The Outer Limits (1963) s01e22 Episode Script

Specimen: Unknown

- Gordon ? All right? - Just a little woozy.
The excitement of going home, you know.
Sure.
You OK? l feel a little funny.
Kind of sick to my stomach.
Put your helmet on .
( voice over radib ) Major.
Have located trouble.
Secondary servo-brake.
All clear now.
Am returning to cabin .
Keep your helmet on in the airlock, Mike.
Something's happening here.
Gavin and Halper have both experienced sudden weakness and nausea.
We'll use individual oxygen supplies the rest of the trip.
Less danger of contamination .
Getting dizzy, Major.
Weaker.
(buzzer) There's no doubt about it This doesn 't make much sense at all, Major.
l worked as close to Howard's body at the autopsy as they did.
l don 't have any symptoms at all.
And you were nowhere near.
- Better inform the base.
- Yes, sir.
lt's the specimens, Major! The plants are shooting off spores.
( 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 ) For centuries, man has looked to the skies and sought to uncover the mystery of the universe.
The telescope brought into focus the craters on the moon and canals on Mars.
But it was limited, and man 's insistent hunger for knowledge and experience would not be satisfied until he broke the massive chains of gravity and set foot himself on a planet other than his own .
Project Mercury was his first venture into space, a testament to his technical ingenuity and courage, a green light to a hundred other projects which would take him still further.
This is Project Adonis, a laboratory orbiting a thousand miles above the Earth, a tiny, far-flung world connected only by radio and memory, and inhabited by a few men dedicated to removing the unknown for future travellers.
At ten minutes after six, on January 8, Lieutenant Rupert Howard found something clinging to the wall of the space lock that appeared alive.
He called them ''space barnacles'', for temporary identification .
They were not.
(bleeping ) Hello.
Lieutenant Howard speaking.
l can 't be certain yet, Major Doweling, but it's looking like some kind of dormant spore.
Probably been floating in space for a million years or so and finally found a home.
l should know more later.
l've got one in the incubator and l'm about to study the others.
No, l haven 't named it yet.
Something Greek.
Or maybe l'll just call it Miss Adonis.
Right.
Right.
(over PA) Major Benedict.
Please report to the communications room.
Dr Willis, you're wanted in the pharmacist's room.
Please report to the pharmacist's room.
(shrieking noise ) Unto Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed, Rupert Lawrence Howard, and we commit his body to the deep, deep heavens, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to life eternal.
Through our Lord and Saviour, may he rest in peace.
Amen .
Airlock secured, sir.
Mike, we found another of these mushroom things.
On the hatch plate of the airlock.
- That's the third one, isn 't it? - Yeah.
Howard used to call these things space barnacles.
lt's hard to believe he's dead.
lt'll be nice to lie in some good old-fashioned Earth-type sunlight after 90 days of this.
l put the sunlamp on the other two spores, the same thing happened.
They grew right in front of me.
lt must be the combination of the synthetic Earth's atmosphere and the sunlamp.
- lt makes sense.
- l'm not much on botany.
Howard's theory was they are some sort of dormant spore, floating around in space for millions of years.
We'll let the lab boys explain it.
They know all the answers.
- Boys, get space project communications.
- Yes, sir.
Major, l don 't want to press the issue, but you know how closely Howard and l have been working on cosmic radiation research? l'd like to stay here and finish it.
The answer is no, Mike, emphatically no.
The human -factor boys have it worked out: three months here, six below.
- l could find out what killed him.
- That's for the new crew.
(over PA) Major Benedict, l've got space project communications.
Colonel MacWilliams.
Come on .
You can say a few provocative words to your wife.
(over radib ) This is Major Benedict.
l'd like to talk to Colonel MacWilliams.
Yes, Major.
This is MacWilliams.
Colonel, we buried Lieutenant Howard.
- Are you and the men all right? - Yes, sir.
