The Outer Limits (1963) s01e21 Episode Script

The Children of Spider County

( 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 ) ln the light of today's growing anxieties, it has become more absolute that the wealth of the nation consists in the number of superior men it harbours.
lt is therefore a matter of deep concern and deeper consequence, when four of the most magnificent and promising young minds in the country suddenly disappear off the face of the Earth.
Hainsley, mathematician for the Burn Rocket Corporation .
Wheatley, chief engineer's assistant of the Advasine Project.
Bassett, psychiatric division , the Hale Neokinetics lnstitute.
Robertson , Space Agency cosmobiologist.
All have vanished in the same day, without a trace.
They could have been kidnapped for the obvious reasons and by obvious parties.
This was the federal investigators' first speculation , of course.
But their investigations found a curious pattern in the background of these very different men .
That's why l was brought in .
There's no reason or desire to keep the Space Agency out of it.
Not on our part.
But as l see it, these speculations regarding abduction by representatives of an alien planet are just that, speculations.
We do not speculate promiscuously.
We're here to do something about those four young men .
We'll do anything if we must.
Please explain this curious pattern .
All four of them, considered intellectually and physically superior, in aptitude, performance and delivery, were born at the same place.
- Same state? - Same county.
Spider County.
ln the same year and the same month.
Their birth records are there and indicate a curious phenomenon .
Each child was born at least two months prematurely.
lmmediately after birth, their fathers disappeared and were never heard from again .
And each child, although unrelated, at least on the maternal side, had been given the same middle name.
- Eros.
- The Greek word for love.
lt is also the name of an obscure planet in the galaxy Krell.
The records of their school years are curious also, incidents being found in the newspapers of that time.
lt appears they were the object of considerable superstitious nonsense, apparently because of their inherent superiority over the other children of the area.
They eventually left the community, went different ways, and gradually achieved prominence in different fields at a very early age.
Their mothers are unwilling to admit or even to discuss the possibility - that these five men are connect - Five? l thought you said four.
No, five.
We have just learned that the fifth man , Ethan Wechsler, did not leave Spider County, nor did he disappear last week with the others.
We believe he is our single possible key to this mystery.
- Do you know his whereabouts? - Yes.
- We'd better bring him in for questioning.
- We can 't take him out of Spider County.
- He's being held for murder.
- Then we'll send someone up there.
The Space Agency is aware this case falls into a federal or military category, sir, but in view of our findings and suspicions, Chief Wilkerson strongly urges you to allow me to go there first.
And before it's too late.
lf it isn 't already too late.
(dramatic music ) (strangled shout ( man ) Wake Wake up, boy.
Let's answer some more questions.
- You can sleep later on .
- You've been at him all night, Sheriff.
Care for something to eat, Ethan ? You've got a reputation for having a good appetite.
l have many reputations.
No, thank you .
l won 't eat here.
That's the third day of his not eating.
Maybe you and l and some deputies? (sheriff) l appreciate your consideration for your client but if he'll confess and tell us where the body is - l did not kill Jonathan Stimpson .
- You were found in his barn .
His wife saw him go into the barn .
He never came out.
- You hated him.
- l didn 't hate him! l only wanted him to apologise for his indecent remarks at the harvest dance in front of the girl l Anna Bishop.
l work on her father's farm.
No one at that dance heard those remarks.
But Jonathan did admit that he thought them.
Are you implying Ethan can read minds as well as make corpses disappear? He's been doing all sorts of witch-boy tricks since he was a child.
He and the other fatherless geniuses.
So the county will bring him to trial for suspected murder of a missing corpse? l could not commit any murder.
No one in Spider County really believes l did.
l am going to be tried for reading minds and walking on moonlit meadows.
For being a thing that goes ''bump'' in the night.
- Goodbye, Anna.
- Let's go.
- All right? - l think so.
You must leave before someone comes by.
Now come.
Follow me.
