Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"The Abominable Snowman" As First Interpreted By Filmmakers 1954 to 1967


The "Abominable Snowman" first appeared on movie screens in 1954, but its story goes back to the Pre-19th Century and the LEPCHA PEOPLE of Sikkim, India. This is a look at both their history and the first motion pictures from the United States, Japan. and the U.K. about the MEN-TEH.



Above is a photo taken during the 1870's of a group of Lepcha's.

The word "Lepcha" is considered an anglicized version of the Napalese word "Lepche" meaning "vile speakers", or "inarticulate speech". These people live in: Bhutan, a country located in the Eastern Himalayas, Darjeeling, an Indian State of West Bengal located in the lesser Himalayas, Tibet, located on the Himalayan Plateau, and the Mecha Zone, an area of Napal at the Himalayas. In 2011, the last time a count was attempted, the "Lepcha People", were estimated to be 80,316.

The "Lepcha" are followers of the "Tibetan Buddhist" faith. Who according to their legends worshiped a "Glacier Being" as their "God of the Hunt". The word for their God is either "Men-Teh", or "Yeti".

Going back to the 11th Century followers of the "Bon Religion", a variation of the "Tibetan Religion", once believed the blood of the "Mi Rgod (Wild Man)" had a sacred use in some ceremonies.

In 1832 "The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal", edited by James Prinsep, contained a report by naturalist and ethnologist Brian Houghton Hodgson's experiences in Northern Napal. He claimed that with his guides they spotted a "Tall Bipedal Creature Covered With Long Dark Hair". This was the first non Asian report of a Himalayan man creature.



Above Brian Houghton Hodgson,

One of the first reports of strange footprints in the snow came in 1899. It was mentioned in the work "Among the Himalayas" by British Explorer Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Austine Waddell. In that work, Waddell said he thought the footprints were those of a large bear, but his native guides said otherwise. They spoke of an apelike creature.



Above Lt. Colonel Laurence Austine Waddell

In the early 20th Century the reports of the creature became more frequent.

After the "1921 British Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition" returned to the U.K.. The expedition's leader, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Howard-Bury, standing second from left below, wrote a book about their experiences and seeing the creature. With all the expeditions up Mount Everest the 1921 British Expedition might have been overlooked to history. Except for the two words used by Howard-Bury to describe the creature they claimed to have seen: "ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN".



Greek photographer and geologist N.A. Tombazi, a member of the "Royal Geographical Society", was part of the 1925 "British Geological Expedition" to the Himalayan Plateau of Tibet. At 15,000 feet, on the "Zemu Glacier", Tombazi stated the expedition saw a creature about 200 feet from them. His words quoted by George Ogden Abell and Barry Singer in their 1981 work "Science and the Paranormal: Probing the Supernatural" are:
Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping occasionally to pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. It showed up dark against the snow, and as far as I could make out, wore no clothes.


Above a photo of the "Zemu Glacier". Which is located at the base of the "Kangchenjunga", the 3rd largest mountain in the world, in the Himalayan region of Sikkim. India.

Below is the 1937 photograph, by Frank S. Smythe, alleging to be the footprints of the "Yeti", This photo was first published in a 1952 issue of the magazine "Popular Science".



In 1948, while on holiday from the Royal Air Force. Peter Byrne reported seeing such foot prints in Northern Sikkim, India near the "Zemu Glacier".

In 1951 Sir Edmund Hillary and his guide Tenzig Norgay. While part of an group scaling Mount Everest reported finding footprints of the creature in the snow. Later, Hillary disclaimed reports of "Yeti's" as unreliable and Norgay stated the footprint was of a very large mountain ape.

Below is the photograph taken by Eric Shipton on that expedition.



Edmund Hillary, c. 1953, autograph removed.jpg

Above Sir Edmund Hillary and below Tenzing Norgay.



During the 1950's the search for, reports of sightings, and the idea of a living "Yeti", or "Abominable Snowman" reached a fever pitch. Which brings me to the:

SNOW CREATURE released in November 1954




Originally called "The Snow Creature", "Snow Creature" is the first motion picture made about the "Yeti".

The production was produced and directed by William Lee Wilder. The brother of producer and director William "Billy" Wilder. W. Lee Wilder started producing films in 1945 and directing a year later. Unlike his "A" List brother this Wilder was a low "B" film maker and director. His two motion pictures just prior to this production are both science fiction. The first is 1953's "Phantom from Space" and the second is 1954's "Killers from Space". The one movie actor Peter Graves wanted to really forget.

The story for "Snow Creature" was by Wilder's son Myles. Myles Wilder had written the screenplays for this picture and the two that proceeded it. However, unlike his father, he would become a very successful television writer during the 1960's and 1970's.

Paul Langton portrayed "Dr. Frank Parish". Langton started out in 1943 and was appearing both on television and in "B: movies starting in 1953. Among his film roles, Langton was the "Colonel" in the filmed version of Audie Muphy's biography, 1955's "To Hell and Back". He portrayed the brother of actor Grant Williams's "The Incredible Shrinking Man" in 1957 and "Lieutenant James Colder" in 1958's "It, the Terror from Beyond Space". The cult classic that is part of the basis for 1979's "Alien".




Leslie Denison portrayed "Peter Wells". English born Wells was a solid "B" actor known for the 1946 Cornel Wilde movie "The Bandit of Sherwood Forest" as "Allan-A-Dale", the Louis Hayward film "The Black Arrow" as "Sir William Catesby" and providing the voice for "Donald Duck" in the 1948 cartoon "Donald's Dream Voice".




Terui Shimada portrayed "Subra". Japanese born actor started in films in 1932, Over the years he appeared in 1934's "Charlie Chan's Courage", 1939's "Mr. Moto's Last Warning" starring Peter Lorre, 1949's "Tokyo Joe" starring Humphrey Bogart, 1954's "The Bridges At Toko-Ri" starring William Holden, 1957's "Battle Hymn" starring Rock Hudson, the same years "The Delicate Delinquent" starring Jerry Lewis and many television programs. He is probably best known to fans of  "James Bond" as "Mr. Osato", in the return of Sean Connery, in 1967's "You Only Live Twice".





William Philips was "Detective Lieutenant Dunbar". Philips was the voice of "Prince Charming" in Walt Disney's 1950 "Cinderella",  one of the Atomic War survivors in Arch Obler's 1951 "Five", one of the men first killed by the Martians in George Pal's 1953 "The War of the Worlds" and "Army Sergeant Baker" in 1953's "Invaders from Mars". Philips was also one of the men from Earth in 1953's 3-D "Cat-Women of the Moon".





Myles Wilder's screenplay is set in two distinct acts. That somebody wrote suggested a lift from both 1933's "King Kong", Act One, and 1954's "THEM!", Act Two.

The setting for "Act One" is an undisclosed country in the Himalaya mountains. In the picture all the Sherpa's are Los Angeles actors speaking their lines in fluent Japanese. The first act is full of stock footage, of the Sir Edmund Hillary original climb of Everest, with this films actors inserted and the black and white footage mismatched.

The story starts with a scientific expedition going in search of rare botanical plants in the unnamed country.



"Dr. Frank Parrish" is the botanist, "Peter Wells" is his photographer and their group includes the Sherpa guide "Subra" and his wife.





"Subra's" wife is taken by the "Snow Creature" of the title. but "Dr. Parrish" does not buy the idea that a "Yeti" took her or that they exist.



Above "Subra's" wife and the "Yeti". The low budget of this first "Abominable Snowman" film is obvious in the costume actor Lock Martin might be wearing. His name is not on the original cast listing and a debate exists, if he played the creature. For the matter the name of the actress portraying "Subra's" wife is not listed either.

Returning to the screenplay. "Dr. Parish" isn't interested in spending time looking for the guides wife, but continuing on his search for plants which is more vital to him. "Surbra" seizes all the expeditions firearms and takes control of the expedition with the other Sherpa's. "Dr. Parish" considers he's gone rogue and is now forced to go look for "Subra's" wife.

