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LAND OF THE GIANT-The Secret City of Limbo, Pay the Piper, Panic, Doomsday


Chase - Posted on 04 September 2009

THE SECRET CITY OF LIMBO

Epilog
One bright morning, a giant named Dr. Krane and his aide, an archeologist
also, named Mylo, collect rock samples near a drill. A man in a strange,
foreign uniform fires a laser gun which blasts rocks near the two giants and
rains down debris onto Mark (who is holding a giant metal tool like a dentist
uses), Barry, Valerie, and Fitzhugh. Fitz is hit in the head with a fragment
and sprains his ankle. Krane and Mylo spot the foursome and naturally blame
them for exploding the rock and trying to kill them. Mark and Val help
Fitzhugh while Barry follows, worried. The four take to an area of rocks and
get into a cave. A worried Barry watches while the other three move a bit
deeper into the cave and end up on a kind of cross sectioned grid. The grid
makes Mark, Val, and Fitzhugh vanish after a high pitched hum, Mark warning
Barry to stay back. Mark and Val with an unconscious Fitzhugh reappear in
some kind of a curtained stall built into a solid rock wall. A giant in a
strange uniform is in the room just outside this little alcove and he moves
over to them and looks right in at Val and Mark.

Act One
The giant man questions Mark and Valerie, believing them to be spies for the
surface dwellers. This giant, Taru, grabs the two, despite Val's cries of,
"Leave us alone!"  And "Let me down!"  He tosses them onto a table near a few
books. Barry runs from the cave, evading the archeologists. Mylo threatens,
"If I ever get my hands on those little murderers."   To prove Mark saw a
citizen of this underground civilization of Taru's, Mark draws a picture of
the gun he saw the giant fire at Mylo and Krane. Taru explains that the
ancestors of  the above ground giants nearly killed the ancestors of the
Limbo people. Limbo is the name of the underground city. The victims of the
war fled the surface giants and came to find a cave that became their city
beneath the ground. Taru claims he must take care of  the little people
problem and shoots Mark and Val with an immobilizer gun, a glow negating them
for a few seconds. After it, they are still. Taru is the chief magistrate of
the city of Limbo. Steve is talking to Barry on the walkie talkie. He is at
Spindrift and hears Barry say, "I'm telling the truth, Captain."   Dan and
Steve, not wanting to waste time speculating, head toward the digging area
while Betty waits for Barry outside the Spindrift, wondering what caused the
other three to disappear. Taru tells the Head of Security--the General
Aza--also the giant that shot at Mylo and Krane above the ground, that
someone from their city was above ground. Aza and Taru are in a political
struggle during an election time. It is a crime to be above ground since that
might alert the above ground giants  to the existence of the city of Limbo.
Aza turns down the traditional wine. Taru bids Aza a "may the better man
win", not knowing who once said that. Val and Mark have been hidden by Taru
behind a Government Today book. Aza's friend from Periscope Observatory calls
to report on Mylo and Krane's activity above. The call gives Aza time to fire
a red ray from his gun into Taru's drink--a kind of poison. Aza
toasts...while Val and Mark watch helpless to move.  A Council calls Aza to
make his speech so they do not drink. Aza leaves so Taru unfreezes Val and
Mark, who both warn him about the poisoned drink. The red ray is lethal. Taru
uses a liquid test to prove this is the truth. Then he uses a setting on the
gun to bring Fitzhugh around and puts Fitz with Val and Mark. Taru sends Mark
for help via the electro chemical matter transference device. Mark emerges
from the cave--and Mylo lunges down at him...

Act Two
Mylo only captures a rock. Mark slipped off and meets Dan and Steve who
aren't sure about his outlandish story about a city hundreds of feet (should
be miles) straight down. Taru gives Fitz a clump of medicine to relieve his
pain but the injury remains, thus Fitz should favor the good ankle until the
injury  really heals. Happy, Fitzhugh thanks Taru. Taru uses green smoke to
mobilize a rock's crystal plains--polarizing them so that Val can put her arm
directly inside the rock's molecules. Val asks what happens if the rock
becomes immobilized...Taru answers, sardonically that, "Your arm becomes part
of the rock."   Val takes her arm out, giving a Taru nasty but
trying-to-be-brave look. The rock felt like air to Val. Fitz dreams about
what he could do with a device like that on Earth. Val asks, "To a bank
maybe?"   The diggers above cannot get the drill through the rock so plan to
blast, calling for explosives from the Institute of Archeology, which will
arrive at 3o'clock. Steve and Mark travel down to the city, Steve incredulous
and glad to see this city. Taru puts Steve and Mark on the table-shelf.
Limbo's super hard layer may give way via the explosives and this will reveal
Limbo. Exposure is the same as destruction in Taru's eyes. Aza returns and
Taru hides Mark and Steve near the table leg on the floor. Taru reveals to
Aza he knows of the poisoning attempt but he cannot prove it since the poison
is untraceable. Aza spots Fitz and Val and immobilizes them by shooting his
gun at them. This alarmed Steve but Mark calms him. Aza reports Val and
Fitzhugh, then leaves Taru's huge rock lab. If the archeologists above break
through the layer---war will breakout. Taru tells Mark and Steve, "I'm sorry
about your friends."  Steve repeats him, "Sorry about our friends, hey look,
we're not going to leave without them."  Taru sends Mark and Steve back,
leaving Val and Fitzhugh below since they have been officially reported by
Aza. Val and Fitz are left, immobilized...


Act Three
Outside the cave, Steve tells Dan and Mark the he will leave Val and Fitz
down below. Dan wonders why, "Look, you've never given up before, why now?" 
Steve figures Val and Fitz are better off down below in the event of an
all-out-war. Steve asks, "Well, in an all out war what makes you think any of
us are going to survive?"   He claims they haven't a prayer unless they can
stop the war before it starts. The men overhear Mylo complain about the
Institute getting all the credit. He would like some. Mark comments, "That
sounds like home."   Dan adds, "Everybody wants to get in on the action."   
That gives Steve an idea. Mark asks him, "Care to enlighten us?"   Steve puts
him off  so he can call Betty for the cables and electrical kit to be brought
to them. He tells Betty to get Barry to lead her to them. Taru unfreezes Val
and Fitzhugh but he cannot let them go yet: it would disqualify him for
office if he did. He feels it would ironic if he is elected on a peace
platform and his first act in office turns out to be one of war. Fitzhugh
wants Taru to win the election, the tallies of which are taken in an
electronic way and which Taru can view on a table with light. Barry and Betty
get to the warehouse of Krane and Mylo. At the wide open door(big enough for
a truck), Barry and Betty listen to the giants talk. Betty tells Barry to
make sure the Giants don't spot them. They hide at bushes near the door. Mark
and Steve rig  the radio up to the phone box to the warehouse. Steve pretends
to be a journalist from Science Horizons. Proud, Mylo talks to Steve, telling
him the warehouse is at Base 5. Between them, the little Earth people find
out that Omicron 4 (the formula of which is C4H7O9) if present in the area
could cause an underground fire, making the area useless to the archeologists
and preventing them from using the explosives. It is a good thing Steve
stationed Betty and Barry at the door since Krane forces Mylo to hang up
before Mylo revealed this fact to Steve. Yet from Krane's conversation with
Mylo, Betty and Barry learn the facts of Omicron 4. Betty relays this info to
the others once they remeet in the cave passageway. Steve returns to Limbo
with the formula written on a note by Mark. Taru cannot read Mark's note with
the formula on it since the writing is too small but Steve reads it. Taru can
give him some of  this formula, having to make it. Omicron 4 permeates
anything porous. Aza arrives to Taru and sees him making the formula. Taru is
questioned by him, "Something for your nerves?"  Taru thinks, "I'm creating a
new poison to still the tongues of war mongers."   Aza tells him to spend
time on chemical warfare. Mark thinks Steve has been down in Limbo too long
and wants to go down to find out what is happening. Dan tells him Steve has
only been down there a few minutes. Betty thinks Dan should let Mark go.
Maybe Mark can help. Dan forbids it, "We'll wait another five minutes."  Mark
agrees and stops Betty's protests. Aza came in to borrow a book...the same
book that Steve is currently hiding behind!

