|Season 1, Episode 24|
|Air date||March 9, 1964|
|Written by||William Bast (teleplay)|
Lou Morheim and Joseph Stefano (story)
|Directed by||Robert Florey|
"Moonstone" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on March 9, 1964, during the first season.
In Man's conquest of space, his own moon must be the first to surrender. From there he will step his way across the heavens to the edge of infinity. Each step will be as uncertain as the last, yet each will bring him closer to ultimate truth. Lunar Expedition One: Here a handful of brave scientists and technicians pave the way to the future. Their mission: to collect information that will eventually enable Man to inhabit the Moon; to use the Moon as a springboard to the stars. Once during each twenty-four-hour period, a force of three, commanded by General Lee Stocker and including Lieutenant Travers and Major Clint Anderson, makes its slow, uncharted way across the lunar surface, a surface whose depths and desires are, as yet, unprobed…
Scientists and researchers in a base on the Moon discover living creatures, encased in a seamless, perfectly round orb, which proves to be the repository of a benevolent alien intelligence that is fleeing tyranny in its own system. The beings inform the startled scientists that they are the five greatest minds in the universe, having escaped their home planet, Grippia, located in the constellation Xenes, to prevent their advanced knowledge from being used to conquer the galaxy. They had landed on the Moon due to a lack of sustainable energy, with our sun being too weak to provide them with enough power to continue their flight.
The scientists offer the aliens sanctuary while they attempt to re-energize; and, in exchange, they begin to record their combined wisdom on the base's computers to preserve it before they are captured. When the Tyrants arrive in pursuit, the researchers have to decide how much they should risk in the gathering of knowledge. The Grippians convince the scientists to release them to the Tyrants to prevent their imminent destruction, following the death of one of the researchers when trying to defend them. This act of compassion and sacrifice, in the face of almost certain death, is demonstrated as the Grippians self-destruct before allowing to be taken aboard the Tyrants craft, thus denying them the knowledge that they were so desperately seeking.
The steps Man takes across the heavens of his universe are as uncertain as those steps he takes across the rooms of his own life. And yet if he walks with an open mind, those steps must lead him eventually to that most perfect of all destinations, truth.
- Ruth Roman – as Prof. Diana Brice
- Tim O'Connor – as Major Clint Anderson
- Alex Nicol – as General Lee Stocker
- Curt Conway – as Dr. Philip Mendl
- Hari Rhodes – as Lt. Ernie Travers
- Vic Perrin – as the voice of the Scanner Unit (uncredited)
- Ben Wright – as the voice of the Grippians (uncredited)
Cinematography - John M. Nickolaus