[dramatic music plays]
At 0300 this morning, the expeditionary X-1 rocket ship, missing for 61 days, was sighted by Mount Palomar, drifting in orbit some 90,000 miles out in space.
All attempts to establish radio communication have failed so far.
We don't know if anyone is left alive on board.
The MR-1 appears to be a dead ship.
We've had no contact with the rocket since it entered Mars orbit over two months ago and reported preparing to land on the planet.
The ship was believed to have crashed in the landing attempt.
But she didn't!
Gentlemen, the Mars rocket must be retrieved and brought back to Earth intact!
That's a tall order, George.
I know, but the recording instruments on that ship contain priceless information covering the entire trip.
We must have it.
Professor Weiner, what are our chances?
They depend on several factors, general.
The MR-1 is, of course, equipped with robot control, which can be activated by remote triggering from Earth, if they're operative.
The Nevada base is alerted to handle it.
They're on standby. Go on, Professor.
If there's enough fuel on board, we can send the ship homing for the Nevada base.
If the fuel holds out through the re-entry deceleration, we can set her down safely.
Here's another if: what if there is someone on board, alive?
Major Ross, has communications established any contact?
No, sir. None.
It could be radio failure.
Someone must have taken the ship off Mars.
The unexpected, remotely-controlled acceleration of, uh, of...
Five, six Gs.
...five, six Gs could be dangerous to them, even fatal!
And how long will they last if we leave them out there?
Then it's decided. We take off for Nevada at once.
[man speaking faintly over speaker]
We're getting it now, sir, on the radar telescope screen.
There she is.
Are you ready?
Minus one minute.
Repeat. Minus one minute.
Start final countdown.
[man continues speaking faintly over speaker]
[man] Rotary fuel pumps on.
Recording tapes running.
Minus 30 seconds, minus 30.
Main guiding gyros starting.
Minus 20 seconds, minus 20.
Remote-control firing switches...
Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, fire!
Great. Then there is fuel aboard.
Right! But there's only one question: how much?
Well done, Professor.
Davis, I want the arrival time of the ship computed.
Notify me as soon as you have it.
[newscaster] The answers to this and the many other questions posed by anxious officials may come tonight, when an attempt will be made to land the Mars rocket ship at a remote air force base in Nevada.
There is still the question of fuel: does the ship have enough fuel left for a safe deceleration?
Or will it burn up in our atmosphere like a blazing meteor?
The world waits with suspense to learn the fate of the ship's crew of four, seen here in newsreel shots prior to the departure of the MR-1.
Colonel Tom O'Bannion, United States air force, the pilot navigator.
Dr. Iris Ryan, brilliant young authority on the sciences of biology and zoology, daughter of the late Professor Alfred Ryan.
Professor Theodore Gettell, the designer of the rocket ship and the world's foremost authority on space and rocketry.
And chief warrant officer Sam Jacobs, electronics and radar expert.
The prayers of a grateful nation tonight will be offered in the hope that these four survived their history-making flight.
Five minutes more. Yeah.
What do you think? Anyone aboard? Alive, I mean?
We'll know soon enough. Yeah.
You know what I think? What?
That thing up there, it's a flying coffin.
Looks good so far.
Colonel Davis, anything on the distant-radiation counter?
Radiation monitors in position.
[woman] Radiation monitors, check.
This is a repeat of previous instructions.
No one is to approach the ship unless ordered by Control.
I repeat, no one is to approach the ship unless so ordered.
[man] Radiation monitors, proceed to the rocket.
Start your check.
[man speaking faintly over speaker]
All counts still in the green zone.
Hull radiation within safety zone.
Radiation monitors, stand back.
Recovery squad, move up.
No shielding necessary to open airlock.
Monitors, stand by to check interior radiation.
Hold it! Look!
[man] Recovery squad, hold!
[man 2] Someone's alive.
To hell with radiation! Let's go!
Come on, let's go!
[man] Aw, come on, Sarge, give me a break, will ya?