Act Four
Taru tells Aza he hasn't finished reading the book himself yet. Aza comments
on how similar the little people are to surface dwellers. To me they look
exactly like the Limbo people (at least in the televised version). Aza thinks
the little people will be useful in tests on the new gases. Aza continues to
talk about chemical warfare but finally leaves. Taru leads in the election
returns as he checks the computer lights. Taru returns Steve to the teleport
chamber and Steve travels to the surface. Steve orders Dan and Barry to watch
for the explosives truck. Betty moves to distract the giants so that Steve
and Mark can get the Omicron 4 into the drill hole but Betty hurts her ankle,
then falls into a giant can which blocks her escape from the two giants. Mark
and Steve see her snatched up by Mylo, then the two Earth men face a gila
type lizard which blocks their way from the drill hole. Betty, taped to the
warehouse work bench tells Krane that "some stupid giant" blasted the rock,
"Someone your own size," she adds. Steve and Mark go past the shack. Krane's
test tube does not show Omicron 4. The truck arrives but Dan and Barry are
unable to stop or delay it. Taru wins the election. When Mylo and Krane help
the truck driver unload the explosives, Mark untapes Betty (near a book
HISTORICAL ARCHEOLOGY), who alerts Steve to the fact that the test tube on a
shelf above them is a test for Omicron 4. Steve puts Omicron 4 into the test
tube, climbing up. Aza gives himself away to Taru. Aza admits he wants war
and will his men to the surface to make war on the people that live up there.
Taru admits the little people were right, giving it away that there are more
little people up there. Aza immobilizes Taru, fights one of Taru's guards all
across the lab and onto the stone surrounded steps. Finally, Aza beats the
guard and immobilizes him, also. Aza walks through the rock wall to go above.
Above, he is quickly spotted by Betty, Steve, and Mark. Steve leads Mylo and
Krane into Aza's path---just as they were rigging the explosives. Aza points
the gun he has at the two giants. Mark throws the pin and rope up at Aza's
arm and pulls. This gives Mylo and Krane a chance to fight Aza. The three
Earthlings hide the fallen ray gun. The giants' fight ends with Aza hitting
his head against a rock and with such a force that Aza dies. Mylo and Krane
find the test tube, which now has orange in it---the color indicates Omicron
4. Krane tells Mylo they must abandon the area now. Any use of explosives
with the presence of Omicron 4 will cause an underground fire. Val and Fitz
aim another ray gun at Taru and unfreeze him. Mark returns to tell Taru the
news about Aza's death. Taru thanks all of them and then gives Val and
Fitzhugh to Mark. The trio materialize on the grid for a joyous reunion with
the other four. Mark and Steve send the ray gun back. Taru destroys the grid
so that Limbo cannot be a danger to the little people. Steve says, "Suits me.
Let's go!"   He leads the six others out of the cave.     

REVIEW: If one can accept the several neat and tidy loose ends all tied up by
the end of THE SECRET CITY OF LIMBO, this episode can be very interesting.
One real problem with it is that no one considers peace talks or even tries
to consider a solution should the archeologists break into Limbo's secret
hard layer. For all Taru's talk of peace and all his noble speeches, he
doesn't consider a possible consultation with the giants above should the
Giants break through and discover Limbo. Originally the script had the Limbo
people as mole people...with pale sticky faces and big eyes to see in the
dark caverns. A change was made and Limbo became a brightly lit lab built
into the underground rock and Irwin Allen wanted the people of Limbo to look
like everyone else. Fine--except that there are a few references to the
little people looking like the surface dwellers and not like the Limbo 
people. The original idea had Limbo as a plain old cave with giant insects
and roots everywhere. Allen preferred the futuristic city idea over the
scary, haunted world (perhaps rightly so). It would have been nice if the
Limbo people looked different in some way. It might have been nice if  some
history was given.  Why don't the surface Giants recall the war that once
took place? The lab set is the only look of Limbo we get. We never see a real
city or very many of the people aside from guards and a few serving girls
(with wine). They could have given us a view of the city on a screen or at a
window or at least used some stock from THE TIME TUNNEL's lab (as was done in
NIGHTMARE). That considered, the set is very nice---stairs are melded into
rock while the usual Allen props from Irwin's other shows abound, most
notably the freezing tubes from LOST IN SPACE. Some of this also looks
suspiciously like the set from BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. Below is a
wild gate like door and above a vertical type exit/enter door. La Salle
outdoes himself again by presenting a totally pleasing score, mostly new but
with some variations on earlier scores for THE MECHANICAL MAN, THE
UNSUSPECTED, and HOME SWEET HOME). There are also improved short bursts of
music that were once heard in LOST IN SPACE-THE DERELICT (these bits in LOST
IN SPACE were also done by LaSalle). This music was also used in some of the
last few WONDER WOMAN episodes (such as THE BOY WHO KNEW HER SECRET Part One
and Two). Other Warner Brothers productions also used this music. DEAD
RINGER, an older movie about twin sisters (played by Bette Davis) also used
some of this music. The forest looked different for this episodes with pine
trees and lots of rocks and hills. It made a slight change--something GIANTS
always tried to do and with limited resources. The homes in PAY THE PIPER,
FRAMED, SHELL GAME, PANIC and others are all very different looking. The
settings tried to be varied--a seaside dock, pharmacies, jails, farmhouses,
bridges, a movie studio. Season 2 included more science fiction and fantasy
plots. GIANTS remained fresh and innovative and the conflict, while changed
from the first season a bit, remained among the cast of characters. Betty has
her light blue top, grayish blue skirt; Val wears her blue-yellow trim dress
with checkered skirt. Originally Allen did not want to do this script but
when Esther Mitchell fought for it, Allen listened to her and gave us a most
entertaining and fast paced adventure which was tense. This is to the
writers' and Allen's credit. Mark mentions Val and Fitz are hundreds of feet
down below--this should have been miles I think. Some story points remind me
of Esther and Bob Mitchell's RETURN OF THE INIDU: there is teleportation, the
green smoke, the poisoned drink, the warning by the little people, and an
ally who at first, seemed very scary and threatening but turned out to be a
strong friend. As in PANIC the emphasis here is on science more than magic
and occult (as in INIDU). I just wished there was more optimism involved in
the finished product: some kind of co-existence arrived at between the giants
above and below. But let us not forget the Cold War was still going on in the
1970s. Taru didn't have to destroy the grid---that showed some kind of
ambivalence to interact with people different from oneself. This seems to be
a story about isolationism (such as the US had after WWI and even somewhat
after WWII). Another plot point not covered is: how did the Limbo people
build such a giant city in a cave and secretly?       