As his forced search continues, the evidence of the existence of a "Yeti" starts to change "Dr. Parrish's" mind. Finally, the group is attacked by the creature by throwing rocks at them.



The "Snow Creature" leaves and the expedition follows it to a cave.





Inside they see "Surba's" wife, a female creature and a child. The male "Yeti" appears to be protecting the guide's wife as part of its family.



"Surba" wants to shoot the male "Snow Creature", but by this point, "Dr. Parrish" is thinking of the value of keeping it alive. So he blocks the guide's shot, but the guide's wife is saved. As that action is going on the male "Yeti" causes a cave-in to block the expedition members getting closer to his family. However, it has an unforeseen effect by killing both the female "Yeti" and her child. The male is stunned from the rock slide and now "Dr. Parrish", can you think "King Kong" (?), decides to take the living male back to Los Angeles for study and place him on exhibit.

The setting for "Act Two" is Los Angeles. The "Snow Creature" is flown to the city, by a TWA passenger plane , product placement, as baggage, in a freezer case.



"Dr. Parrish" is first met by reporters and next runs into some problems with U.S. Customs. Not for bringing the creature to Los Angeles, but because "Wells" published a photograph of it in a newspaper. That photo is accompanied by an interview in which "Wells" calls the "Yeti" a "Man". This has stirred up some religious leaders and until an anthropologist can determine, if the "Snow Creature" is either a "man" or animal. It is decided to keep the "Yeti" in quarantine.

Of course the freezer was designed only to keep the creature temporarily confined until it reached "Dr. Parrish's" research center. It escapes and starts to roam the night time streets of Los Angeles.





The "Snow Creature" frightens a women as it walks the streets. It takes refuge first in a meat locker containing food and finally in the cool sewers of Los Angeles, can you think "THEM! (?).

Enter "Detective Lieutenant Dunbar" and with the help of  "Dr. Parrish" the police track down the "Yeti".






The Los Angeles Police Department now enters the sewer system for the climatic show down bringing a mesh net to capture the "Yeti" with.





Five Police Officers find the "Yeti" and get the mesh net over him. From within the net the "Snow Creature" starts to choke one of those five. Another officer shoots the creature once and it stops choking the man. There's a slight pause as they look at the wounded creature and then for no apparent reason. The man who used his gun before, shoots the "Yeti" three more times killing it. End of picture.

Legends of such creatures exist not just in the Himalaya regions. In India you will find "Mande Barung", in the Philippines it's "Amomongo", in Scottish Folklore there's "Am Fear Liath Mor",  Russia has "Menk", South America has "Mapinguari" and not to be outdone is the United States. Here you can find the "Fouke Monster", "Grassman", "Momo the Monster" and "Skunk Ape". While all of North America speaks of "Bigfoot".

The second motion picture to speak to the "Yeti" was from Japan.



"獣人雪男 Jin Jin Yuki Otoko" DIRECT TRANSLATION "BEAST-MAN YUKIO" AKA: "BEAST-MAN, SNOW-MAN" AKA: "MOUNTAIN SNOWMAN" released August 14, 1955


There is an American re-edit of this feature and I will speak too it later.

The original feature film came from Japan's "Toho Studios". The film was produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka. The head of the studio at the time and responsible for an entire list of classic Kaiju films during the Showa Era and going into the Hesei.

The motion picture was directed by Ishiro Honda. Who directed the anti-atomic bomb science fiction classic 1954's "Gojira. The website IMBd gives Honda credit, next, for stock footage scenes in "Gojira no gyakusho (Counter Attack of Godzilla aka: Godzilla Raids Again)". Ishiro Honda's actual second Kaiju film was this one.

Unlike 1954's "Snow Creature" with no credit for the costume. The great Eiji Tsuburaya created the "Mountain Snowman" costume. Tsuburaya was the main costume designer and special effects leader for Toho Studio's during the Showa Era. He created the look of their Kaiju starting with 1954's "Gojira". During World War 2 his propaganda work included creating a giant miniature of "Pearl Harbor" for "Hawai Mare oki kaisen (The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malaya)" in 1942. A great biography "Eiji Tsuburata Master of Monsters" by August Ragone is a must read.

The screenplay was by Takeo Murata and Shigeru Kayama. Who wrote the potent screenplay for 1954's "Gojira" along with Ishiro Honda. The original screenplay for this feature would get Toho Studios into trouble as I will relate.

The 1954 "Gojira" also influenced the cast of this film.

Akira Takarada  portrayed "Takeshi Iijima". The young actor's first motion picture appearance was as "Hideto Ogata" in 1954's "Gojira". This film was his seventh on screen appearance.

Momoko Kochi portrayed "Machiko Takeno". This was the actresses 10th motion picture and in 1954 she portrayed "Emiko Yamane" in "Gojira".

Akemi Negishi portrayed "Chika". This was Akemi's 5th motion picture and her first was by the Austrian-American legendary director Joseph von Sternberg in 1953. She would appear in films by director Akira Kurosawa including 1957's "The Lower Depths" and appear for director Toshiya Fujita in 1977's "Lady Snowblood" . The film that supposedly influenced director Quentin Tarantino to make 2003's "Kill Bill".




The story opens on a rainy night at a train station. A reporter has arrived and asks to interview the survivors of an "Incident" in the Japanese Alps involving their group of University Students. One of the group has his head bandaged and sitting on a table in front of them is a small box containing the ashes of a student named "Kiyoshi Takeno" played by Tadashi Okabe. Okabe played "Professor Tanabe's Assistant in 1954's "Gojira".

The reporter asks "Professor Tanaka", played by Nobuo Nakamura, to tell him what happened, but the Professor suggests that "Iijima" tell it.The first of two flashbacks begins.

We see five student friends on a New Year's skiing trip to the Japanese Alps in Nagano. The group is very happy and includes "Takeshi Iijima", his girlfriend "Machiko Takeno", her brother Kiyoshi Takeno", their friend "Nakada", played by Sachio Saki.

In the original 1954 "Gojira", Saki plays the reporter who wants to interview "Dr. Serizawa", He is also seen speaking to the old man on Odo island about the legendary monster that young girls were sacrificed too. His character is mostly eliminated in 1956's "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" by Raymond Burr's "Steve Martin".

The last friend in the group is "Kaji" played by Akira Yamada,

Before they arrive at the inn the group plays to stay at. "Kiyoshi" and "Kaji" split off to go to a cabin owned by a mutual friend named "Gen" and will return before night fall to the Inn. The others arrive at the Inn managed by "Matsu", played by Akira Sera. It is now night and "Kiyoshi" and "Kaji" have not returned and adding to the tension is that nobody is answering the phone at "Gen's". A strange girl, known by "Matsu", named "Chika", arrives and doesn't say much, but mentions an avalanche that occurred earlier. Another one takes places and afterwards "Chika" just leaves as strangely as she arrived.

Finally they are able to get a phone call through to "Gen's", but suddenly over the phone they hear screaming and gun shots followed by silence. "Matsu" goes outside and starts ringing an emergency bell to alert the local police officers.

The following morning the three students, the inn manager, and two police officers go to "Gen's". They first find the room in disarray from a struggle and the police discover a rifle bent almost in a half circle and the body of "Gen". However, there is no trace of either student, but one of the walls is broken inwards as if something entered the cabin. Also strange hair is found caught on the broken wall and large footprints of some unknown animal area in the snow outside.

One of the police officers finds "Kaiji's" body in the snow, but there is no indication of what happened to "Machiko's" older brother "Kiyoshi". A search follows for days, but because of the snow fall it is postponed until the snow melts in the spring. End of the first flashback and the story returns to the group with the newspaper reporter.

The second flashback starts with a new group led by "Professor Tanaka" six months after the original incident. It includes "Machiko Takeno", "Takeshi Iijima", "Nakjada", and "Machiko's" younger brother "Shinsuke Takeno", played by Kenji Kasahara.

