Twelve O'Clock High

Season 1 Episode 26

Mutiny at Ten Thousand Feet

Aired Friday 9:30 PM Mar 26, 1965 on ABC

Episode Recap

Major Andy Towson, who is an exceptional pilot & squadron commander, cracks up after landing. He is a friend of General Savages having flown about same number of missions as Savage and has always been a rock. Towson's co-pilot Lieutenant Kemp suggests that as Savage's crew is rotating back home, Towson's crew should become the General's crew.

Phil Reese is being blackmailed by Kemp who knows that his real name is Phil Chapman and that while drunk he hit and killed a young child back home. Kemp wants Reese to support him to take over the plane and fly it to Switzerland.

Kemp distracts Lieutenant Patterson in the pharmacy and steals some uppers & downers from the base pharmacy and then says that they belong to Savage. General Stoneman assigns them to fly a mission to drop leaflets around Innsbruck.

After dropping the leaflets, the airplane has only two engines. General Savage is considering contacting the French underground for a landing spot, in case they can't make it home. Savage orders Kemp to tell the crew to dump all unnecessary items. Kemp takes this opportunity to tell the crew General Savage is cracking up. When the General give order to the crew, they ignore him and only respond to Kemp who orders them to Switzerland.

Savage gets the crew to back him by describing what will occur after the war. There will be an investigation and court-martial. He begins by pointing out none of them are doctors and not qualified to make mental health judgments in the eyes of a court-martial board. He gets to the truth about Kemp during this process of asking questions.

When the crew starts to doubt Kemp, Reese tells the crew how Kemp lied to them and has been planning this take over for days. Kemp reveals Reese is really Chapman wanted for drunk driving and killing a child. When this doesn't stop Reese from talking, Kemp shoots him.

Savage and Kemp fight over the gun Kemp uses to shoot Reese causing the plan to go into a tail spin. Knocking Kemp out, General Savage and another crew member regains control of the plan just short of tree top level. The General still hope to make it to England, but gives order to contact the underground just in case. The act ends with the plane flying over water that looks to be the English Channel.

The episode ends outside the Guard House. Kemp and Reese enter a car, both under arrest. Kemp has his hand cuffed behind his back, while Reese is not in cuff. Generals Stoneman and Savage discuss what might have been. Savage reflects on how he almost drew his gun, but by not doing so he feels he proved he's not like Towson. General Stoneman agrees and offers his apology.