Gojira!The first Godzilla movie, Gojira, debuts in Japan. Directed by Ishiro Honda and starring Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi and Akihiko Hirata, the film is intended to be an allegory to the ravages of the atomic bomb rather than the beginning of a franchise (though the door is clearly left open to a sequel by dialogue at the close of the movie). The franchise proper will not begin until the first sequel five years later. In the meantime, an American dub of the movie attracts worldwide attention to Gojira, eventually rechristening the character Godzilla for much of the world.

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Stage 7: The Secret Weapon Of 117

Gene RoddenberryThe TV anthology series Stage 7 presents the first produced science fiction television script written by future Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, The Secret Weapon Of 117. Ricardo Montalban stars as one of a pair of aliens trying to assess whether or not Earth has the technology to retaliate against infiltration and invasion by their species. Drawing from his past police work, Roddenberry has already sold scripts to Ziv Television Programs for Mr. District Attorney and Highway Patrol, and pitched an ultimately unsold script to Ziv’s Science Fiction Theatre series; this is his first genre work to make it to the screen. Sadly, no recordings still seem to exist of this self-contained story.

Godzilla, King Of The Monsters!

GodzillaThe first Godzilla movie, Gojira, is re-released in America, dubbed into English with additional scenes starring actor Raymond Burr, as Godzilla, King Of The Monsters! Despite the quite noticeable differences between old footage and new, the movie proves popular, and sparks the western world’s obsession with Toho Studios’ signature creation. It is also just the first of several attempts to westernize the Godzilla mythos (chiefly for American audiences).

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Twilight Zone: Time Enough At Last

Twilight ZoneCBS airs the eighth episode of Rod Serling’s anthology series The Twilight Zone. Burgess Meredith (Batman, Rocky) stars in a script written by Serling, adapted from a short story by Lynn Venable. This episode will later be considered, by both fans of the show and critics of television and drama in general, to be one of The Twilight Zone’s all-time classic episodes.

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