CONELRAD: Mutated Television
Post-A-War GI Charles Bronson broods for Rusky Elizabeth Montgomery

Mutated Television: Anthology Programs

The anthology genre of the fifties and early sixties gave American television viewers their most direct look at the consequences of the Cold War. Rod Serling cranked out a remarkable number of scripts that tackled both the effects of the Bomb and McCarthyism head on. Other writers, who presumably feared another Black List, used sci-fi or western allegories (which Serling did as well) to tell their tales of angst. These thinly disguised dramas actually had a lot of bite to their subtext, but never managed to arouse the rancor of Mr. and Mrs. Middle America or, perhaps more importantly, the sponsors.

(U.K.- LIVE)
ABC (U.S. Broadcaster)
65 min. (B&W)
Teleplay Title: Underground
Written by James Forsyth from Harold Rein's novel of the same name
Directed by William Kotcheff
Starring: Donald Houston; Andrew Cruikshank; Gareth Jones.
Synopsis: Tale of 20 people trapped in London's subway after an explosion assumed by everyone to be an H-Bomb.
Note: Actor Gareth Jones died of a heart attack during this live broadcast. The other actors improvised around his death.

(U.K. - LIVE)
Aired Locally in U.S.
60 min.
Written by J.B. Priestly
Directed by Silvio Narizzano
Starring: Ian Hunter; Jean Cadell; Harry Fowler
Synopsis: A man imagines his wife and two daughters are killed in an H-Bomb attack on London.
Note: This program was followed by a live panel discussion featuring noted pacifists, doctors and members of the House of Commons.

1960 - 1984
Syndicated Religious Anthology
30 min. (B&W and Color)
Created by and hosted by Father Ellwood E. Kieser
Teleplay Title: The Nitty Gritty Once and Future Now
Writing and Directing Credits Unknown
Starring: Lloyd Bochner; Patricia Harty and Joseph Campanella
Synopsis: It is post-World War III and a man claiming to be "the govenor's son" offers to help a group of people leave their bomb shelter. The shelter dwellers view the stranger as a potential enemy. They must struggle with their fears of leaving the bunker.

1953 - 1954
50 min. (B&W)
Teleplay Title: Atomic Attack (airdate 5/18/54)
Written by David Davidson adapted from the novel "Shadow on the Hearth" (1950) by Judith Merril
Directed by Ralph Nelson
Starring: Phyllis Thaxton as Gladys Mitchell; Walter Matthau as the doctor; John Daly as the CONELRAD Announcer.
Synopsis: Story of a Westchester, NY matriarch who must guide what remains of her family through the aftermath of an H-Bomb attack on Manhattan.

Original Title: Please Stand By (changed because of the recent Cuban Missle Crisis)
1963 - 1965
49 episodes (B&W) 6
0min. Created by Leslie Stevens
Many episodes are available on home video.

The Control Voice: Vic Perrin

The Hundred Days of the Dragon
Episode 2; airdate 9/23/63
Written by Allan Balter & Robert Mintz
Directed by Byron Haskin
Guest Star: James Hong
Synopsis: A U.S. presidential candidate is assassinated and replaced by an Asian agent who possesses chameleon-like abilities which allow him to assume anyone's identity.

The Architects of Fear
Episode 3; airdate 9/30/63
Written by Meyer Dolinsky
Directed by Byron Haskin
Guest Stars: Robert Culp; Leonard Stone
Synopsis: A group of scientists realizing that a common enemy will unite mankind create a laboratory creature. They then pass the creature off as an alien invader hoping that it will band the nations of the earth together.

The Man Who Was Never Born
Episode 6; airdate 10/28/63
Written by Anthony Lawrence
Directed by Leonard Horn
Guest Stars: Martin Landau; Shirley Knight
Synopsis: An astronaut travels through a time warp to a war-ravaged earth 2148 A.D. He meets a mutant who wishes to travel back in time to prevent the disaster that destroyed mankind.

Episode 7; airdate 11/04/63
Written by Meyer Dolinsky
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Guest Stars: Peter Breck; Jeff Corey
Synopsis: A senator investigating a murder discovers a device that can monitor the activities of anyone on earth. This device is linked to a race of one-eyed albino aliens planning to invade the earth.

