The Robot Killer

CAST:
MARY
ANNOUNCER
PROFESSOR
HAPPY SAM
ROBOT
JOHN
DOCTOR
VIRGINIA




MUSIC: EERIE, IN BG

MARY: All the time that I was alone, I thought of what I would do -- if only I 
dared. And then I saw the robot.

ANNOUNCER: TWO THOUSAND PLUS! Science fiction adventures in the world of 
tomorrow -- the years beyond Two Thousand, A. D. (BEAT) TWO THOUSAND PLUS 
presents -- "The Robot Killer"!

MUSIC: GONG! OMINOUS, ENERGETIC, AND BOMBASTIC OPENING!

PROFESSOR: (WITH CONTEMPT) So -- you are Mr. Samuel Donaldson.  

SAM: Yes, sir. "Happy Sam" they call me.

PROFESSOR: Yes, I know. I have friends who think your television program is 
very funny. I do not.

SAM: (NOT OFFENDED) Ah, it's a living, Professor Straker. Now, may I see the 
mechanical man I'm giving away as the jackpot prize on my show next week?

PROFESSOR: It is not a "mechanical man," Mr. Donaldson. The correct word is 
"robot" -- R-O-B-O-T.

SAM: I know, I know.

PROFESSOR: This robot is the supreme achievement of our electronics division. 
We've worked on it for six years. It will do whatever it is instructed to do. 
I simply do not understand how the management of this corporation can think of 
giving it away to the public! This magnificent mechanism!

SAM: Aw, look, professor, this corporation sponsors my T.V. show. We're on 
one-thousand two-hundred forty-six stations, we're telecast in three-
dimensional color, and "The Happy Sam Show" is the Number Two favorite in the 
country. The sponsor thinks it would be a good advertising gimmick to offer a 
super-jackpot prize -- a mechanical man -- a "robot." And I never argue with a 
sponsor. Now please, may I see what I've come to see?

PROFESSOR: All right, young man, I have no choice. Come along.

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS ... FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE TO A 
SECOND DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS 

PROFESSOR: There it is. Experimental Robot Twenty-Three.

SAM: Bro-ther! He's really something, professor! Six feet tall -- shiny metal 
-- flexible fingers. Say, how does he work?

PROFESSOR: Very simply. His electronic controls respond to ultra-high 
frequency waves which emanate from this microphone box.  

SOUND: CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! OF SWITCH

PROFESSOR: Speak into the microphone -- the robot will do whatever you order 
him to.

SAM: Anything?

PROFESSOR: Virtually. Robot Twenty-Three has an electronic brain. You can try 
for yourself -- here.

SAM: Okay. (TO ROBOT) Sing "Sweet Adeline."

PROFESSOR: Really, Mr. Donaldson! What a ridiculous request! You think the 
best scientific brains in the country worked for six years for a robot to--?

ROBOT: (SINGS) "Sweet Ad-e-line--"

PROFESSOR: (SHOCKED) Good heavens!  

ROBOT: (SINGS) "Will - you - be - mine?"

PROFESSOR: (ASTONISHED) Why, it - it really tried to sing.  

SAM: Yeah. He's very clever, professor! Hey, watch this! (TO ROBOT) Pick up 
that broom in the corner and sweep the floor! (CHUCKLES) Oh, boy! The 
housewives who watch my program will love this!

SOUND: METALLIC FOOTSTEPS ... SLOW, DELIBERATE SWEEPING OF BROOM, IN BG

SAM: Look. I'll be darned. Looka there -- he's doing it! He's doing it!  (TO 
ROBOT) Okay, okay, stop sweeping.

SOUND: SWEEPING STOPS

SAM: What a gadget! What a giveaway! Now, let's see, something for the kiddies 
and I'll-- Hey, hey, what is that?

PROFESSOR: That kitten is the pet of Dr. Broderick of the physics laboratory 
-- and I assure you, you cannot give that away.

SAM: I don't want to give the kitten away. I just want a little heartthrob on 
the show for the youngsters. Here, kitty. Come here, kitty! Kitty-kitty-kitty! 
Come here, kitty.

SOUND: KITTEN MEOWS

SAM: (LAUGHS) Now, now, kitty. Now, down on the floor you go. Now, down on the 
floor; go 'head. And we'll show how gentle and friendly our jackpot prize 
robot is with pets! Give me the mike.

