02x17 - The Probe

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Outer Limits". Aired: September 16, 1963 – January 16, 1965.
Anthology of self-contained episodes, sometimes with plot twists at their ends.
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02x17 - The Probe

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( man) The persistence of man's curiosity led him into new worlds.

Without conquering his own, he invaded the subworld of the microscope and the outer world of space.

It is said turnabout is fair play.

But is it? FIfty-fIfty, Jeff.

Looks rough either way.

Uh-huh Dexter says it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

We'll miss the squall by a couple of hundred miles.

Why turn back? - Thanks, honey.

- No, thank you, fellas.

- On to Tokyo.

- If you'll get in trouble hauling me along Go through the teeth of a hurricane to get you married.

- We may have to do just that.

- Oh? Yeah.

If it keeps on accelerating at this phenomenal rate, which I don't expect, and shifts course a bit, which I don't expect either There's no squall any more.

There's a full-fledged hurricane.

We can't outrun it, we can't turn back Emergency preparations.

Stand by.

We're going into the hurricane.

I'm going to try to set her down .

Yes, we're going in .

Emergency procedures in effect.

I said we're going into the hurricane! The centre! The eye! Emergency stations.

Life raft.

Life vests.

( man) There is nothing wrong with your television set.

Do not attempt to adjust the picture.

We are controlling transmission.

For the next hour, we will control all you see and hear.

You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to The Outer Limits.

- Cobe Hey, Cobe? - Huh? What is it? - Where are we? - I don't know.

l think we're in the eye of the hurricane.

It's so calm.

- It's miraculous, isn't it? - Yeah.

- Where's Beeman ? - I don't think he made it.

- Did we all black out? - Yeah.

What's all this fog? Spooky, isn't it? - Where's the emergency radio, Jeff? - It's in the kit, I guess.

- Amanda? Are you all right? - I'm wet.

- (clunk) - What was that? The signal mirror.

It fell overboard.

Overboard? (thuds) Hey, it's solid! It isn't water at all.

Where are we? It's some kind of plastic.

What do you think? Well, we should be in the middle of a hurricane.

Apparently, in the calm eye of it.

But on the water.

I don't understand it.

- Jeff? - can't raise a thing.

- Are you receiving? - No.

- What's that static? - It's ours Some kind of interference.

Maybe it's a whole wall of the storm around us.

So weird and strange.

- Does anybody feel any movement? - I don't.

Could we be moving along with it? lnside the hurricane.

We could be, but what's that? (transmitter crackling) Jehosaphat! - Get down ! - Cover up! Watch your eyes! OK, it's gone.

- What's gone? - Whatever it was.

- It doesn 't seem to have any effect though.


- Except, I'm dry.

isn't that funny? - Yeah, so am I.

Me too - What was it? - A fog or mist of some kind.

With a drying action .

What was it? Where did it come from? l can't even guess, but l think we ought to investigate.

The plane gone.

The ocean gone.

The world gone.

Where are we? Hey, this wall feels like the floor.

Like it's made out of plastic.

We're inside something.

It's coming from where the cloud came from.

- What's the matter, Mandy? - Nothing.

- Are you cold? - I'm freezing.

- She is.

It's cold.

- Come on , let's get out of this light.

(rattling) - Dex! - Hey, look! It's icing up! It's not cold, just in that light.

Get out of it.

It's the light that's making it cold! Dex, get out of there! He's half d*ad! (sobbing) - Do you have to do that? - It's my fault.

Without me, you 'd have turned back.

- That's not true.

- Yes, it is.

You would have turned back If David was still ( high -pitched whirring) - Who's doing this? Who's here? - We're lost! We'll never get out! - don't get hysterical.

- I can't help it! - Take it easy.

l'm frightened myself.

- It got cold so fast.

- Dex, can you move your fingers now? - (shivering) They're starting to tingle.

And my toes.

