The last thing College Lit Professor Cary West wants, while is wife is out of town, is a TV set to keep him company; but that's just what wife Carolyn has bought for him. He is relieved when the serviceman returns to collect the $100 deposit Carolyn forgot to give him; good, he doesn't have the money so the man can take the TV back! Only, a $5 bill he accidently dropped on the floor near the TV has suddenly developed 19 siblings, and the serviceman leaves, cash in hand. West soon realizes he has a major problem: the TV is alive. It lights his pipe, washes his dishes, vacuums his rugs. It also chooses what he can read, write, and marches around to military music; and It also zaps anyone who tries to harm Cary in any way, such as treasury agents investigating the duplicate $5 bills, the police who investigate a call placed by the TV set to the phone company requesting a 'female companion' be sent over for Cary's comfort, and a female bill collector who decides to move in til Cary pays ... Written by
Rich Wannen <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>
The original story is credited to Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (it was published under their joint pseudonym, "Lewis Padgett"), but, like many of the songs credited to "Lennon and McCartney", it may have been written in collaboration or by either of them alone. Often even they could not say later who had written how much of many of their stories. See more »
This may be the first in the long line of interesting films that have as their theme some electronic parlor device (radio, TV or computer) through which an alien or other outside influence emerges. Later examples include Zontar the Thing from Venus, Corman's original Not of This Earth, 1984, Farenheit 451, Poltergeist, etc. Others that come to mind are the TV episode of Star Trek whereby Terri Garr unwittingly stands watch over the alien computer and several Outer Limits episodes whereby radio communication is achieved with other planets.
Its one thing to be spied upon by electronic ease-dropping (a much more common theme) but to have influence peddlers brainwashing us from within our homes is particularly horrifying.
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