"The Mice" is rarely singled out as a noteworthy OL episode, yet it has many distinctive qualities. The strangeness that we find in the best eps of this series is here in full force. A prisoner exchange between Earth and a little-known alien society allows a bizarre creature to arrive on this planet. This prisoner behaves in its own alien way and is creepy and fascinating to watch. There are a couple of suspensful scenes when the creature is on the loose and wreaks some havoc. In the cast are Michael Higgins, Diana Sands and Henry Silva: all very good actors who bring plenty of realism to their roles. It's especially interesting to watch the sympathetic connection between Sands and Silva. This episode does not waste Henry Silva (a wonderful performer) as "Tourist Attraction" does. He really carries the show and makes it a must-see for anyone who in interested in early 60s TV drama.
Chino Rivera is a prisoner who is given a chance to trade places with an alien from the planet Chromos. The creature arrives on Earth first, but will Chino keep his side of the deal? There is some suspicion also about the alien's true intentions.
There is a dynamic quality about Chino's behavior and a certain tension in his scenes with both of the main doctors. One is asked to wonder what can we believe--from humans as well as aliens. The prisoner tries to escape the lab. The creature (who the Chromos swear is not evil) kills a scientist on the grounds of the facility. The story is weak in a few places, however. When the alien is transported to the lab, it runs amok. The action suddenly shifts someplace else. Is it subdued? Also, we only hear about some of the action because the female doctor mentions it in conversation. Finally, at the end **spoiler alert** when efforts to transport Chino fail and the alien is summoned to return to Chromos, it enters the 'transporter', but we don't see it leave.
This is a good example of a problem the series had in general. The concept of swapping beings with an alien world is a good one to explore, maybe even the basis of a series. But it blunders around with serious inconsistencies. There is almost a total lack of security at the facility. And no one is going to let an alien being just wander around looking for trouble. Earth teenagers fill that niche during summer vacation. The "bear," while initially interesting to look at, eventually looks like a human jellyfish. Silly. Henry Silva is good and that's about the only acting one can recommend from an episode that falls very short of its potential.
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