The group is at another inn and "Machiko" is playing with a monkey in a cage that bites her. A chubby man, played by Akira Tani, approaches her and finds out she is one of the original students from the earlier incident. He goes to another room and reports his findings to his boss the animal broker "Oba", played by Yoshio Kosugi. "Oba" wants to capture the Japanese "Abominable Snowman" for a circus attraction.

"Professor Tanaka's" group leaves the inn with three guides, but the are being followed, at a safe distance, by "Oba" and his men. One night, after the group makes camp, it is revealed that "Professor Tanaka" plans to go into a certain area that the three guides won't go too. They talk about people entering that area and never coming back. No one knows why, but the three men are frightened

Later, after everyone goes to their tents for the night. In the one with "Machiko" and "Shinsuke" a shadow falls over it as they sleep. The face of the "Mountain Snowman", played by Fuminori Ohashi using the name Sanshiro Sagara, is seen and his hand reaches in and touches her. She screams and wakes the entire camp and the others spot the creature going off in the bushes.



The group goes after the "Mountain Snowman", but in the chase "Takashi" looses his way after falling down an incline. Additionally, there is a large rock slide, possibly caused by the "Mountain Snowman", that injures one of the three guides. The other two guides make a liter and have their excuse to leave the Professor's group by taking the injured man back to the inn.

Regaining his footing and starting to walk back to camp. "Takashi" spots a fire at what he believes is the Professor's campsite. He instead walks in on "Oba" and his men who beat the student up. After which "Oba's" men dump the unconscious student into a deep ravine.

When "Takashi" regains consciousness he is on a bed in a room belonging to "Chika". She brings him food, but suddenly an elderly man enters and tells "Chika" to come out. He is the "Tribal Chief" played by Kokuten Kodo. Kodo portrayed the old fisherman telling the reporter the legend of Odo Island in 1954's "Gojira".
We now see "Chika's" village and the villagers praying to their God "The Master". On the shrine are skulls similar in shape to that of the "Mountain Snowman". It is also obvious that there has been years of inbreeding in the village.

The "Tribal Chief" reminds "Chika" of the village's laws, if an outsider enters. It is implied that she maybe his granddaughter. He then instructs the girl to feed "The Master" and gives her some meat to take to the "Mountain Snowman". Where we now see that there is a father and son, played by Takashi Ito, living in a large mountain cavern as "Chika" calls to them and leaves the meat.



Returning to her village "Chika" cannot find "Takashi" and questions the "Tribal Chief". He not only scolds her for breaking the tribe's laws, but beats her violently with a stick. After the beating she goes from the village looking for "Takashi".

The villagers have tied "Takashi" up and hung him from a cliff to die of thirst and become food for the vultures.



However, the "Mountain Snowman" appears carrying a deer he's killed. He notices the rope hanging off the cliff, puts the deer down, and starts pulling it up. This is almost an exact recreation of the scene in the 1933 "King Kong" pulling up "Ann Darrow". Once "Takashi" is on the ledge. The "Mountain Snowman" unties his bonds and to "Takashi's" astonishment picks up the dead deer and just walks away.

"Chika" comes across two of "Oba's" men who let her think they're with the students. One of them promises to take her to the "Student's camp" the next day and trades a ring for the location of the "Mountain Snowman". They report back to a pleased "Oba".

This is all happening as the "Mountain Snowman" is still walking back to his cavern. "Oba" and his men arrive first and capture the young "Snowman" as bait for the adult. When the father arrives with his deer he is made to hear the sound of his son crying in pain. Moving toward the sound a net is dropped by "Oba's" men trapping the "Mountain Snowman". They next use chloroform to subdue him and prepare the adult to be loaded into the back of a truck.



While this is happening "Chika" has returned to her village and is again being punished by the "Tribal Chief", because of her possession of the outsider's ring. She admits telling them the location of "The Master" and the Chief leads the villagers to the "Master's Cave".

The young "Snowman" had been let loose and now the villagers arrive. "Oba" shoots the "Tribal Chief" as the other villagers look on in fear and throw some rocks at "Oba" and his men. The netted "Mountain Snowman" is dragged and loaded onto a truck with a steel cage around him. Two trucks. drive off with "Oba" and a driver in one and the "Mountain Snowman" drugged and in the steel cage. As "Chika" holding the shot "Tribal Chief" looks on.

The young "Snowman" is able to catch up with the trucks and lands on the cage with his father in it. "Oba's" men see him and yell to their boss and the trucks stop. The youngster is captured and placed inside the cage.



Next the young "Mountain Snowman" is able to release his father's bonds and the adult starts to break loose from the cage. The adult and his son are able to get out of the cage as the truck carrying them goes off a cliff. "Oba" shoots and kills the young "Snowman" causing the adult to go into a complete rage. He kills "Oba" by throwing him off a cliff and does the same with the truck and its driver. He next heads for the village were "Chika" has been able to get the wounded "Tribal Chief" back too. In complete madness over the loss of his son the "Mountain Snowman" starts destroying the village setting it on fire and killing those who worshiped him. "Chika" is the only one to apparently escape.

As all of this has been taking place "Takashi" has finally made it back to his own campsite and tells his tale. "Professor Tanaka" decides to go find the cavern of the "Mountain Snowman" with the hope that what happened to ""Kiyoshi Takenko" will be discovered. The "Mountain Snowman" shows up at the campsite and in the confusion takes "Machiko". The others start to follow.



On their way they meet "Chika" who agrees to lead them to the cavern. Once inside they first discover the remains of a person that turns out to be "Kiyoshi". From his notes, which were given at the start of the story to the reporter to read, we learn that both "Kiyoshi" and "Kaji" were caught in the avalanche. "Kiyoshi" was found by the "Mountain Snowman" who brought him back to the cavern. The "Mountain Snowman" created a bed for him and brought him food, but he was too weak to eat and never did. Next the group discover the bones of what turn out to be more of the "Mountain Snowmen". Besides the body of the young "Snowman" the"Professor" notices a form of mushroom growing in the cave. One that is very deadly and he speculates the other "Snowmen" ate them, but this one and his son did not. Making it the last of his kind.

The "Mountain Snowman" is now seen with "Machiko in his arms and goes deeper into the cavern.  He is located holding the girl by a large hot spring. The problem is how to rescue her and in the end "Chika's" volunteers to go, because she believes he will not harm a woman. "Chika" is able to get the "Snowman" to put "Machiko" down. The "Mountain Snowman" now takes "Chika" and is shot in the upper chest. He looks down at the others and with the girl in his arms jumps into the hot springs to their deaths.



The second flashback end and returns to the present day at the train station. The newspaper man thanks the group for the story and leaves. Their train has arrived and so do they.

According to many sources the motion picture was pulled from release by Toho Studios and a Court Order destruction of all prints took place. This is related to showing the inbreeding of the villagers as many such villages existed after the Second World War in Japan. The lawsuit had been brought by the "Buraki Liberation League" who are descendants of outcast communities of the period and other such groups.

There are stories about showings of this film on Japanese television, but as of 2017 no complete version of this film has ever been released by Toho for video, or so Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski stated in their book "Ishiro Honda A Life In Films: from Godzilla to Kurasawa".

Which brings me to the American re-edit known as "Half Human: The Story of the Abominable Snowman", the complete original title, and released in the United States on December 10, 1958.





The original running time of the Toho production was 95 minutes. While the American re-edit "Half-Human" only runs 63 minutes. Like Toho's 1954 classic "Gojira" with a running time of  96 minutes. When the American re-edit was released with additional footage of Raymond Burr in the role of "Steve Martin" as 1956's "Godzilla, King of the Monsters". The running time had been shorted to only 80 minutes. A large amount on both original Toho productions were cut out to become Americanized.

"Half-Human" was produced by Robert B. Homel. Who had only one other credit and that was the American version of Hiroshi Ingaki's 1954 "Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto" starring the great Toshiro Mifune.