Doweling still wants to stay on to continue the lieutenant's work on cosmic radiation exposure.
- Put Doweling on .
- Hold on .
l think you know what to say, Janet.
- (over radib ) This is Captain Doweling.
- Hi.
This is Captain Doweling's wife.
- Janet! How are you? - l'm fine.
- Mike, l've missed you .
- l've missed you too, Janet, but Janet.
Hurry on down , Mike.
She's been sitting on the edge of our oscilloscope for days.
- Put Major Benedict back on .
- Yes, sir.
- (over radib ) This is Major Benedict.
- Major, about Lieutenant Howard.
The Pentagon has asked for a full report on the matter.
l'm preparing one now, Colonel, but you'll have to fill in the space marked ''cause of death''.
All right, Major.
Yes, thank you .
See you soon .
Janet, would you mind checking the recovery support system? We'll want it operational to bring them in .
Yes, sir.
- Stop looking at me like that, Nathan .
- Like what? Look, l had a decision to make and l made it.
All these people here, they're my responsibility.
As Project Officer l have to consider the whole picture.
Howard's body had just as thorough an autopsy as we could do down here.
Lieutenant Halper is a fine physician , you know that.
As l said, sometimes one man can miss a small detail.
A team might have learned more.
As Chief Surgeon of this project, my advice was to bring Howard's body down here.
But what about the calculated risk involved? You said it yourself.
On record, l said it might not have been the radiation experiments that destroyed the haemoglobin in Howard's blood.
lt might have been some alien virus floating around up there, something we know nothing about.
You also admitted that such a virus could be contagious and that our bodies probably have no immunity to fight it.
Could l risk exposing this base to something that kills a man in a few hours without warning? No.
Not knowing the cause of Howard's death, l just couldn 't chance bringing him back.
All the haemoglobin in its blood has been destroyed.
Same as Lieutenant Howard.
Everything's aboard the shuttle craft.
Ready to go.
Replacement crew standing by.
You forgot to put these spore specimens aboard.
l didn 't know they were to go.
l've secured the aft cargo compartment.
Well, put 'em up forward with us.
Position vector three two six.
Projectory curve thirty-two zero.
Speed sixteen thousand three.
We're indicating yaw 1 .
3 degrees.
Check attitude stabiliser.
What is it, Mike? The attitude stabiliser seems to be over-correcting.
The automatic attitude control system is out.
l'm putting her into safety orbit.
( voice over radib ) Shuttle craft one zero one zero.
Adonis Centre calling.
Over.
This is shuttle craft one zero one zero.
The attitude stabilisation control system failed.
We're checking it now.
Craft travelling in safety orbit, altitude 900 miles.
- Over.
- Roger.
Tracking stations alerted.
Notify any variance in orbit or altitude.
Seems like one of the servos.
l'll have to leave the ship to correct it.
Captain Doweling leaving ship to make repairs.
Maintaining safety orbit as stated.
Out.
(shrieking noise ) - Gordon ? You all right? - Just a little woozy.
The excitement of going home, you know.
Sure.
You OK? l feel a little funny.
Kind of sick to my stomach.
Put your helmet on .
( Doweling ) Major, have located trouble.
Secondary servo-brake.
All clear now.
Am returning to cabin .
Keep your helmet on in the airlock, Mike.
Something's happening here.
Gavin and Helper have both experienced sudden weakness and nausea.
We'll use individual oxygen supplies the rest of the trip.
Less danger of contamination .
Getting dizzy, Major.
Weaker.
(buzzer) There's no doubt about it.
This doesn 't make much sense at all, Major.
l worked as close to Howard's body at the autopsy as they did.
l don 't have any symptoms at all.
And you were nowhere near.
- Better inform the base.
- Yes, sir.
lt's the specimens, Major! The plants are shooting off spores.
-Now they're throwing out some kind of vapour.
- You're right.
The contamination must be coming from them.
The aft compartment, isolate all plants and spores in there.
l'll inform the base.
