War of the Satellites
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We open with the title and credits in white font on a black background and a score by composer/conductor Walter Greene. A star field is crossed by a satellite as observed in a control room at an observatory. The assembled scientists and politicians argue over the tenth mission. Jason ibn Akad (Michael Fox) chides Dr. Pol Van Ponder (Richard Devon) about his lack of success and waste of half a billion dollars on a satellite project, Project Sigma, that hits a barrier in space and is destroyed. Cole Hotchkiss (Robert Shayne) reminds Akad that, "its still in it's orbit, Mr. Akad." Akad asks Sybil Carrington for her thoughts, but she deflects the query with her analytical reply, "I correlate observed data Mr. Akad, I make no predictions." Mr. LeMoine (Bruno VeSota) quickly injects, "I'll make a prediction. All those men in that satellite will die as have all the others. And when they do your project comes to an end, doctor." Dave Boyer (Dick Miller) announces to the assembled, "The satellite is approaching the critical area." All gather around the screen and watch the latest satellite encounter and then be destroyed by a force field. Van Ponder announces that he will launch another satellite.

A "young" couple are parked under a moon lit sky, necking in their car. Jay (Jay Sayer) and Mitzi (Mitzi McCall) see a light in the sky. At first they assume it is a shooting star, then realize it is something else when it crashes. They investigate and discover a small rocket with a message, in Latin, for the world. Sybil reads the translated message to the United Nations. The aliens warn the inhabitants of the earth that their, "contamination shall not be allowed to spread." Any attempt to depart the Earth will be stopped. The President (Roy Gordon) opens discussion regarding the message.

Van Ponder calls a press conference in his office. He announces another satellite mission that he, himself, will lead. Sybil tells Dave she will accompany her boss. Van Ponder does admit some misgivings to Dave and Sybil, but training and crew selection start. Hotchkiss calls Van Ponder and warns him that Akad is trying to stop the mission. Van Ponder drives over to the U.N. Along the way he experiences trouble with his car and crashes. The aliens cause his wreck, then replace him with one of their own. Hotchkiss announces, "Dr. Van Ponder was killed in an automobile accident while on his way to this forum." To the shock of the assembled, Van Ponder arrives at the U.N. to spontaneous applause. After Hotchkiss leaves Van Ponder's office, the alien demonstrates one of his capabilities--to duplicate himself. The alien reports to his masters that a stronger warning is proposed, but before we learn any details of the plan, Dave enters Van Ponder's office to persuade Van Ponder to keep Sybil off the launch of the next satellite. Sybil enters Van Ponder's office and tells him to turn on the radio. Reports of worldwide disasters are blamed on the aliens. Van Ponder capitulates to the threat and calls off the next mission. Dave and Sybil attend the U.N. meeting and Dave, without consulting with Van Ponder, tells the assembled delegates that, "We must proceed with project Sigma at all costs."

As Dave and Van Ponder go over launch parameters, John Campo (Jerry Barclay) enters the room and registers surprise at Van Ponder's presence. He remarks that he just saw Van Ponder at the Proving Grounds. The new solenoids have arrived and he wants Dave to check them. Dave notices a growth on Van Ponders arm. Dave reminds Van that he should have it removed. Dave sees another identical growth on his other arm. His curiosity piqued, Dave records the license plate (New York 9Z 9324) on Van's Lincoln in the parking lot. Dave drives away. Meanwhile, Van goes down to the lab where John is welding a component. John puts the welding torch down on the component and directs Van's attention to the solenoids. The torch is bumped and rotates the flame directly onto Van Ponder's right hand. Feeling no pain at all, his hand is quickly charred. John notices and pulls Van's hand away from the flame and runs for medical attention. Van Ponder shuts off the acetylene. Using his good hand he removes the char from his burnt hand revealing an intact and perfectly restored and normal right hand. When John returns with Dr. Howard Lazar (Eric Sinclair) Van Ponder pretends nothing happened and that John Compo must be hallucinating. John, on the verge of hysteria, concludes, "There's something about you. You're not human."

Dave stops at an auto wrecking yard and discovers the bumper of Van Ponder's wrecked car. The license plate number is identical. He concludes the car was so destroyed no one could have survived. He calls Sybil on the phone from a caf. She is at the base and informs Dave that the launch schedule was moved up. He has forty-five minutes to get to the launch site. At the launch command center a tech hands the ground controller (Roger Corman) final corrections on the calculations. Dr. Lazar arrives at the elevator with John Compo and tells Van Ponder that John is cleared to fly. Dave witnesses Van Ponder's ability to duplicate himself. His suspicions are now confirmed--Van Ponder is an alien and means to sabotage the mission.

Aboard flight #1, Sybil straps herself into her Contour Chaise Lounge while Van Ponder checks on the flight crew and John. Dave joins Dr. Lazar on flight #2 for their departure. The ground controller handles the rocket stage separations and the assembly of the satellite components. The pilot/astronavigator (John Brinkley) and co-pilot (Tony Miller) prepare the craft for its mission. Van Ponder goes to visit John Compo. He places his hand on John's chest immobilizing him. Van Ponder reveals himself and his mission before he kills John. Sybil walks in to the compartment. Van Ponder explains that John couldn't handle the g-force acceleration. Dave tries to convince Sybil that Van Ponder is an alien, but Van Ponder enters and interrupts. John's body is buried in space. Dave meets with Dr. Lazar and tells him John was murdered. He has the doctor examine Van Ponder's finger prints. Dave tells Sybil that the mounting evidence points to an alien imposter. Dr. Lazar goes to confront Van Ponder and give him the required medical exam. But before the doctor can check Van's heart, an urgent call from the pilot interrupts. The satellite is approaching the Sigma barrier. Upon his return, Van activates a heartbeat. It is a new sensation and he visibly reacts. Van Ponder encounters Sybil on his way back to the doctor. He expresses his new found desire for Sybil. She is confused. She excuses herself, "I'm in the middle of a computation." Van submits to the doctor's cardiac exam. When Van tries the same hand on the chest routine to dispatch Dr. Lazar, as he did with John, he is surprised to see that it doesn't work. He kills Dr. Lazar by choking him.

Sybil finally suspects Dave may be right about Van Ponder, when under Van Ponder's orders, two crewmembers (Beach Dickerson and James Knight) arrest Dave. On her way to find Dr. Lazar, Sybil sees Van Ponder placing the doctor's body in the disposal chute. Van Ponder sees Sybil and gives chase. She hides in the Solar Energy room. Dave escapes his guards and Van Ponder is informed over the PA system. The Sigma barrier forms while Van Ponder is trying to decide whether or not to kill Sybil. He splits himself into two, confirming Sybil's suspicion. One remains to confront Sybil while the other heads for the command center or bridge. She asks, "You're not human. Who are you? What are you?"

Dave follows Van ponder into his cabin and shoots him in the hand. Both Van Ponders bleed. Dave and Van scuffle and Dave gets the gun back and shoots Van Ponder several times. While Dave's Van Ponder collapses, the one confronting Sybil also falls to the deck. Dave orders Plan B be abandoned, and Plan A be activated, much to the flight crew's relief. Both Van Ponders disappear. The Solar Accumulator is deployed against the barrier, but Sybil is still in the Solar Energy Room and is rescued by Dave. The Solar Accumulator works and the Sigma barrier is broken. The closing shot is the satellite in orbit over the Earth.


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