The American version of  "Jin Jin Yuki Otoko" was directed by Kenneth G. Crane. Crane previously directed 1957's "The Monster from Green Hell" and 1958's "When Hell Broke Loose". After this picture he directed one other. The really interesting 1959 "The Manster", originally untitled "The Split". Between 1950 and 1973 Kenneth Crane perform his primary occupation as a film editor on "B" movies.

There is no credit given for the screenplay. Although both Japanese writers are listed in the credits and Francis Steens is shown as script supervisor.

The costume for the young "Mountain Snowman" was sent to be used in the American sequences.

The original cast listings for the Toho production had a total of  34 main roles and 13 other supporting roles. The cast listing for "Half Human" indicates only 7 main roles and 4 other supporting roles.

John Carradine was "Dr. John Rayburn, Anthropologist". At the time Carradine was making appearances on American television.

Russell Thorson was "Professor Phillip Osborne". Thorson was a "B" actor who switched mainly to television in 1950

Robert Karnes was "Professor Allan Templeton". Karnes was another "B" actor who switched to television.

Morris Ankrum was "Dr. Carl Jordan". Ankrum was the familiar face besides Carradine to American Science Fiction fans. By this time his work included 1950's "Rocketship X-M", the original 1953 "Invaders from Mars" and Ray Harryhausen's 1956 "Earth vs the Flying Saucers".

My article "Morris Ankrum the Face of Classic 1950's Science Fiction" may be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/02/morris-ankrum-face-of-classic-1950s.html

As to the original Japanese cast. The film lists the following only:

Akira Takarada was now "The Boy".

Akemi Negishi was now "The Mountain Girl".

Momoko Kochi was now "The Girl", but her last name in the credits was spelled "Kouchi".

Then there were three non on screen credited roles listed:

Kenji Kasahara was now the "Murdered Skier".

Kokuten Kodo was now the "Old Tribe Leader".

Nobuo Nakamura was the only actor to retain his role's name as "Professor Tanaka".

Sachio Sakai was now the "Third Member of the Sky Party".

I went into detail of the screenplay for the Toho original motion picture. So that my reader could fully understand the difference between the original production by Ishiro Honda and this re-edit.

The screenplay for "Half Human" starts with "Dr. John Rayburn", who has returned to the University from Japan, speaking to "Professor Osborne" and "Professor Templeton". He tells them a story about a group of skiers in the Japanese Alps.



The original Japanese film sequences have no dialogue other than the narration by John Carradine.
They start with the opening scenes of skiing and the two friends leaving the group to check out the forward cabin they're all to use. Then the film switches to the other members of the ski group in what is called a cabin, not an inn, belonging to another man. A blizzard hits and the other members of the ski group attempt to telephone their friends. When they get through there's a scream on the telephone followed by silence.

The cabin's owner signals the police and the following morning the police and those from the ski group go to the other cabin. The dead body in it has become one of the two friends that separated from the others. There is no third person owning the cabin called "Gen". Next they see the footprints and decide to go find what made it and killed their friend. Now the group finds the body of their other friend in the snow. A search is made for the killer animal instead of  the missing older brother.

"Dr. Rayburn" stops his tale and speaks to his two associates about the press making it sound like these animal murders were the work of the "Abominable Snowman". There are comments made about UFO's and how the press goes off in tangents and speculation without all the facts.

"Dr. Rayburn" produces the hair of the creature and the two Professor's look at it. They discuss the strange hair and how it seems not to be true animal. "Rayburn" shows a mold of the footprint found outside the cabin and the other two speculate about the creature that might have made it. "Dr. Rayburn" tells them that based upon the mold the creature was around 9 feet tall, weighed 1800 pounds, and obviously walked upright. This leads to more speculation by the two Professor's and the fact that "Dr. Rayburn" appears to be holding something back.

The three next discuss "Professor Tanaka's" theory that this unknown species might be the missing link between man and animal. They continue to discuss how the Professor decided were the creature might be found and that he led an expedition with members of the original ski party to look for it.

Again Honda's footage without sound is narrated by Carradine. However, added footage of a larger party climbing a mountain range is added at this point of the story. Then back to the original footage of the group in camp discussing were the creature might be found. This is followed by more added footage not from the original film of a larger group climbing. Cut back to the scene of everyone in one tent discussing their plans that in the original film the guides objected too. This is followed by "The Girl", no younger brother, in her tent as the face of the "Mountain Snowman" is seen and he gently touches her. She screams and and the camp comes alive with everyone chasing ever and shooting at the "Mountain Snowman". We now see "The Boy" chasing him. In the narration the audience is told the boy is the girl's brother.

Back to "Dr. Rayburn" explaining about someone from a strange mountain people saving the boy. After he had fallen in to a ravine. "Rayburn" narrates that these mountain people consider the "Snowman" their protector. Back to the boy on the bed in the hut wondering how he got there? Until "The Mountain Girl" enters with some food and he realizes she had saved his life. However, the tribal leader appears and is angry over the boy being within the village. The villagers are upset over the mountain girl bringing an outsider to the village against their laws. The old man says she's brought a curse upon them and the only way to free them. Is for her to bring a sacrificial offering of fresh meat to their protector in his cave. She does there and we see the adult and young "Mountain Snowmen". As she us doing this the audience sees the villagers enter the hut with the boy in it.

The mountain girl returns to find the boy gone. She asks the old man about what has happened to the boy and is told he is gone and the curse lifted from the village. Cut to the boy hanging over the ledge with vultures circling him. The adult "Mountain Snowman" arrives and the audience sees the same rescue sequence as in the original version, but with one addition. For a split second the mountain girl is seen observing this. How, or why she is seen is never explained.

Back to the three men discussing how the monster actually thinks with almost human like thought patterns. "Dr. Rayburn" states he invited "Dr. Jordan" to preform an autopsy. The two Professor's ask on what and "Rayburn" reveals what he has been holding back. It is not on the "Mountain Snowman" they have been discussing, but its son. The three men arrive just as "Dr. Jordan's" finishing and "Jordan" makes a comment that "its fantastic" what he's found.



"Dr. Jordan's" discovered that one half of the skull is human and the other half animal. Along with his other findings his conclusion is that the animal is "Half Human". "Dr. Rayburn" asks if  "Jordan" thinks that this species over years might evolve into man? The reply is, if the animal part of the brain could be controlled. In 15 generations the creature might be able to speak in single sentences. When asked if he believes the animal can differentiate between male and female? The answer is yes. Giving a possible answer as to why the adult seems to recognize human females and prefers their company. After finishing his talk "Dr. Jordan" mentions he found a bullet in its heart and asks if "Dr, Rayburn" shot it?

 Returning to Honda's footage the Carradine narration states that a group of circus men are hunting strange attractions and have seen the young "Mountain Snowman". The narration continues that they realized by capturing the young one. It would make capturing the larger one easier. Instead of the adult returning with the deer as in the Toho original feature. The edited footage shows the adult running out of the cave and being trapped in the net.

Next the film's cuts to the son jumping onto the truck. What follows is the whole sequence with "Oba" and his men and the shooting of the son. Then the narration indicates that the adult just went wild and took his revenge first against the village.

Return to "Dr. Rayburn" and the two Professor's discussing the personality change in the adult. Then "Rayburn" explains it wasn't him that got the young "Snowman's" body, but "Professor Tanaka". That discovery came about by the boy finding the the others and explaining that the "Mountain Snowman" actually is friendly. The Professor's group now heads for the village, hears a roar, and realizes something has changed with the "Mountain Snowman". At this point the rock slide sequence is inserted out of order with disregard to the change in clothing. Not one of the three guides are injured and according to the narration. The three guides saw the "Snowman" cause the rock slide and strangely for continuity. "Professor Tanaka" decides to stop heading for the "Snowman's" location and that they all should return to their original camp for the night. Next is the sequence of the adult  "Mountain Snowman" attacking and taking the girl.

