|The Bellero Shield|
|Season 1, Episode 20|
|Air date||February 10, 1964|
|Written by|| Joseph Stefano (teleplay & story)|
Lou Morheim (story)
Based on a story by Arthur Leo Zagat
|Directed by||John Brahm|
The Children of Spider County
"There is a passion in the human heart which is called aspiration. It flares with the noble flame, and by its light Man has traveled from the caves of darkness to the darkness of outer space. But when this passion becomes lust, when its flame is fanned by greed and private hunger, then aspiration becomes ambition-by which sin the angels fell."
A scientist, Richard Bellero, builds a powerful laser device that he shoots into the sky from a laboratory on the top floor of his home. The invention, though, is not practical enough to satisfy his demanding father Richard Sr. He views his son as a failure and has made plans to hand control of the Bellero company to someone outside the family, to the great chagrin of Richard's ruthlessly ambitious wife Judith.
One night after Richard has left the lab, a peaceful bioluminescent extraterrestrial from a world which "hovers just above the ceiling of your universe" rides the laser down to Earth. Judith tries to shoot the alien with a laser gun, but he protects himself by using a small device in his hand that instantly raises a powerful shield around him. Recognizing that this technology would bring her husband great acclaim and fortune, Judith gets Richard to leave the house by persuading him to go fetch his father. She then tries and coax the alien into giving her his shield's control device, to which he disagrees, fearing his technology would fall in the wrong hands. Judith therefore tricks him into lowering his shield and shoots him, stealing his shield control device. She and her maid Mrs. Dame secretly drag the apparently dead alien's body to the cellar.
During a demonstration in front of Richard and his father, who don't know that the alien has been shot, Judith raises the shield but, being unable to take it down, becomes trapped inside it. Mrs. Dame, desperate to save Judith from death by asphyxiation, goes to the cellar and is startled to find the alien still alive but very weak. The maid begs him "Can you help?" The alien replies, "Can I not?" Just before dying, the alien lowers the shield by using his own glowing blood, the substance that powers the control device. Despite her being rescued, however, Judith insists that she is still trapped by the shield—the imagined shield, perhaps, of her own guilt over killing an alien that thought only of helping her. As the episode ends, she places her hands helplessly on the "shield" that is no longer there. On one hand is a spot: a glowing drop of the murdered alien's blood that presumably will stain her palm forever.
"When this passion called aspiration becomes lust, then aspiration degenerates, becomes vulgar ambition, by which sin the angels fell."
It has become a cottage industry in UFO debunking circles to suggest that Betty and Barney Hill's alleged Alien Abduction was inspired in the case of Barney Hill by his recent viewing of this episode.
- Martin Landau - Richard Bellero
- Sally Kellerman - Judith
- Chita Rivera - Mrs. Dame
- John Hoyt - Bifrost Alien
- Neil Hamilton - Richard Bellero, Sr.
- Cinematographer - Conrad Hall
- Richard Bellero, Sr. to Mrs. Dame - "Great men are forgiven their murderous wives!"