PROFESSOR: Mr. Donaldson, what are you going to do now?

SAM: (TO ROBOT) Okay, Robot Twenty-Three. Go over to the kitten. Pick it up. 
And pet the kitty! Nice kitty!

SOUND: METALLIC FOOTSTEPS TO KITTEN WHICH MEOWS ... KITTEN KEEPS MEOWING 
BEHIND--

SAM: Look at that. Isn't that sweet? Boy, what a camera shot on the air! 

SOUND: KITTEN STOPS MEOWING

SAM: Hey, hey -- hey, what's he doing?!

PROFESSOR: (URGENT) Robot Twenty-Three -- drop the kitten! Drop the kitten!

ROBOT: (MECHANICALLY) Drop - kit-ten.

PROFESSOR: (DISMAYED) Oh. Poor tabby.

SAM: Why, he -- he -- he killed the kitten! Broke its neck!

PROFESSOR: (SOMBER) He tried to pet it -- and he killed it. (ANGRY) Do you see 
what comes when - when fools play with science?! No good will come of 
giving this robot away to the public. I warn you, no good will come of it!

MUSIC: OMINOUS TRANSITION

SAM: Hello, ladies and gentlemen! Hello! This is Happy Sam, the happy man, 
welcoming you to another half hour of mirth and melody. Boys! How 'bout a 
fanfare?

MUSIC: STUDIO BAND PLAYS A FANFARE

SOUND: STUDIO AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

SAM: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you very much! Now, you 
know that every week for the past four weeks our Grand Super-Jackpot has been 
growing and growing! At this moment, these are the sensational prizes 
in that jackpot--

SOUND: DRUM ROLL AND CYMBAL CRASH!

SAM: A free rocket plane trip for two to Paris, flying in the new one-hundred-
fifty-passenger luxury Rocket Cruiser at sixty-thousand feet; only three hours 
and ten minutes from New York to Paris!

SOUND: DRUM ROLL AND CYMBAL CRASH!

SAM: An atomic-powered sports roadster -- the automobile that never needs gas 
or oil! It runs almost forever!

SOUND: DRUM ROLL AND CYMBAL CRASH!

SAM: A Krylon man's suit, tailored to your measure! Krylon is the wonder 
fabric, guaranteed to last one-hundred years! And, with this suit, a special 
set of fourteen different Krylon chemical colors! Dip that suit in the color 
you prefer; wear it, then change the color with another rinse! The suit is 
always pressed, always perfect! Fourteen suits in one -- a complete wardrobe 
on your back!  

SOUND: DRUM ROLL AND CYMBAL CRASH!

SAM: And the one thing money cannot buy! More money! Yes, ten thousand 
dollars cash! Now, those are our jackpot prizes!

SOUND: STUDIO BAND PLAYS A TAG

SAM: And now tonight, we add one more prize -- a prize so fantastic and 
wonderful, nothing like it has ever been offered to a lucky winner before. 
This prize is a supreme achievement of modern science. It is an entire retinue 
of servants in one amazing machine. It is a slave to your every command. And 
here it is -- Michael the Mechanical Man!  

MUSIC: STUDIO BAND PLAYS A TAG

SOUND: STUDIO AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

SAM: Yes, he's wonderful! A wonderful robot! Thank you very much, thank you! 
Thank you. And now-- Now to determine who wins this giant jackpot and who wins 
this mechanical marvel, Michael the Mechanical Man -- a thousand slaves in one 
amazing machine! Now, as you know, ladies and gentlemen, each and every one of 
you millions of people watching this program on your visi-screen are receiving 
this program via microwave. And now, our computators are in action! They are 
channeling every microwave reception on this program. When the spinner disk 
stops -- if your television set is on -- if you're the lucky person -- 
you win the jackpot! Wait now, wait! The computator has finished. The 
engineer signals that the spinner disk is slowing down--

SOUND: DING! GOES THE BELL

SAM: And we have a winner tonight! We picked up a set who had us tuned in. Our 
pretty model is walking across the stage with a name. (ASIDE, TO MODEL) Thank 
you, honey. (UP) And now -- here it is! The name you've all been waiting to 
hear! Four-Two-Three North Glencoe Boulevard in Martin Hills, New York, 
Apartment Five-B. Mr. John Hanold! Mr. John Hanold!