- Are you looking for Ethan ? - Yes.
ls he here? - Are you the man who phoned last night? -No.
A man phoned up, wanted to know where they had Ethan .
Said he was his father.
Are you certain the man said he was Ethan 's father? That's what he said.
l've gotta rest.
The deputy.
He wasn 't in the car.
- You cannot rest too long.
- Why are you helping me? You aren 't guilty of murder.
Fear, suspicion , ignorance will sentence you to die, not facts.
We must go.
- How do you know l'm not guilty? - l know.
Because l know you .
l don 't know you .
Yet l feel as if l do.
ls that not a warm feeling, to meet a stranger and feel you know him? - Shall we go? - Where? Where superstition and fear can never reach you again .
There is no such place on Earth.
We must get away from here.
They'll track you down with dogs and desperation .
They'll destroy you .
Won 't you let me save you? l appreciate your help and l wanna thank you .
But l don 't want to incriminate you any more than you've incriminated yourself.
- Where are you going? - Far away from Spider County.
(siren ) Wherever you go, however fast you run , every turn may be the wrong one, the last one, and you'll be caught.
You cannot escape dogs and desperation .
Except with me.
Won 't you come with me? What holds you here? What in this hating, barking world could hold you? Nothing.
l wanted to be held here.
l even fooled myself into thinking someone could hold me here no matter what.
But l guess l always knew l'd have to go someday, and go alone.
But l can 't go without saying goodbye.
Be careful! l'll meet you in your room.
- l couldn 't leave without seeing you again .
- Everyone's looking for you .
Sheriff Stakefield called my father to join the search.
- Why did you run away? - l don 't wanna die.
You won 't, you're innocent.
lf you run , you look guilty.
l already look guilty to everyone but you .
- We'll take your case to a higher court.
- You and l? Someone will help us.
Some people believe in innocence.
Yes, l met a man .
He helped me out of the car.
- l met a man .
l think he believes you .
- A man ? He came from Washington to talk to you .
He said he wanted to help you .
l met a man , too.
He helped me.
He said he knew l wasn 't guilty.
He wanted me to go somewhere with him.
We must hurry.
You wanted to say goodbye, now say it.
- Who is he? - The man l met.
- The one who believes in his innocence.
- Then why help him run away? Don 't run .
You'll never stop running as long as you live.
They'll track you down for ever.
Stay and clear yourself.
Come, Ethan .
Where are you going? To a place he'll be honoured for his rare and special natures.
Where his magnificence will set him not apart but above.
- My special natures? - l'll explain another time.
When there is time.
- Ethan ! Take me with you .
-No! He cannot, even if he wanted to.
The choice is not yours or mine.
Destiny gives choice to no one, my son .
Your destiny was shaped before the seed of your life took root.
- What did you say? - l'll explain another time.
- You said, ''my son ''.
- l'm your father.
My father? l came a long way to reclaim you .
l came from very far.
My fathe r s dead.
No ono ca n come that fa r (s ren ) Come, my son .
The others are waiting.
We're all going home together.
No, Ethan .
- Don 't go with him.
- Anna, l don 't know why .
but l know l must go with him.
l know he is my father.
Then l'll go with you .
l don 't care where.
l want to go with you .
- l need to be with you .
Then we'll go our own way.
You'd take her into a world where that sound will drown out all music, all soft-spoken beauty? You would have her live in love with you in shadows and fear? Afraid to sigh for fear of being overheard? Afraid to make you smile because someone might recognise your face while it is smiling? Then she'll come with us.
Would my father want me to break her heart as well as my own ? All right.
Hold it.
Right there.
Run across to the house, Anna.
Call the sheriff.
You stay here, boy.
And whoever you are, you'll stay too.
- l cannot.
Neither can my son .
- Your son ? l figured a no-good dreamer like Ethan didn 't have a father.
Go on , both of you .
l'll join you in a moment.
Go! One step more and l fire at him.
You may wound him.
He has a long journey, a journey too special to be marred by bloodshed and pain .