The group now attempts to follow the "Mountain Snowman" and meets the mountain girl.. Who guides them to the cave. The Professor's group enters and finds the body of the young "Snowman". Suddenly, the adult is seen with the girl and the group follows it deeper into the cave. Quick cuts, show one of the group firing at the adult "Snowman", the mountain girl climbing up toward it with her knife, the "Mountain Snowman" putting the girl down and picking the mountain girl up. Another shot being taken wounding the adult and as the mountain girl stabs at him. The two fall into the hot springs to die.

The picture returns to "Dr. Rayburn" and the two Professors talking. As "Rayburn" wonders about the future of human evolution.



As I mentioned previously, according to Toho in 2017, a complete version of their original motion picture has never been released to video. Ah, but isn't the Internet Grand.

Back in 2014 I purchased a two DVD set of both motion pictures. However, the subtitled Toho original film has on the top of the picture a running "Time Code Reading (TCR)", Which is used for editing films for video. The following two sequences illustrate this "TCR" and are from another websites speaking to the original Ishiro Honda feature film. One has to wonder, if this DVD wasn't made from the copy of  "Jin Jin Yuki Otoko" sent to be edited into "Half Human"?

20130212-170153.jpg




THE MAN  BEAST was released in April 1956 in Los Angeles

Asa Maynor in Man Beast (1956)

If my reader thought "Snow Creature" was low budget. "Man Beast" turns it into one of the most expensive movies ever made. Produced and directed by Jerry Warren. Whose 1964 "Face of the Screaming Werewolf" is considered a classic of schlock. In which he took the 1957' Mexican Mummy film, "La Momia Azteca" and combined it with the Mexican 1960 "Casa del Terror". Removed all the footage of Mexican comedian Tin-Tin as a night watchman from the later and kept  footage of Lon Chaney, Jr. as a werewolf. The end result, somehow, was a werewolf vs mummy movie with a combination of dubbing and narration.

Back to "Man Beast".The film starred Rock Madison. Whose only other film is Warren's 1965 "Creature of the Walking Dead". Which had footage added to the Mexican Horror film 1961's "La Marca del Muerto (Mark of the Dead Man)". Madison portrayed we don't know, because other than his name on the posters and film credits. He appears not to be in it.

Virginia Maynor, who was actually Asa Maynor as "Connie Howard". She was in the 1966 movie "Promise Her Anything" starring Warren Beatty, Leslie Caron and Robert Cummings. Also she appeared in 1972's "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes". Maynor was married to teen idol Ed Byrnes from 1962 through 1971.

George Skaff was "Varga". This was Skaff's first of 51 roles mostly on television.

Tom Maruzzi was "Steve Cameron". This was his only film.

Complete plot has "Connie Howard" hiring "Steve Cameron" to go with her to the Himalaya's in search of her missing brother.There they find guide, "Varga", who turns out to be a fifth generation Yeti that wants "Connie" to mate with other Yeti's. She is saved by "Steve" as "Vargas" falls off a cliff to his death.





 

The snow footage came from an unknown Mexican film.


THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN released August 26, 1957 in the UK



The British title above was released by Warner Brothers. However, 20th Century Fox released the film in the United States in October 1957 as "The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas".Peter Cushing, Maureen Connell, and Forrest Tucker in The Abominable Snowman (1957)

The film came from "The House of Hammer" aka" "Hammer Films" during the first year of the studios revival of classic Universal Horror movies. On May 2, 1957 British audiences first saw Peter Cushing teamed up with Christopher Lee in "The Curse of Frankenstein". The following month 9 year old Lloyd was scared by that film upon its United States release on a double bill with a classic Hammer Science Fiction movie "X-the Unknown".
The motion picture was produced by Aubrey Baring. Baring only produced 15 films, but besides this picture. They included Robert Newton's  Nazi treasure hunt film, set in the Alps, "Snowbound" in 1948. The Dirk Bogarde's World War 2 Royal Air Force story 1953's "Raiders in the Sky" and the Peter Sellers crime comedy 1963's "The Wrong Arm of the Law".
The motion picture was directed by the excellent Val Guest. Who directed the first two movies about "Bernard Quatermass" and the "Rocket Group". They are 1955's "The Quarterman X-periment (The Creeping Unknown)" and 1957's "Quartermass 2 (Enemy from Space)". Guest also directed the 1961 Science Fiction film "The Day the Earth Caught Fire" and 1970's "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth". Along with being a screenplay writer.

The motion picture was written by the dean of British 1950's Science Fiction Nigel Kneale and was based upon his BBC mini-series 1955's "The Creature". Kneale also created the popular BBC Science Fiction character "Bernard Quartermass" in the 1955 BBC mini-series "The Quartermass Experiment", 1955's BBC mini-series "Quatermass II", 1958's BBC mini-series "Quatermass and the Pitt" and in 1979 the BBC mini-series "Quatermass". Nigel Kneale also wrote the screenplays for the Hammer motion picture versions. In the United States the movie version of "Quatermass and the Pit" was entitled "5 Million Years to Earth" and the 1979 mini-series, became that years "The Quatermass Conclusion".
My article on the entire "Quatermass Series", director Terrence Fisher, character actor Michael Ripper and make-up artist Philip Leakey can be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/02/hammer-films-look-at-house-of-hammer.html

Forrest Tucker was "Tom Friend". American Tucker started motion picture acting with 5th billing in William Wyler's 1940 "The Westerner" starring Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan. The actor was seen in many film and television genres. In 1953 Tucker appeared as "Wild Bill Hickok" to Charlton Heston's "Buffalo Bill" in the very good "B" Western "Pony Express".  In 1958 he starred in "The Trollenberg Horror (The Crawling Eye)" written by Jimmy Sangster from another BBC mini-series. Tucker was best known to American television audiences as "Sergeant Morgan O'Rourke" on the comedy "F-Troop" with Larry Storch and Ken Berry from 1965 through 1967.




Peter Cushing was "Dr. John Rollason". Cushing had been acting since 1939. He had been in the Cary Grant Revolutionary War film "The Howard's of Virigina" released in 1940. He was in the Sir Lawrence Olivier and Jean Simmons 1948 "Hamlet", director John Huston's 1952 "Moulin Rouge" starring Jose Ferrer, Alan Ladd's "The Black Knight" in 1954 and Richard Burton's 1956 "Alexander the Great". However, it was that other 1957 motion picture "The Curse of Frankenstein" that suddenly propelled the actor to stardom in a genre he never thought about. His role of "Dr. Frankenstein" unlike the Universal "Frankenstein" monster itself. Would become the immortal one in many a Hammer film.

My article "Universal's "Frankenstein" VS Hammer's "Frankenstein" can be found at the following link:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/02/universals-frankenstein-vs-hammers.html




Maureen Connell was "Helen Rollason". The actress was a regular on the "ITV Playhouse" anthology series and most of her work was for British television. The few motion picture roles Connell had were small. She was in the true story of the actor doubling for "General Montgomery" to confuse the Germans in 1958's "I Was Monty's Double". She was a passenger on the jet plane piloted by Charlton Heston that James Brolin "Skyjacked" in 1972.



Richard Wattis was "Peter Fox". Wattis was a British comedy actor and started acting in 1938. In 1949 Wattis was in "Kind Hearts and Coronets" starring Alec Guinness. He was in one of Bela Lugosi's forgettable performances in the 1952 comedy "Mother O'Reily Meets the Vampire" and 1953 saw the actor in "Raiders of the Sky". While in 1954 Wattis was in Charles Laughton's "Hobson's Choice" from director David Lean and the same year saw the comedian in the Alastair Sim's "The Bells of St. Trinian's".
Arnold Marie was the "Lama". Berlin born Marie started in the German cinema in 1919. He was in the excellent World War 2 British drama from 1942 "One of Our Aircraft is Missing", in 1955 he was in the cast of Val Guest's "Break in the Circle" and was seen in the Victor Mature movie about an Afghan outlaw from 1956 "Zarak".



