Tonight on NBC’s Persons Unknown, the captive 7 attempt to free themselves by digging a tunnel under the sonic force field fence. They failed. You could see that tempers and nerves were frazzled with the captives.
The captive 7 received a gift, or a shipment, a large crate dropped by helicopter. Inside were 7 cannisters. Four of them were empty. Three of them contained gas masks. The premise, three would be safe, four would be in peril. Of course arguments are sparked on who deserved to wear them when a gas attack was implemented.
The C7, (Captive 7) rummage through the town in hopes of finding alternate protection from a gas attack. Surgical masks and rain coats were not going to get it done. As Bill is searching, he looks in the window of one store front and sees an old TV, it begins to play, and shows a scene of Charlie smothering his sick wife with a pillow. Later on, Bill confronts Charlie about what he saw. You can guess what will happen in later episodes. (Charlie will kill Bill)
Charlie and Janet get trapped in a room as sirens go off signaling some sort of attack. A gas attack. Gas spills through cracks in the wall and quickly fill the room. Charlie puts on his mask but panics, he cannot breathe. Janet pounds on the door to get free. Charlie loses it. In a minute, they escape to the street where there is no gas.
Paranoia sets in for the C7. The question again arises, What if one of them is among us? Who can you really trust? What do they really know about each other? The C7 begin to bicker with each on who is worthy of the gas mask, and then quickly turn against each other.
Of course another gas attack occurs while the C7 are in the hotel lobby. Three put on the gas masks quickly while the others begin choking wearing surgical masks. Bill goes crazy and rips the mask off Charlie. Several skirmishes break out as each struggles to survive. But something is terribly wrong. The gas masks introduce a green gas inside the masks choking and poisoning the wearers. The masks are attached and they cannot get them off. Janet assists and helps get all three masks off just in time.
In this episode, we see a loudmouth instigator, (Bill) who fuels the fire of paranoia. The C7 point fingers at each other, all suspect each other as being one of the watchers, and violence ensued.
Sound like anything you’ve seen on television before? It was to me.
In my previous updates, I theorized that the show is based on Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone, a 1960′s Science Fiction program. Continuing with my Persons Unknown theory I submit for your approval my next offering titled:
The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street
Original Air Date: 03/04/1960 season 1, episode 22
Destination - Quite Unknown
Maple Street, USA. Late Summer. A tree-lined little world of front porch gliders, barbecues, the laughter of children, and the bell of an ice cream vendor. At the sound of the roar and a flash of light, it will be precisely 6:43 PM on Maple Street.
This is Maple Street on a late Saturday afternoon. Maple Street, in the last calm and reflective moments…before the monsters came.
The episode begins as a typical Summer day. Kids playing, grown ups gathering. Then a dark shadow crawls across the sky and a flash of light and a loud noise is heard before everything goes dark. A complete power outage has occurred including the residents cars. The adults get together to discuss what happened and what they plan on doing about it. Pete Van Horn volunteers to investigate to see if the power outage is city wide or just the neighborhood.
Just after Pete leaves a young boy claims he knows what is happening. He shows the adults one of his comic books with a story about aliens coming down, assuming human appearance, and living in the neighborhood for a while – while they plan their attack.
At first the adults don’t believe the story until one of the neighbor’s lights go on in his house. Then someone else’s car starts for no reason. As things are going on and off randomly the people start to accuse each other of being the aliens. The fear and hostility of the neighborhood grows. When Pete Van Horn comes back one of the neighbors shoots him because he thought he was an alien.
As a full-scale riot breaks out, the camera pans outward and upward revealing two aliens sitting atop a hill overlooking Maple Street. They comment on how all they need to do is switch on and off a few lights and the people of Earth will destroy themselves.
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices. To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the frightened, thoughtless search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own: for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things can not be confined to the Twilight Zone.
But wait a minute folks. I promised you a bombshell that will solidify my theory. Submitted for your approval. On 03/23/1962, during season three, episode 92, The Twilight Zone aired an episode titled:
Person Or Persons Unknown What is the name of NBC’s Summer thriller?
Cameo of a man who has just lost his most valuable possession. He doesn’t know about the loss yet. In fact, he doesn’t even know about the possession because like most people, David Gurney has never really thought about the matter of his identity. But he’s going to be thinking a great deal about it from now on because that is what he’s lost. And his search for it is going to take him into the darkest corners of the Twilight Zone.
Mister David Gurney wakes up to find that nobody knows him. It appears that his identity has been erased. He becomes angry and is placed into a insane asylum. The doctor there explains to him that David Gureney doesn’t exist, but David feels that someone is out to get him. He escapes and runs. He finds a picture of him and his wife together, and attempts to offer it up as evidence that he does exist. However, the police see a different version of the picture, of David, alone. In a fit of rage, he throws himself onto the ground.
He wakes up in his own bed. He believes that last night’s heavy drinking was the cause of this nightmare. His wife rolls out of bed and heads for the bathroom. When she comes out of the bathroom, he is shocked to discover his wife doesn’t appear to be his wife, she looks completely different, even though her mannerisms and voice are exactly the same.
A case of mistaken identity or a nightmare turned inside out? A simple loss of memory or the end of the world? David Gurney may never find the answer but you can be sure he’s looking for it in the Twilight Zone.
I told you so…..
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