 

PAY THE PIPER

Epilog
Dan, Val, Fitzhugh, Betty, and Barry with Chipper drop their fishing rods
(and fish?) in the daytime to follow a strange, compelling music. Barry falls
and gets caught up in a bush. He cannot follow the alluring music which seems
to have the other four in a trance. Dan with Betty, Val with Fitzhugh float
into a cage, then they come out of the hypnotic trance it put them in. Dan
tells them they better get out of this cage, even though they don't know how
they came to be in it. Barry watches as a giant dressed in red, green and
blue with a cape and a pointed ball hat appears from thin air and looks in at
the foursome.

Act One
Barry and Chipper race back to camp with a wild tale...all true. Mark feels
Barry's head, "I think the kid is feverish. Are you sure you didn't eat some
strange berries out in the forest?"   Barry snaps at them to call Dan if they
don't believe him. Steve does believe him but calls Dan anyway, only getting
that strange flute music. Mark goes into the ship to get grappling hooks and
rope. The Piper plays, making Val and Fitz, Dan and Betty dance. Val tells
him they like the music but are getting tired. He stops playing and they
stand outside the cage. As Fitz stalls Piper, Dan opens and hides his radio
for Steve to follow. The Piper tells them he is an intergalactic entity, not
a Giant or a man or even humanoid. He takes on the form of the inhabitants of
wherever he is working a deal--a business deal. He insinuates his flute, his
pipe is also called other things and may not be a flute at all. Fitzhugh
recognizes the Piper now as the one who rid the town of Hamlin of rats on the
river Vazer in 1673 on Earth. Piper herds them back into the cage. Fitz
quotes from Robert Browning's poem and tells Piper the Pied Piper has been
immortalized in many ways including this poem. Piper likes that and has been
doing this trade of his since the dawn of recorded history. The other three
space travelers arrive as Piper covers the cage with his pipe which is
transformed into a canvas to cover the cage. Steve, Barry, and Mark follow
the Piper to a lavish  home of a Senator, whose son Timmy shows the Piper
inside while the Senator is taping a speech. The Senator bangs on the table.
Election day is just two weeks away. During a crowded rally the Piper offered
to capture little people (the deal was for 1000 dollars a piece) and now he
gives the four little people over to the Senator---who will turn them over to
the SID at a press conference and get them in every newspaper in the country.
The Senator doesn't pay him 4000 dollars but does give him 20 dollars, which
the Piper, insulted, tears up. Senator tells him there are laws against
insulting members of the Senate. Piper leaves with a veiled threat, "Goodbye,
Timmy, we'll see each other again."   Fitz quotes from Browning again so the
Senator tells him, "You're as mad as he is."   Dan tries to warn the Senator
not to cross Piper. When the Senator returns to finish his speech, the little
people trapped in the cage, the Piper plays his pipe. Timmy starts to
hypnotically climb out the window.

Act Two
Dan, Val, and Betty try to stop Timmy from climbing out to the Piper but they
have to call the Senator in to stop his son. The Senator tries to drown out
the music by turning on the radio (and we hear the Biff Bower jazz music
playing from GIANTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ). Dan yells, "That's no good, turn it
off!"   The Senator lets the four out so Dan can have Steve transmit the
music via the walkie talkie. Dan tapes it and tells the Senator to spool it
to play backwards---and this stops the control effect the original music had
on Timmy. Dan figured it was some sequence of  notes that alters the
brainwave pattern. Fitz wants Dan to use his ingenuity to get them out of the
cage, instead of saving the boy. Timmy almost gets out before his father can
complete the spooling but finally it works and Timmy is himself again.
Despite Timmy's request to do so, the Senator will not let the little people
go. Both Dan and Fitz think it is a good idea for the Senator to release
them. Getting through a basement window, Barry sets a fire in a can of rags
in the basement of the Senator, Steve worrying a bit about Barry doing his
job but Mark has some confidence in the boy, "Don't worry about him, he'll do
his job."     Steve and Mark pull the knotted rope around two water
sprinklers in order to trip the Senator, who runs out with the cage. He lands
on his stomach and drops the box, which opens. Timmy puts the fire out in the
basement and comes up to tell his father. The Earth humans get away. Much
later, the men, Barry, and Val walk in the forest. Fitzhugh makes a play on
words, "The perditious Piper tried to pick a peck of little people."   Val
tells him it's not funny and that they will eat only when Betty gets back and
not before (hey, where is she?). They see Chipper dancing, then hear the pipe
music chiming away. Steve orders Barry to get the tiny dog into the spaceship
and the boy obeys. The other five see the Piper---their own size. He
insinuates it is just an illusion. "Let's get him."  The younger men rush the
Piper to get his pipe away from him but a wave from it causes an
explosion-like effect: making the pipe giant size and on top of Steve, nearly
crushing him!

Act Three      
Towering above them now is a giant sized Piper who moves the pipe off  Steve
even as he spouts insults. He then causes an explosion like blast which makes
him come down to Earthling size. Barry joins them now. Piper offers them a
return to Earth if they get Timmy away from the Senator. Piper fanatically
yells, "The boy is mine!"  when Dan asks him if he is crazy thinking they
would help him nab Timmy. Dan tells him to hit the road and Mark answers,
"The answers still no!"   Piper tells them about the planet on the edge of
the universe where he took the children of Hamlin and will take Timmy to
also: this planet has fields, streams, toys, ice cream, and bicycles. Val
quips, "It sounds too good to be true--- and I"m sure it's not."  Piper asks
Barry if he'd rather be on a place like that. Barry tells Piper he has no
parents but "I'd rather stay here with my friends."   When Piper is confused
by Barry's loyalty, Val explains, "Feelings, emotions, I'm beginning to think
you don't have any."   He is happy to report he doesn't. Steve tells him to
go because they don't want any part of his crummy deal and that they will get
back to Earth on their own. With a sarcastic, "Will you?"  the Piper leaves,
noting that he has sparked an interest in Fitzhugh. Fitzhugh follows the
Piper in the forest. Piper pipes himself and Fitzhugh to his darkly colored
dimensional office where the Piper is Giant sized again and has a chrome
desk. He talks to Fitzhugh, who agrees to get Timmy for Piper, convincing
himself that Timmy will be better off on this other planet. In the forest,
after being transblasted out of the Piper's tree---where the office
is---Fitzhugh is with Barry. Fitz tells Barry about a plan. Barry asks if
Fitzhugh made a deal with that Piper, knowing Fitzhugh well enough. Fitzhugh
asks, "Do you think I'd do anything that wasn't in the best interests of all
concerned?"   Barry hesitates, "No, at least I don't think so."   Fitzhugh
blames Steve for their being on "this wretched planet" when Barry isn't sure
Captain Burton would like this secret plan which Fitzhugh refuses to reveal
to Barry. Barry also defends Steve, "It wasn't his fault---the ship got
caught in a TIME WARP and there wasn't anything that anybody could have..." 
Fitzhugh interferes, agreeing that this is so but even still, he attacks
Steve again, "We've been in the land of the giants for over a year now---what
has he done to get us out?"    Barry counters, "He's tried."   Fitzhugh
finishes, "And failed miserably."  Fitz asks Barry to trust him and if Barry
doesn't think he will help--he will not go ahead with his plan and in that
case their spaceship will mold over. Barry sends Chipper back to camp and
stands guard over Fitz's money suitcase as Fitz goes to the Senator's house
and shuts off the tape recorder blocking Piper's hypnotic music from Timmy.
At the Spindrift, inside a radar-passenger compartment-like back room, the
girls and the men confer. Mark figures Fitzhugh did a con job on Barry and
says, "Why don't we stop him before he does something we'll be sorry for."  
They start out but the Piper arrives and pipes up a giant badger to attack
the spacecraft. It attacks the ship and everyone shakes, just getting inside.

