This episode originally aired on November. 13, 1959. The writer was Rod Serling, and starred Jack Warden, John Dehner, and Jean Marsh.
Authors Note: When I watch any TV show from when I was small, or simply too young to watch, I am always on the lookout for stars that would become popular many years later. There is such a person in this show. They received no credits in the show as it was aired, and no credits on VHS or DVD packaging. In short there was no telling who might pop up.
This the second episode that was produced, yet the the seventh that was aired. Most TV shows are aired in the sequence they are produced. This particular episode was filmed under the scorching sun of Death Valley. When members of the crew started to drop like flies from heat exhaustion specific scenes had to be re-shot back at MGM studios. Some scenes had to be re-written as well so they could take place in the shack behind Jack Warden.
Jack Warden was riding high when he did this episode. He did a film with Henry Fonda called “12 Angry Men” in 1957, then followed that up in 1958 by doing a film called “Run Silent Run Deep” with Burt Lancaster, and Clark Gable that was directed by Robert Wise.
Jean Marsh had been doing small roles on the British stage, and on TV. She made her debut on Broadway in early 1959, and quickly followed that up by making her debut on American television the same year.
Jack Warden plays James Corry, a man convicted of murder, and sentenced to fifty years imprisonment on a penal asteroid. He is only in the fourth year of his sentence. Earth has decided to farm out all their undesirables. A supply ship from Earth comes once every three months to check on its prisoners. And when it does visit it visits for only minutes. One of the supply ships is commanded by a man named Allenby, a fellow who thinks there must be a better way of dealing with prisoners because when you’re sentenced to a penal asteroid you’re the only person on that barren hunk of rock.
Allenby, played by John Dehner, does what he can. For prisoners like Corry he risks his career and job by smuggling in what he can. For Corry he’s smuggled in old car parts so Corry would have something to tinker with. But Corry is starting to crack. He needs someone to talk to. Adams and Turley, who are Allenby’s crew, carry a large crate to the shack. They don’t know anything about it aside its for Corry. Adams doesn’t think anybody should do anything for prisoners, and he doesn’t mind letting his commander know how he feels. Allenby smuggles an android to keep Corry company.
At first Corry isn’t very grateful. He thinks it mocks him. But quickly Corry discovers this “robot”, as he describes her, is his salvation. He is no longer alone. He can talk to her, and her to him. Eventually Corry stops thinking of Alicia (that’s her name) as a robot or android. She looks human, smells human, sounds human. Corry starts thinking of her as a flesh and blood woman.
Corry teaches her astronomy and soon after that checkers. Jean Marsh is perfect as Alicia with her gorgeous eyes. She experiments with different hair styles, and as the episode progresses she looks more and more beautiful. After a few months Corry begins to care for her, and starts calling her by name. As time passes he falls in love with her.
When Allenby and his crew return 11 months later they bring news that Corry has been pardoned. But he can only bring 15 pounds of gear with him. In this screen capture Corry is pleading with Allenby to be allowed to bring Alicia to Earth. Allenby is adamant. Fifteen pounds and not an ounce more.
John Dehner is on the left, Jack Warden is on the right, and that fellow in the middle wearing an out dated Air Force helmet is Ted Knight. Ted Knight played the bumbling, brainless Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show. In ten years time he’ll be the anchorman at a Minneapolis TV station called WJM, but right now he’s a nobody. His doesn’t even rate a show credit, and he’s taking what jobs he can to simply pay the rent.
Corry has just discovered how much Alicia means to him. Allenby is distressed because it means taking away the one thing thing that kept Corry sane. Adams (Ted Knight) figures out that Alicia was in that big heavy crate he helped deliver one year ago (even at this stage Ted Knight is not the sharpest tool in the shed). Allenby fears Corry will lose touch with reality permanently, and is forced to shoot Alicia in the face. Corry comes to his senses, and the threesome run back to the spaceship. The shack, the car, and what’s left of Alicia are left to rust, and in time, decompose.
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