MUSIC: BRIDGE

DOCTOR: Sit down, Mr. Hanold. My practiced medical eye, judging from the smile 
on your face, tells me that you're pretty happy that Mrs. Hanold is being 
released from the hospital today.

JOHN: Oh, it's not only that, doctor! Don't tell me you haven't heard of my 
other good piece of luck. Everyone in town's been calling me for hours before 
I left for the hospital.

DOCTOR: Another good piece of luck? No, I haven't heard.

JOHN: Why, I won some fabulous prizes in a giveaway show -- including ten 
thousand dollars! 

DOCTOR: Oh?

JOHN: (LAUGHS) That means your bill's gonna be paid! 

DOCTOR: (CHUCKLES)

JOHN: And I also got a trip to Paris, and a mechanical man, and Lord knows 
what else.

DOCTOR: That's wonderful. I congratulate you. However, I think I would forget 
that trip to Paris for a while.

JOHN: What?

DOCTOR: In fact, wait a few hours before telling Mrs. Hanold about your good 
fortune.

JOHN: Oh, but why, doctor?

DOCTOR: Mr. Hanold, after your wife's illness, she suffered a nervous 
breakdown. She became mentally unstable. But she's pretty good now, thanks to 
what the hospital has done. However, when you take her home, she must feel 
she's returning to her normal life. And winning ten-thousand-dollar prizes 
isn't very normal.  

JOHN: Oh, I see.

DOCTOR: The main thing we want to avoid is a relapse.  

JOHN: (AGREES) Mm hm.

DOCTOR: She should have a few neighbors who can drop in and see her now and 
then.

JOHN: Well, there's Miss Barden -- Virginia Barden. She lives in the apartment 
next to us on our floor.

DOCTOR: Oh, yes. Yes, your wife mentioned her occasionally. Do they -- get 
along all right?

JOHN: (UNSURE) I - I think so. Why?

DOCTOR: Nothing; I just wondered. Well, Mrs. Hanold's waiting for you; I know 
you're very anxious to get her home. 

SOUND: CLICK! OF INTERCOM

DOCTOR: Nurse? Have Mrs. Hanold come in, please. 

SOUND: CLICK! OF INTERCOM

DOCTOR: (TO JOHN) I think in another month or so she'll be fine.

SOUND: DOOR OPENS ... THEN CLOSES BEHIND--

DOCTOR: Oh, here she is now. Hello, Mrs. Hanold.

JOHN: Mary, darling! Am I glad to see you!

MARY: Hello, John. Hello, doctor.

DOCTOR: Well, what did I tell you? Doesn't she look fine?

JOHN: Oh, she certainly does!

MARY: John, how good it is to be going home. I'm as excited as a school girl!

JOHN: Well, now, don't get too excited; you've gotta take it easy for a while.

MARY: Is that what the doctor said? He's such a worrybird.

DOCTOR: You do what your husband says, Mrs. Hanold, and you'll just be fine.

JOHN: See? Doctor's orders.

MARY: I promise. Thank you, doctor. You've been very kind.

DOCTOR: I'll drop in from time to time to see you. Well, goodbye, Mrs. Hanold.

JOHN: Goodbye, doctor! (WARMLY, TO MARY) All right, dear, let's go. Let's go.

MUSIC: BRIDGE

MARY: John, I can hardly believe it.

JOHN: Well, the doctor told me to wait until you got home before telling you.

MARY: Ten thousand dollars!

JOHN: And a trip to Paris! Think of it! Boy, I hope we can take it in the 
summer during my vacation.

MARY: And a mechanical slave. John, where will we put it?

JOHN: Now, wait, honey, you're not supposed to get excited. (CHUCKLES) Oh, 
but, boy, who can help it?

MARY: Oh, the crazy things they give away.

SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS

JOHN: Oh, I'll see who it is.

SOUND: JOHN'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS

VIRGINIA: Hello, John.

JOHN: Oh, hello, Virginia!

MARY: (OFF) Who is it, darling?

SOUND: DOOR CLOSES

JOHN: (CALLS) Why, it's, uh-- It's Virginia!  

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS IN

VIRGINIA: Mary! I just had to come and tell you how wonderful it is -- your 
being back -- and those wonderful prizes!  

MARY: (DUTIFUL) It was very nice of you to come in, Virginia -- and thank you 
for the supper you prepared for my homecoming.

VIRGINIA: I was delighted to, darling. When John asked me--

MARY: (SUSPICIOUS) John -- asked you to?

