Tuesday, 12 May 2015

AS MUTE AND PALE AS DEATH ITSELF


























THE OUTER LIMITS: THE BELLERO SHIELD, d. John Brahm (1964)

The best episodes of ‘The Outer Limits’ always have a baleful, ominous atmosphere, as if madness and death and isolation are in the air waiting to manifest themselves. It’s a deeply strange programme, too, often unnervingly so, and 'The Bellero Shield' is a particularly odd one, 'Macbeth' with science and a luminous alien.
A laser scientist accidentally catches an extraterrestrial in a beam of light, and brings him, somewhat unwillingly, to Earth. The alien, a shimmering, indistinct thing from a dimension just above our realm, initially protects himself using an impenetrable and all-encompassing shield, technology coveted by the scientists ambitious and slightly unhinged wife. When the alien tries to go home, she shoots him in the head and steals the shield technology, intending to pass off the invention as her husband’s in order to make his reputation. 

Pressing a button to activate something is one thing, of course; switching it off is entirely another…

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