your money.
There's your ticket.
- What's going on around here? - What? You wanna call off the deal? Oh, no! 25 bucks.
You are a good daddy.
l'll be seeing ya.
Transaction completed.
Earth creature is now departing.
(bell rings) Phobos One, locking receiver on stand-by.
(groans in disgust We usually don 't pay so much.
They'd trample the place down .
l just wanted him out.
l was about to black out.
You build up a tolerance after a while.
And to the coffee and cigarettes.
That's the caffeine and nicotine syndrome, isn 't it? Yes.
As a matter of fact, l have some here.
- These are cigarettes.
- Cigarettes.
Yes, and over here l have some coffee perking.
- Perking? - Yes, why don 't you come back and try some? Well, l don 't know lt is intensely interesting.
There you are.
First a puff.
Now, then a sip, and that's all you need.
lt is quite stimulating.
Better not go too far first time out.
Now, let's get down to business.
Contact Martian computer control, probability division .
Probability division ? That sounds like top priority.
They've been processing the people of this city for over a week now.
There we are.
(electronic whirring ) This is frequency computer control.
You'd better speak to them.
Martian computer control, this is Phobos One, assigned to Operation Earth.
l have double-alpha priority with probability division .
Please give me instructions.
Martian computer control probability division speaking.
You are to go to longitude 7.
1 637, latitude 173.
1761 .
Grid 6, overlay 1 3.
Our analysis indicates a 99 per cent probability that a murder will take place at 2324 hours, 71 31 seconds, sidereal timescale.
We regret unable to pinpoint this event more accurately but suggest if you are present at indicated location at indicated time, you will probably see someone kill someone.
- Did you get the location ? - Yes, the lobby of the Luxtel Hotel.
lt's two blocks from here.
Not a first-class hotel.
That's exactly seven minutes, Earth time.
Martian computer control, this is Phobos One.
We are on our way to the scene of the crime.
Locking receiver channel on stand-by.
(fluctuating whistling ) - ls she the victim? - l don 't think so.
She's out of position by about seven feet, six and four one-hundredths of an inch.
ls it the bell captain ? Perhaps, if he moves this way.
Looks to me like it'll be someone getting out of the levitator.
- Elevator.
- Oh, thank you .
lf the victim's coming out of the elevator, then obviously that young lady is involved.
Better get identification .
Put a thoughtbeam on her.
Locate her verbal centres and get her name.
(indistinct woman 's voice ) l'm getting her now.
Oh, my! (woman ) You rotten , girl-chasing rat! Nobody can pitch a foul ball at this cookie and walk away.
- Did you get her name? - She's greatly agitated.
We must have positive identification for a controlled experiment.
Where's your science? - You've been here too long.
- l can 't get a word in edgewise.
Then cut in , right now.
We have only 30 seconds to zero.
Excuse me, my dear, but what's your name? That's no way to do it.
State your name.
(woman ) Yessir, buddy boy.
You got some tall explaining What the? What's my name got to do with it? l must be losing my marbles.
What is my name? Carla.
Carla Duveen .
- Thank you , my dear.
- You're welcome.
Welcome? Yessir, l am cracking up.
All over the joint in a thousand pieces.
That's what he's done to me: handed me a full-scale nervous breakdown ! Time for countdown .
Recording tapes on .
- Yes, sir.
- Just say ''affirmative'', please.
Laser-beam monitor channel open .
Yes Affirmative, sir.
Here we go.
Ten , nine, eight .
seven , six, five, four, three, two, one, zero.
- Bert Hamil! - Carla! You're a two-faced, no-good, black-hearted two-timer! - Don 't shoot! - Don 't come begging to me.
Take that! (screams) - ls that all there is to it? - That's it.
- lt happened so fast.
l couldn 't understand it.
- lt always happens that way.
One of them gets upset with the other and boom.
There must be a scientific explanation .
Well, you've got the time-converter, why not run it back? l'll turn it back to the countdown .
Stand back and close your eyes.
Every atom in this beam will disintegrate and reassemble.
Well, l can see why it should be used sparingly.
- Recording tapes on .
- Oh.