VIRGINIA: Well, yes! He was so happy you were coming back. John, doesn't 
Mary's being home call for a celebration? Can't we have a drink?

JOHN: Well, I don't know, Virginia; Mary's supposed to get rest. Still-- Well, 
I suppose one sip won't hurt. But I'll have to go out and get something, 
though. (MOVING OFF) I'll be right back!

SOUND: JOHN'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES

VIRGINIA: (SIGHS) Darling, when you get your prizes, I'll have cause to be 
jealous of you! Cigarette?

MARY: No, thanks. Jealous? Why?

VIRGINIA: (LIGHTLY) Well, you'll have two men -- John and the robot. 
(CHUCKLES) Poor little me, a bachelor gal all alone. You know, I really think 
you ought to give me one of them!

MARY: (ICY) Which one would you like to have?

VIRGINIA: (LAUGHS) Darling, what a silly question! The mechanical man, of 
course. He doesn't drop ashes on the rug; he'll wash the dishes and put out 
the cat; he'll never argue--

MARY: (DISTRESSED) You're lying to me!

VIRGINIA: (BEAT, ASTONISHED) Why, Mary, you're serious.

MARY: What did you expect me to be?

VIRGINIA: I don't understand.

MARY: But I do! In the hospital, I began to understand a lot of things. 
(SLOWLY, EERILY) I know the doctors thought something happened to my mind -- 
but all that happened was that it became very clear, very sharp. And for the 
first time, I began to think clearly.

VIRGINIA: (TAKEN ABACK) Darling, I - I think this excitement's been too much 
for you. I shouldn't have come in.

MARY: Because I was here? Is that why you shouldn't have come in?

VIRGINIA: You're wrong, Mary. Everything you're thinking is wrong!

MARY: John would come to the hospital only once a day. 

VIRGINIA: But he was working!

MARY: Some days he wouldn't come at all!

VIRGINIA: Mary, you know he has to go out of town on business once in a 
while!

MARY: I know many things. I would lie in my hospital bed and the shadows would 
whisper to me. They would say, "Where is John now? While you lie in an 
antiseptic bed in a hospital room that is as cold as a surgeon's knife -- 
cutting your memories to pieces--"

VIRGINIA: (UNNERVED) You frighten me.

MARY: Don't go. John will be back in a moment.

VIRGINIA: (MAKES AN EXCUSE) I - I have a headache. I've got to go.

MARY: But what will John say when you're not here?

VIRGINIA: You -- poor darling. You poor, sick Mary.

SOUND: VIRGINIA'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES

MARY: Yes, walk out on me, Virginia. Leave me alone. But I'm not alone as I 
was in the hospital. I'm home now -- my home. And I'm near you. Near enough to 
kill you. If only I could think of how to do it.

MUSIC: BRIDGE

JOHN: That robot's quite a guy, isn't he?

MARY: (ADMIRINGLY) He looks something like the tin woodman of Oz I used to 
read about when I was a girl.

JOHN: Well, I doubt, though, that he can do any of the things they said on 
that program. My guess is that we'll have to sell him for junk or give him 
away to some kids. Now, let's see-- 

SOUND: RATTLE OF PAPER

JOHN: The directions say, "Turn on the racket switch for power--"

SOUND: SWITCH CLICKS ... ROBOT POWERS UP

JOHN: "--and then just talk into the microphone. Use simple phrases and 
precise instructions." (TO MARY) Well, what shall I tell him to do? He's your 
boyfriend.

MARY: Tell him -- tell him to move the green chair about two feet back in the 
corner.

JOHN: Okay. (TO ROBOT) Move green chair -- back -- two feet -- into corner!

SOUND: METALLIC FOOTSTEPS ... THEN IN BG

MARY: John! He's walking!

JOHN: That's the darnedest thing I ever saw!  

SOUND: CHAIR SCRAPES ALONG FLOOR ... FOOTSTEPS OUT

JOHN: He did it! Hey, he's gonna be all right.

MARY: John, does he have a name?

JOHN: A name? Don't be silly.

MARY: He must have a name. He's almost like a person. Ask him.

JOHN: He can talk, too? (TO ROBOT) What is your name? (NO ANSWER) Your name? 
(NO ANSWER) Do - you - have - a - name? (TO MARY) See? He can't talk.

MARY: Don't ask him a question. Tell him to tell you. Do as the directions 
say.