[man 1] Who is it? [man 2] Can't see his face.
Hey, what is it, man?
Come on, Iris.
Anything that can be done for him will be done.
How can anyone cope with that? [car engine starts]
Come on, Dr. Ryan, we'll follow.
I've given him a sedative. Should keep him quiet.
He's running a high temperature.
Dr. Gordon, that... that growth...
What are we up against?
I don't know. It's spreading rapidly.
Do you have any idea what it might be?
No, I haven't yet.
If we only knew how or by what he was infected, we might know how to combat the disease, but we're working in the dark.
What about the tape records?
Has anything been learned from them?
That's just it.
General Treegar informed me that there are no records.
No tapes at all?
Yes, many of them.
Marked and filed from the first day out.
They've examined about half of them by now, all of them empty.
Nothing on them?
Silent, as though they'd been erased by some powerful magnetic force.
Treegar expects they're all like that.
Then we may never know.
We have one chance: the girl.
She is actually our only hope.
If she could give us a lead...
What is Dr. Ryan's condition?
Exhaustion, shock. She's resting.
We should be able to talk to her in a couple of hours.
We have very little time.
I hope she comes through.
Dr. Ryan, will you talk to us now?
How is he? Will he be all right?
We're doing everything we can.
What happened to him?
I don't know.
I can't remember.
Iris, a lot will depend on what you can tell us.
Please, try to remember.
How was he infected?
I can't... I can't remember.
Why don't you start at the beginning?
Tell us everything that happened from the day you left.
It may help clear your mind.
Yes. Yes, yes, I'll try.
The takeoff was as we expected.
We reached escape velocity, and Tom cut in the steady 1-G acceleration rockets.
We were all in high spirits as we finished our flight-check.
It's not much different from the dry run in the space-test cabin on the base, huh?
A lot easier, if you ask me.
No "Eager Treegar" to throw imaginary problems at us.
That's what the man said, Sam.
"The trip will probably be boring routine." [chuckles]
Just so you blasé space travelers don't get too bored, the radiation count is jumping.
Looks like it.
Both the radar scope pattern and the erratic gamma-count fit.
Well, let's double check, hm?
Visual direct, too. Right.
[electronic beeping increasing in frequency]
[beeping frequency decreases]
Safety margin adequate. [whistles]
I wish my parents could have seen this.
They spent their lives making it possible.
Mars, the red planet.
Look, both moons are visible.
Hey, two moons, what a place for romance, huh?
♪ Two moons Da da da da da da da da ♪ Let's close your mouth and the port guards, huh?
No use getting the view plates scratched up by meteor dust.
I know, I know, okay, okay!
MR-1 to EB-9.
Come in, please.
Oh, Sam, get it all on tape, will ya?
I've got it on the auxiliary tape, sir.
[man] MR-1, this is EB-9. Over.
MR-1 to EB-9, condition A, condition A.
Everything's under control. Over.
We're still in our own back yard.
The radio time-lag is only a few seconds.
Wait till it's a couple of hours.
Our conversation is going to be a real drag then.
[man] MR-1, base computations confirm report.
You are on course, on schedule.
Hey, you look real good up there. Over and out.
Thanks a lot. Over and out.
Good old mother hen watching over her four little chicks.
We're thousands of miles out in space.
It's hard to believe.
Yeah, any minute now, I expect to see General Treegar come through that hatch and say, "All right, enough work for today.
Let's everybody go out to Tony's and have a little drink."
Well, that would be a little hard to do.
Tony's is 30,000 miles from here.
Well, we wanna be able to face reality on our watch.
Come on, Sam. Let's get some rest, huh?
Okay, Professor, I dig.
It's really happening.
You know, Irish, reminds me of when I was a kid.
I can just see you.
I remember when I got my first dog.
I was crazy about that dog.
I wanted him to sleep in my room, but my family wouldn't allow it.
I used to go downstairs a dozen times during the night to make sure that he was there.
Then you were sure. Uh-huh.
