Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond: Season 3, Episode 26

Signal Received (4 Apr. 1961)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 8 users  
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In 1941 two sailors from HMS Hood, Watson and Breed, hear a strange radio broadcast stating that the ship has been sunk with heavy loss of life. Their shipmate Robin Hughes, however, hears ... See full summary »

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Title: Signal Received (04 Apr 1961)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Mark Eden ...
Johnny Watson
Terry Palmer ...
George Breed
Richard Gale ...
Robin Hughes
Viola Keats ...
Mrs. Breed
Garard Green ...
Civilian (as Garrard Green)
Patrick McLoughlin ...
Official
Jennifer Daniel ...
Sheilah
Patrick Jordan ...
Susan Richards ...
Heather Seller
Anne Ridler ...
First Girl
Mark Burns ...
Soldier
Sally Layng
Charles Lamb ...
Mr. Breed
Robin Hughes ...
Himself
John Newland ...
Himself - Host
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Storyline

In 1941 two sailors from HMS Hood, Watson and Breed, hear a strange radio broadcast stating that the ship has been sunk with heavy loss of life. Their shipmate Robin Hughes, however, hears that he will live to a ripe old age. When it is time for the ship to sail Hughes is reassigned at the last minute. The radio message proves to be a tragic omen for Breed and Watson whilst the real Hughes appears in the studio to talk about his belief in the supernatural. Written by don @ minifie-1

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4 April 1961 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
The Fourth Survivor out of 1, 800 + men?
14 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is another of the interference of the supernatural in the lives of people involved in tragic events that appear fairly regularly on ONE STEP BEYOND. It actually rivals the stories about Lincoln's Assassination, Krackatoa, the San Francisco Earthquake, and the Titanic.

People recall the voyage of Hitler's mightiest battleship, SMS BISMARCK, in May 1941, in the most famous and fatal maiden/final voyages in the history of naval warfare. Hitler never had a really good grasp on naval strategy, and wasted a truly remarkable battleship on a cruise to see if Bismarck would be a good commerce raider. With the strength of her hull and plating, her firepower, and her speed, Bismarck should have been at the center of a might fleet of battleships and cruisers like the Tirpitz (wasted for most of the war in Norway's fjords), the Schleswig-Holstein, and whatever other large scale craft he could have gotten together. Then the Royal Navy might have had substantial problems. Instead it was accompanied for only two thirds of it's cruise by the battle cruiser Prinz Eugen. Still it did do one notable piece of damage: it sank H.M.S. Hood, Britain's largest and most famous battleship, off the coast of Iceland. Of the crew of 1,800, only three men survived that icy water (more lives were lost on the Hood and on the Bismarck when it was sunk than on the Titanic and Lusitania combined).

The story here is about how the crew of the Hood are given partial liberty just before the Bismarck leaves on it's cruise. We concentrate on three men: Johnny Watson (Mark Eden), Breed (Terry Palmer), and Robin Hughes (Richard Gale). These three men are seamen on Hood, and go to their homes for their leave. But when they are all at home, Watson and Breed and their families hear the news on the radio that the Hood has been sunk with all hands. Naturally they both check into this, and find it is still in port at Scapa Flow. Hughes does not hear this news, but receives better information about his future. Apparently he is going to live to be very old. Then news comes that leaves have been canceled because of the Bismarck leaving port. All three men go back to their ship, Watson and Breed both nervous about the peculiar false radio report of the disaster. They mention it to Hughes, who is surprised. They reach the gangplank to board Hood, when a naval officer approaches and tells Hughes that he is being reassigned to a land office. He turns to his two mates, and they look like they've seen the angel of death just stamp their documents. Never-the-less they board the doomed vessel.

Here comes the surprise: At the end of the episode we are told that only three sailors survived the icy waters off Iceland when Hood was sunk. But John Newland introduces us to the real Robin Hughes. Hughes, an actor by profession, verifies that in reality he was an unofficial fourth survivor of the Hood's crew, as he was not supposed to be on board at the last moment before it left port on it's fatal cruise. How true this is I can't vouch for it. I have looked over Philip's career, and he was in several nautical films (including A NIGHT TO REMEMBER). But whether or not he actually was a member of the Hood's crew, and was luckily chosen to avoid that final cruise at the last minute is something I cannot answer. Good story though.


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