So, before you fire at him, you fire at me.
- You say that like you think l won 't.
- You won 't? No , yo u can You can 't fire.
- (policeman ) Listen , tell it slow.
- ( 2nd policeman ) We were on the road.
You saw this terrible apparition and you lost control of the car? - Why did you stop? - l don 't know.
- Where's Al and the prisoner? - l don 't know! Did Al take him away? How'd they get out of this thing? (dogs howling ) - You saw him, didn 't you? - Yes.
- He wasn 't alone.
No, there was a man .
He said he was Ethan 's father.
Where are they going? Did he say? Journey, long special journey.
- Did you see him? -No.
Just a few traces.
We'll trace him down .
The sheriff sent you home to put that gun away.
That's a good idea.
They took my daughter.
A man 's got cause to go gunning when his daughter's taken .
( mysteribus noises) You're a stubborn man .
lt's unwise to stop for any reason .
To stop because of hunger is madness.
Why did you come for me after all these years? l hoped you wouldn 't ask questions until we reached home.
How did you find me? You were the easiest to find.
You were where l left you , in Spider County.
My mother was gonna take me away from here.
She died.
l was nine years old.
Nearly everybody in the town already hated and feared me.
When Anna's father came and said l should move in with him, l did.
He said the bishops weren 't scared of me, only of God and being shorthanded at the farm.
- He took you in for that purpose alone? - He had no sons.
The farm needed attention .
He saw l was strong, so he took me in .
Even then l was strong.
- And you tolerated such exploitation ? - l was too young to run away.
Then , when l grew older, there was Anna.
For Anna, l stayed.
- Do you hear that sound? - Come, we must go.
- Are you really my father? - Yes.
- Where have you been ? - Where we are going.
The others, that left, we used to wonder.
- About your fathers? -None of us had one.
Each of you had one.
We came and chose strong, gentle girls.
According to this planet's customs, we married them.
This planet? We waited until we were each assured of a son , then we left.
We couldn 't then take our sons with us.
Nothing so small could endure the tortuous journey.
Now you're more than strong enough to endure it and survive.
- You are strong enough.
- But Anna is not, you mean ? - l did not say that.
- You thought it.
l hear other people's thoughts.
lt used to frighten me.
l don 't know why, but l'm not frightened when l hear your thoughts.
Haven 't your dreams explained it? lnever dream.
Dreams are a normal experience.
l only have nightmares.
Part of you is very different from other dreamers, Ethan .
But that ''different'' isn 't necessarily abnormal.
You will understand everything very soon .
- When we reach our home? - Yes.
You are foolish and you are evil.
You called my special and gifted son a ''no-good dreamer''.
ln our world, on Eros, it was the absence of dreaming that made men no good.
They worked like insect slaves.
They fought evil wars.
They gathered lush riches and splendid pains, but they took no time out for dreams.
Dreaming became a lost art.
And as always happens, they began to die off.
For all their riches, they began to die.
No male child had been born in many years.
The seed that spawns the male had retreated in sorrow, faded out of this dreamless race.
The wise ones thought it was the climate, so they sent five of us here to prove that in a favourable climate we could produce males.
Perhaps they were right.
Perhaps it was the climate that enabled us to produce sons.
l do not think so.
l think it was because, while here, we once again caught the fashion of dreaming.
You and the others will start a new race for Eros, a race of men who can dream, who have the dream machine in their human half and call it ''soul''.
(shouts ) (dogs barking ) Now l understand.
Now l know where l'm running when l'm running through my nightmares.
You should have remained here, Father.
lt was the climate.
ln time it might have given you a dream machine.
All right, son .
l have lost.
l'll go.
Without you if l must.
( Anna sobs) We must go.
(dogs barking ) - ( Anna ) l can 't go any farther.
- l think we can rest for a minute.
- ls your leg all right? - Yeah.
l just twisted it a little.
( high -pitched noise ) We've been out since early this morning.
