5) The Bellero Shield
Our Next episode is The Bellero Shield, in which scientist Richard Bellero (Martin Landau) is experimenting with laser technology, trying to impress his father whom Bellero hopes will name him as head of the elder’s high tech development corporation when he retires.
When an alien being descends from outer space on the laser beam (which Bellero sends out into space from an aperture in his home laboratory) bearing a device that creates an invulnerable shield of force around anyone holding it, Bellero’s wife (Sally Kellerman) sees the key to unlock her husband’s future fame and career.
She kills the alien (or so she believes) and takes the device, then convinces her husband’s father that the hand held device (which can expand the force field to encase entire cities, making them invulnerable to nuclear attack), is her husband’s invention.
She stages a demonstration for her father-in-law, using herself as guinea pig. Placeing herself within the shield, she becomes invulnerable to gunshots, or anything else used to penetrate the force field. However, the device itself functions on the blood, or bodily fluid, of the alien, and as it runs out of fluid, Kellerman finds herself trapped within the force field with no conceivable way out. Nothing can penetrate the Bellero Sheild, and Kellerman becomes ever more mentally distraught as each and every attempt to remove her from within it fails.
It turns out that the alien has not, in fact, been killed, and he reappears, reconnects the device to his bodily fluids via a tube, and turns off the shield. Kellerman, however, driven to a kind of nervous collapse by her ordeal, will not believe the shield is gone. Symbolically trapped in her own mental world of petty avarice and lust for status and wealth, she steps forward toward her husband waiting arms and collides with a Bollero Shield that is no longer there. “It’ll always be here” she says. “Nothing will ever remove it.”
“When aspiration becomes ambition,” so the control voice tells us, we have “the sin by which the angels fell.”