- Laser-beam monitor.
- Affirmative.
Ten , nine, eight .
seven , six, five, four, three, two, one, zero.
- Bert Hamil! - Carla! You're a two-faced, no-good, black-hearted two-timer! - Don 't shoot! - Don 't come begging to me.
Take that! (screams) - l can 't make anything out of it.
- There's nothing to make.
lt's their way of life.
Bang, you're dead.
There must be some cause and effect in it.
They go at it like a random collision .
- That's it.
- Diemos, you're forgetting you're a Martian .
There's a scientific law behind all physical phenomena.
Admit it, that's physical, drilling each other with holes.
- Yes, it is.
What are you going to do? - Run it backwards.
Won 't that put a hole in the space-time continuum? This is the infinite permutations model.
Runs forwards, backwards, twists, - warps, braids.
- Really? Only danger is wearing out the sample area.
Stand back.
l'm going to reverse the electron spin .
Yes, sir.
( high -pitched beeping ) Any clues? l'm observing the spectators.
Ah, yes.
They're known as innocent bystanders.
lt's a tradition .
Each one tells a different version of what happened.
(talking backwards) - Can 't make out the words.
- Of course not, it's reverse English.
( laughs) lt's no use.
lt goes too quickly.
There's only one way to observe it properly.
- You're not going to slow it down ? - l certainly am.
lt's a controlled experiment, and l intend to control it.
We're going to conduct a precise scientific examination .
Now stand back.
l'm reversing the spin and slowing down to point seven .
Count down .
( high -pitched beeping ) Ten .
- We'll be here all night.
- l hope the atoms don 't start cooling.
- Could it slow down to a stop? - Possible, not probable.
Can 't you speed it up to bring the elevator down ? l want to examine the young lady.
- You can 't go out there.
- Don 't worry, we're on different wavelengths.
- Eight.
- Won 't the converter slow you down ? No, it only converts during the flash, then maintains a steady state.
My atoms will slip between the slower ones, like running through a slow revolve.
Seven .
hey wo n't see yo u ? No Their brains and senses pulse too slowly.
They may experience something like a thin fog, but they won 't notice it.
- l'll stay here.
- Good.
Keep an eye on the dials.
Let me know when the countdown hits ground zero.
- Diemos.
- Yes, sir.
Watch the dials carefully.
l'm going to pick up the murder weapon .
She won 't notice it disappear for a few seconds.
lt'll get slippery as the atoms change speeds.
lf you notice a temperature change above the red line, call out.
Primitive mechanism.
No transistors, no rays.
Just ignites, squirts a blob of lead out of the nozzle.
She seems to have quite a few certificates.
That's their currency.
l use it at the outpost.
Annuit coeptis novus ordo seclorum What does that mean ? lt's a dead language, Latin .
They use it to impress each other.
What's the bird with the vegetation ? Nesting materials.
Symbol of the home.
- And this brick pyramid? - Also symbol of the home.
lt's got one eye looking out of it.
Symbol of the homeowner.
- Who's the old lady? - lt's an old man .
- What does it all mean ? - Who knows? Lobby zero.
Oh, microbes! - He doesn 't seem to expect to meet anyone.
- Don 't get in front of the bullet! - lt'll go right through me.
- You know, if an electron knocks a nucleus, you might go up in a chain reaction .
Diemos, l'm in charge.
l always observe maximum safety regulations.
Yes, sir.
(speech vastly slowed) - What's she doing? - Talking.
Slow motion .
hose shocks must bo a r waves lt certainly has long, sharp teeth.
The red colouring looks artificial.
lt's a blend of sheep fat and perfume.
They call it lipstick.
Do be careful.
She's going to shoot any second.
- What sort of expression would you call that? -Nervous.
He has some of that lip colouring on his collar.
Why would he do that? Look out! She's going to shoot.
- Did you see the bullet? -No, it was too fast.
Let's run it back.
l still can 't see the pellet.
- What are you going to do? - Slow it down .
Clear down .
All the way.
- You won 't let it stop, will you? - To stop it, l turn on atomic power.
lt needs maximum hold or the electrons fall apart.
l'm going down to element one velocity for three seconds.