Above left to right are Arnold Marie, Peter Cushing and Richard Wattis. In the background is Maureen Connell.

Robert Brown was "Ed Shelley". An older Brown took over the role of "M" in the "James Bond" films starting with 1983's "Octopussy" through 1989's "License to Kill". Robert Brown has always been a supporting player on both British television and in motion pictures. Brown had a small role in the Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Fontaine 1952 "Ivanhoe", he was in the Errol Flynn, Joanne Dru story of 14th Century "Prince Edward" in 1955's "The Warriors" and was a Naval Officer in 1960's "Sink the Bismarck!". He also appeared in Rodger Corman's 1964 "The Masque of the Red Death". Below Brown is beside Forrest Tucker and the body of one of the "Abominable Snowmen".

Robert Brown and Forrest Tucker in The Abominable Snowman (1957)

Michael Brill was "Andrew McNee", Brill only had 18 roles to his credit, mostly on the BBC and ITV, and this was his 4th motion picture. In 1958 Michael Brill was part of the cast of the excellent, but forgotten Hammer Studios world war two feature "The Camp on Blood Island". That motion picture starred Andre Morell,"Outermass in the third mini-series and "Dr. Watson" to Peter Cushing's "Sherlock Holmes" in Hammer's 1959 "The Hound of the Baskervilles".
Wolfe Morris was "Kusang". British character actor Morris started film acting in 1950. He was in the British Science Fiction serial 1954's "The Lost Planet" and was back in the role in 1955's "Return to the Lost Planet". Morris worked primarily on television and this film was his first movie not made directly for British television. In 1979 he appeared as "General Fulgencio Batista" in the Sean Connery and Brooke Adams "Cuba".

Below left to right Peter Cushing, Michael Brill, Wolfe Morris, Forest Tucker and Robert Brown.

Peter Cushing, Michael Brill, Robert Brown, Wolfe Morris, and Forrest Tucker in The Abominable Snowman (1957)


My reader, unfamiliar with British Science fiction, might be put off by Nigel Kneale's story. His screenplay keeps action at the minimal, the plot more cerebral, than either of the first two motion pictures I've mentioned. This is a trademark of British Science Fiction of the period. Such as the aforementioned "Bernard Quatermass" series, or the 1951 fantasy "I'll Never Forget You" starring American's Tyrone Power and Ann Blyth. Along with the first filmed version of George Orwell's "1984", in 1956, starring American Edmond O'Brien. Although the British did occasionally go Rodger Corman style as with 1954's "Devil Girl from Mars".

This is the story of two expeditions coming together. The first is in search of botanical plants in the Himalaya's. That group is led by "Dr. John Rollaston", his wife "Helen" and "Rollaston's" assistant "Peter Fox".

The second expedition is led by "Tom Friend" with a photographer named "Andrew McNee", but also animal trapper "Ed Shelley". "Friend's" group is being guided by a Sherpa named "Kusang".

Both groups have come to the monastery of Rong-buk in an unnamed country to speak to the "Lama". The first about the plants of the area, but the second with a sinister motive.




"Friend" has come in search of the "Yeti" and plans to capture one alive as a means of gaining fame and fortune. "Rollaston" disbelieves the legends, but is becoming intrigued by what the other is saying. "Rollaston's" motives and beliefs seem to coincide with "Dr. Parish" of "Snow Creature".





The "Lama" talks to "Dr. Rollaston" of spiritual beings and warns him of going with
"Tom Friend". "Helen" is concerned for his safety, but can not stop him. For some reason her husband now feels something is calling him to go on the expedition. Again, the "Lama" tells her of his concerns frightening "Helen Rollaston".

"Tom Friend", "John Rollaston", "Andrew McNee", and "Ed Shelley" leave the monastery under the guiding of "Kusang". "Helen" and "Peter Fox" remain at the monastery.

The group starts up the mountain and makes a base camp. Which includes a cage and other items to trap the "Yeti".

Peter Cushing, Michael Brill, Robert Brown, Wolfe Morris, and Forrest Tucker in The Abominable Snowman (1957)



Footprints are found in the snow near the camp and "Rollaston" and "Friend" debate over what they are. The prints are from a higher elevation and the four men head that way and set up a second camp/ "Andrew McNee" gets his foot locked in a bear trap big game hunter "Shelley" had set. Later "McGee", feverish, goes out of his tent and falls over a cliff to his death.



The following day shots ring out and "Ed Shelley" has killed a "Yeti". The snow creature is prepared for taking back to the monastery and placed in an ice cave the group has been found. So it won't get covered and lost in the snow fall.



Then something takes all the rifles from the camp.



Now extremely frightened "Kusang" leaves and wants "Rollason" to go with him. The other decides to remain at the camp and the Sherpa returns to the monastery. There "Helen Rollason" attempts to get him to lead a group back to her husband. He refuses and starts telling the other Sherpa's about what has happened and the killing of the "Abominable Snowman". The "Lama" will not help either and appears to be hiding something.



Next "Shelley" attempts to capture a live "Yeti", but instead is killed.



After burying "Ed Shelley", "Tom Friend" decides to just take the dead "Yeti's" body. That's the proof  he needs that the "Abominable Snowmen" are real and plans to go back to the monastery and the United States. However, the other "Yeti's" think differently and surround the two survivors. "Friend" fires a pistol and starts an avalanche that he is buried within. While "Dr. Rollason" goes into the ice cave.



Finally Hammer's "Abominable Snowmen" are revealed and probably the biggest mistake for this intelligent film up to this point.



As a fearful "Dr. John Rollason" looks on. The "Yeti's" tenderly remove the body of their dead fellow. Next he sees their faces.



As this take place it seems like he can hear them speaking. "Rollason" realizes that the feared "Abominable Snowman" are a highly intelligent and advanced race of beings. They are just waiting for man to die out and their time to walk the Earth.

A rescue party arrives and "Dr. John Rollason" is taken back to the monastery for recovery. There he meets again with the "Lama". The "Lama" questions the botanist about the expedition and what they found. The answer he replies is the found nothing and the three men just died from the conditions on the mountain. The "Lama" smiles knowing that the "Yeti's" have placed a telepathic suggestion in the mind of "Dr. Rollason". The secret is safe.


The next appearance of the "Abominable Snowman" came not on the motion picture screen, but television in the U.K. with a slightly different spin on the legends.


DR. WHO AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN 

There are two adventures that have "The Second Doctor" battle the "Abominable Snowmen".

"The Abominable Snowman" first episode premiered September 30, 1967

Unfortunately for my fellow "Whovians" this program is mostly missing. At one point the BBC was running out of video tape and instructions were issued to erase older programming to obtain usable tapes. This "Dr. Who" program was one of the victims and five of its six episodes are no more.

The program was directed by Gerald Blake. Blake was a television director who started in 1962. Besides this "Dr. Who" serial. He also directed Tom Baker, as the "4th Doctor", in 1978's "The Invasion of Time".

The six episodes of "The Abominable Snowman" were written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln. Haisman wrote 17 episodes of "Dr. Who" between 1967 and 1968. He also wrote the screenplay for the Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee 1968 "The Crimson Cult", but was primarily a writer for the BBC. Lincoln had been acting since 1956, but was also a writer since 1963. He co-wrote the same 17 episodes of "Dr. Who" with Meryn Haisman.

The three main cast members:

Patrick Troughton was "The 2nd Doctor". Troughton had been acting since 1947 and his third role was "Horatio" in a four part television production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet". Patrick Troughton's early work was mostly on television. As the "2nd Doctor Who" he had the distinction of being the "1st Regeneration" of William Hartnell. In "The War Games"  Troughton's doctor was revealed to be a "Time Lord". Patrick Troughton's feature films included portraying "Phineas" in Ray Harryhausen's 1963 "Jason and the Argonauts", and "Melanthius" in Harryhaussen's 1977 "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger".
My article "PATRICK TROUGHTON: A Classically Trained Character Actor and the Second Dr. Who" can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2019/01/patrick-troughton-classically-trained.html



Frazer Hines was the "Doctor's Companion" "Jamie McCimmon".  Hines started acting in 1955 and has another film in production as of this writing. In 1956 he was in the Hammer Science Fiction film "X-the Unknown", between 1966 and 1985 Frazer Hines appeared in 118 episodes of "Dr. Who". He is primarily a television actor on both the BBC and ITV.

