Director: Ted Post
Writer: Rod Serling
Cast: Richard Basehart, Antoinette Bower, Harold Gould, and Barton Heyman
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 11/29/1963
Production Code: 2622
Upon crash landing on an Earth-like planet, astronaut Adam Cook (Richard Basehart) learns that he has no way of returning home. Accepting his fate, Cook befriends a female traveler known as Eve Norda (Antoinette Bower)—also trapped on the planet due to a failed space expedition.
Offering a sci-fi twist on a classic Bible story, “Probe 7, Over and Out” deserves praise for its fascinating premise. This episode does, however, borrow many themes from “Two,” “The Lonely,” and “People Are Alike All Over”—three prior (and arguably superior) episodes of The Twilight Zone.
Stranded on a remote planet and without company, Cook abandons his ship in the middle of the night, shines a flashlight on the surrounding area, and cries out while searching for companionship—a haunting picture that, when accentuated by the harpsichord music from “To Serve Man,” demonstrates how loneliness, desperation, and lack of hope can drive a person to dangerous extremes.
Despite reinforcing the dire nature of Cook’s predicament, the communications of General Larrabee (Harold Gould) tend to overemphasize an obvious fact (i.e. that a nuclear war will soon devastate the main character’s home planet, preventing Cook from ever making a return trip).
(Spoilers beyond this point)
Initially hostile toward her new visitor, Norda later decides to accept and form a relationship with Cook—a near identical ending to that of “Two” from earlier in the series.
In spite of its preachy subtext, “Probe 7, Over and Out” indicates that humans—though driven by fearful, irrational tendencies—will overcome all reservations when seeking friendship from another person.
“Probe 7, Over and Out” provides commentary on both the Cold War and the human condition. Nevertheless, this insightful episode is hampered by copious exposition, derivative subject matter, and an occasional lack of subtlety.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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