And my ears hurt! Another second and you would have frozen to death.

What made it freeze up so fast? - That first light beam.

- Cold light? You should have seen that second beam slice that raft in two like a knife and another light beam lift that part up in that hole there.

There's got to be a room.

Things don't disappear into nothing.

- And somebody's operating it.

- And I'm sure there's something out there.

And on the other side of that wall.

Cobe, let's go take a look.

- Dex, are you all right? - Yeah, l think so.

I'll see If I can raise something on the radio.

- Do you want to stay here too? - Are you kidding? Come on .

Well, one thing.

If we're imagining all this, we're imagining the same things together.

We've got to be inside something, I know it sounds incredible.

Jeff! Cobe! - Dexter? Dexter? - Hey, Dex! ook! - Feels funny.

- Yeah.

- But why would he drop Cobe's jacket? - Where could he have gone? No place? - In there? - What's it all about? Are we prisoners? How did we get here? lf we only understood something! At least in a plane in a storm, you know what you 're frightened of.

- How long since the crash? - 40 minutes ago we inflated the raft.

- How do you know? - I got a date watch.

Same day.

Same date.

It was 6 minutes past 4.

I looked.

Now, it's 14 minutes to 5.

What's the last thing you remember? I got the plane under the water.

They were 50-foot-high waves Mandy? I saw the plane split apart and Cobe helping me into the raft.

- Then we were all hanging on .

- All except Beeman .

l remember trying to grab him in the water with the light coming through it.

Then that calm and quiet.

I thought I was passing out.

It must have been the eye of the storm.

- There has to be an explanation .

- What about Dex? - If we only knew where we are.

- What about Dex? I don't know about Dex.

Do you? Hey! Listen.

(squeaking) You recognise those sounds, Cobe? -No.

- I think I do.

Hey! Hey! You both stay here.

OK, come on in .

What is it? Sounds like an analogue or a computer of some kind.

- Like none l've ever seen or heard of.

- It's part of a system.

It's coding information right now.

- What information ? - I don't know.

- Looks like - Like what? l've never seen a telemetry system before.

Have you? -No.

- I've got a good idea of what it might look like.

Part of it might look like this.

- What is a telemetry system? - Well, to put it simply it's Telemetry is transmitting information from one place to another over great distances.

You mean we're inside a research project of some kind? Yeah.

But .


it doesn 't seem logical, does it? All unattended like this? - And in the middle of the PacIfic Ocean ? - Hey, look at that.

- Greek? - No.

- Latin ? Hebrew? - No.

Nor Syrian or Etruscan or anything.

I've never seen cuneiform like that.

- You've seen a lot, haven't you? - Quite a bit.

In college I majored in ancient languages.

Hey, Jeff? What kind of metal is this? I don't think it's metal.

It's some kind of plastic.

Like this flooring and the walls outside there.

- Yeah.

- Come on, let's keep on exploring.

- Looks like some kind of a laboratory.

- Yeah, it sure does.

- What's that? - A piece of the raft.

don't touch it! don't touch anything.

- How did it get in here? - Maybe through the centre post there.

Where the machinery is.

And those light beams.

- But what for? - I think, maybe to test it.

To test it for what? Who's doing the testing? Where is everybody? The results of the testing would be sent back to where everybody might be.

Jeff, have you got some kind of theory about this? I'm getting one.

- By itself.

- Yeah.

It's all programmed.

- But for whom? Now, what is that? - Water, l guess.

Sea water.

Cobe, look at the saIt residue.

- You see that meter? - Yeah.

That canister is being weighed and the information is being fed back to the analogue room, here.

- But why sea water? - It was available.

l don't understand.

Who'd wanna analyse sea water? Whoever wanted to know its chemical composition .

Everybody knows its composition .

lf not, all they have to do is open a book.

No, Jeff means something else.

He means that this is an a*t*matic enterprise, there's no choice involved.

