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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
Look Who's Coming
Plot:
When a paranoid wife claims that the television series she watches about an alien threat of world invasion is true, it puts additional pressure on her already strained relationship with her middle-aged husband.
Episode:
0987
Air Dates:
First Run - June 11, 1979
Repeat - October 26, 1979
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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9 Responses to Episode 0987


"Voices of Death" had a guy hearing things from his radio. "Frontiers of fear" had Jerry Stiller communicating with his typewriter. This show has Teri Keane (again, in another fine performance) receiving messages from space on her television set. She and Joe Silver play a middle-aged married couple whose marriage is on shaky ground. No one's been cheating on the other, but their interests have drifted apart. He likes scifi tv shows, which she hates. She relentlessly follows her soap operas. While alone at their home waiting for "Five in the family" her television starts getting transmissions from an alien couple who warn of an "Independence day" style invasion from a giant mothership. (I somehow get the feeling this one was inspired more by "Close encounters of the third kind", its contemporary of a year or two earlier.) They say they are transmitting at their own peril, and say the only chance earth people have against the aliens is if they don't fight back. Keane uneasily brushes off the first such encounter as a network glitch of some sort, but on further ones becomes unnerved to the point of near-hysteria. Silver and Earl Hammond (as the psychiatrist husband of Keane's character's best friend) do good work as well, as does Keane's best friend (the ending's clipped so I didn't get the actress' name), all three mundanely to cheerfully going on with their everyday lives oblivious to the (apparent) intruders headed their planet's way... First time I ever heard E.G. Marshall do his outro on the third act without a music bed. A different type of ending for this one.

A housewife addicted to soap operas can't understand her husband's fascination with sci-fi TV shows, and is particularly agitated when her television begins broadcasting a warning about an alien invasion fleet on its way to Earth.

1. This episode, one of the "no one sees it but me" plotlines present in a few other RMT shows, seems to waver between some type of soap opera (partially told in the first person) and "Independence day". 2. There's something that happens in the third act of this episode I can't remember ever hearing in any other RMT. 3. Strange thing...this almost sounds like Ian Martin (the scriptwriter, who penned some dandies) was influenced a bit by Elspeth Eric on this one. It verges between slightly annoying to creepy.

I must say I appreciate the fully audible encode, even though it's still one of the weaker-sounding episodes I've heard--rather slow and warbly. This story was entertaining and, at least for a while, unpredictable. I'd thought it was heading into a straightforward middle-aged marriage crisis plot, but instead it became a "message from space" piece. Fairly amusing, though as science fiction, as usual with the RMT, it leaves a lot to be desired. (The aliens themselves are unbelievably stupid; if you want to warn heads of state etc., why not pop up on *their* TVs?)

yeah, i thought the alien characters were pretty lame. why do writers/producers/directors of that era always make aliens seem like completely uptight, right wing pieces of lumber? even in the old 50's and 60's sci-fi movies, it's the same thing. kinda cracks me up. i found this tale to be somewhat endearing. i felt bad for the lonesome wife. the show drew on my emotions and made contact, which is what works for me. it was a bit on the corny side, but it lured me in just enough to keep me listening. i give it a solid 4.0 rating. just curious, anyone here fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K)? it was probably one of the funniest, most original sci-fi programs to air. it's out in collectors format on DVD (usually 4 or 5 episodes per volume), and i have two of them now. unbelievably fun! if you're not familiar with MST3K, it's a program where three cornball characters are forced to view really bad movies and they just sit there and make fun of the film. some of the stuff they say is just pure comic genius. anyhow... back to it. thanks for the pitch Kurt, i enjoyed this tale quite a bit!

Yeah, I wondered how effective that episode could have been if the aliens (Hammond/Keane) had been a little bit scarier (like the ending of the play) and a little less hokey.

What is the "something that happens in the third act" that you referred to in the first post?

No music "outro" is present. It enhanced, IMO, the true danger/desperation of the situation Keane's and Silver's (and the world's) characters found themselves in, and gave gravitas (a little John Kerry campaign lingo, there) the E.G.'s words when he seemed to wonder if our real planet might ever get invaded. Again, it stood in counterbalance to the tinny performances of Keane and Hammond as the aliens. Then again, that may have been intentional...and, (again, IMO) their performances seemed to get a bit more serious-sounding as the program unfolded. (I thought it was effective as Hammond's voice delivered the plea, then trailed off amidst the noise of the "Five in the family" music and background sounds.) Scratch that...I'm guessing this hokiness-to-seriousness transformation was very much by design.

I just have been listening to this again (hadn't for awhile)...I do swear that Ian Martin (and this episode's producer) were taking "Elspeth Eric" lessons, from the psychology talk (well-done, IMO) all the way to the flute background music while Teri Keane's character is describing her marriage. But this one had a twist...an increasing crescendo from psychobabble to the possibility of "armageddon" at the end of the episode, underscored by the sound of the third act stopping completely, followed by E.G.'s outro. I also liked, though, what seemed to be the main lesson of this episode: putting things in perspective. The stuff we think is terrible and devastating: the soap opera travails, Greenhouse's son being "on strike" (I loved her so-1970s phrasing: "Big peace pipe has been smoked.") at his school, even Keane and Silver's marital issues...all paled next to what they were about to face. And I think that was the main "lesson" of this show.

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