Way to the Moon
The Time Tunnel
A pure analysis of Destination Moon (incorporated) in a refueling stop for a Mars Excursion Module, exacerbating the relation to 2001: A Space Odyssey (and Countdown) for what is basically a sabotage attempt by the adverse party, as Pol would say.
This is a theme previously stated aboard the Titanic in “Rendezvous with Yesterday” as its other version, Phillips and Newman two bedraggling agents of the competition.
The opening is extraordinary. Briggs is playing billiards. The assignment is given face to face. A friend’s daughter has been kidnapped, she must be returned by liberating a stool pigeon from police custody. Briggs is seated at his desk, still wearing his coat and tie. He takes the Impossible Missions Force dossier from a briefcase in one of the drawers. He has already poured a drink.
The henchman sweats when he places the call, but nevertheless would have no compunction about killing the girl if she weren’t needed. Walter Scharf gives her a little theme.
The teleplay by William Read Woodfield & Allan Balter forces upon Harris a Hitchcockian attention to detail, and as brilliant as it is, only serves as a succession of images representing the mob witness. From the standpoint of police protection, he is the accused struck down and clinging to life in an oxygen tent, from that of his boss a mere dummy in a phone booth blasted with shotgun shells, finally a bloodied corpse rising to testify before the grand jury.
A rather Confucian episode, the leaves of Robin Masters’ new novel Transitions spilling over a seaside cliff and all, purloined by an ambitious lady who writes in the style and for that reason is rejected.
All she has to do is kill Masters, whom she takes to be Higgins, as Magnum figures it.
The estate’s bookkeeper is a finagler in on the arrangement. Luther Gillis the St. Louis private dick cracks the case as well, repining over the loss of his secretary Blanche to the siren call of marriage.
It’s Pulitzer Prize stuff, says Higgins, and provides several sections of the teleplay by Chris Abbott.