Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Favorite OTR

X Minus One: "Caretaker" 1/30/57

X Minus One was a cool show--doing faithful, intelligent adaptations of science fiction short stories. It never played down to its audience, but rather assumed we were willing to follow along with the plots and listen closely to whatever exposition was needed.

"Caretaker" is an episode consisting almost entirely of exposition, but the writing and acting are both solid enough to keep it interesting from start to finish. A spaceship crew finds a human who's been stranded on a planet for 22 years. The castaway has found a tribe of humans living there and has married one of them. But a hideous reptilian race is encrouching on the humans' territory, threatening their existence.

All this is explained to the space ship crew by the castaway. But there's several odd points to his story--most notably his explanation that the native humans have some strange cultural taboo that include avoiding all visitors.

It's no surprise that all this is setting up a twist ending. But when the twist comes, it's still a good one--leading up to a vary emotional ending to this excellent and intelligent story.

This episode can be downloaded HERE.

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