Anthology type science fiction program with a different cast each week. Tending toward the hard science, space travel, time travel, and human evolution it tries to examine in each show some... See full summary »
Produced at the same time as the more well-known Twilight Zone, this series fed the nation's growing interest in paranormal suspense in a different way. Rather than creating fictional ... See full summary »
Will J. White
Michael Chambers recounts recent events on Earth after the arrival of a alien space craft. The aliens, known as Kanamit, seem friendly and assure everyone they have nothing to be afraid of. In fact, they offer to share wonderful technology that will provide limitless energy, cure all disease and convert deserts into lush gardens. For the people of Earth, paradise has arrived. Chambers is an encryption specialist and they try their best to decrypt a book the Kanamit left behind. The book's title seems benign - but it's not what they think it is. Written by
In the source story, the aliens are short and look like hairy pigs that walk upright, and go by the name Kanamit (singular: Kanama). In this televised version they're called Kanamits (singular: Kanamit), and they all look like Richard Kiel wearing a prosthetic "big brain". See more »
Chambers compares translating the Kanamit book into English to decoding Japanese messages in World War II. The two situations are entirely different. The codebreakers in World War II took a coded message, a meaningless string of Japanese characters, and reversed the coding process to produce a string of characters that would be meaningful to anyone who knew Japanese. Chambers's problem is not that the Kanamits coded their book, but that no one on Earth knows the Kanamit language. There is no way that they could take the book by itself and translate it. See more »
[to the audience]
How about you? You still on Earth, or on the ship, with me? Well, it doesn't make very much difference because sooner or later we'll, all of us, be on the menu. All of us.
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This was at one time my favorite "Twilight Zone" episode. It still stands up pretty well. The idea of a group of overlords, deciding what is best for us, is a standard bearer of science fiction. These tall big headed guys come to earth to save us from ourselves, to put an end to war and violence. They've got the goods to back up what they do, so there is little resistance. As a matter of fact, they even give the earthlings a chance to visit their planet. The fact that they have a foothold and are completely dominant makes one suspicious of their motives. The story is well told, but we know Rod Serling is up to something. The weakness in the episode is that there is a near linguistic impossibility, dealing with the translation of the book at the end. If you think for a few minutes, you will see what I am talking about.
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