Friday, March 25, 2011


The Outer Limits = Star Trek

Stories get recycled in showbiz, which is a nice way of saying they get bought, borrowed or stolen. At any rate, they emerge many times. I just watched an old episode from The Outer Limits TV series from 1964 called “Keeper of the Purple Twilight,” which serves as an example.

The story is about a brilliant scientist, Eric Plummer, who is visited by an alien named Ikar. Ikar comes from a society dedicated to efficient production through logic, without any emotional influence. Sound familiar, Star Trek fans? Early Vulcan, perhaps?

Ikar stays on Earth to manipulate humans, particularly Dr. Plummer and his girl friend. It seems his planet suffers from over population and they need to take over another sphere, so Earth looks good to him. He wants to experience human emotion and that, of course, becomes a problem, especially where a woman is involved. He just can’t get this “love” thing.

There’s more to the Star Trek connection. Dr. Plummer is played by Warren Stevens, who a few years later appeared on Star Trek as the Kelvan named Rojan in the episode “By Any Other Name.” The Kelvans, it seems, are from a doomed planet and are looking for another home. Earth will do just fine, thank you. Oh, Kelvans have no emotions. Hmmmm. Well, because they have to hang around with Earthlings for awhile, that emotion stuff starts to rub off on them and they are just as doomed as an Enterprise security officer (they always get zapped).

Here’s another connection. In the credits for “Keeper of the Purple Twilight,” I spotted the name Robert H. Justman, Assistant Director. I recognized the name. He was an Associate Producer for several Star Trek episodes. 

Television eats up material, so it’s no wonder that ideas get regenerated over and over. In this case, Robert Justman and Warren Stevens boldly went from The Outer Limits to Star Trek and took some of their luggage with them. It’s a big universe, but a small world.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Fellow Baby Boomer

New England College, my alma mater, is a Baby Boomer.

In Henniker, New Hampshire, NEC began in 1946. Like me and a lot of Baby Boomers, it had its ups and downs before finding itself. Started as a college for WWII vets, it was primarily an Engineering school. Soon, however, it admitted women and developed an Education curriculum. By the mid-sixties, it seemed to be flourishing, with new dorms, a gym, and a library being built and a broad Liberal Arts curriculum developed.

However, there was turmoil in America in 1973, when you-know-who was president and got into hot water and had to resign. So too, NEC had its own scandal. Its president resigned before the scandal hit. It seems the school was near bankruptcy and he rode off out of town. One day, we (employees of the college) couldn’t cash our paychecks. No bank would honor them. 

The school managed to survive, however, and rebuild itself.

The center of town holds a small commercial center and a river runs through it, the Contoocook. The original college building plan was followed, effectively moving the campus to the south side of the Contoocook.  A new state highway was built, improving Rte. 202 for better travel from Henniker to the west. A rebirth was underway.

This was at about the same time I that I got my life together. I finished my degree requirements in 1973 after dropping out in 1967, married in 1975, earned a Master’s degree in 1977, started my family in 1978 and bought our first home that year. We got it now. You and me, NEC.

New England College has a beautiful campus and has expanded its facilities. I can count three family members as graduates (brother Don 1962, me 1973 and niece Monica 1999). I am happily retired while NEC continues to educate young men and women, preparing them for their adult lives. Way to go, you Baby Boomer, you.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?