Act Four
Betty gives Steve red pepper to ward off the odd looking stripe covered
badger. Steve, sarcastically says, "I'll tell you what---you hold his mouth
open and I'll throw it in."  Shaking, Dan opens a panel. Mark connects 
positive and negative electrodes. The two bring the wires just outside the
exit of the ship. Dan gets Steve to coax it toward them, "Someone's got to
lure it this way."  Steve asks, "You have someone in mind?"  Mark says, "He
means you."   Steve lures it toward the doorway, Val gets the okay from Mark
to hit the lever and electric fires out of  the two metal prongs Dan and Mark
are holding. The blast hits the giant animal and it runs off. Mark and Steve
catch up with Barry and Fitzhugh. Steve takes Fitz's money case and forces
Fitzhugh to take them to the tree doorway into Piper's office. Piper doesn't
want money in place of Timmy but offers to play a shell game--he will win the
money, they will win Timmy back. Win or lose, Fitzhugh still gets a free ride
to Earth. This convinces Fitz to play but Piper pipes Dan, the girls, and
Chipper to his desktop. He first uses Chipper under the shells. He wins
Chipper and then Betty, both Dan and Steve guessing the wrong shell they were
under. When Piper gets Chipper, he says his planet is overrun with bones and
biscuits. Val quips, "More likely overrun with dog catches."  Fitz agrees to
play and choose now that Piper next picks Barry to use under the shells. But
Fitzhugh wagers for Timmy, Betty, Barry, and Chipper with the condition that
Barry's shell be personally checked by him. As everyone is watching Fitz
check the shell Barry is under, Steve takes out some red pepper that he had
in his pocket--earlier given to him by Betty. Steve slips it into Piper's
pipe. Fitzhugh wins---and the Piper sends Timmy home to his father. Timmy
thanks the little people and leaves. Piper tells Fitzhugh that before he can
deliver him to Earth they must stop at  Andromeda, the Crab Nebula, and Alpha
Centauri (the Robinson's destination in LOST IN SPACE). Piper and Fitzhugh
will arrive on Earth in the year 2743 AD. Fitz begins yelling at and
insulting Piper despite Dan and Steve's warning not to give the Piper an
excuse to attack them. Piper uses a fly swatter to attack them---nearly
getting them squashed. Piper blows his pipe to stop them but screams from the
red pepper, howling like a banshee. A blast and everyone appears outside the
giant tree: Betty and Chipper among them. Everyone makes up. Fitz tells them
he put a small scratch on Barry's shell with his wrist watch. Val laughs,
"You were taking some chance, Fitzhugh. Suppose the Piper decides to come
back?"  Fitz claims, "A con man conned is a very sly creature."    Steve
laughingly tells Fitzhugh that Fitz should know. The seven Earth people with
Chipper head back to camp.

REVIEW: Perhaps the most underrated episodes, PAY THE PIPER, as COMEBACK
before it, has many in jokes and previous references. Shapiro once again
shows that he truly grasps the personalities of the characters, even having
the difficult task of making Fitzhugh perpetrate several villainous and
selfish acts. Through it all, the characters seem perfectly consistent with
previous episodes. Val once again gets all the best lines ("sounds too good
to be true" and "overrun with dog catchers"). Shapiro demonstrates his
continued ability to portray Barry as a boy who has grown up some and is a
bit more sharp to Fitzhugh's games yet who is also an orphan, open to
friendship and betrayal (by Fitz of course). In addition, Barry seems to be
the one among the group who wants to return to Earth the least since waiting
there for him are only cousins he has never met and an uncertain future. The
girls wear their older clothes (Val has the blue button down shirt, Betty the
blue top). Betty is missing for a few scenes. Michael James Wixted played the
older brother in Irwin Allen's SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON PILOT MOVIE (as
Freddie). He was much better in the pilot than Willie Ames was in the role
when the series SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON came about for a short time. Harris,
is, of course, Dr. Smith from LOST IN SPACE. Here he is not able to dominate
the other players and characters as he was on LOST IN SPACE. Actually on that
show, he was allowed to dominate. His Piper is a tribute to his genius--he is
subtle in his menace with veiled threats, sinister smirks, manipulation, and
bizarre ways. He even moves in an alien manner and way. This character is
LAND OF THE GIANTS' first truly alien being from another world and another
existence other than Earth and the Giant's planet. The music and Harris'
portrayal give the episode a very TWILIGHT ZONE feel to it (minus ZONE'S
often depressing and negative endings) rather than turning campy (as COMEBACK
did). The dialogue is very good--crisp, witty, and full of conflict between
the regulars, the Senator, Timmy, and the alien entity called the Piper. It
was good to see the Spindrift attacked again with the miniature model used.
We get to see a good portion of it again for what is the last time). The
weird looking badger was a nice touch. Unfortunately the interior can be
totally dismissed because it appear to be the walls of the passenger
compartment minus the size and the windows, not to mention the blue reactor
on the back wall and the entire back wall. Computer panels line the walls and
the door gong to what should have been the cockpit looks black. At one point,
Heather Young seemed to be really injured in a shake of the ship and goes out
to the right (where it is implied the exit should be--but is it the exit to
the outside or the exit to the front of the ship?). The cold hearten, selfish
politician sub plot is reused in the LAND OF THE GIANTS British novel THE
MEAN CITY. Another note is the fine exterior locations used for the buildings
and homes in both PANIC and PAY THE PIPER. The structures are very different
looking than what we have seen before and we get a good, depth filled view of
the neighborhoods. OUR MAN O'REILLY had a suburb type area but rescued the
SID HQ from THE CHASE and other episodes. Many of the cast have fond memories
of eccentric Harris (perhaps the line naming that eccentric scientist Sir
Jonathan was a mention of him in COMEBACK). FANTASTIC TELEVISION, that
renowned book of ill toward Irwin Allen, called PAY THE PIPER the wackiest
episode of the series and maybe it is---we didn't have many wacky episodes
but I would put COMEBACK as the totally wackiest. FANTASTIC did not mention
any such thing about the ridiculous episode SPOCK'S BRAIN on STAR TREK. PAY
THE PIPER was involving from the start to the end and as LAND OF THE GIANTS
always is, entertaining. This episode was so good, it deserved a sequel. One
cannot truly say that about SPOCK'S BRAIN or FANTASTIC TELEVISION.         

    

PANIC

Prolog
In the daytime, Fitzhugh and Betty (who is wearing a one piece short sleeved
pink outfit with a mini skirt and belt) happen upon a metallic pole with a
light. Fitz calls it a very common device. Betty prompts Fitzhugh, believing
he doesn't know what it is. He touches it and a strange green glow freezes
him still, immobilizing him. Betty calls Steve and Dan. Steve alerts Mark,
telling him  and Val to meet he and Dan back where they left Betty and Fitz.
Betty tries to get Fitzhugh to hear her, touches him and is also immbolized.