And pretty soon, people will be just as sure of space travel as I was of my dog.
And as I'd like to be of you.
Makes Broadway look like a dark alley.
When we get back, Irish... how about exploring that dark alley...
You, Colonel, sir...
may have a date.
[Sam] MR-1 to EB-9.
MR-1 to EB-9.
Time: 17 days, 1103 hours.
"Triangle Easy Fox Baker."
On course, on schedule.
Over and out.
Hey, when's chow, huh?
Comin' up. Come on, Tom.
You can help me with the rations.
I'd rather be carving a thick steak at Tony's.
Make it medium rare and I'll join you.
Will you take a rain check?
If it won't bounce. [chuckles]
Hm. Here we are between two dots.
We could miss either one of 'em, and never know it.
Mars rocket one, ration B.
Mars... the angry red planet.
Sounds so foreboding, doesn't it?
Ancient God of war.
Apprehensive, I guess.
Oh, we all are or we wouldn't be human.
I know this is a funny way for a scientist to feel, but...
I wonder if some things aren't better unknown.
That's what they said on the Santa Maria before they discovered the new world.
You know, Irish, you're the first scientist I've ever known with lovely, long red hair.
And you're the first pilot I've ever gone to Mars with.
And listen, my name is Iris, not Irish.
I never know if you're calling me by name or nationality.
When I call you by name, you'll know it.
"So Oola ran screaming across the burning Martian sands as the monster Ongolur relentlessly pursued her, his five arms reaching hungrily for her.
To be continued next week."
And that was the last issue before we took off.
I wonder if I'll ever get to see that next issue.
[man] EB-9 to MR-1. Report number 7-6.
[Sam] Orbiting Mars.
Repeat, orbiting Mars.
Landing operation beginning.
Rockets reversing for landing.
Recording tapes running.
Gravity pull, 0.38, Earth standard.
Speed, 3.1 miles per second.
Deceleration ratio, 17.5.
Atmosphere density resistance factor, 0-0, 1-2.
Resistance factor, 0-0, 1-2.
[Tom] Drift, 0.
Longitudinal axis, 100 percent.
Longitudinal axis, 100 percent.
Vertical deviation, zero.
Ready automatic braking rockets.
Automatic braking rockets on.
Hold onto your hats, kids! Here we go!
Well, shall we go out and claim the planet in the name of Brooklyn?
Not yet, Sam. Open the viewports, Tom.
Turn on the outside mic, Sam.
Everything seems to be... waiting.
Shoot anything that moves and pick up anything that doesn't.
I'm gonna take that advice, especially on the first count.
Turn up the volume, Sam.
[low droning sound]
Well, come on, Iris.
Let's get to work on our tests, huh?
You take the microbe count and radiation.
I'll work on the atmospheric composition, temperature.
Keep a sharp lookout, Sammy.
Anything moves, yell.
You know, it's so quiet out there, if anything does move, I'm gonna jump right out of my skin.
With all that vegetation out there, there's bound to be something alive.
You mean, like five-armed Ongolurs?
Don't worry, Sammy.
We O'Bannions are charmed.
Yeah, but maybe us Jacobs ain't?
My dad, when I was a kid, told me about my grandfather.
He had sort of a sixth sense, particularly in Indian country.
When there were Indians around, his ears would begin to twitch.
Runs in the family.
Oh, well, I am reassured, Colonel, sir.
Only, do me a small favor, will ya?
If your ears start to twitch, will you let me know fast?
I'll twitch with you.
Anything move yet, Sam? Not a thing.
I told you not to leave that thing layin' around.
Iris tripped over it.
She dropped a tray of test tubes.
Boy, I'm sorry, Colonel. Aw, that's all right, Sammy.
No surprises, Tom.
The atmosphere is pretty much like we thought: thin, extremely thin.
Not enough oxygen to sustain us, but undoubtedly enough for some kind of native animal life.
Well, like you said, Professor, no surprises.
You seen anything yet, Sam?
