Original image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Originally aired: 26 November 1950
[Another version of this story aired 2 August 1951]
This story was remade by X Minus One, and I have reviewed this version here.
Rating: * * * *
Author: Frank M. Robinson
Originally aired: 23 August 1951
Plot synopsis: A private detective is hired by the city mayor to investigate the authenticity of a supposed elixir of life, but his inquiries uncover some surprising revelations about the miraculous potion's origins and the man offering to supply it. Based on a short story first published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine, in September 1951.
Favourite line: 'The look on her face said she was feeding me to the vultures, piece by piece.'
Review: Presented in the style of a hardboiled detective story, this episode is moderately entertaining, though it never becomes all that exciting or compelling. It's a solid story, with a sufficient number of twists and turns to keep the plot ticking over, without ever presenting any truly clever or novel ideas. The characters, too, are not especially memorable, with the protagonist being straight out of central casting: he's a standard-issue, hard-bitten private detective of the sort found in a thousand other stories. The mixing of genres - science fiction and detective fiction - is probably the episode's most interesting aspect. However, even this is not entirely original; see also, for example, the episode The Embassy. The episode's resolution is also decidedly middling: it's fine, but there's nothing to it that most modern science fictions fans won't have encountered (many times) before.
Rating: * * *