- It doesn 't know what it'll analyse, right? - Absolutely right.

That piece of raft out there is being examined in bits and pieces.

It's being subjected to a variety of tests.

And that information is sent here to this analogue room.

And here it's coded and classIfied and sent back to its destination .

- What destination and by whom? - l don't know who.

But once we use this cuneIform alphabet you never saw before - Jeff, how did we get here? - Cobe.

Cobe, listen .

You know we've got a space project that's called Surveyor.

An unmanned capsule, an automated device that will be sent out into space and land, say on Mars, or Venus, or Jupiter.

And once it gets there, it will perform a variety of experiments, like testing the soil, the atmosphere, plant lIfe, animal lIfe, If there is any.

Testing for chemicals.

Soil conditions, living conditions.

Free ion beIts, cosmic rays, radioactivity.

A probe? A probe? This? Yeah.

But this one isn't ours.

- You mean from outer space? - That's exactly what l mean .

You know, they landed this thing on Earth just by chance in the eye of a hurricane.

They scooped us up and they deposited us.

Where did they deposit us? Under a microscope.

Outside there, on the other side of this hollow centre shaft .


those light beams that operate and activate all these tests, are used to examine and to scrutinise us.

To probe our world.

Now, l think that .


and this may sound ridiculous .


but l think we're inside some gigantic space probe of an alien civilisation .

That plastic flooring that you 're standing on right now is the base of a giant microscope inside inside this whole hunk of space machinery.

It all fits, doesn 't it? - And that mist? - A staining process.

The way we'd stain a glass slide.

- And another thing, about that freezing? - To immobilise what they're inspecting.

They slice a cross section , photograph it, then send it back by way of their advanced telemetry system, so they can study it.

Another world.

Another planet somewhere.

- We're inside their space probe.

- Yeah.

A race of giants If that's what this is.


- ls that the lIfe form from outer space? - l don't know.

l don't think so.

A form like that doesn 't have the manual dexterity to get very far on the evolutionary scale.

The ones who buiIt this probe are far advanced.

It's really something.

It's certainly not from our world.

It's unearthly.

Jeff, you don't suppose that thing got a hold of Dex? (rattling) Look, it's activated the cold light again .

This whole place is automated.

( hissing) - It duplicated itself.

- Yeah.

Under that extreme cold, too.

- It's fantastic! - l want to get a closer look.

Hey, it's gone.

Must have adapted to it so quickly.

Or it's naturally adapted to cold.

With this ability to divide and muItiply.

It's fantastic.

But what's our defence against them? Certainly not the g*n in the survival kit.

What about the radio? Have we given up hope of contacting our world? What's happened to Dex? What's going to happen to us? How are we going to get out of here? (gasps) (screams) How can it see without any eyes? - It can't get closer.

- It won 't.

lf l wasn 't sure this creature didn 't build this probe, l am now.

- Why? - Well, just look around.

- You see how clean everything is? - That's right.

Antiseptic clean .

As though it was sterilised before being sent out.

So it wouldn 't contaminate wherever it was going, like another civilisation .

- But what about our friend here? - A mutant.

A strain of germ that grew and grew and grew.

- That's a germ? - Yes.

A microbe.

Resistant to the sterilisation process.

Like a fly can be resistant to DDT.

- Maybe he was picked up some other place.

- What do you mean ? That's what l saw in the telemetry room.

A rough scale of the solar system with lights representing other planets.

- Why didn 't you tell me before? - l didn 't know what it meant before.

- Can you make it, Jeff? - l don't know.

It isn't particularly fast.

Yeah, but what If the door doesn 't open automatically? - l may face a rather unpleasant situation .

- Yeah.

lf you attract it to that side, l'll have more leeway.

- I'm going with you .

-Now, you stay here! Ha! - l told you to stay out there! - l told you , l may be able to help.

Where's the map? That's the solar system in there, isn't it? The planets.

The sun .