Episode 10; airdate 12-02-63
Written by Joseph Stefano
Directed by John Erman
Guest Stars: Ed Nelson; James Shigeta; Whit Bissell; Martin Sheen
Synopsis: Six men in an elite multi-national strike force set up to repel alien invasion are abducted an forced to undergo a series of bizarre interrogations.

The Mutant
Episode 25; airdate 3/16/64
Written by Allan Balter & Robert Mintz; Story by Jerome Thomas
Directed by Alan Crosland
Guest Star: Warren Oates
Synopsis: A scientist is transformed into a telepathic killer after he is exposed to a strange silvery rain while exploring a distant planet that mankind hopes to colonize.

The Special One
Episode 28; airdate 4/6/64
Written by Oliver Crawford
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Synopsis: An alien being seeks out gifted children to tutor, hoping to indoctrinate them in his race's ways of thinking. The alien hopes this indoctrination will cause them to help his race when his they eventually invade the earth.

The Chameleon
Episode 31; airdate 4/27/64
Written by Robert Towne; Story by Robert Towne, Lou Morheim and Joseph Stefeno.
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Guest Star: Robert Duvall
Synopsis: A CIA assassin is genetically altered so that he can infiltrate and kill the pilots of an alien spacecraft.

Episode 33; airdate 9/19/64
Written by Harlan Ellison
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Synopsis: A linguistics expert is assigned to tame a soldier from the future who has been trained only to kill. Note: This episode provided the basis for "The Terminator" films.

Demon with a Glass Hand
Episode 37; 10/17/64
Written by Harlan Ellison
Directed by Byron Haskin
Guest Stars: Robert Culp; Arlene Martel
Synopsis: A man from the 30th century journeys to the 20th century in the hopes of finding some means of defeating aliens who have conquered earth in his time.

1959 - 1964
156 Episodes (B&W) 30min.
(1-3; 5th season)/60min. (4th season only)
Created by and hosted by Rod Serling
Many episodes are available on home video.

Time Enough at Last
Episode 8; airdate 11/20/59
Written by Rod Serling from the short story of the same name by Lynn Venable
Directed by John Brahm
Guest Star: Burgess Meredith
Synopsis: Mr. Henry Bemer, a myopic bank teller, unwittingly spends World War III reading a book in the bank's vault during his lunch hour. When he discovers the world is destroyed, he intends to commit suicide, but changes his mind when he discovers the ruins of the public library.

Third from the Sun
Episode 14; airdate 1/8/60
Written by Rod Serling based on a short story of the same name by Richard Matheson
Directed by Richard L. Bare
Guest Starring Fritz Weaver; Edward Andrews; Joe Maross
Synopsis: A scientist and a test pilot steal an experimental spaceship to escape earth's imminent nuclear war.

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
Episode 22; airdate 3/4/60
Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Ron Winston
Guest Stars: Claude Akins; Jack Weston; Sheldon Allman
Synopsis: Neighbor turns against neighbor after a mysterious, EMP-like power failure.

Episode 66; airdate 9/15/61
Written and directed by Montgomery Pittman
Guest Stars: Charles Bronson; Elizabeth Montgomery
Synopsis: A man and a woman from opposing sides carry on the last battle of World War III in a destroyed city. Note: It is assumed Elizabeth Montgomery represents the Russian side, because her only line of dialogue is "precrassny," Russian for "pretty."

The Shelter Episode 68; airdate 9/29/61
Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Lamont Johnson
Guest Stars: Jack Albertson; Sandy Kenyon
Synopsis: The announcement that UFOs are headed their way sends a small community into a panic as everyone tries to gain access to a neighbor's fallout shelter.

One More Pallbearer
Episode 82; airdate 1/12/62
Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Lamont Johnson
Guest Stars: Joseph Wiseman; Katherine Squire; Gage Clark
Synopsis: A wealthy man invites three people from his past to visit his bomb shelter. The three invitees have each wronged their host in some way. When a genuine nuclear attack appears to be under way, the host offers his guests the opportunity to remain in the shelter on the condition that they apologize to him.

The Old Man in the Cave
Episode 127; airdate 11/08/63
Written by Rod Serling from a story by Henry Slesar
Directed by Alan Crosland
Guest Stars: James Coburn; John Anderson
Synopsis: It is 1974, ten years after a nuclear war, and a group of survivors are content to follow the instructions of the mysterious "old man in the cave" as relayed by "his" representative, Mr. Goldsmith. That is until a small group of soldiers arrive and undermine the "old man's" authority.
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