Just those frozen vegetables.
Not a peep.
If those Martians are out there, they must be invisible.
No movement at all.
"Weirdsville," as my grandmother used to say.
Keep your eyes open, huh?
We've landed near the Equatorial belt.
Now, if there is any native intelligence around here, it should be in this area.
I think you must be right.
Sorry about the sound effects.
Aw, forget it, Irish.
This crazy silence and lack of movement's gotten us all.
It doesn't make any sense, Sammy.
Something has got to move.
What's the matter? Ears twitch? Aw, just a hunch.
I know there's something out there.
Sure, like the invisible Martian?
Are you certain the outside mics are on, Sam?
You know, the atmosphere is very rare.
It wouldn't conduct sound too well.
That might also explain why the plants don't move.
Could it be... intentional?
I know it sounds unreasonable, but it just doesn't seem natural.
You mean, you think it's controlled?
What beings could possibly exercise such fantastic control?
Well, there's one way to find out. I'm going out there.
Tom, wait, I don't-- No, no, we'll all go.
It's about time Iris and I had a chance to use some of this expensive lab equipment of ours.
All right. Get your suits.
You know something, Professor?
First time in my life I've ever really been scared.
There's nothin' out there except a bunch of crazy plants.
It takes a brave man to admit his fears, Sam.
We're all afraid of the unknown.
You okay, Irish? Mm-hmm.
I'm actually looking forward to start to work.
You know, I can't say that I recommend space suits for beautiful young dolls.
What happened to all your lovely curves?
Some of the creations I've seen in New York store windows didn't look too much better.
I'm convinced that all fashion designers are woman-haters.
Dr. Ryan, what is it? What happened?
I don't know.
I can't remember.
All I know is it was horrible.
All right, all right.
You rest now, and we'll talk to you later.
Nurse, sodium luminol, two and a half grains.
Yes, doctor. Intravenous?
She's obviously had a tremendous shock.
She has a mental block.
Her mind refuses to remember something.
You noticed her memory is already beginning to take on a quality of unreality.
We must know what happened.
A man's life, perhaps more, depends on it.
I know. Suppose this alien infection spreads to all of us.
Every moment counts.
What about the tapes? Any result?
We've gone through nearly all of them. Empty.
Dr. Ryan must remember.
What about narcosynthesis?
Well, it's our only hope.
But she's pretty weak.
She ought to get some rest before we use drugs.
Her mind might snap if we forced her to remember the horror she has so carefully obliterated from her conscious level.
Would she be able to remember what actually happened?
She'll be able to remember anything familiar normally.
Although, when we penetrate her mind block into her suppressed memories, her recall will be undoubtedly colored by her mind's own interpretation of what she experienced.
In effect, whenever she's remembering anything that was alien, frightening to her, we'll see it as her mind saw it.
And remember, her mind had to save itself by forgetting.
How is he?
Is he getting worse?
I'm afraid so.
We don't know what it is we're fighting, Iris.
And I'm the only one who can help you, by remembering.
There is a way you can force me to remember, isn't there?
Then use it.
Dr. Ryan, you've had quite an ordeal.
You need to build up your strength. You need rest.
The shock of forced memory recall under the influence of drugs can be dangerous for you.
And how long can he wait?
Please, Dr. Gordon.
What is it, Irish?
The port outside.
Tom, it was horrible.
Stay with her, Sammy.
There's nothing there, Irish. But I saw it!
What did you see?
It was like a huge, distorted face, with... with three bulging eyes.
But there's nothing there now.
I tell you, it was there!
Hey, three eyes! What a crazy Peepin' Tom, huh?
It was staring right at me.
There's nothing moving. There's nothing there.
You don't believe me, do you?
With this waitin', it's a wonder I didn't get to see the thing.
I did see it, Sam, I really did.
Please, couldn't you just make believe you didn't?
I'd be much less scared.
If that thing is out there, we won't find out about it in here.
You're so right. Let's go out and take a look, Gettell.
