THE MAN FROM THE 25TH CENTURY
The Man from the 25th Century was a short presentation made to promote a new idea for a television show in 1968. The presentation was made at the same time as the first season of Land of the Giants and shortly after the end of The Time Tunnel in which James Darren starred.
James Darren - Tomo/Robert Prentice (Earth name)
John Napier - Karl Baldwin
Ford Rainey - General George Atwood
John Crawford - Bonti
Patrick Culliton - Visitor to Project Delphi
On a blue alien planet, a man (Darren) stands in an arena, watched by 5 alien beings. They are testing the man's mental and physical abilities. They ask him what his Earth name is, and he gives the name Robert Prentice. His Earth identity is that of a man 27 years old, born in 1951. Raised in Kansas, he was taken from that world as a child and teleported to the blue planet to be trained for a mission. The aliens test whether he is physically conditioned for anything he might meet on Earth and he passes the test. They test his abilities with telekinesis, and he fails to achieve results quickly enough. Bonti (Crawford) terminates the alien who had been training him.
Tomo challenges Bonti (the supreme command) and Bonti sees his compassion as implying that there are still traces of his humanoid emotion. The aliens realise they have no more time, and they tell him has to return to Earth. As they are 500 years ahead of Earth, his mission to destroy the Earth's Project Delphi is vital. If anyone hinders him, they must be destroyed!
Tomo is transported to Earth by a flying saucer. On landing Tomo (now Prentice) drives a car out of the space ship. Bonti speaks to Tomo as he drives and tells him to avoid all but necessary human contact.
As he drives along the shore line, he hears a voice from the car radio from Project Delphi. He is told that for security reasons, he must let go of the steering wheel and that they are now controlling his car. Prentice does this cautiously and the car is directed toward a cliff face, which opens just in time, and leads into a large tunnel.
Prentice finds himself in the Project Delphi complex and a voice welcomes him and tells him that the orientation group is ready and waiting. General George Atwood (Ford Rainey) instructs the visitors to the complex of the purpose of the project and takes them on a tour.
General Atwood tells the orientation group that they are about to become part of Earth's most vital first line of defence, the Radial Umbrella which will shield Earth from attacks from outer space. He takes them through Blue level 3, and indicates that from this point the project descends more than mile down toward the center of the Earth. Each level is colour coded with increased level of strategic importance.
The General shows them the core, the deepest level of the project. A hyper-atomic furnace. He warns that if its nuclear power ceased for even a moment, the entire complex could be destroyed.
Prentice breaks away from the group and as he wonders towards the control room, he is stopped by a guard. Using his super human strength, he nearly kills the guard, but his inner human "weakness" somehow stops him and he puts the guard down on the ground.
As he enters the control room Prentice is greeted by two engineers and fights them, throwing them against the electrical panels and sparks fly. Prentice pulls computer chords and plants a device on one of the panels, but is stopped by Karl Baldwin (Napier) and the security team.
The aliens are watching and Bonti says that Tomo cannot be allowed to survive as he holds too much information. He commands that Prentice must be destroyed.
Baldwin struggles to get anything out of Prentice. The General checks in and a signal comes in from lab 3, that a space vehicle is bearing straight in at 11,000 miles and approaching Earth's atmosphere. Baldwin tells them to activate Radial Umbrella.
An alien craft gets through and demonstrates its power by destroying a building. An angry Baldwin, drags Prentice from his seat and asks him who are the cruel children? Prentice can't believe that this destruction could have been intentional. Why would the aliens destroy innocent people? Prentice warns that they will reverse the polarity and the complex will implode in seconds!
Baldwin tells him that is all up to him now. Can he stop it? Prentice uses his control device to somehow reverse the energy and the alien craft explodes.
The room goes dark, they don't know what's happening. Suddenly, everyone else disappears and Prentice finds himself alone.
Bonti speaks to Prentice through the monitors on the wall. Bonti tells him that what he has learned from them is but a minute particle of their infinite knowledge. Prentice has betrayed them. "Now you will see the instrument of your destruction".
An indestructable version of Prentice appears, a double that cannot think, relate or feel which is why it wasn't originally sent instead of the real Prentice. Prentice's double attacks him, but somehow, Prentice throws him against the controls and the double is destroyed.
The complex staff reappear and ask him what happened. Is it really over they ask. Prentice replies that it is not over, and warns "I'm afraid it's just beginning".
- The Jupiter II and clips from Lost in Space are used on Prentice's return to 20th Century Earth
- In the Project Delphi complex they are wearing Tic Toc radiation badges
- The atomic core control room is actually the Jupiter II main door, although the interior is dressed up differently
- You will recognize many of the computer tape drives, control panels and other set pieces from The Time Tunnel complex
- The script is very different with Prentice escaping from Project Delphi and meeting a new character, a girl called Mary Sue
- You can enjoy this short feature which appears as one of the extras on the DVD for The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen