Ruth Roman, Alex Nicol, Tim O’Connor, Curt Conway, Hari Rhodes.
Astronauts on the moon discover a small sphere, containing living, alien creatures.
This is one of the few “Outer Limits” to be set on another planet, in this case, the moon. The scenes depicting the surface of the moon are quite good for the time. Ruth Roman (TV’s “The Long Hot Summer”) gives a smoldering performance, as the base commander’s girlfriend.
Near a moon base, astronauts find a basketball-size white sphere. Back inside the moon base, they discover the sphere contains small, plant like aliens.
Bad guy aliens from the sphere creature’s home planet show up. When the astronauts refuse to give them the smaller sphere, an astronaut is killed.
The Earth folk change their minds and decide to give up the small sphere. Outside on the lunar surface, the small sphere self – destructs.
Director Robert Florey’s, MOONSTONE, is an unusual tale of alien encounters.
Alex Nicol (“The Screaming Skull”) is a bit flat in the role of the base commander. It’s hard to work up much compassion for such a two-dimensional character.
Ruth Roman (“Day of the Animals”) as the commander’s girlfriend, brings an earthy sensuality to her role. A frequent guest star on 1960’s TV series, like “I Spy”, Roman’s mixture of passion and intelligence brings to mind Ava Gardner in her prime.
The Teleplay, by William Bast, (Story by Lou Morheim and Joseph Stefano), has a serious theme, concerning how much one is willing to sacrifice for the sake of others. This subject matter may have gone over the heads of the audience in it’s original broadcast, since twelve year olds were thought to be its primary viewers at the time.
The Special Photographic Effects were Designed and Created by Project Unlimited Inc., (Jim Danforth, Paul Le Baron, Ralph Rodine). Particularly good are shots of the large, enemy alien sphere, floating over the lunar landscape.
My favorite scene is when the large alien sphere, filled with bad guy aliens, floats across the lunar landscape towards the Moon Base. The simple, white sphere generates feelings of the mysteries of space, and brings to mind the monolith, from “2001”.
Art Director, Jack Poplin, does a fine job of conveying the lunar landscape. For it’s time, the lunar depictions are surprisingly accurate.
Director of Photography, John M. Nickolaus Jr., does solid and professional work here. He delivers great images of astronaut’s boots, in slow motion, walking on the grainy lunar surface.
The music is frequently tense and spooky. Production Executive, Dominic Frontiere, is the responsible party.
MOONSTONE should be fairly watchable for most Sci-Fi viewers. Fans of the television series, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” and “Peyton Place,” may enjoy seeing Tim O’Connor, who played prominent roles in both shows, as an astronaut with an old grudge against the commander.