JOHN: (TO ROBOT) Tell - me - your - name.

ROBOT: Experimental - Robot - Twenty-Three.

MARY: (IN AWE) Robot Twenty-Three.

JOHN: Kinda gives me the creeps.

MARY: (LOVINGLY) Oh, he's wonderful.

JOHN: Well, now what do I do? He can't stand there staring at us. There's 
nothing for him to do around here.

MARY: The poker; that steel poker in the fireplace.

JOHN: Well, what about it?

MARY: He looks so strong. Tell him-- Tell him to bend it.

JOHN: Bend it? Mary, that's solid steel. He's just a tin toy with electronic 
nerves.

MARY: Please, John. Tell him.

JOHN: But, honey, he'll probably get a short-circuit or something straining 
himself. Then we will have to junk him. (BEAT) Oh, all right, all 
right. (TO ROBOT) Bend - poker - there. Bend steel poker.

SOUND: METALLIC FOOTSTEPS TO POKER WHICH IS GRABBED (SCRAPE OF METAL ON BRICK)

JOHN: There, see? He just picked it up. But nothing's happening. (TO ROBOT) 
Bend it. Bend it. (NO RESPONSE, TO MARY) You see? I told-- Good Lord!

MARY: (AWE AND DELIGHT) Oh, he's bending the steel as if it were taffy.

SOUND: CLANG! AS POKER IS THROWN TO FLOOR

JOHN: And did you see that? Why, it's almost as if-- Why, as if he threw it 
down disdaining of showing off.

SOUND: SWITCH CLICKS

MARY: Why did you turn him off?

JOHN: He's dangerous, Mary. Dangerous and frightening. I'm gonna dismantle 
him.

MARY: (DISTRESSED) No!  

JOHN: Now, wait -- don't get so excited about it. You know what the doctor 
said.

MARY: Don't dismantle him, John! Please!

JOHN: (QUICKLY, SOOTHING) All right, all right, all right, all right -- if you 
insist. (SLOWLY, FIRM) But remember, Mary, you're not to give him any orders 
except when I'm home.  

MARY: (REASSURING, BUT CAREFUL) Darling, I wouldn't do anything - that 
wouldn't be right for me. 

MUSIC: BRIDGE

SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES TWICE

MARY: (TO HERSELF) Two o'clock -- almost four hours until John comes home.

SOUND: MARY'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR 

MARY: (TO HERSELF) Lock the door--

SOUND: DOOR LOCKED

MARY: (TO HERSELF) --and now to make him come to life again.

SOUND: MARY'S FOOTSTEPS TO SWITCH ... SWITCH CLICKS .. ROBOT POWERS UP

MARY: (TO ROBOT) Speak to me. Say to me, "Hello, Mary."

ROBOT: Hello - Mary.

MARY: Hello, Robot Twenty-Three; how nice of you to visit me. Every day, you 
visit me. Why do you do that? Tell me, "Because I love you."

ROBOT: Because - I - love - you.

MARY: Because you love me! Oh, Robot Twenty-Three, how handsome and strong you 
are. And you are mine. You do what I want you to do. You are my slave. 
Say to me, "I am your slave."

ROBOT: I - am - your - slave.

MARY: That vase. That vase that Virginia gave me last year. There -- the blue 
one. Destroy that vase.

SOUND: METALLIC FOOTSTEPS TO VASE WHICH IS SMASHED

MARY: Thank you, thank you, thank you, Robot Twenty-Three, very much! Of all 
the things in the world I have, you are the most wonderful -- because you love 
me and obey me and would do anything for me. Anything.

SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS

MARY: Oh, the door. Someone there. It can't be John. It's much too early for 
John. 

SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS

MARY: I'll see who it is and you will wait for me. Wait -- as you always do.

SOUND: MARY'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH UNLOCKS AND OPENS

MARY: (COOL) You.

VIRGINIA: (CASUAL, FRIENDLY) Hello, Mary. I'm sorry to disturb you.

MARY: What do you want?

VIRGINIA: This package was delivered to my door. Something you probably 
ordered by phone. It's marked 5-D, but your name's on it. Should have said 
5-B.

MARY: Yes. Yes, from the grocery.

VIRGINIA: Oh! Is that the mechanical man standing in the living room?

MARY: That is Robot Twenty-Three.