And the lights on the other planets.

Maybe that means that this probe has already been there.

And might be leaving here to go to Venus, the next planet closer to the sun .

- Yeah.

With us on it.

That's just great.

- Unless we can get off.

We've got to reach them and tell them we can't go along! - We've got to try to reach them! - Yeah, thanks.

But how do l begin ? But maybe they found a way to transcend the speed of light.

Like with the application of the laser principle? Time warp or space warp? - You understood all along? - As much as l know what those things are.

To compress time, the past, the future, into now.

To change space relationships.

To be in two places at one time, or .


two things or two people to be in one place (groans) Understood all along? No, I'm just beginning to understand that there are a lot of things l don't understand.

- It's like a telegraph.

- Yeah, but in four or five dimensions.

- What? - Well, look.

l can control the length of the signal, and the strength of it.

Even the shape.

Just by how long l hold on the key and where l apply the pressure.

- Look at that! - Yeah.

- Well, what's doing it? - l don't know.

I'm not touching it now.

It's incredible! We've just communicated with something.

Another intelligent lIfe of some kind.

Somewhere out in space.

Somewhere out there among the millions and millions of stars.

We've only established contact.

We haven 't communicated.

No, and we've got to communicate.

They have to know the position we're in .

And about those microbes.

And what we're like.

That we're an intelligent lIfe form.

They've got to know that the microbes they're finding in sea water aren 't dominant in this world any more than those creatures out there, their microbes, aren 't dominant in their world.

Maybo they 've seemus a road You said something about a photometry system.

How are we going to communicate with them? l don't know.

Maybe just .





or ''help'' over and over again , repeating the pattern .

Jeff? Mandy? ( hissing) Mandy! Ah! Cobe! Cobe! l feIt as though l was being pulled up like a vacuum.

Cobe, If Dex was pulled up like that Hey.

- How long has it been doing that? -Not long.

- One, two, three.

- Watch this.

One, two.

One, two.

Dex, get back in .

Get back in ! One, two.

One, two.

Ma ndy, how abo u t yo u ? One, one, one.

It's pretty obvious, isn't it? Hey! Hey, take a whIff.

Not bad.

Not a famous French perfume, but not bad.

Look, my blouse isn't wet any more.

- Cobe? - Yeah? - Walk toward that thing.

- What? Go ahead.

Hey, that bath must have doused us with some kind of repellent.

Yeah, deliberately, too.

We've got some fantastic experimenting to do.

ln that telemetry room they've discovered a way of instant communication .

Those outer space people, or whatever you want to call them, can be a fantastic boom to our science.

Can you imagine what secrets they can tell us? What scientIfic mysteries they can solve? - Hear anything? - What is it? ( humming) - Feel anything? - The whole place is beginning to shake.

- Sounds like motors.

- Heavy motors.

Atomic motors? Taking us away? Taking this whole probe away? What's the next stop? Venus? - What's the surface temperature of Venus? - 800 degrees.

That's six times we've gone through the code alphabet.

- Why don't they respond? - What else can we do? What If it doesn 't work? - How will we get out? - l don't know.

- We've got to get out! - Then show me how.

I'm gonna get the short-wave radio.

Maybe it'll work this time.

It's worth another try.

lf only we can raise a response from the mainland.

The hurricane was moving in on Japan the last coordinates we got.

Try it.

Be careful, Cobe.




Great words.

Even If they understood that you were sending an alphabet, what would it mean to them? - It's an impossible code to break.

- It's impossible for our minds.

All l want to do now is make a contact, just to get them to acknowledge.

What are you doing? This panel is vibrating.

There's a humming sound coming from it.

(rising humming) You 're right.

The humming is getting louder and louder.

lf that sound continues getting louder, it might break our ear drums.

But If it stops, it might mean they're ready to take off.

l wonder If this is a sound transmitter.

l don't know what a sound transmitter's like.

