» » Tales of Tomorrow The Crystal Egg (1951–1953)

Short summary

A crystal egg reveals live tableaux of the planet Mars. A 19th Century scientist is obsessed with investigating the crystal, but the antique shop owner who came across the seemingly worthless glass hopes to sell it ASAP to a tall, insistent stranger, for whom no price is too dear. The delay while the scientist experiments on the egg makes the buyer even more desperate.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Bremar
    I'd forgotten this Wells story. It involves a man who becomes obsessed with a large crystal egg when he sees images that seem to be interplanetary when stared at. The plot revolves around an impatient stranger who wishes to buy the egg, but who hasn't enough money and must return. As the story unfolds, we may wonder why he feels the need to go away and come back later. The down side of this episode has to do with the terrible representation of the planet Mars. I mean, the view is a child's painting one might see on a wall. There's no movement or precision. The fact that he assumes it's Mars is a bit hard to swallow. Still, if his conclusion is true, it makes for a good tale of Wellsian science fiction. Read the story. It's much better than this.
  • comment
    • Author: Thetalune
    "Tales of Tomorrow" had two strikes against it. First, it aired on ABC--which, at the time, was a struggling second-tier network. Second, unlike most TV shows, it had a tough time keeping sponsors. Combined, both problems meant very, very low budgets for the show and sometimes it was painfully obvious. "The Crystal Egg" was set in England--and this created a problem due to the costs. So, the London streets are obviously painted and look a bit crummy--even by 1951 standards. But the worst problem was the darn organ music which made it sound like an old time radio program. Sometimes, this wasn't so bad, but in "The Crystal Egg" it was very annoying and distracted from the plot.

    As for the plot, it's a strange story from H.G. Wells. It seems that a certain curio shop has a crystal egg in the window and a customer is REALLY interested in buying it--so interested that the owners assume this cheap trinket is really quite valuable. So, instead of selling it, they stall the guy and have the professor (Thomas Mitchell) examine it. What its strange secret is and how it impacts on the professor is something you'll just have to see for yourself.

    The plot is original but also seems dated and silly. This, combined with the cheapness, undo what was otherwise a decent performance by Mitchell and a great paranoid ending. Not bad but it doesn't quite hit the mark.
  • comment
    • Author: Beazekelv
    Cambridge physics professor Thomas Mitchell (as Frederick Vaneck) is asked to examine a crystal for some London antique shopkeepers. The large egg-shaped object seems like nothing, at first sight. But later, Mr. Mitchell is entranced by the mysterious crystal, eventually seeing something he believes is the landscape of Mars. Eventually, Mitchell begins to see Martian life, neglects younger girlfriend Sally Gracie (as Georgette), and has trouble returning the egg to owner Edgar Stehli (as Charles Cave). After Mr. Stehli is killed and "The Crystal Egg" disappears, nobody will heed Mitchell's warning. It's sufficiently spooky, for the time.

    **** The Crystal Egg (10/12/51) Charles S. Dubin ~ Thomas Mitchell, Edgar Stehli, Josephine Brown, Sally Gracie
  • comment
    • Author: Cktiell
    This is the fourth episode I have watched from this Sci-Fi TV series, after FRANKENSTEIN (with a drunken Lon Chaney Jr. as the Creature!), Paul Newman's debut ICE FROM SPACE, and the Victor Jory-starring WORLD OF WATER. Having just gone through two distinct H.G. Wells adaptations – by the same director! – of "The Food Of The Gods", I opted to make this (based on an obscure story by that visionary author) my next venture. The compelling plot (which may have influenced Nigel Kneale's "Quatermass And The Pit", but also M.R. James' "A View From The Hill"!) revolves around the pursuit of an apparently ordinary egg-shaped crystal found in an antique shop, first by a mystery man insistent on acquiring it and, then, an ageing Professor (Thomas Mitchell) who obsesses over the crystal egg after he is asked by the current owner to evaluate it and, upon inspection, discovers a foreign landscape within…as well as a monstrous-looking inhabitant presumably serving as a watcher into our way of life! All in all, the film emerges as an exemplary piece of fantasy – with a subtle yet unmistakable, and certainly topical, "Red Scare" feel at its core.
  • Episode cast overview:
    Thomas Mitchell Thomas Mitchell - Professor Frederick Vaneck
    Edgar Stehli Edgar Stehli - Mr. Cave
    Josephine Brown Josephine Brown - Mrs. Cave
    Sally Gracie Sally Gracie - Georgette
    Gage Clarke Gage Clarke - Walker
    All rights reserved © 2017-2022