Act One
The others arrive and Steve stops Val from touching either Betty or Fitzhugh.
SID giant  man Rogers arrives and turns off the ray pole. He brings the pair
to an SID house-Headquarters. A Dr. Marad questions them, holding a blow
torch flame very close, "My colleagues call me a very ambitious man, cold
with no conscience. I don't give second chances."   Fitz covers for Betty
when the questions are almost answered by the stewardess. As the flame gets
close, both Fitzhugh and Betty vanish with a pop. Rogers calls them,
"Bewitched."  Marad thinks they were taken and when he finds out how, he will
hold the key to the universe. Betty and Fitzhugh reappear in the study of
kindly Professor Kirmus near his machine--a teleporter. His room is in an old
fashioned house. Kirmus introduces himself. He rescued them with the
teleporter he built when he lived on the other side of the planet, now
demonstrating its power by teleporting a glass. He says it can handle up to
5000 pounds (but what that is in Giant measurements one can only guess--5000
pounds giant size or Earth size?) and any distance. Young, blond, Mrs. Evers
brings in his tea and spots Fitzhugh's radio. Going out, she calls Dr. Marad
and informs him. She is to delay Kirmus and the Earth travelers. Kirmus
leaves to locate a map that could be the solar system Earth is in (or it
might not). Fitzhugh turns on the machine despite Betty's warnings. Yet she
does help him. They view various star systems and one sun with only four
planets. As they seem to find Earth's solar system and then zoom in on Earth
itself, Mrs. Evers returns and tries to drop a cup over them. Fitzhugh turns
off the machine to stop Evers from seeing it and he runs with Betty near a
book called PATHS THROUGH SPACE. Evers pulls a gun when Kirmus returns, the
woman admitting she is a well trained operative for the SID's Dr. Marad.
Kirmus teleports her gun to the bottom of an ocean, which makes her run
outside, whimpering, "Dr Marad!!!"  Marad threatens to have officer Willis
fire a gas pellet into the window if Kirmus does not surrender. Kirmus tells
him he no longer has the gun but Evers tells Marad not to believe him. Kirmus
will surrender, he abhors guns and violence. Before he surrenders, Kirmus
teleports Betty and Fitzhugh outside. Steve wants Fitzhugh to turn on his
radio so he and Dan can home in on Fitzhugh and Betty. Fitzhugh does this and
talks non-stop about what has happened so they can track the call. While Fitz
is preoccupied with this, Betty eyes him and slips off  to get closer to the
walkway. She wants to find out what is happening to Professor Kirmus, worried
about his safety. Dan and Steve rendezvous with Fitzhugh but they notice
Betty is gone and move off to find her. The three men find her quickly but 
are horrified to see Betty hide from Evers and Willis by crawling into the
barrel of  the SID man's gas gun! She has no choice as the giants are
cornering her without them even realizing it. Fitzhugh wants to move to help
her, "I got Betty into this and I have to get her out!"  Steve stops
Fitzhugh, "We can't give them an excuse to use that gun--it would kill her!" 
 Evers thinks she sees the little people and orders Willis to get his gas
gun. The giant man takes the gas gun and prepares to fire!

Act Two
Willis sees that what Evers is pointing to is only a cat. Evers goes to
report Willis. Steve calls Mark who is stunned when Steve says, "..and Betty
is hiding in the barrel of the gun carried by the SID man."   "You're
kidding?"    Mark comments.  Steve says, "No, it was her only chance."  They
have to find out where in the SID building they take Betty. Val (in her new
yellow outfit) sees Marad in the fourth window on the left inside the SID
building. Steve doesn't want anyone to go in until they are sure Betty is out
of the gun which makes Mark frown and pout. As Kirmus says to Marad, "I hear
those little people are everywhere these days,"   Betty sneaks out of the gas
gun, the barrel of which fell off its standing on the wall position to the
floor. Marad locks Kirmus in a cell where Betty sneaks into, behind the
bed/cot. Kirmus puts her on a shelf near a water cup. Betty calls Steve on
the radio. Kirmus makes a proposition: help him out and he will send the
group back to Earth. Fitz tells Steve he is sure this machine can do what
Kirmus says. First, Kirmus hid a small magnetic component on a table leg at
his study at Evers' rooming house. Steve avoids a Fitzhugh con and gets
Fitzhugh to take him to the study. Fitz gives up his trying to get out of 
it. Dan climbs up the window via rope to get Betty out of the cell, taking
his own initiative to get started on doing this. Val and Mark avoid a giant
German Shepard patrol dog and hide in a vent. It sticks its nose in and barks
and shows its teeth. After awhile, the pair leave and come out of this old
drain to find a vent into Marad's office which Kirmus told them was the third
office. Dan wants to try to get the key hanging from the sleeping Willis's
belt so they can free Kirmus. Kirmus warns them not to, telling them it is
too dangerous. Betty gets on Dan's shoulders to grab it but Willis wakes up,
grabs them and calls Dr. Marad. Kirmus warns, "If you hurt them, you'll
answer to me."  Willis, on the phone to Marad is  bragging that Kirmus is
ready to talk now.

Act Three
Marad demonstrates a cryogenic chamber which freezes and crystallizes a cup.
He says he will let them go if Kirmus will work the teleporter for him. The
chamber is used on small animals for experimental purposes. Marad tosses Dan
and Betty into it, setting it to drop one degree per minute. Val wants to go
into the vent she and Mark spot but the two witness a yellow cat touch the
vent...and it is shocked by an electric spark---the vent is electrified. The
shock which only scared the giant cat off, would have killed Val and Mark.
Mark figures the current is only running through the face plate and he tests
it to be sure. He and Val look for a wooden stick to cross into the vent
without touching the rim. Fitz sets a fire in a shoebox of paper to distract
Mrs. Evers so Steve can get the piece that Kirmus had taped to the table leg.
They away clean while she puts the fire out. Dan urges Betty to keep moving
and gives her his jacket. They find a drainpipe in the chamber but it is
frozen shut. Betty gasps that they aren't going to get out of this. Dan
dreams of a hot cup of coffee at camp. The others inch their way up on the
wooden stick (an ice cream stick or a doctor's "say ahh" stick called a
tongue depressor) to get into the vent without touching the rim. Kirmus tells
Mark via Betty's left behind radio about the chamber Betty and Dan are locked
in. Betty, in the chamber, slides down the wall, unable to keep moving. Dan
gets her up and tries to keep her moving.

Act Four
Mark cannot get the freezer cord unplugged from the wall socket so he starts
to cut it with the hatchet (the razor attached to the match stick). Kirmus
begins via walkie talkie to tell Steve and Fitzhugh how to operate the device
but he is interrupted by Marad who shows him a Supreme Council order---for
his immediate execution if he doesn't cooperate. Steve pushes Fitzhugh away
from the machine, preferring to trust Kirmus than allow Fitzhugh to try,
panicked, to get them back to Earth, "Get away from those buttons."   Kirmus
pretends to cooperate, scaring Fitzhugh. Marad promised Kirmus he would free
the little people. Kirmus bluffs directions into the radio, which is hidden
in his closed hands. Directions on how to finish operating the machine and
then how to activate the self destruct. Fitz does the sequence and starts the
teleporter. Mark finally gets through the cord. Dan awakens and pulls a
nearly frozen Betty out. Val calls up to ask if they're all right. Steve
leaves the device to toss Mark the rope to lower Betty. When he leaves,
Fitzhugh fools with the device again and gets Earth on the screen. Dan lowers
Betty calling her, "Sweetheart" and "honey."   Steve throws Fitzhugh away
from the device, which he sets to self destruct, "Back to Earth? We'll be
lucky to get out of this room, let alone back to Earth!"  He tells Fitz to
climb down to the others. After awhile Steve is able to get the others who
are waiting on the floor, Fitzhugh with them now. Fitz dropped his radio.
Marad makes Willis put Kirmus back into his cell and head toward the device
when Marad realizes that the power blinking on the lights is because someone
is activating the teleporter device. Marad and Willis enter the room and
threaten them all, "Get them!"