Look, a signal! What does it mean ? One, two.

One, two.

One, two.

One, two.

One, two Three.





l don't get it.

It's senseless.

Just a*t*matic programming.

What's taking Coberly so long? We don't have much time left.

Can you hear me? ls my voice getting through to you? - That did it! - Maybe that's it! Maybe it's the voice! Hey, try a mathematical code.

- What about Einstein 's equation ? - It's E equals MC squared.

That did it.

-Now, why should that do it? - l don't know.

Probably just coincidence.

There's no meaning or pattern to this.

No, it can't be coincidence! They're aware of us.

All right.

So, we made contact with it.

But what good is it? We have got to communicate and make ourselves understood! - Try talking to that thing again .

- What'll l say? E equals MC squared over and over? Why not? That equation 's a universal law.

It's a constant in the universe.

Just keep talking.

Anything! I'm gonna check on Coberly.

l think you 'll be all right.

l'll be right back.

Coberly? Coberly? Cobe? Hey, Coberly? l don't know If I'm whistling in the dark.

l feel silly.

But I'm talking to you because we're desperate.

lf this probe takes off from Earth, we'll die! Because we can't live in outer space.

And If this probe lands on Venus, we'll die there, too, because we can't live in such heat! There are other dangers here.

What about Dexter? Where did he go? He just disappeared.

How? Did that creature do anything to him? And how can it muItiply? You must have taken photographs of that creature.

And you must be aware of us.

You must be aware of us, because boca u se yo u gave u s protoct o n aga nst those croatu ros And you must be aware because you made this whole probe antiseptic.

You must be aware that those creatures can muItiply and infest our world.

Or another world If this probe should land somewhere else.

Can you hear me? Am l getting through? Or are you all machine, no humanity? No response? don't you understand me? Cobe? Jeff? Cobe? Jeff? Jeff? Cobe? Cobe? Jeff? Jeff? Cobe? ( high -pitched whirring) Jeff! Cobe! Where are you? Help! Jeff? Where are you? Help! Help! I'm glad to see you .

We couldn 't get back.

-Now that she's showed, let's go.

- What is it? - It's all right.

- Where are we? l was alone.

- The edge of the floor of the probe.

- Come on .

- Let her down carefully now.

- Easy does it.


Put these on .

We finally reached a search plane.

It's out there in the fog.

You know that beam showed us the way out here? - You too? - Uh-huh.

We couldn 't get back in , so we sent out SOS's.

- Come on , get that on .

- OK.

l still can't believe it.

lf Dexter were here, l'd say it never happened.

- You 're lucky you reached us.

- Amen to that.

Though how you ever figured your position inside a hurricane and out here in all this soup? It's miraculous! Yeah, was l accurate? Did l figure it? How do you think we found you flying blind? l won 't say we were lucky getting into that thing, but we sure were lucky to get out of it.

-Now, on to the wedding.

- (whistling) There it goes.

l guess we did communicate, didn 't we, Jeff? We had to.

But l never sent them our position .

How could l? l didn 't even know it.

No, this plane never did receive me.

- But how? - l told it.

l told them about those creatures and how they could destroy (boom) - What was that? - (boom) Self-destruct.

They destroyed the probe, so it wouldn 't hurt any people, any planet.

They must have figured out our alphabet.

They must have broken it down .

The meaning of what we were trying to say.

- They'll be back.

- Yeah, l think they will.

l wonder what would happen If it was turnabout? l mean , suppose one of our space probes, the Surveyor, came up against this kind of a problem on Jupiter or Mars? l'd like to think we'd be as smart, compassionate, human .

( man) A few days, a week, a month.

Will the Earth be visited by a stranger from the universe? A warm, compassionate stranger to tell us of wonders beyond imagination ? Of lIfe beyond comprehension ? Of secrets from the treasure house of stars? We now return control of your television set to you until next week at this same time when the control voice will take you to .
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