Nobody's dogs'll hold out, including my own .
We'll go down the east side of the orchard and then we'll (static) What's the matter with you? (siren ) We've got to get outta here.
( Ethan ) We can get across the river.
- There must be paddles in here.
- lt's locked.
( Ethan ) All set.
Ethan ! That's as far as you're gonna go.
Sheriff Stakefield, it's time we had a long talk.
l think so, and so does Washington .
Will you talk to me, Ethan ? lt took a lot of doing and a few big phone calls to get the sheriff to let me in here.
Will you listen , then , if l talk to you? l saw your father in the barn in the orchard.
l saw what he did to Mr Bishop.
- And what he became while he was doing it.
- Who are you? l'm with the Space Agency, investigation division , and l've been wanting to talk to you .
- You believed what you saw? - Why not? Anna believed it.
l thought she just wanted to for my sake.
You gonna do anything? ls it all right if l hope? l'll do as much as l can , whatever l can .
- Tell them.
They'll believe you .
- l'm not so sure.
Not a thing as unbelievable as this is.
lf we want to convince anyone, we've got to produce your father.
He's on his way back to Eros by now.
He admitted he had lost.
The sheriff's deputy can 't imagine how he could find you at the riverbank.
l can imagine, can 't you? Your father wants you right in this cell, Ethan .
He wants you back in the hands you have no faith in .
You're sure you'll be convicted and sentenced to die, aren 't you? Yes, l'm sure.
Maybe going to Eros, even with a father like that, will seem the best of two possible worlds to you after a while.
l believe that's what he's counting on .
Most living things would choose life, under any circumstances, over death.
Your father will come to you .
l'm certain of that.
He's going to show you that choice.
You choose Eros.
You go with him.
Yes, look at me.
l am here when l appear truly.
You see a monster, yet a monster who could not kill you .
These men , these fair-faced Earth men , they will kill you .
ls it possible you can choose to stay with them and let go the reins of eternal superiority? Come, my son .
Come close.
Take my hand.
And tell me to my eyes that you are human enough to make that self-destructive choice.
(beeping ) l thought l heard a sound.
lt made me sad.
Father, if l say no this last time, you will kill me, won 't you? Kill? We are not killers, Ethan .
We do not have the power to kill, only to destroy, suddenly and totally.
Killers have the power to kill slowly and partially.
We do not kill, Ethan .
We uncreate.
l would have to do that to you .
l cannot let plain Earth men undo what l have done.
Hurry! (beeping ) We're there? Yes.
Just a little farther now.
Only a million stars.
- And l am so sad.
- Sad? Why, Father? You have chosen the dogs and desperation .
You send betraying signals back to them to keep them on our trail.
l gave you strength and genius.
Your mother gave you the weak senses of Earth.
Our hearing allows us to hear such sounds as these.
We can hear the silent sigh of a star.
(beeping stops) l was commissioned to reclaim all of you .
l cannot go back without my own son .
You , above all, belong to my world.
And to my mother's.
There are dogs here, Father, and desperate men .
Killers, hypocrites and bigots.
Cruel, unthinking, senseless men .
But here they have no special powers unless we give them to them.
Here they are no stronger than good men , unless the good become weak.
Here there's a chance.
The battle isn 't lost before it's begun .
But in your world, what chance would anyone have with a soul? l wanted to go home, but not with a murderer.
Home shouldn 't be a world where you live with a murderer.
This world isn 't a whole lot better but if Spider County murders me, at least it'll be neat and legal.
l cannot destroy the better part of myself, the dream part.
He is the better part of you , too.
Can you destroy the better part of yourselves? ( man ) The wealth of a nation , of a world, consists in the number of superior men that it harbours.
Often it seems that these men are too different, too dreaming.
Often , because they are driven by powers and dreams strange to us, they are driven away by us.
But are they really so different? Are they not, after all, held by the same things that hold us? By strong love and soft hands.
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.