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The Vanishing Point


A thrilling Holocaust-based narrative about a visiting physics professor in Germany on the search for an aged German physicist who had been known for his work on an anti-matter device. Only he is impeded by accidentally coming across a scheme to restore the Nazis with a mysterious weapon - the anti-matter device!



Air Dates

  • First Run - July 31, 1978
  • Repeat - January 27, 1979





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4 Responses to Episode 0873

For some reason I liked this one! I agree that Fred Gwynne like usual is great in it. The story did tend to drag and reach at times, but overall I mentally placed it in a category like an old, really bad effects sci fi movie. In parts it was so corny and bad that it was endearing. :)


Fred Gwynne, once again, is terrific. The plot & dialogue of the story would've been good for a post-war film like in the 1940's. In ACT 1, Dr. William Carstairs (played by Fred Gwynne) searches for a man of physics, but gets captured, attacked and threatened by his new enemies. In ACT 2, the antagonist Kellner (played by Court Benson) gives Inspector Mueller (played by Earl Hammond) a made up story the our protagonist wasn't being "cooperative". In ACT 3, Carstairs finally meets his mystery man, but leaves at the nick of time when things go from bad to worse. I won't give away the ending, but I will say, what goes around comes around.


I disagree with your synopsis. Warning this may be a spoiler alert. There was no mention of anti-matter in the episode. They called it a displacement theory. As described in the climax, this 'laboratory experiment' involved volume that is positive and a force that is negative. (Sort of say a lightning bolt or electricity I thought.) This then destroyed the positive atoms in the 'mad' scientist's body. Now anti-matter is not a force, but is identical to matter except its electrons are positons. When anti- matter hits matter there is 100% annihilation. There is a big explosion with nothing left. That is not what is described in the episode. The device in the cellar is constantly running as a force field and Fred Gwynne has no idea how to shut it off. E.G. Marshall then says be careful when exploring in unknown cellars if you don't want to suddenly vanish. This of course rules out anti- matter since somebody would have to feed in more anti-matter constantly over all that time.


Physics is Phun! Especially Deutsch Physicists!!! PS-And universe has more black matter than matter we can see or account for. So who knows what it is. Seems to be the cosmic glue.

Scooter D

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