Shuttle craft one zero one zero calling Adonis.
( Major over radib ) That's the situation .
These plants, the poisonous gas they release destroys haemoglobin in the blood.
Gavin almost out.
Halper already unconscious.
Both turning like Howard and the rabbit.
l'm feeling weaker.
- What about Doweling? - Doweling was outside of craft.
Not exposed to gases as mucn as we wero Aft compartment overrun with the plants.
They fire spores, hundreds at a time, that grow on anything.
Even penetrate metal with their stems.
lt's a malignant thing.
Don 't let us land.
Contamination .
Destruct us.
Destruct.
Major! Major Benedict, come in .
Over.
This is Captain Doweling.
Major Benedict has passed out.
l'm starting to feel woozy myself.
We'll maintain this orbit until ordered to destruct.
Plants.
Alien plant life.
What can they be? Where do they come from? How are they capable of destroying the haemoglobin in the blood? lf Doweling should pass out and that shuttle crashes to Earth, there's no telling how fast those plants could multiply, once they feed from the soil and are exposed to sunlight.
Major Benedict may be right.
Maybe the craft should be destroyed.
There are four men in that ship.
We have the whole picture to consider.
That shuttle is loaded with destruction .
Who knows how many people could be contaminated by those plants if they reproduce down here as they're doing in that craft? They're inside the craft, Mac.
They're contained.
And the gas they release? Poisonous, the major said.
How do we contain that? - But those men - l know.
Don 't you think l know? lf we get them back in time, give them a blood transfusion , maybe (phone rings) Yeah? What do you mean , you can 't find the general? Mayberry is six feet four and weighs 250 pounds.
lf lntelligence can 't locate a target that size, we're in trouble.
Try his club, his barber, his bathroom, but find him! And l want a ground-to-air missile with a warhead standing in readiness.
- Janet.
- Please, l want to stay.
l have to know.
Of course.
You've got as much stake in this as any of us.
More.
(phone rings) MacWilliams.
( Major) General, we have a grave situation .
Yes, General.
He he dropped it in my lap.
The decision is mine.
l have two choices: bring them down at the Springdale base in Florida and risk the lives of who knows how many people? Or send up a missile, destruct while they're still in that safety orbit.
Bring them down , Mac.
Give us an opportunity to research an alien plant life.
They were found on the space station , Nathan .
The chances are, they'll find others.
They can be researched up there.
Colonel.
There are four men on that craft.
Four men , Janet, or four bodies? Yes, perhaps.
Perhaps four bodies.
But if we'd brought back Lieutenant Howard's body, maybo by now we d know how the blood is atacked Maybe we'd have some way to fight it.
Contact the space station .
Advise them of the danger and to keep away from all strange plant life.
lf it's too late, if they've already Tell them we're working on an antidote.
Get a jet ready to take off for Florida.
l want it in 1 5 minutes.
Contact Doweling.
Tell your husband we're bringing that shuttle down .
(Janet Mike.
Mike, listen to me.
Mike, please, you've got to try.
Doweling? Shuttle craft one zero one zero.
Come in , Doweling.
- Doweling! This is Colonel MacWilliams.
- l read you .
We're ready to take off.
We'll meet you at No! You can 't bring us down .
- ls it getting worse, Mike? - l think so.
Awfully weak.
What about the others? l don 't know, sir.
Their faces are getting worse.
Mike, l want you to bring the shuttle down .
Can 't.
These plants destroy you .
Aft compartment's like jungle.
Horrible.
- You talk to him, Janet.
- l did.
l tried.
Try again .
Tell him you're waiting for him.
Mike? Can you hear me? We're all here waiting for you .
- Janet, l - Mike, l love you .
Please bring the ship down .
Come home.
Please come home, Mike.
Please.
l order you to bring that ship down .
Do you read me? - l can 't, sir.
The plants - Bring it down , Captain .
That's an order.
- Do you read me? - Yes, sir.
