|The Children of Spider County|
|Season 1, Episode 21|
|Air date||February 17, 1964|
|Written by||Anthony Lawrence|
|Directed by||Kenneth Peach|
The Bellero Shield
The Children of Spider County is the 21st episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It aired on February 17, 1964, during the first season.
"In light of today's growing anxieties, it has become more absolute that the wealth of a nation consists in the number of superior men that it harbors. It is therefore a matter of deep concern, and deeper consequence, when four of the most magnificent and promising young minds in the country suddenly disappear off the face of the Earth..."
A group of four young prodigies has mysteriously vanished, now all influential figures, and it is noted that they all hailed from the same remote area, Spider County, and that they share the same middle name of Eros, an obscure planet in the Krell galaxy orbiting the Orion constellation. A government agent is sent to investigate the one young prodigy, Ethan Wechsler, who is still in Spider County, having been incarcerated and accused of murdering a young girl's suitor after he telepathically "overhears" an ill-mannered remark made towards her, and following a physical altercation between them where the suitor was killed by Ethan as an act of self-defense. Because of his unique abilities and loner attitude, Ethan is ostracized by the citizens of Spider County, thus compelling his "father", an Erosian called Aabel, to rescue him from his human captors and return him to Eros, together with his fellow prodigies, where they can be honored and revered for their special gifts, and not feared and despised.
Following numerous attempts at escape and recapture, Ethan is finally reunited with his "brothers", professes his love for the young girl, Anna Bishop, and his refusal to return with his father to Eros, having enjoyed his life on Earth despite encountering prejudice and mistrust throughout the years. The father reluctantly agrees to his son's wishes and, after Ethan convinces his brothers to remain on Earth with him, the alien patriarch departs for his homeworld in Orion without the passengers he had expected would have, unconditionally, accompanied him.
"The wealth of a nation, of a world, consists in the number of superior men that it harbors, and often it seems that these men are too different, too dreaming. And often, because they are driven by powers and dreams strange to us, they are driven away by us. But are they really so different? Are they not, after all, held by the same things that hold us-by strong love, and soft hands?"
- Lee Kinsolving – as Ethan Wechsler
- Kent Smith – as Aabel
- Dabbs Greer as Mr. Bishop
- Bennye Gatteys as Anna Bishop
- John Milford – as John Bartlett
- Crahan Denton – as Sheriff Simon Stakefield
- Joey Tata – as Deputy
- Robert Osterloh – as General
- Burt Douglas as Man
- Roy Engel – as Military Intelligence Officer (uncredited)
- Joseph V. Perry – as Mr.Greenbane (uncredited)
- William O. Douglas Jr. – as Aabel in his Alien form (uncredited)
- Cinematographer - Kenneth Peach