Deborah Watling was the "Doctor's Companion" "Victoria Waterfield". The television actress first appeared in 1959 in an episode of the series "William Tell". Between 1958 and 1959 she appeared in the television series "The Invisible Man"and between 1967 and 1968 appeared as "Victoria" in 40 episodes of "Dr. Who".


Above left to right are Deborah Watling, Frazer Hines and Patrick Troughton

The six episode story:

"Professor Edward Travers", played by Jack Watling, Deborah's father, awakens to the screams of a member of his Tibetan expedition. He sees a strange hairy creature standing over the body. Cut to the "TARDIS" materializing in the Himalayas.

For those non "Whovians" the word "TARDIS" stands for "Time and Relative Dimensions in Space" and, yes, it is bigger on the inside. It looks like a "Blue Police Box", because the "Chameleon Circuit" which allows the "TARDIS" to blend in with its surroundings is broken.

The doctor leaves to explore talking about a monastery bell he heard in a previous adventure, not part of the series, and tells "Jamie" and "Victoria" to stay within the "TARDIS". He see's a large footprint and a hairy creature goes behind him without his noticing.



Before my reader starts to laugh. Remember this was a BBC weekly television series with almost no budget, unlike Hammer Films that should have been able to do a better "Yeti", that concentrates on story and character.

The Doctor finds two empty sleeping bags, a twisted rifle and the body of one man. He heads for the "Detsen Monastery" and arriving finds it seems completely deserted.

Men appear and a monk named "Khrisong", played by Norman Jones, accuses the Doctor of murdering "Professor Traver's" companion, because he has the man's sleeping bag. The Doctor is locked in a cell and "Travers" tells him about the "Yeti's", but that they can't be the murders as their nature is too shy."Travers" leaves the monastery to continue his mission.

"Jamie" and "Victoria" decide to leave the "TARDIS.". The two see large footprints around the "TARDIS" and "Jamie" wants to go back inside, but "Victoria" insists they go look at a cave off in the distance. They go to it, enter, and are blocked in by something placing a boulder covering the entrance. The two go further into the cave looking for a way out and find a chamber containing a pyramid of strange illuminated metal spheres.



A "Yeti" removes the boulder and "Jamie" fights it with a scimitar he found in the cave, but the "Yeti" is too strong for him. During the fight "Jamie" causes a small rock slide killing the "Yeti" and the two leave the cave and head for the monastery.

The Doctor, in his cell, is able to give a message to the friendly Monk "Thonmi", played by David Spencer, to take to Abbot "Songsten", played by Charles Morgan. "Songsten" is in communion with the master of the monastery, "Padmasambhava", played by Wolfe Morris, a person the Doctor has met before.

"Padmasambhava" acknowledges knowing the Doctor, but is worried he will bloc the "Great Plan" and has "Songsten's" memory erased. With the exception of telling him to release the Doctor unharmed.

"Professor Travers" meets "Jamie" and "Victoria" on their way to the monastery and they convince him that the Doctor is no threat. The three now head to the monastery.



While this is happening the Doctor is placed on trial and tied to the front doors of the monastery. As the other Monks, led by "Khrisong", believe he controls the "Yeti's", but "Songsten" arrives and sets him free.



After the others have joined the Doctor the "Yeti's" attack. In a battle one of them is overpowered and left dormant. The Doctor examines it and discovers that this "Yeti" isn't real, but a robot controlled by a missing sphere unit in its chest. What's going on? Whose controlling them and what of the real "Yeti's"?

That "Yeti" is brought into the monastery and somehow is reactivated. By whom and how? It kills several of the warrior monks. "Krisong" becomes angry, because "Thonmi" opened the door of the monastery allowing the robotic "Yeti" to flee. Instead of giving "Krisong" a chance to study it.

To avoid further blood shed an excuse is created blaming "Victoria" and "Thonmi". They supposedly revived the "Yeti" with the sphere she found. The two are imprisoned and "Abbot Songstgen" reports to "Padmasambhava" that their plan is taking effect. The viewing audience now hears the first mention of one of the "Doctor's most formidable enemies the "Great Intelligence". Which will keep returning through the "11th Doctor".

In response to the Abbot's report. He is told that the "Great Intelligence" is taking on corporeal form and for the next stage of the plan. The Abbot is to have all the monks leave the monastery at once.

Meanwhile, the released Doctor and "Jamie" have been heading back to the "TARDIS" and find an inactive "Yeti Robot" guarding it. The Doctor removes the sphere within the robot's chest and that action reactivates the sphere. To keep that robot from reactivating "Jamie" places a large rock in its chest cavity.



The two now had back to the monastery and the Doctor forges an uneasy, but necessary alliance with "Khrisong" to keep the monks from leaving.



Now realizing that the monks are not going to leave on their own. "Abbot Songsten" opens the doors of the monastery to more robotic "Yeti's".

"Victoria" escapes and makes her way to the Inner Sanctum of the monastery and finds "Padmasambhava" having words with the "Great Intelligence" within his own mind.



Now knowing who is really controlling the robots "Victoria" attempts to leave, but has her mind erased of what she has just witnessed. While "Padmasambhava" calls more robotic "Yeti's" to attack the monastery. The Doctor helps "Victoria" recover from a trance-like state as "Travers" is also recovering from an earlier experience.

"Professor Travers" now explains about the cave with the sphere pyramid and that "Songsten" was also there.



The Doctor believes that "Abbot Songsten" is the link between the "Yeti's" and the monastery.
While in the Inner Sanctum "Songsten" has pledged himself to the will of the "Great Intelligence" and kills "Khrisong". After which the Doctor and his Companions arrive and capture the Abbot, bind him, and turn "Songsten" over to the other monks.

The Doctor now takes matters into his own hands. He tells the monks to flee the monastery as he will now do battle with the "Great Intelligence". His plan, with the help of "Jamie", "Victoria" and "Thonmi" is to destroy the equipment the "Great Intelligence" through "Padmasambhava" is using to control the "Yeti's".

They go to the cave and the original sphere pyramid. While the Doctor distracts the controlled "Padmasambhava". "Jamie" and 'Thonmi" destroy the sphere pyramid. A second one is also destroyed and the "Great Intelligence" disappears releasing "Padmasambhava"  to die peacefully.

The monks now return to the monastery and thank the Doctor. At the "TARDIS", the Doctor, "Jamie" and "Victoria" say good-bye to "Professor Travers". Who has now spotted a real "Yeti", that have been hiding from the robots. and will follow it to learn more about them. The other three enter the "Blue Police Box" and it departs ending this adventure, BUT----

The Web of Fear first episode premiered February 3, 1968

Again unfortunately for "Whovians" this production is also missing episodes.

This title is directed by Douglas Camfield. Camfield would direct 56 episodes of "Dr. Who" between 1963 and 1976. Otherwise he was a straight BBC director of multiple television productions.

Both Meryn Haisman and Henry Lincoln were back writing the sequel to "The Abominable Snowman". However, between that program and this one was the serial "The Enemy of the World".

The Returning Cast included:

Patrick Troughton as the "2nd Doctor".
Frazer Hines as "Jamie".
Deborah Watling as "Victoria".
Jack Watling as "Professor Travers".

"Web of Fear"
had the first appearance of the "United Nations Task Force (U.N.I.T.)" and

Nicolas Courtney as "Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart".
The  six episode story.