Oh, you are.
- There! l saw it.
- Hardly worth the effort.
We won 't find the causes by staring, we have to dig in .
- But how? - You will make some chemical tests.
- See if it's caused by something in the blood.
- Suppose that doesn 't work? l am going to analyse their psyches.
Take that! And what did your mother do then ? (woman ) Mommy spanked me and put me to bed.
- And that made you angry at Mommy? - (woman ) No, at Daddy.
- At Daddy? - Yes, because he let Mommy spank me.
- l can 't make anything of it.
- There's nothing here either.
The only chemical change is adrenalin flow, caused by shock.
One thoughtwave stands out above the others.
The name of a female, an associate of the male's.
A long name, l jotted it down : Two-bit floozie, Betty-Lou .
The first three words are adjectives describing a reactive condition to Betty-Lou .
- Ah.
There's only one problem.
- Problem? He doesn 't know any Betty-Lou .
l analysed him down to the medulla oblongata.
Jane, Joyce, Gloria, Mabel lt goes on for three rolls of microfilm.
At least it's partly right.
He did have another female associate.
- How do you know? - Lipstick on his collar.
One of them placed it there deliberately? lt's a famous clue.
lt appears in murder after murder.
- Pack up.
- Where are we going? We're going up in the elevator with him.
One of us has to work the converter.
We'll set it on automatic.
lt'll reverse at any point we preset it.
Good thing we checked.
lt's overheating from holding the electrons in one place.
- lt won 't blow up, will it? -Not at normal speeds.
(talking backwards) We've got to set it on hold.
(speech speeded up ) Stop.
You went past it.
(speech speeded up ) Quick, get in the elevator.
lt's set to start in ten seconds and reverse back at zero six one.
- What is he doing? - He's kissing her.
- What is she doing? - She's kissing him back.
- What does it all mean ? - They all do it, every chance they get.
Quick, before it reverses, tune in on her name.
- l beg your pardon , miss.
Would you mind? -No, no, no.
l hate to intrude, but state your name.
(woman ) Ah, Bert.
Bert, oh.
(woman ) My name is Arleen ooh Schnable.
Oh, Bertie! Schnable.
One thing's clear, this isn 't Betty-Lou .
So it has nothing to do with the murder.
- Do you suppose the converter got stuck? -No.
There it goes now.
- All right? - Yes.
Lucky we're not in the same space-time continuum.
- Are they kissing forward or backward? - lt's hard to tell.
l hate to admit it but this has me baffled.
All due respect, sir.
There's really nothing to it.
The only scientific law that applies to kissing and shooting is the principle of uncertainty.
But it can 't be completely random.
lt has no symmetry.
One gets used to the eccentricities.
One even gets rather fond of them.
Fond? What is fond? Fond is lt's a feeling.
- Diemos, pull yourself together.
- Yes, sir.
l will not admit defeat.
There is an answer to this.
Science will find it.
Oh, finished.
We're off.
Phobos, quick! The elevator.
- That was a close one.
- You'd better have one of these.
- What for? - They soothe the nerves.
l'll need some caffeine to wash it down .
Sir, l don 't want to say anything, but we are slowing down .
That's all right.
l set it at half speed.
Diemos, l've got it.
This experiment is too controlled.
The only way to find out why they kill each other is to interfere.
- lnterfere? - Mm.
Knock the sample off the time track.
- You'd have to get permission from control.
-No, we'd only alter it a little bit.
lt's against regulations.
You might unravel the universe.
Nonsense! We've got to do something radical.
Yes, divert the sequence.
Sir, don 't interfere.
Control will take me off caretaker duty and send me to an asteroid.
(slowed down speech ) - l don 't want to leave Earth.
- Stop snivelling.
l won 't hurt anyone.
l just want to see what happens if there's no murder.
No murder? That'd be lovely.
Watch out.
She's firing the pellet.
Missed him by six feet.
Now let's run it up to forward normal.
You don 't have to scare me, Carla.
l know when l've been wrong.
- Wrong? - l admit l went out with another woman .