Irish, you stay here with Sammy.
Not on your life, Colonel O'Bannion!
I'm going, too!
Well, hey, wait for me!
[low droning sound]
Check your oxygen gauge-
Now, this'll be S.O.P.
Even though these intercoms carry for miles, I want you to always stay in sight of me.
Sam, your ultra-sonic freeze gun hooked up alright?
Yes, sir. Why don't we check it?
That plant over there.
[high pitched beep]
All right, huh?
Very all right. Wow!
The pickup mics are on, Tom. I heard it shatter.
What about you? Yes, it checks.
Loud and clear, four-by-four.
All right, let's go and see what's in that jungle.
Come on, Irish.
Wait a minute. I won't be long.
Just let me make a preliminary examination.
If you ask me, I think we oughta make a preliminary examination for Martians.
We can stay here for a while.
You cover that side and I'll stay here, Sammy.
All the characteristics of plant life, but hardly any chlorophyll.
And there seem to be indications of... of a nervous system.
Nervous system? Well, it looks like it.
Of course, I'll have to make some more specific tests.
What about the minerals?
I haven't found anything yet to contradict the theory that the basic matter throughout the universe is the same.
But, I have run across some most unusual chemical combinations.
These vines are almost like fingers.
Where are you going, Irish?
I'm tracing this vine.
I'm curious to see where it comes from.
You'd better stick close to me. Oh, Tom, really!
I know you think I acted like an hysterical female at the ship.
I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself.
I won't get out of your sight.
Have it your way, Irish.
[low growl sound]
[low growl sound]
Now, Sam! Get it!
[low growl continues]
[high pitched beep]
You all right, Irish?
I think so.
Just let me count to ten.
Count to 100 if you like.
I'm all right now.
Hey, what was that thing?
It's a giant carnivorous plant, Sam.
It feeds by trapping animals and digesting them, live.
Here, come on, take a look.
If it weren't for you and Tom, that could've been me.
Well, at least we know there's animal life up here, huh?
Now he tells me.
You were right, Iris.
This is more than just a plant.
It's a low form of neuromuscular vegetal creature.
What do you say we call it a day and go back to the ship?
We've had enough excitement and swashbuckling for one day, hmm?
I'm for that.
Any "swash" I ever had just came unbuckled.
I'm sure glad the boys in ordnance developed you, baby.
I think I'll call ya Cleopatra, 'cause you're such a cool doll.
[sighs] And believe me, Cleo, you and I will never part.
Here, Sammy, for your scrap book.
Hey, what a handsome couple.
Look, Colonel, me and my new pinup.
[Tom] There must be other creatures around.
You better take care of that thing.
You never know what else we'll find.
Or what'll find us.
Oh well, chin up, Sammy boy, Chin up.
You know, Sam, there's only a little bit of difference between keeping your chin up and sticking your neck out.
Colonel, sir, I, for one, know it...
Was that thing really trying to kill Iris?
It wasn't just a friendly embrace.
But why weren't we attacked before?
We all passed that... that plant creature.
What are you driving at, Professor?
Well, I can't help feeling that we're being watched.
That there is some purpose behind it all.
What's the matter, Professor? Your ears twitch, too?
Obviously, there is animal life here, probably intelligent life as well.
And yet, we haven't seen any.
Now, this quiet, this lack of motion...
Oh, you still think it's... intentional, controlled.
Well, I... I don't know.
Perhaps, in a way, we're being controlled, too, through the actions of these lower life forms, kept harmless, so to speak.
What could control all life here?
It could be some super-intelligent community mind, I suppose.
Community mind? Yes.
Like the inexplicable, mysterious control which keeps a colony of ants functioning in perfect unity back on Earth.
I got news for you, Professor.
I'll take the ants any day.
Well, we have four days left to find out.
Isn't your Earth contact a little late, Sammy?
Yeah, it is. Over an hour late.
Try your equipment. [low droning sound]
It's not equipment failure. I get nothin' but dead air.
