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The Thing from Another World (1951)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2022 4:34 pm    Post subject: The Thing from Another World (1951) Reply with quote



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Thinking Outside the "Plot"!
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~ A Question for the Members: With the whole world now alerted to the fact that a hideous and hostile alien race sent an invader to turn mankind into it's own food supply, would America and her allies band together to develop a fleet of spacecraft to launch a counter attack?

~ My Theory: We damn well better! The lone invader almost established beachhead on Earth, despite the fact that it's a "vegetable creature" struggling to survive at the North Pole while using sled dogs and human beings to nurture a growing crop of lethal offspring!

If one creature at the North Pole could do that, imagine what a hundred of them could do if they landed in Oklahoma and slaughter all the citizens of a small town! Shocked



]


(I just tossed this out to encourage a discussion. I hope I get one.) Confused
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2023 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Thinking Outside the "Plot"!
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Well, heck . . . it only took me 66 years to realize that The Thing from Another World has several common assumptions which simply fall apart the minute one looks at them closely! Shocked

These are assumptions, not plot elements that were stated in the film, and as such they can be challenged without casting a single dispersion on this fine movie. It's not the film's fault that most people never stopped to wonder if their initial interpretation of the story was correct or not.

Amazingly enough, all the more likely interpretations of the plot elements described below are WAY more interesting than the simple (and obviously erroneous) ones.

Here's what I mean. Very Happy
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~ Common Assumption 1# - The alien came from Mars.

None of us smart guys here ever assumed this of course, but John Q. Public took it for granted the minute Scotty said, "A man from Mars! Holy Cow!"

But if the alien didn't come from Mars, then where is he from? Certainly not from a planet in our solar system.

Actually, we don't have to look any farther than Alpha Centauri B, where astronomers have found a rocky Earth-sized planet which they named Alpha Centauri Bd. It's just four light years away, as the crow flies. Practically spittin' distance!

But how did the alien ship get here. Did it have hyperdrive?

Nope, it didn't need it. Let's assume that the ship got a tremendous boost from a launch system when it left Alpha Centauri B, and it tore off towards Earth at a healthy 1% the speed of light. Since Alpha Centauri is 4 years away at the speed of light, the journey would take 400 (. . . ish) years, along with a few years for deceleration as well.

~ Common Assumption 2# - There was only one alien in the crashed saucer.

Nope. There were 10 ( . . . ish). Yes, I know, the ship was little, but that's okay because (Drum roll, please! Very Happy) they were all in suspended animation!

And these clever aliens didn't have to waste a dime on complex cryogenic equipment, either. They just put nine of the ten crewmen in a tank barely large enough to hold them all, and then . . . they topped it off with water . . . and didn't bother to heat it!

Yep. They just exposed the interior of the ship to the vacuum of space, and the water in the sealed tank froze solid. After all, we know for a fact that these aliens can sleep like little lambs in a block of ice! So, freezing them for 400 years would be as easy as tossing bag of Bird's Eye peas into your freezer!



Remember, the original story states that the alien had been frozen in the Antarctic ice for eons, but once it thawed out it was all set to convert every living being on Earth into close cousins, whether they wanted to be part of the family or not!

Meanwhile, the tenth alien is the designated driver when the ship reaches Earth, so he's put into a separate tank equipped with a timer, set to go off in 400 years so that when the ship reaches the Sol system he gets a wake up call and a warm bath, while the cabin is being pressurized and heated up, just for him!

Presto! Captain James T. Karrot of the starship Eggplant, on final approach to Earth!

His mission: to seek out one world and one civilization! To boldly go where no mango has gone before! Laughing

~ Common Assumption 3# - Only one ship came from the alien world.

Golly, I've always thought it would be mighty dumb for the aliens to invade Earth with just one ship and one lone pilot! But I realized today that neither of those assumptions are logical.

I think the Alpha Centaurians sent 10 ( . . . ish) ships, a meager fleet of those small spacecraft to be sure, but certainly better than just one! And since each ship has 10 aliens in those very inexpensive cryogenic chambers, that means there are 100 invading aliens!

But what happened to the other nine ships?

Well, during a 400-year journey across 4 light years, plenty of bad luck can occur. Hitting any little pebble in space at 1% the speed of light would cause a lot more damage than just a cosmic fender-bender!

Or the wake-up timers might not have worked on a few of the ships, so they just sailed on past Sol and kept right on going.

Plus we know that the ships were nuclear powered (hence the radiation the alien emitted all through the movie), so one-or-more of the ships' atomic engines might have melted down and fried the crew like battered squash in a hot frying pan! Shocked

The aliens' invasion plan, of course, was for Captain Karrot and his colleagues to pilot the fleet into low Earth orbit and then start surveying the surface, shopping for real estate that had warm, sunny weather and fertile soil.

Of course, the only thing the Alph Centaurians knew about Earth was just what we know about Alpha Centauri Bd — that it's a planet the right size and distance from the sun to support life.

In view of that, just imagine how pleased the alien captains would have been when they looked down and saw places like Kansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma (where the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet when the wind comes right behind the rain! Very Happy)



Yes, indeed! This was an invasion of agriculturally-minded space explorers — an army of Agri-nauts one might say — whose motto was (in Latin):

Veni, vidi, coluerunt!

"We came, we saw, we cultivated!"

On the planet below them they could see miles and miles of incredibly fertile fields, all tilled and ready for the corn and wheat and alfalfa to be plowed under and replaced by a huge bumper crop of Alien Baby Plants, fed by the nutrients obtained from countless cows, chickens, pigs, and red-blooded farmers who would be forced to show the aliens how to drive the tractors before they where hung upside down in the barn with their throats cut . . . like the rest of their families! Shocked



Unfortunately for poor Captain Karrot, when he woke up from his 400-year nap he found himself all alone in space. The rest of his fleet was MIA, for reasons unknown! Sad

And to make matters worse, his own starship was limping along on an engine that wasn't hitting on all eight atomic cylinders!

Desperately he tried to find a landing place that was remote enough to hide in, but still fertile enough for him and his still hibernating popsicle crew to start a small farm and raise a little family which included a few hundred blood-thirsty alien children to help him conquer the Earth!

Ah yes, Captain Karrot did his heroic best, but he overshot his intended landing area — Alaska (which is listed as one the ten most fertile states in the U.S.), and he crash-landed near the North Pole.

Bummer . . .



That would have been all she wrote for poor Captain Karrot, but he had one last bit of luck when he was rescued by the folks in the movie and given one last chance to turn all the scientists, GI's, Eskimos, and sled dogs into Gerber's Baby Food and salvage the ambitious invasion plans of his intelligent race.

But, as we all know, the clever humans proved conclusively that a group of America's best military men, teamed up with the finest scientific minds on the planet, were capable of barely defeating one lone, desperate alien in a last ditch effort which — if it had failed — would have meant the end of mankind.

Gee, when you put it that way, we didn't do all that great, did we? Shocked

Like Scotty said, we need to watch the skies, everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies.



_________________
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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