Epilog
Steve threatens Willis's life, telling him to get him if he can--if he wants
to die. Marad calls this a bluff and order Willis to grab Steve. Steve
bluffs, telling Willis about killing him, "Come on, there's nothing I'd enjoy
more."   Willis leaves to get men to surround the building, Marad calling him
a coward. Marad gives Steve one minute to hand over the teleporter. Steve
calls up to him, "You can have it this second---just come and get it!"  
Steve teleports Kirmus and the others outside just as SID Rogers is ordered
to make a grab for them. Val, Betty, Mark, Dan, and Fitzhugh vanish as he
reaches down for them. Rogers, afraid, leaves just as Willis did. Steve
teleports himself outside just as the machine blows up into an inferno...and
as Marad reached for it. Outside, Kirmus tells the others that this world is
not ready for his teleporter. He leaves them to go and hide out as he is now
a fugitive as they are. The other space travelers leave but Fitzhugh lags
behind and laments, "Our last chance of going back to Earth--destroyed."   
Betty touches his arm, "Fitzhugh, the machine was destroyed--we still have
our hope."    Fitzhugh agrees and smiles, "I suppose you're right. We still
have hope."  "Come on, let's go back to camp," Betty muses. They escort each
other back to camp.

REVIEW: This interesting episode seemed like a reunion---with Jack Albertson,
teleportation, and new music by Mullendore--all ingredients of RETURN OF
INIDU. But the catalyst of INIDU was magic, here it is science. In true TV
fashion, we are never told exactly what science. Glad to see Betty back and
used much more but now Barry is totally missing from this episode with no
explanation. The girls' new outfits are very summer-like and this conflicts
with the men's long sleeved jackets and shirts. Heather Young is very good
here, giving Betty her innocence and perseverance, assisted by Dan. For some
reason, the next episode PAY THE PIPER had the older outfits (from early
season two) so perhaps the filming was out of sequence for some sequences.
SECRET CITY OF LIMBO had the older outfits, while DOOMSDAY had Betty's old
blue outfit with Val's new yellow mini skirt from PANIC! After that,
production order, they wore the new outfits to THE MARIONETTES (the last one
filmed). In GRAVEYARD OF FOOLS, Lund's short skirt actually changes sizes
since at one point, a director felt it was too, too short for 1970 viewers.
The older sequences that were filmed first in that--GRAVEYARD OF FOOLS---was
put in the middle and thus Val's skirt was shorter in that. So it goes from
longer to shorter to longer! Mark Richman is a longtime TV veteran who has
been on VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (THE MONSTER'S WEB and SECRET OF THE
DEEP. He has also been in DYNASTY and other series such as MISSION:
IMPOSSIBLE. Patrick Culliton, always open to fandom, was a stuntman on many
projects including VOYAGE, THE TIME TUNNEL, and LAND OF THE GIANTS (see
GENIUS AT WORK). Here, he has a bigger part. He also played Wylie on STARMAN,
the TV series. Wylie was the aide to Fox, who was chasing Starman.PANIC gave
him a lot to do. Diane McBain, also no stranger to TV, is fine as the snooty,
sneaky Mrs. Evers. Steve Marlo appears again. The match up between the tiny
machine prop used with the giant guest stars and the full scale giant size
prop used with the little Earthers was for the most part excellent. Ditto the
props used for the chamber--they looked perfect. The same cannot be said for
a few effects here, which did not match up (unusual for GIANTS). One
particularly bad effect is when Kirmus is talking to Betty on the shelf in
one frame. He is not obviously looking directly at her or where she is---the
angle was wrong. They used dolls to set up Albertson's scene--something they
did for the guest stars who played Giants. Starlog used this behind the
scenes shot (with the Betty doll clearly seen) of Albertson and the Betty
doll but incorrectly labeled it as RETURN OF INIDU. In other words STARLOG
issue 162 incorrectly used this photo with an article about INIDU. The scene
with Marad and the blow torch was very good and well done, effects-wise. The
cat overhead was up to par and nice. Bob and Wanda, who also wrote the action
filled SEVEN LITTLE INDIANS, returned to write PANIC. They seem to write
exciting well done actioners for GIANTS with some good ideas but they really
did not understand the LAND OF THE GIANTS characters very well, not putting
in much conflict between the regulars. They gave an interview which stated
their belief that the characters of GIANTS were basically interchangeable and
that lines could be switched from one to the other, proving how badly they
fail at the human quality of the show. They liked writing for LOST IN SPACE
more, the actors of whom they felt pushed for better scripts (and only rarely
received a few later on--THE ANTI MATTER MAN, SPACE CREATURE, WRECK OF THE
ROBOT). That stated the pair of writers wrote some of the most goofy LOST IN
SPACE episodes: SPACE CIRCUS, THE TOYMAKER, TIME MERCHANT). They also wrote a
few passable episodes such as ANDROID MACHINE. They treated Fitzhugh a bit
too much like Dr. Smith. Glad to see Betty used more than either Judy or
Maureen though. Judy only had four episodes around her (if that). Maureen had
practically none. Even when used in good stories, their characters were
sometimes depicted as helpless (making terrible mistakes in ONE OF OUR DOGS
IS MISSING and A VISIT TO HADES where Judy has a crying tantrum and fit).
LAND OF THE GIANTS, more than Allen's three previous efforts, tried to stay
away from formula and predictability, not always succeeding but at least they
tried---for one, lots of captures, escapes, rescues, etc. But GIANTS remained
fairly serious with occasional light episodes and only a few campy scenes
(very, very few compared to LOST IN SPACE and the last two seasons of
VOYAGE). LOST had the Smith, Will, and Robot mixed with dumb alien routine
which they only rarely broke from. VOYAGE became Monster Invaders of the Week
with little humor or change by season 3 and 4. TIME TUNNEL always had Tony
and Doug in some war with no one listening to them while the tunnel brought
back others to endanger the three scientists there--Ann, Ray, and Kirk. LAND
OF THE GIANTS, at least, improved. To be fair, all of Allen's shows were run,
jump, and fight shows, including GIANTS. The Robinsons were a family so they
were ready made personalities. Also to be fair, at this point, the gang of
GIANTS were so well known to each other, that they seemed more like a family
and there was little to fight about (however see A SMALL WAR). In some ways,
the three main men (Dan, Mark, and Steve) could have lines interchanged. But
only to a point. Steve was the captain and leader, usually right, sometimes
wrong and very much maker of snap decisions--usually in favor of the best
turn out for the crew and passengers. Mark was more of  a hothead and more
technical. He was sometimes a bit cold and distant but in the end he came
through. Dan was a man of action but somewhat hesitant and open to different
opinions and viewpoints, more so than Steve. He was more open minded and very
loyal. That said, sometimes their actions could be changed to the others for
all three were men of action. At times, I wondered if PANIC's Betty's parts
could have been given to Val and Val's parts given to Betty. I am split as to
whether or not this could be. Earlier in the series, I would have said no
way. Val was more smart aleck, perhaps braver in some ways, and not unwilling
to ruffle feathers; Betty was more a peacemaker. Now though, Betty did some
things Val used to (going against orders--only in the rarest of occasions,
doing things she knew could get her into trouble) and Val was somewhat more
warm than she used to be (calming Barry in HOME SWEET HOME). Yet PANIC works
because Betty, the one innocent among the adults of Spindrift, is in danger
because she wanted to help Kirmus. Thus, I think it works better as a Betty
episode. Fitzhugh, of course, could not be interchanged with any of them!
Mullendore provides another inspired and totally original score. It sounds
fresh and new and gives GIANTS a new lease on life. 

 

DOOMSDAY

Epilog
Late at night in an alley, Dan, Steve, Betty, and Fitzhugh go to a back
entrance to a bakery. They are still in the street. Dan smells the bakery
smells, "Just like mother used to make."   They go to get breakfast when a
car screeches around the corner after what sounded like a gunshot. Fitzhugh
falls but Betty goes back for him and pulls him to safety. They are almost
hit by the car. A wounded giant named Kamber stumbles into the alley
apartment building. Despite Fitzhugh's warnings that they could wind up
getting themselves into trouble by helping the giant, the four go under the
door and attempt to finish a phone call that Kamber was trying to make. Steve
starts to call on the giant phone, which fell on the floor. He starts to call
for an ambulance but the others yell: too late: Kamber's giant hand moves
right at Steve and starts to crush him!

Act One
The scene in negative. Betty runs up to Kamber's face, pleading with him to
move his arm, "You're crushing him!"  Kamber does move his arm but asks them
not to call a doctor or an ambulance. His family, he claims, is in danger. He
asks them to call his special doctor...a Dr. North at 221-704. If they call
anyone else, someone will find out about him and his family will be killed.
Kamber passes out again. Fitzhugh gets a man on the phone and the man will
get Dr. North to the place they are at by going to the intersection at 15th
and Barlow. The number here is 555-236. Betty is sure that Kamber has a
bullet wound but he will be okay if he doesn't move. Steve hopes Dr. North
arrives soon since the giant is in bad shape. Later, North--a female doctor,
arrives so the little people hide in a rusted out hole behind a piping.
Kamber tells North that an SID man questioned him, then shot him when he ran.
Kamber wired all the bombs to blow up the city in many locations at 11
O'clock am. He asks her to get him to a plane or a ship. She tells him he
shouldn't have given her phone number to anyone and takes out a gun. Betty
moves to try to help but Fitzhugh grabs her, yelling, "No Betty!"  North
hears this, checks Kamber, who died from his wounds in trying to stop her
from shooting him, and then shoves a mini bomb and timer into the hole. It
goes off just after Steve shouts a warning for everyone to get down and take
cover! It blasts the back of the hole. The other three find a hurt Fitzhugh
(who is being called Fitz by the others at times). Fitz's leg is broke. North
leaves. Steve calls in Mark and Valerie for hypo needles and food. He will
leave his mark at the door for them to find. Val tells Mark to stop the laser
drilling he is doing at the campsite on a table. Val passes the call to Mark.
Steve explains. Val and Mark see Steve's mark--triple Xs chalked on the
bottom of the door. Dan and Steve will cover Kamber with a sheet and then get
anti biotics from a drugstore or pharmacy. Kobick tells his Sergeant that
Kamber was an electrician for 15 years. Kamber came from Cedersville (over
200 miles away). Val and Mark arrive to a complaining Fitzhugh. Val
sympathizes, "Poor Fitz."   Val sterilized the hypo needles before leaving.
Dan and Steve return and the only anti biotic they could find was
Acramycycline which is marked for wide spectrum of uses as Steve notices but
also by prescription only as Mark notes. Steve tells Fitzhugh to decide but
Fitz just complains that he didn't even want to be here in the first place.
Steve decides for him: he tells them to give it to Fitzhugh. If not, Betty
claims an infection could come from the wood that is in his cut leg. Fitz is
given the hypo and Steve wants to give it to him again but later on. "You
want me to live dangerously," Fitz comments. As Steve talks about the coin--a
coin that Kamber had that he lost and that shows the locations of the bombs
he planted---Fitz gasps. Suddenly he gets a fever and burns up, then passes
out but not before claiming, "You know what you've done to me? You've killed
me."  Betty tries but cannot find his pulse, "I think...I think he's dead!"

Act Two
After two minutes, Dan suggests external heart massage. Steve finds the pulse
and it is weak but rising. Dan and Steve tell Mark about the coin with the
map overlay which shows the locations of the bombs. They heard North ask
Kamber about it. Kamber dropped it. Mark goes to camp to get the metal
detector. Dan and Steve follow North's phone number (221-704) via phone,
posing as a Sergeant Mills of the Police Department. Fitz comes around, out
of his sleep, moaning, groaning and complaining. Dan and Steve leave to check
the address they found for North. Kobick (in a long light colored trenchcoat)
and his Sergeant arrive, see the dead Kamber covered with a sheet, and hear
Fitzhugh moaning in his sleep. Kobick spots Betty and Fitzhugh in the hole,
shining a flashlight in. Kobick says, "Well, well, well--the little
troublemakers again."    Betty stops Kobick's poking around with a pencil as
it near Fitzhugh. She tells Kobick she will help him get this injured man
out. Val calls her crazy and pleads with her not to do it. Betty answers,
"We'll just do it my way this time, okay."   Val gasps, "There must be some
other way."   Betty tells her to tell Steve. Val stays because Kobick didn't
see her. Kobick pulls Fitzhugh out on the rope Betty threw to him. He agrees
to give Fitz medical attention and later, does so. Betty thanks him in,
commenting that his surgeon did an excellent job. They are in Kobick's office
by this time. Kobick doesn't believe her story and is surprised that a doctor
can be a lady. He thinks the little monsters want to create a panic to cause
crowds to trample each other to death. It is now four hours before the bombs
go off. Val, at the apartment, asks Steve if they will be able to get Betty
and Fitz out. They have to search for that coin first. In her lavish office
and petting a pet chimpanzee, North gives her aide, a man named Warkin (who
was the man who answered Fitzhugh's call on the phone) a stronger bomb to
deal with Betty and Fitzhugh at the SID. "Those little people must not leave
the SID alive," North instructs him.