The program opens with "Jamie" managing to close the door of the "TARDIS". Which was the problem at the end of "The Enemy of the World". The "TARDIS" then materializes in outer space with a web like substance surrounding it caused by an unknown entity. The substance seems to clear and it allows the Doctor to land the "TARDIS" in the "Covent Garden" tube station aka: the subway. The three time travelers find the station dark and deserted and when they go above ground the city appears abandoned and they return to the tub station.



It is now established that the story of "The Abominable Snowman" took place 40 years before this one. Which is in the present. The now elderly "Professor Travers" activated one of the sphere's he had taken and placed it in a "Robotic Yeti" from his private collection. The result was an immediate fog over London and a deadly web like fungus that is centered in the tubes. He is brought to an old world war two shelter in the "Goodge Street" tube station and asked for help stopping the fungus by his daughter "Anne", played by Tina Packer.



At the tube station are "Army Captain Knight", played by Ralph Watson, who is in charge and "HQ Staff Sergeant Arnold", played Jack Woolgar, "Knight's" deputy, and a newspaper man named "Harold Chorley", played by Jon Rollason.

Moving through the tunnels the "Doctor" and his Companions come upon the military. The military are trying to stop the fungus by blowing up tube stations. Explosives have been set up at "Charing Cross" station and as they are set off. A "Yeti" appears and neutralizes it with a fungus gun.

The appearance of the "Yeti" tells the "Doctor" that the "Great Intelligence" has returned and it redirected the "TARDIS" to this location. Obviously, its plan to conqueror the Earth has been restarted. The military is immediately suspicious of the "Doctor", "Jamie" and "Victoria" and believes they prevented the explosion from happening. However, "Professor Travers", amazed they haven't aged, tells "Captain Knight" that they are friends and can help in stopping the "Yeti's".

This newly formed group is joined by the only survivors of the "Yeti" attack on "Holborn" tube station. They are "Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart" and "Army Private Evans", played by Derek Pollitt.



 Because of the "Yeti" attacks the military's current supply of explosives is being exhausted.




What little stockpile is left has been covered with the fungus and made impossible to use.



The "Doctor" now discovers a device at the stock pile that is sending a signal to attract the "Yeti's". Along with one of the spheres from his earlier encounter with the "Great Intelligence". This convinces the "Doctor" that there is a traitor at the HQ, but who?

While this is all occurring the newspaper reporter "Chorley" has became panicky over the whole situation and is thinking of leaving the HQ and London. In a conversation with him "Victoria" had revealed the existence of the "TARDIS" and that the "Doctor", "Jamie" and herself are time travelers. "Chorley" now heads for "Covent Garden" to locate the time machine.

This forces the "Doctor" and his two Companions to head to "Covent Garden" and stop the newspaper reporter.

When the three arrive they find the tube station all covered with fungus. While at the HQ the "Yeti's" attack killing several soldiers.





During this attack "Professor Travers" and his daughter "Anne" are knocked unconscious and the "Professor" taken away by the "Yeti's". Returning the "Doctor" finds the unconscious "Anne", but no father. It is now that the "Doctor" explains about the "TARDIS" and the "Great Intelligence". It is also at this point that an interesting line comes from the "Colonel".

It is obvious that one, or both of the screenplay writers are fans of the writings of American H.P. Lovecraft. As "Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart" calls the "Great Intelligence" by a name from the "Cthulhu Mythology". My article "H.P. LOVECRAFT MEETS DR. WHO: The Old Ones and the Time Lords" can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/07/hp-lovecraft-meets-dr-who-old-ones-and.html

Not only will my reader find out the connection between the "Time Lords" and Lovecraft, but Lovecraft's mythology to Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne.

Returning to "The Web of Fear".

"Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart" now decides to get the "TARDIS" and use it as a means of escape for everyone. He'll lead the remaining troops above ground and has "Sergeant Arnold", "Private Evans" and "Corporal Lane", played by Rod Beacham, take a baggage trolley underground to transport the "TARDIS" back to the others. Meanwhile, the "Doctor" and "Anne" attempt to build a control box to block the "Great Intelligence's" use of the "Yeti's" and the spheres. However, the "Doctor" discovers the HQ is low on the needed components. Accompanied by "Captain Knight" the two go above ground to find an electronics store.

"Arnold", "Evans" and "Lane" devise a plan to enter the fungus and get the "TARDIS". "Arnold" and "Lane" put on gas masks and with the baggage trolley go into fungus. "Evans" who has the end of a rope tied to the trolley hears screams and pulls the baggage trolley out of the fungus. He finds "Corporal Lane" dead, but "Sergeant Arnold" missing. Above ground the soldiers encounter the "Yeti" and although downing several of their attackers only "Lethbridge-Stewart" remains alive.



At an electronics store the "Yeti's" attack the "Doctor" and "Captain Knight", whom they kill, but for some reason leave the "Doctor" alone. The "Doctor" finds a "Yeti" call beacon placed in "Knight's" pocket and the reason they found the two. He returns to HQ as does "Lethbridge-Stewart" who has a beacon in his pocket and the "Doctor" deduces that the traitor slipped the beacon's into the two soldiers pockets, but who is it?

Just then "Professor Travers" and two "Yeti's" break into HQ and it is obvious he is under the control of the "Great Intelligence".



The "Great Intelligence" through "Professor Travers" reveals he brought the "Doctor" to London to drain him of all his knowledge of time and space. The "Great Intelligence" now gives the "Doctor" 20 minutes to comply with his demand and releases "Travers" of his control, but keeps him hostage along with "Victoria" by using a "Yeti". They're taken to the "Piccadilly Circus" tube station.

At HQ the fungus breaks through and "Jamie", "Lethbridge-Stewart", "Arnold" and "Evans" meet up with the "Doctor" and "Anne' while they were looking for a disabled "Yeti".The "Doctor" and "Anne" had finish their control box and now load it into a disabled "Yeti Robot" and send it into the "Great Intelligence's" ranks as a spy and ally. "Sergeant Arnold" bleeding and disheveled now shows up,
The group is ambushed and pushed toward "Piccadilly Circus" by the "Yeti's".





Along they way they pick up an extremely unnerved "Chorley". At a ticket hall at the tube station the group meet up with "Professor Travers" and "Victoria" and its revealed that "Arnold" is the traitor. He had been killed by the "Yeti's" and reanimated by the "Great Intelligence" to do his work.

The "Doctor" surprises everyone by agreeing to be placed within a pyramid shaped device, by "Arnold", that the "Great Intelligence" will use to drain his brain.



Just as it seems the "Doctor's" mind will be drained. "Jamie" yells out to the controlled "Yeti" to attack "Sergeant Arnold". Next, "Jamie", "Professor Travers" and "Annie" attempt to drag the "Doctor" out of the machine against his wishes. "Jamie" pulls the wiring out of the pyramid and it explodes. The "Yeti's" fall to the ground lifeless as the "Great Intelligence" is sent back into the void of space. Everyone, but the "Doctor" are happy over the results.

The "Doctor" explains that he had sabotaged the machine's headset and instead of draining his mind. The "Doctor" would have drained the mind of and destroyed forever the "Great Intelligence". Now its out in space waiting for another chance to conqueror the Earth.

After saying their good-byes, the "Doctor", "Jamie" and "Victoria" slip away from the others and head for the "TARDIS". In the Himalaya's the real "Yeti's" are again seen.

In 1970 a very low budgeted American motion picture entitled "Bigfoot" would be released. The film would start a decade long craze for movies about the creature. Along with the "Abominable Snowman", "Bigfoot", would become part of two 1970's documentaries claiming to tell the truth about these mysterious creatures. One would be narrated by Rod Sterling and another by Peter Graves. Not to forget films like 1972's "The Legend of Boggy Creek" and others.















No comments:

Post a Comment

John Steinbeck, John Ford, Henry Fonda and Woody Guthrie: "Tom Joad!"

John Steinbeck is quoted on the website "Greenleft" as having said of his novel "THE GRAPES OF WRATH" : I want to put a...