Keep your line open and try transmitting.
[echoing] This is MR-1 and this is a test transmission.
It's no use. Our signal keeps bouncing back at us.
I can't get through.
There must be some ionized layer in the Martian atmosphere, keeping those radio waves from going through.
Yeah, and keeping Earth's reports from reaching us.
I never heard of anything that'd stop the frequencies I'm using.
Well, you're hearing about it now.
Keep taping our reports, Sammy.
We're going to stay here the full five days, even if it means no contact with Earth.
Afraid so, a little.
Hmm. See anything?
Everything seems to be dead out there.
It's like a nightmare of unending silence.
I know. We all feel it.
Then it isn't just me, because I'm a woman?
Women don't have any monopoly on fear.
Men are more afraid of being called cowards.
Cowardice is one thing I guess we can never forgive ourselves.
Look, the sun's rising.
Looks sort of angry.
[Sam] All right, everybody, come and get it!
Hot coffee, hard tack and vitamin pills!
We'll head off in that direction.
Now, remember, stay together.
Come on, Irish.
This certainly looks different.
Look! Those trees over there! They look different, too.
[Tom] Yeah, like nothing we've seen.
Let's take a closer look at them.
Okay. Sam and Gettell, you stay here.
Keep Cleo handy.
I'll go with you.
Doesn't look like bark.
Let me have your machete, Tom.
[shrieking sound] Oh, it's alive!
Look out, Professor!
[high pitched beep]
[high pitched beep]
Look out, Professor! [screams]
Colonel! I'm givin' her all she's got!
She won't move her!
Cleo isn't budging her!
[Tom] Aim for the eyes, Sam! Blind it!
Are you all right? Yes, give me a moment.
Are you hurt?
[Theodore] No, no, Iris. I'll be all right.
No bones broken. Just bruised a bit.
Boy, some playmate. King Kong's big brother.
Even Cleo only gave it a slight chill.
[Tom] Must be about 40 feet high.
Come on, let's get back to the ship.
Oh, no, no, no. Wait, Iris.
We don't have much time for exploring as it is.
We mustn't lose more of it on account of me.
It's too important. I'll be fine.
I've been curious as to what's on the other side of that ridge.
Now there it is, a Martian lake.
It has that same feeling of deadness.
No, wait a minute, Iris.
[electrical clicking sound]
It's all right.
No abnormal radiation.
So there's water on Mars after all.
Besides the polar icecaps, I mean.
If it is water.
Well, it feels kind of oily.
Seems... seems heavier than ordinary water.
It probably has an entirely different mineral content.
I'm sure it couldn't sustain life, at least not life as we know it.
I wonder what's on the other side?
Well, tomorrow we'll bring the boat.
The lake isn't so wide. We'll have a look.
It's getting late.
We meet any more creatures like that last one, I'd hate to have to fight 'em in the dark.
Some baby, that rat-bat-spider nightmare, huh?
Walked away from Cleo and even after Cleo turned on all her charms, too.
At least she scared it away.
Yeah, good girl, that Cleo, huh?
Hey, you know the only thing that bothers me?
Someday, maybe she'll meet a monster that'll ignore her, break her heart.
Irish, Sam, the Professor and I have come to a decision.
Yes, in view of everything, we've decided not to stay the full five days.
Huh? We're gonna take off tonight.
Sam, prepare the panel for take-off, will you?
Yes, sir. But why?
Well, Iris, it's probably mostly because of me.
You see, I can't seem to get it out of my head that there is an even greater danger here than we realize.
The controlling force?
My orders from General Treegar were to take no unnecessary chances.
We've fulfilled our mission. We've landed on Mars.
Mm-hm. And we've collected a lot of information, plenty to prepare for the next expedition.
Now prepare for blastoff. Strap in.
Gettell, close the ports.
Minus 15 seconds. Mark!
Main firing switches, on.
Minus ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, fire!
What is it, Tom?
We can save our fuel.
We're not going anywhere.
