The Hidden Thing

Season 1, Episode 34

Director: Robert Stevens
Stars: Biff McGuire, Robert H. Harris, Judith Ames, Theodore Newton, Katherine Warren, Richard Collier
Air date: 20 May 1956
Rating: 8/10

[Hitch pulls a teddy bear and a water bottle out of a large trunk which is beside him]
"No, that's not it. I'm trying to retrieve a lost article. The only difficulty is I can't remember what I lost. [He pulls out a rope tied in a noose] No this isn't it. I don't know why I keep it. I don't know if it's any good anymore; it's been used. [He pulls out a gun from the trunk] This is for the man who has everything. It's to enable you to take some of it away from him. By the way this may take all evening so while I'm looking here why don't you look over there..."
"I still can't remember what I'm looking for. If I had only partial recall it would help. Here it is. At the very bottom of the trunk. I remember now. It's a note I wrote myself. [reads piece of paper]: REMEMBER TO CLEAN OUT TRUNK. I must remember to do that some time. And incidentally here's something for you to remember while I'm away for the next sixty seconds. [fade to black] Our story tonight taught us that once you have seen something you never really forget it. There are times when that can be an appalling thought. One further reminder: I shall be back next week with another story and unless your license number happens to be KTY 478, I shall see you then. Good night."
On a quiet country lane one night, two lovers, Dana and Laura, stop off to get some hamburgers by a roadside cafe but as they get out of their car the girl is killed in a hit-and-run accident by a speeding car.
The police lieutenant questions Dana about the incident but Dana cannot remember any details about the car, the license plate or even the colour of it. A week later and no amount of consoling from Dana's mother can bring him out of his depression.
Until a stranger named John Hurley turns up at the house to talk to Dana about the accident, claiming that he himself lost a son in similar circumstances and offers to help Dana find the person who killed his fiancee. Hurley tells Dana he will help him remember the details of the accident and make him relive it in order to establish the identity of the person driving the car. Dana questions Hurley on why it is so important for him to recall such things and wonders about Hurley's motive in wanting to assist in the matter.
After a considerable amount of interrogating of Dana, he finally snaps when he realises that to try and go back into his memory to recall the license plate of the car then he would also have to watch Laura die all over again, and he cannot go through with it. But Hurley insists that by his pursuance will bring some closure to Dana's suffering and expose the guilty person. Dana recalls the evening of the accident as we see it through a flashback sequence. The police lieutenant arrives at the house just as Hurley excitedly announces that Dana remembers the license plate. But the officer knows something about Hurley that Dana isn't aware of....

An intriguing episode as it leaves the viewer trying to guess who killed Laura in the car. All characters seen in the episode are considered as potential suspects: the mother, the police lieutenant, the stranger who offers to help Dana remember.... and the persistent reference to the "man" who is responsible makes us wonder if it was a man at all behind the wheel of the killer car. Another consideration was the possibility that she deliberately allowed herself to be killed by the car because of the conversation she had just had in the car with Dana when he did not want to get married to her immediately as she requested. My thoughts were that Dana's mother was to blame. Oh well, it all gets explained.... well, sort of!

This was the third appearance by Robert H. Harris in the series. He would go onto to star in five more episodes, plus one episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.


This page was last updated on: 31 July 2018