posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 06:05 AM
For those who don't have the time nor inclination to watch the entire episode, I can provide a brief summation.
In "The Architects of Fear," Mankind is on the brink of self-annihilation — as stated in the first few minutes of the episode, this is due
to the proliferation of nuclear weaponry among a number of rogue nations. In a covert effort to "save" humankind, The Powers That Be decide
to invent a "common enemy" to frighten all nations of the Earth into global unity.
Apparently, nuclear holocaust isn't frightening enough.
Although the particulars of the Science involved are not elucidated, this manmade ultimate horror is concocted through genetic and
surgical modification of a human volunteer into an especially hideous extraterrestrial invader — a "Thetan". The plan is that this
creature will make a sensationalized arrival in New York City, scare the bejeezus out of the population, then proceed to the United Nations to scare
the bejeezus out of the General Council.
That's the plan, anyway.
The bulk of the episode is devoted to the excruciating surgical and biochemical transformation of the human volunteer (Robert Culp) into his Thetan
alter-ego. As the volunteer becomes increasingly grotesque in appearance and less human in behavior, it becomes obvious that something is
wrong with the metamorphosis... The volunteer still has the human capacity to LOVE, and his efforts to contact his wife nearly destroy the
secrecy of the whole project.
Finally, when the Thetan biological transformation is complete, the creature is loaded into a mock spaceship which is somehow secretly
launched into Earth orbit. It then makes re-entry, triggering radar detection alarms all over the planet and sending the world into panic. However,
rather than landing in New York City, as was planned, the spacecraft changes course and lands in a remote area near its secret point of origin — it
seems that the Thetan's lingering humanity caused it to commit an act of free will, aborting the hoax mission altogether.
Unfortunately, a group of hunters witness the landing and shoot the monster; he survives just long enough to seek out his wife once more and
gesture "I Love You" to her.
I agree, the ending could have been more meaningful, or more emphasis should have been placed on the creature's last act of free will, which
was the antithesis of its covert mission — that being to frighten all Mankind into abandoning its free will.
"The Architects of Fear" was a truly visionary story, even by today's standards, and Robert Culp's portrayal of the human/monster volunteer
was inspired. This is one sci-fi story I wouldn't mind seeing remade and updated with convincing FX, as long as the story line wasn't
mutilated to the same degree as the lead character.
— Doc Velocity
[edit on 3/26/2010 by Doc Velocity]