This one basically plays like Creature From the Black Lagoon (and maybe Revenge of the Creature) with some of The Lady From Shanghai thrown into the works. By the episode's end you're pretty much forced to side with the ancient reptilian critters, if for no other reason than that all (or most) of the humans seem rather repellent. There's no one to care for or be interested in here, all of which makes for a pretty flat and uninvolving hour.
Tourist Attraction is an episode that takes place in a fictional South American country and involves the recovery of a sea creature that was long believed only a legend. The American scientist/explorer wants to take the creature back to the US with him but the country's dictator wants to use the sea creature to give his regime creditability. An interesting scene takes place near the end of the episode where the sea creature is rescued by others of its own kind.
A bit far fetched at times and the acting is a bit wooden, to say the least. If you're watching the series, this is one episode you can skip over.
I'm a big fan of the original series because of the far-out concepts every episode. Even today, these shows stand up well because the science aspect is so far on the horizon that none of these concepts have been realized. This episode isn't so heavy on the sci-fi aspect. The writers wonder what if we found a long extinct sea creature that local legend believes is a God.
However, that plot line kind of takes a back seat to a study of characters. We have the wealthy, rugged individualist. We have his companion, a former magazine writer who is in love with him but frustrated that she can't break through to his humanity. We have a scientist who is competent but revealed to be a coward when under stress. And we have a corrupt socialist dictator, who pretends everything is for the people when in fact everything he does is to enhance his own reputation.
I found the ideological struggle between the dictator and the wealthy explorer to be the most fascinating part of the episode. The explorer is a self-made man with little patience for incompetence. The dictator is mostly interested in keeping the reptile for a huge tourist attraction he built that is failing miserably. Since the explorer is a man of few words, his silence at the questions by the dictator speak volumes. You can tell he despises the dictator for robbing his people of their individuality and vainly attempting to deliver them a socialist paradise like some kind of God. As this story comes to a climax some aspect seem kind of rushed. The underwater footage with the reptiles are entertaining. You can tell the producers went all out for these, but of course they can't help but look funny in a Godzilla kind of way. The special effects are exceptional for the early sixties, but they do show their age of course. That's one aspect of the show that makes it even more entertaining.
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