- You admit it? - l had to test my feelings.
l had to find out if l was playing a game or really loved you .
And l can tell you true, no other woman comes up to your shoe tops.
You know how l get when you look at me like that.
You're all l want, all l care about.
What are you doing? - l'm asking you to marry me.
- What? He's asking her to marry him.
lt's part of the biochemical pattern .
Their primitive equivalent of our genetic selector machines.
lt's hard to see the logic.
She was shooting him.
lt's a reflex.
Oh, every chance they get.
Yes, it's harmless.
(beeping ) lt won 't blow up, will it? No, that's an emergency signal from control centre.
- ls the recording tape on ? - Yes Oh, affirmative.
We'd better contact them.
Give me the communicator.
Control centre, this is Phobos One, calling from Earth.
We've received an emergency signal on temporal converter unit.
Please advise.
(over radib ) This is Martian control centre.
Tape of your experiment relayed through computers indicates double A red alert.
Probability division will give you instructions.
Stand by.
Double A red alert emergency? That's the highest priority in the galaxy.
Received you loud and clear.
Standing by.
Phobos Ono , yo u have exceeded yo u ha u thonty Tampering with a temporal sequence may have damaged the space-time continuum.
All l did was tap a lead pellet out of its trajectory.
Fatal error, repeat fatal error.
Computers predict major disaster.
- Disaster, how? - Male and female are now together.
They marry and produce male child.
Father tells child of miraculous escape.
Child grows up, believes it's immortal.
Child enters politics, becomes dictator, starts atomic war in belief it cannot be killed.
Atomic chain reaction explodes atmosphere, blows up planet Earth.
Radiation affects entire solar system, destroys ecologic balance of galaxy.
Galaxy collides with Andromeda.
Computers unable to predict further due to overheating.
But, sir, it all looks perfectly harmless from down here.
Pull yourself together, Phobos One.
This is double A red alert emergency.
Yeu r orders a ro as fo ows but t back the way t was - Let her shoot him? - Affirmative.
But it's not fair.
The orders are to see that she shoots him.
Yes, but Ah! Probability centre, this is Phobos One.
Orders received and will be carried out to the letter.
We shall see to it that she shoots him.
Proceeding at once.
Phobos One locking receiver on stand-by.
- Do you think we can get away with it? - The orders are to see that she shoots him.
(talking backwards) When l start it forward, hold it on slow motion .
- lt's smoking.
- lt has been through rather a strain .
What about the tapes and laser-beam monitor? Jam it with static.
They'll think it's the overload.
Ready? Here we go.
(slowed down speech ) Jam in the static.
Diemos, you're a witness.
She shot him.
lndeed, sir.
Shot him dead centre.
Let's turn it back to forward speed normal.
Control centre, this is Phobos One.
We put the experiment back.
Shooting accomplished as ordered.
Victim now on floor.
- Turn off the tapes.
l'll complete my report.
- Yes, sir.
You don 't have to scare me, Carla.
l know when l've been wrong.
l admit l went out with another woman , but - You admit it? - l had to test my feelings.
To find out if l was playing a game or really loved you .
l can tell you true, no other woman comes up to your shoe tops.
You know how l get when you look at me like that.
You're all l want.
All l care about.
What are you doing? l'm asking you to marry me.
- Oh.
Every chance they get.
- lt's harmless.
This is Phobos One.
Temporal converter unit burnt out.
Regret to report controlled experiment unable to discover reason for Earth creatures obliterating each other.
Results suggest random action with no pattern .
Recommend continuation of Earth as planet.
Also recommend permanent assignment of inspector to Earth caretaker post.
You're going to stay? Phobos One locking receiver on stand-by.
Yes, Diemos.
l think l'm going to stay.
l'm getting rather fond of it.
l have something for you .
Oh, no, thank you .
l have my own .
Well, l'll buy you a cup of coffee.
Will you really? Delightful.
( man ) Who knows? Perhaps the alteration of one small event may someday bring the end of the world.
But that someday is a long way off.
And until then there's a good life to be lived in the here and now.
We now return control of your television set to you until next week at this same time when the control voice will take you to .
The Outer Limits.