Act Three
Val, Steve, Dan, and Mark try to figure out where Kamber lost the coin.
Steve, Dan, and Mark search the street for the coin but a large truck comes
speeding at them fast. Steve dives into a double drain and goes down a bit.
He finds the coin in it, only then discovering its hidden map enclosed in the
coin. He sends Dan and Mark back to Kamber's apartment and goes to Kobick's
office. Kobick looks down at him as he shows himself in the vent, "You
again!"  While Steve tries to convince Kobick by giving him the coin, Warkin
plants the bomb in the room. Kobick still believes the plot was orchestrated
by the Earth humans. He's checked the name Dr. North and found nothing. Steve
spots the bomb and while Kobick is busy checking the map, Steve tosses it out
the window. Outside, it explodes and shakes the building. Steve runs back to
the vent. Kobick leans down and yells at Steve, thinking he threw it. Steve
tells Kobick, "I'm sure they didn't put you behind that desk because you're
stupid."  Fitz, from the cage on the desk, calls down, "You wouldn't like  to
make a small wager on that would you?" Steve calls up, "Fitzhugh, would you
shut up."   Taking Steve's advice, Kobick goes to check outside and tells his
Sergeant to cover every vent, returns to the room, and then makes a lunge for
Steve at the vent. As Steve runs, Kobick yells, "You hear me, Burton! You
haven't got a chance this time!"  Steve stops to listen but then runs. North
meets Warkin behind the Midtown Bank in an  alleyway where she shows him the
newspaper headlines. The morning paper, The Daily Extra, reported the little
people were not killed by the bomb. The SID found Warkin's fingerprints.
Never intending to get Warkin's plane ticket anyway, she shoots him in cold
blood, the man protesting all the time. Dan posed as an SID man over the
phone and asked if any lady doctors were booked on an overseas flight. He
found out a Dr. Greer was booked to fly Internationals Flight 104 at 10 AM.
Dan, Steve, and Mark meet at Greer/North's real address: 190 West 14th
Street, Apt 7. There, the trio view the evil woman be kind to a bird in a
bird cage. She sets the dove free out of its birdcage, "I won't leave you a
prisoner. You're free now---go on---fly away."   Her monkey spots the three
men as they hide at the coat rack. North drops her jacket on top of them,
puts them in the birdcage and explains to them. She called the airlines and a
woman revealed the call from a Captain Burton came through. She put two and
two together  "... and here you are."  She will put the cage in a nice place
for a view out the window...and especially at 11 o'clock... "...and after
that...there'll be nothing much left to see."    

Act Four
Mark asks her if she wants to start a war and she answers, "Exactly."  A
secret society she is a part of has planned this for years: to start a war,
then take over after the war ends. Steve injects her with the drug, reaching
through the bars as she reaches at the cage. She is about to throw them out
the window but Steve stops her, telling her she has been injected. She passes
out. Steve then gets Pedro, the chimp, to open the bird cage for them,
despite Mark and Dan's fear and incredulous looks. They pull the phone down
so that when a groggy Greer comes to, they can use it to call the operator to
confirm the time (10:45). The operator is really Valerie, who does confirm
this, the wrong time. The men also turned the clocks ahead. Greer thinks
there is only 15 minutes before the bombs go off and cannot get her chimp to
"get" the little people, so she is forced to reveal the locations of the
bombs. Steve relays the locations to Kobick--who disarms one in his own
basement at SID. Other locations include: the International Building on the
corner of Midline and 9th, the Electric Company at 19th and Chestnut, and
others. Steve tells Greer they did set the clock ahead. Before they leave,
Steve tells Pedro he owes him bananas. While Kobick disarms his bomb, the
trio of men from Earth work together to free Betty and Fitzhugh from his
office. Steve has to put the pin on the cage because it will not stick in the
desk top. Everyone gets out except Steve. Kobick returned and almost caught
Mark, who made it into the vent. Kobick drops Steve on his back on the
tabletop, "This time your friends will never get away."   Kobick begins to
call his men but Steve tells Kobick to put the phone down. Kobick asks Steve
if he really thought that he would free all of them. Steve smiles, "As a
matter of fact, I didn't."  Steve levels a deal with Kobick: put the phone
down and he will only then reveal the location of Dr. North and give him her
real name and address where she is all tied up by the little people. Kobick
puts the phone down and asks Steve. "Oh ho, not until I'm in that vent,"
Steve laughs. Kobick tells Steve he will have to trust him. He puts Steve in
the vent and only then does Steve tell him that Greer is North's real name.
He also gives Kobick the address of 190 West 14th Street, Apt 7. Steve waves,
"Inspector, I bit you goodbye. I'll be listening to the news on the radio." 
As Steve leaves, Kobick seems to smile a bit and nod.

Epilog
At the spaceship camp, Steve holds the walkie talkie out as he sits on the
table. He, Mark, Betty, Val, and Dan (Dan sitting on the step outside
Spindrift) listen to the news. They hear that a group of willful people from
many nations have been prevented from causing a cataclysmic war that would
have threatened this entire planet---all due to the painstaking undercover
work of Inspector Kobick and the SID. Everyone laughs at Kobick. Steve calls
Kobick a modest one. Fitz calls Kobick a liar. Pedro shows up infront of  the
Spindrift and waves at them, towering overhead. Fitz looks afraid but Steve
waves back.     

REVIEW:
Dan Ullman returns and gives us another great tale--recapturing some of the
dark, brooding atmosphere of season one. A conventional tale, it is helped
along by the always excellent Kevin Hagen and Francine York, who both add
flair and dimension to their antagonists. Ullman seems quite capable of
writing well for Betty---here, capturing her innocence and ability to cope.
She also seems accepting of Kobick and wears her older, blue outfit. Valerie
wears her new yellow outfit (light top, dark skirt). Val's yellow outfit and
Betty's pink one (PANIC) appear to be summer outfits while the men wear
jackets and long sleeves. LAND OF THE GIANTS never addressed the weather
much, if ever with the minor exception of a few effects to simulate wind
(blowing leaves as in EVERY DOG NEEDS A BOY). There was a rainstorm in RETURN
OF INIDU with little rain and much wind, lightning and thunder. Although
Deanna Lund doesn't get much to do in DOOMSDAY, what she does do is a great
contribution. Her face issues a mixture of frustration and despair as Betty
informs her that it is Kobick who has arrived in the apartment. This gives us
a neglected peek at that whole untouched topic---one of depression over their
circumstances. Ullman has the good sense to have the travelers forage and
foray in the wee hours of the morning--when everyone giant is asleep. Effects
are better than ever---the scene of Steve on Kobick's desk as Kobick puts the
receiver down while Steve stands right in front of him all in one shot is
marvelous. Also of excellent note is the one shot of  Kobick looking down at
Steve in his office, Steve, Kobick, the vent and the wall all in one shot.
Credits in the end credits have the Inspector listed as Inspector Turner.
This leaves one to wonder if Hagen wasn't originally supposed to appear in
this episode. Perhaps Kobick was not written into the script or maybe he was
but Hagen thought he couldn't appear but then at the last moment he did--one
can only guess at this point.  That last scene with Steve and Kobick seems to
be a goodbye scene--unintentional or intentional remains to be seen. This
story allowed Kobick a lot of good dialog to go out on. DOOMSDAY confirms
many things about the land of the giants: Earth time system (hours from one
to twelve, planes and ships, oceans, many nations, electric power, Earth type
money, newspapers, not many lady doctors, phone operators. In all this is a
very good episode but since it followed THE SECRET CITY OF LIMBO in the
production order and both were about the near start of a war trying to be
caused by an evil group--it is probably best to have separated the two
episodes as they did in the air order. The street alley set was also used in
GREEN HORNET and LAND OF THE GIANTS: EVERY DOG NEEDS A BOY. It also seems to
be similar to sets in BATMAN and THE TIME TUNNEL as well as VOYAGE TO THE
BOTTOM OF THE SEA. This episode had the opening titles during Act One shown
over a green glowing negative of the Act One's first shot (Steve, Betty, Dan,
Fitz, the phone and the giant hand). Shown was episode name, director and
writer placed over this freeze frame. This was also done in PANIC but that
seemed to be because Betty was being immobilized in negative by the device of
Marad. DOOMSDAY seems to be a bit like that episode for other reasons: both
had Betty in danger more than often, both had evil women. Francine York was
in DIVORCE COURT on cable in the late 1980s. Although not intentional, her
evil woman villain seemed to be a forerunner of BLAKE'S SEVEN's Servalan and
perhaps DYNASTY's Alexis.    
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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