All right.
Listen carefully.
Bypass the base and change your touchdown location to sector 463.
Coordinates 83-1 05.
Repeat.
Over.
Sector 463.
Coordinates 83-1 05.
That's correct.
That's the Springdale missile base in Florida.
You know the area.
Come out of your safety orbit and proceed to that location immediately.
Our tracking stations indicate you are presently over South Africa.
Start your descent immediately.
Contact Springdale.
Tell them the shuttle is coming down in their area.
Notify their radar control.
Don 't tell them any more.
- Top secret.
Absolutely.
- Colonel.
May come a ong ? Pease ? All right.
(over radib ) Shuttle craft one zero one zero.
Come in , Doweling.
Over.
This is shuttle craft one zero one zero.
l can read you .
Over.
You're off course.
You'll touch down six or seven miles southeast of us.
We're on our way now.
We're alerting the rescue team to meet us there.
Roger.
(sirens) Stay in the car, Janet.
Their body harnesses should absorb the shock.
They should be all right.
Doweling, this is MacWilliams.
Do you read me? Doweling, do you read me? This is Doweling.
Shuttle craft one zero one zero.
- Are the others still alive? - Halper's dead.
The major, Gavin , maybe.
Don 't know.
- Open the hatch, Mike.
Come out.
- Hatch lock sprung.
- Won 't open .
- Pry it open .
Hurry it up.
lt'll be open in a minute.
l told you to stay in the car, Janet.
- Are you all right? - He's OK.
- Then get that hatch open .
- Yes, sir.
They're all over the area.
Contact Springdale.
Find out why they aren 't here.
Just get them here! And quick! Heaven help us.
They said there's a 90 per cent probability of rain .
How much faster will these things spread if it rains? Hurry it up, son , will you? (shrieking noise ) Get that stretcher here! Gas came right from the centre of the flower.
l'll start the transfusion .
Janet, get out of the car! (shrieking noise ) Ah! Watch where you're walking.
Get in the ambulance! Get him in the ambulance.
Give the colonel a hand.
Help him to the ambulance.
Let's get out of here.
Get his helmet off.
( Doweling ) Thanks.
Sergeant's looking better.
l think the transfusions will do it.
- (Janet Thank God.
- ( Nathan ) And pray.
-No, we'll follow in the car.
-No.
No.
l don 't know what the contamination potential is.
- l don 't care.
- Mike would want you l'll see you at the hospital.
Do what they tell you , please.
l think he'll be all right, Janet.
lf we hurry.
Get them to the base hospital.
Be careful but be fast.
lt looks like blood.
(siren ) They're always talking about life on other planets, but .
.
what kind of life? A plant? A flower? (shrieking noise ) (engine fails to start What about Lieutenant Halper's body? We'll have to leave it for the decontamination squad.
(thunder) Don 't let it rain .
This is Colonel MacWilliams calling.
lt's the storm.
lt must have started somewhere.
- This is Jennings, Mac.
- Where's the help, the flamethrowers? They're on their way.
Why are you still there? Can 't get out, except maybe on foot.
Those plants are all over the engine.
- Janet all right? - She's all right.
Better attempt it on foot.
lt might be 30, 40 minutes before help arrives.
- How are the men ? - Sergeant's doing real well.
Doweling's coming around faster than we hoped.
Blood almost normal.
We're going to try it, Nathan .
Come on .
(shrieking noise ) (shrieking noises) (thunder) No! End of the road.
(thunder) (wailing noises) (wailing continues) That whine! lt's coming from them.
The rain lt's destroying them.
Rain .
Oh! (Janet laughs) They're all gone.
A simple thing like rain .
- Let's get back to the car, Janet.
- Colonel? Where do you think they came from, the flowers? l don 't know.
Another planet? Another time? ( man ) There are many things up there.
Evil and hungry.
Awesome and splendid.
And gentle things, too.
Merciful things, like rain .
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.