Tales of Tomorrow: Season 2, Episode 30

Past Tense (3 Apr. 1953)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
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Physician invents a time machine to go back in time and make a fortune by selling penicillin to a pharmaceutical firm. His wife is more concerned about paying bills because he's neglecting ... See full summary »



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Title: Past Tense (03 Apr 1953)

Past Tense (03 Apr 1953) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Episode credited cast:
Dr. Henry Marco
John McGovern ...
Dr. Laskey
Katherine Meskill ...
Allen Nourse ...
Robert F. Simon ...
Dr. Giles


Physician invents a time machine to go back in time and make a fortune by selling penicillin to a pharmaceutical firm. His wife is more concerned about paying bills because he's neglecting his practice, so she threatens to destroy the device. If she does, could he be trapped in the past? Written by David Stevens

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Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi




Release Date:

3 April 1953 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

TALES OF TOMORROW: Past Tense {TV} (Don Medford, 1953) ***
24 October 2013 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another good entry in this interesting series: linking it to the recently-viewed H.G. Wells adaptation THE CRYSTAL EGG (1951) is the fact that, here, we deal with the invention of a time machine (obviously the title of one of the most popular works by that visionary author). The star of the episode under review, then, is a veritable genre icon i.e. Boris Karloff; he plays an altruistic scientist who decides to go back a few decades in time so as to give to the world the benefits of penicillin, in the hope that untreatable sickness can be cured and lives saved…or, so he thinks, since the elderly man's plea for his drug to be tested on terminal cases is misunderstood at every turn! Even worse, Karloff's shrewish wife looks with equal mistrust upon his time-travelling device and threatens to destroy it; that said, the protagonist's own motive is not above simple profiteering – and, while the viewer is apt to sympathize with his plight, one also feels that the doctor's ultimate fate is a bit his own doing, given that he would not take no for an answer! In spite of the repetition (Karloff's arguments with his wife and his striving to convince unenlightened 'colleagues' about both the 'miraculous' remedy he is promoting and his own 'unrecorded' origins) and studio-bound look (for obvious reasons, never do we venture outdoors), the premise is sufficiently engaging throughout – and, needless to say, Karloff's commanding presence (and soft-spoken delivery) always constitutes a pleasure to the undersigned. Amusingly, this being a live telecast, an actor badly flubs a line early on and – boldly – keeps repeating it until he manages to get the correct wording across!

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