Look, every pin is glued to the top.
We're in some sort of a force field, tremendously powerful, holding us right here.
Whoever they are, they don't want us to leave.
Why don't they come out in the open, whoever they are?
This waiting, uncertainty, not knowing...
Why are they keeping us here?
What do they want with us?
What are we? Guinea pigs?
Take it easy, Irish, easy.
Now, think a minute.
They can't really want to harm us.
If they did, they could've destroyed us a long time ago.
They must have another reason for keeping us here.
Tom, I've run a few tests.
Now, we're being held by a gravitational pull so strong, it would take 100 times the thrust we have to break free.
I wonder. Will we ever get back to Earth again?
Well, we're not gonna wait.
Sam, break out the boat.
We'll see what's across that lake.
Didn't we calculate that the other shore was just over the horizon?
Well, then, we should see it quite soon.
I don't like this place.
I'm with you.
It's so dead.
Well, it's better than that walkin' forest we just ran into.
Tom, take a look at this.
What do you make of it?
Now we're getting somewhere.
Those buildings didn't just grow. They were made.
Let's get closer.
Yeah, I want to get one of those Martian girls.
[Tom] We thought we had it made.
[Iris] How tall are those buildings?
[Tom] Why, at least half a mile, I'd say.
Oh, look at that!
Iris, Gettell, get back to the ship.
Sam, try Cleo again.
[high pitched beep]
Close the door!
[high pitched beep] [Sam screaming]
Close the door.
Sam, he just...
Easy, Irish, easy, huh?
I'll open the view ports.
Try the screens.
It's all around us.
Tom, your arm.
Part of that creature touched you.
Eaten right through the suit. Like... like Sam.
You'd better get out of that suit.
I'll get some niacin compound, just in case.
Give me that suit, Tom.
We'll put it in the disposal unit.
Iris... what is your opinion of that creature?
Well, I'm sure it's a unicellular animal.
Those two areas inside it must be the nucleus and the contractile vacuole.
Now, wait a minute. Whoa. Heh.
Let me in on it, Irish, huh? It's like an amoeba, Tom.
A giant amoeba, one single cell, without intelligence, without a nervous system at all.
It reacts completely on instinct to external stimuli.
Ah, we must be safe in here.
The amoeba engulfs its prey and digests it with extremely strong acids.
[inhales and exhales deeply]
It's trying to get to us.
I wouldn't say that, Tom.
Not after what we saw it do to poor Sam.
It'll take time, but it probably can eat right through the ship.
Well, we've got to get rid of it some way.
But how? It can't even be touched with anything we have.
You've experimented with amoeba on Earth. What affects them?
They're almost impossible to kill.
Even if you cut them in half, both parts will live.
Now, there's got to be some way to get at it.
It can encyst, Tom.
That is, secrete and form a sort of protective envelope.
That's how it withstood the sonic gun.
I could turn on the rocket.
You can't do that, Tom.
With that creature clogging our thrust chamber we'd have an internal explosion.
Well, we've got to do something!
I can't think of anything.
Hey, wait a minute. I do remember.
We experimented with electricity.
[Tom] What happened?
Well, the power from a small flashlight battery killed thousands of amoeba.
That's it! Electric shock!
I can generate half a million volts.
But how are you going to get to it to electrocute it?
You can't go outside, or even open the airlock.
I won't have to.
But what I have in mind could backfire.
If you both don't agree, I won't go through with it.
What is your plan, Tom?
I'll need your help. Check me out.
This ship has a double hull, right?
That's correct. The outer hull acts as a meteor bumper.
And the outer hull is completely insulated from the inner one?
Quite effectively. Good.
Now, is there any way I can get to the outer hull from in here?
One place only, the detector instrument cable access channel.
I want to feed the radar power through the outer hull.
Can it be done?
[Theodore] It would take a lot of rewiring, but, yes, we can do it.
What I have in mind: feed the current through the outer hull, without it spilling back into the inner one.
What do you think?
And if there is a spill?