VIRGINIA: Does he really work? He's awfully big and clumsy looking.

MARY: He's come to visit me. He's mine. He doesn't love you.

VIRGINIA: (TAKEN ABACK) Doesn't love--? Uh, of course not, Mary. Of course 
not. I'm sorry to have disturbed you. Is there anything I can do for you?

MARY: No, no, nothing. Go away.

SOUND: DOOR SLAMMED AND LOCKED ... MARY'S FOOTSTEPS TO ROBOT

MARY: You saw her, didn't you? Say, "Yes, I saw her."

ROBOT: Yes - I - saw - her.

MARY: She's the one, the one I hate. And John-- John is the one I love. And 
you-- You love me. Say, "I love you."

ROBOT: I - love - you.

MARY: You must destroy her; the way we destroyed the vase. Now that you've 
seen her, you know my secret. And you will kill her for me because you are my 
slave. Say, "I will kill her."

ROBOT: I - will - kill - her.

MUSIC: BRIDGE

SOUND: PHONE RINGS TWICE ... RECEIVER UP

JOHN: Hello?

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) John! This is Virginia.

JOHN: Oh, hello, Virginia! This is a pleasant surprise. Why are you calling 
me?

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) It's about Mary.

JOHN: Mary? Has something happened? What is it?

VIRGINIA: I rang your doorbell a few minutes ago. One of Mary's packages had 
been delivered to me by mistake. She came to the door--

JOHN: Yes?

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) She acted very strangely -- particularly when I asked about 
the mechanical man, the robot.

JOHN: Well, what do you mean, Virginia -- "strangely"?

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) She wouldn't let me come in and look at him. She said he-- 
He didn't love me.

JOHN: What?

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) She was in a strange-- Well, a strange mental state. John, 
are you sure she's all right?

JOHN: Virginia, listen. The robot was moving or doing anything, was it?

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) Not that I could notice. But Mary's attitude and her odd 
remark-- 

JOHN: I knew I shouldn't have accepted that tin monster. I'll get home as soon 
as I can, Virginia. Thanks for calling. 

SOUND: JOHN PUSHES CRADLE TO DISCONNECT

JOHN: (SIGHS)

SOUND: JOHN BUZZES FOR OUTSIDE LINE, DIALS ... PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED 
(CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)

DOCTOR: (FILTER) Hello?

JOHN: Dr. Rosenblatt? This is John Hanold.

DOCTOR: (FILTER) Oh, yes, Mr. Hanold.

JOHN: A neighbor just called me. Mary's acting strangely. I'm worried.

DOCTOR: (FILTER) I don't understand, Mr. Hanold.

JOHN: Well, we won some prizes on a TV show a few days ago and one of 'em was 
a mechanical man, a robot.

DOCTOR: (FILTER) Oh, yes, you told me about it.  

JOHN: Well, the robot, in my opinion, is a dangerous gadget. Well, anyway, one 
of the neighbors reported that Mary is talking strangely about it. I wonder if 
you could meet me at the apartment. It'll take me about half an hour to get 
there.

DOCTOR: (FILTER) Mr. Hanold, I hope you'll forgive me, but you've got to 
expect that neighbors, with all the goodwill in the world, tend to exaggerate 
the actions of people whom they've known to have been mentally ill. I'm sure 
there's nothing to be alarmed about.

JOHN: Yes, but, doctor, this neighbor is a good friend and an intelligent 
woman.

DOCTOR: (FILTER) Well, I've had a lot of experience in these matters, Mr. 
Hanold. However, to ease your mind, I'll try to drop over sometime this 
evening or in the morning. We'll have a talk about it. I'm in a meeting now.

JOHN: (DISAPPOINTED) Well, all right, doctor. If you say so. Thanks very much.

SOUND: JOHN PUSHES CRADLE TO DISCONNECT, THEN BUZZES FOR OUTSIDE LINE, DIALS 
... PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) Hello?

JOHN: Oh, Virginia, this is John. 

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) Yes, John?

JOHN: I just spoke to the doctor. He thinks there's nothing to worry about, 
but-- Well, I wonder if you'd do me a great favor?

VIRGINIA: (FILTER) Of course, John. What is it?

JOHN: I've got a few things here to clean up at the desk, so I can't get home 
right away. I wonder if you'd go in and stay with Mary until I get there.

MARY: (FILTER) But, John, I-- Frankly, I'm a little frightened.

