There was a 1970s? TV programme set in a small American town ( part of a series all different) where the children kept taking kitchen items etc to help the aliens invade. But their parents thought it a game until they really did come.


2 Answers 2


WorldCat shows two video productions (or maybe it's just one production cataloged two different ways) that would better fit the dating. It's not clear that it/they were also shown on televsion, but I'd imagine that was quite possible.

Title: Zero hour. Author(s): Bradbury, Ray,; 1920-2012. Chaffee, Darlene. Publication: Santa Monica, Calif. : BFA Educational Media, Year: 1978 Description: 1 videocassette, 20 min. : sound, color ; 3/4 in. + study guide. Series: BFA Science fiction series;


Title: Zero hour / Author(s): Bradbury, Ray,; 1920-2012. Corp Author(s): Bernard Wilets Productions. ; Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation. Publication: Chicago, IL : Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corp., Year: 1978 Description: 1 film reel (20 min.) : sound, color ; 16 mm

WorldCat is a shared library catalog/database. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldcat Since the basic story underlying the video had already been identified (clearly correctly), I was only trying to find a record of existing video versions that would match the remembered timeframe. So I went in to WorldCat (via my library's subscription version), did a keyword search for "zero hour" and bradbury limited the 201 results to "visual" category (cutting down to 25), sorted those 25 by date, and checked them for possibles.

  • I'd bet that those 2 entries are for the same production. It's odd, though, that the "Bernard Wilets (Production)" entry on IMDb doesn't list that, nor is it listed under "Darlene Chaffee".
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 16:09
  • thereelimage.co.uk/archive/catalogues/glenphotosupply/… contains "ZERO HOUR (1978) (Directed by Darlene Chaffee; Based on a story by Ray Bradbury) (Color) Mink and her friends have a strange game they play with kitchen utensils, called "Invasion." They play the game with precision and intensity, and bar adults and older children from the game. Mink's mother, initially amused and unconcerned, learns that the "invasion" is to come from outer space. However, at one point, she begins to wonder what will occur at "Zero hour," and she suddenly hears the word, "Peek-a-boo...."
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 16:12
  • A page on Bernard Wilets lists "Zero Hour" in a section on "Films based on short stories" (bottom) that also includes "Rescue Party", "The Veldt" and "All the Troubles of the World" so this may actually have been a series.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 16:15

Just in case the existing answer isn't right - it's not clear if it got a TV broadcast in the US - there were at least 2 previous US productions of "Zero Hour" for TV. (I have no way to tell if they may have been rebroadcast in subsequent years.)

The NBC series "Lights Out" aired "Zero Hour" (Season 3, Ep. 48) in 1951. The episode summary describes it as:

A mother thinks her child's invisible friend from outer space is just a harmless kid's game. It soon becomes clear that children are actually helping aliens invade and take over Earth.

A couple of years later, the ABC series "Star Tonight" aired its own version of "Zero Hour" (Season 1, Ep. 13) in 1955. It has a similar description:

A mother doesn't believe her young daughter's claim of having an invisible friend named Drill from the planet Mars.

Both of these were in black and white though, so if the OP remembers seeing it in color then neither of these will be a match.

  • Without being able to find any visuals from either there's not much point splitting these up into separate answers...
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 16:37

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