Then we won't have to wait for that thing to eat through to us.
Well, I'm for it.
So am I.
Good. Let's go.
Almost through. Mm-hm.
Open the view plates. Mm-hm.
Well, that's it.
Cut in the generators.
Go ahead, Tom.
[loud electronic sounds]
[electronic sounds stop]
Gettell. What is it?
It's all right. I was j... it's all right.
Just a little pain, that's all.
The exertion, I suppose.
Aw, c'mon. Take it easy, Professor.
I'll start rewiring it just in case whatever's holding us here decides to let us blast off in a few days.
[beeping] The radio works.
The force field must be off.
Turn on the recorder, Irish.
[alien voice] Men of Earth, we of the planet Mars, give you this warning.
Listen carefully and remember...
Oh... Iris, I'm sorry.
The... takeoff... the acceleration pressure...
Don't talk now.
Let me help. No, no.
You... you must try...
Tom... in the cabin...
Dr. Ryan, is that all of it?
What was the warning? What else did the voice say?
Try to remember.
I don't know.
But Tom, he had me turn on the tape recorder.
Maybe the last tape...
Nurse, light, please.
Here you are, doctor.
What is it? Exhaustion.
Will she be all right?
With a lot of rest.
A giant amoeba.
She told us what we had to know.
About Tom? Yes.
It's an enzymatic infection.
A minute part of the amoebic creature must have reached Tom's skin.
And it's growing, literally eating his tissues.
Can you save him?
Now we know what we're fighting.
At least we have a chance.
[groaning] Dr. Gordon.
All right now. [breathing rapidly]
Call me immediately if there's any change.
Dr. Gordon tells me it has resisted everything we've tried.
We have slowed down its growth, but that's all.
You know more about this creature than anyone.
We thought that-- General Treegar, there is a biological laboratory here, isn't there?
Yes, of course.
Dr. Ryan, Dr. Ryan!
Dr. Gordon, I think we found the solution.
What can we do?
I'll show you.
We have already thought of that, Dr. Ryan.
But any kind of electric shock strong enough to kill the amoeba will also kill Tom.
I know. Then how?
We've been attacking the alien amoeba as if it were a disease, but it isn't, it's an animal, an animal with instincts, and most important of all, a will to act.
It only makes it harder to destroy.
And gives it a vulnerability we also have, that of making a wrong choice.
Look. We have two identical tissue cultures there.
Both infested with our own microscopic amoeba and placed very close to each other.
One we left alone.
The other we subjected to light, periodic electric shocks.
Before long, all the amoeba on the irritated culture had made their choice.
They moved to the nearby undisturbed culture.
Then that is what we have to do.
We will prepare a large tissue culture and place it next to the infected arm, then, subject Tom to electric shocks, just short of being harmful to him.
Better hurry and get out of that bed, Colonel, sir.
Just like to know if I can cash my rain check?
It's up to you, Iris.
Tom, Iris, I have something I want you to hear.
You were right.
The whole speech was on the recorder, the last tape.
I think you should listen to it.
Judge for yourself.
[alien voice] Men of Earth, we of the planet Mars give you this warning.
Listen carefully and remember.
We have known your planet Earth since the first creature crawled out of the primeval slime of your seas to become man.
For millennia, we have followed your progress.
For centuries, we have watched you, listened to your radio signals and learned your speech and your culture.
And now, you have invaded our home.
Technological adults, but spiritual and emotional infants.
We kept you here, deciding your fate.
Had the lower forms of life on our planet destroyed you, we would not have interfered.
But you survived.
Your civilization has not progressed beyond destruction, war and violence against yourselves and others.
Do as you will to your own and to your planet, but remember this warning: do not return to Mars.
You will be permitted to leave for this sole purpose: carry the warning to Earth.
Do not come here.
We can and will destroy you, all life on your planet, if you do not heed us.
You have seen us, been permitted to glimpse our world.
Warn mankind not to return unbidden.
[dramatic music plays]
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