JOHN: Why, that's silly, Virginia. After all, what can happen?

MUSIC: OMINOUS BRIDGE

SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS

MARY: (TO HERSELF) The door again, the door. (TO ROBOT) Wait, Robot Twenty-
Three, and I'll come back to you. Say, "I will wait for you."

ROBOT: I - will - wait - for - you.

MARY: Thank you, thank you, darling.

SOUND: MARY'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH UNLOCKS AND OPENS

VIRGINIA: Mary, I wonder if I could visit with you for a while.

MARY: (SUSPICIOUS) Why? Why do you want to visit with me?

VIRGINIA: Why, darling, I'm your neighbor. And I thought it would be very nice 
if we had tea. (BEAT, EXHALES) Don't you want me to come in, Mary?

MARY: (SUDDENLY INSPIRED) Yes. Yes, I do want you to come in. Come in--

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS IN ... DOOR CLOSES

MARY: --and meet Robot Twenty-Three.

VIRGINIA: (MILDLY ALARMED) Mary -- he's moved since I saw him last. He was 
standing by the fireplace when I was at the door before -- and now he's by the 
sofa. (A LITTLE GASP) Oh, darling! That lovely vase I gave you and John-- It - 
it's broken.

SOUND: VIRGINIA'S FOOTSTEPS TO VASE

VIRGINIA: (QUIETLY, MYSTIFIED) Broken in a million pieces.  

MARY: I had him do it. He did it. 

VIRGINIA: He did it? What do you mean?

MARY: You know what I mean! You -- and your lies -- and your deceit!

VIRGINIA: Mary! What are you doing? Why are you picking up that microphone?

MARY: Robot Twenty-Three loves me, as I love John! And you won't destroy my 
love! You won't! (TO ROBOT) Robot Twenty-Three -- go to her! Kill her! 
Kill her!

VIRGINIA: Mary! Mary!

SOUND: METALLIC FOOTSTEPS ADVANCE ON VIRGINIA

VIRGINIA: No! No! (SCREAMS)

MUSIC: BRIDGE

VIRGINIA: (SOBS HYSTERICALLY)

JOHN: Virginia, please. Please stop crying. Good heavens! What happened?

VIRGINIA: Mary-- (TOO HYSTERICAL TO CONTINUE; KEEPS SOBBING IN BG)

PROFESSOR: Excuse me, Mr. Hanold, but I think I can tell you what happened. 
I'm Professor Straker -- one of the men who built that robot. I came to your 
apartment hoping to persuade you to return the robot. I heard a dreadful 
commotion inside, called this patrolman on the corner, and we forced our way 
in here. The robot was moving toward this young lady here.

VIRGINIA: I tried to get away! Wherever I went, it - it came after me!

PROFESSOR: I shut off the control box and stopped the robot.  

VIRGINIA: Mary wanted to kill me, John! Kill me! (MORE SOBBING, IN BG)

SOUND: DOOR OPENS .. DOCTOR'S FOOTSTEPS IN

JOHN: Doctor! How's Mary? Is she all right?

DOCTOR: I've given her a sedative, Mr. Hanold. I'll take her back to the 
hospital in a few hours. All this excitement-- However, I'm sure she'll be all 
right in another month or two.

VIRGINIA: But she tried to kill me! She tried to kill me! (SOBBING IN BG)

DOCTOR: For some reason, she was jealous of you, but now that we know of her 
obsession, we can treat it psychiatrically.

JOHN: And she'll be all right, doctor? She won't try to kill again? When I 
think what might have happened to Virginia-- 

PROFESSOR: Mr. Hanold, nothing would've happened. You see, your wife told the 
robot to kill. But that was not an instruction the robot could carry out.  

JOHN: What do you mean, professor? You said yourself the robot was going 
toward Virginia.

PROFESSOR: Yes, of course, because your wife said, "Go to her" -- a simple 
physical action a robot is capable of performing, due to its directional 
mechanism. However, the command "kill" is not sufficiently explicit. The robot 
cannot kill in general. It must have step-by-step instructions as to how the 
command is to be carried out. You see, Mr. Hanold, I might put it this way. To 
strike out blindly, to kill without thinking, requires an emotional drive, the 
capacity to hate. And that the robot cannot do. It is, after all, a machine -- 
not a human being.

MUSIC: CURTAIN ...


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Originally broadcast 30 August 1950