More than likely a black & white film, but we only had a black & white TV in the late '60s/early '70s.

What little I remember involves a man and women, possibly the last survivors of a team, whose civilisation is threatened by alien invaders. They somehow gain remote or telepathic control of a group of alien ships, and fight a pitched battle in space against the rest of the aliens, or trick the aliens into bombing somewhere else.

Don't remember much more. It was the kind of Friday night scary movie marathon thing they had going here. You would often see it along with Quatermass and the Pit.


2 Answers 2


A possible match might be The Terrornauts, from 1967.

Scientists and others are taken (with their radio telescope control hut) to an alien base where they discover that the Earth is in danger from ultra-violent alien survivors of a nuclear holocaust. The scientists must plug into knowledge cubes (which would sort of match the telepathy) in order to control the base defenses and defeat the enemy.

Synopsis from Wikipedia:

Project Star Talk is based at a UK radio telescope site; its mission is to listen for radio signals from other intelligences. Dr. Joe Burke (Simon Oates) is the head of the project assisted by his small team consisting of electronics expert Ben Keller (Stanley Meadows) and office manager Sandy Lund (Zena Marshall). Due to the lack of success reported by the Site Manager, Dr. Henry Shore (Max Adrian), Project Star Talk is given ninety days to report positive results. While waiting for a response, Dr. Burke tells of his father's discovery at an archaeological dig in France of a cube that gave him strange dreams as a boy, inspiring him to become an astronomer. During this period an accountant, Mr. Yellowlees (Charles Hawtrey) is sent to look over the project's accounts. As luck would have it, a repeating signal is received by the project, but the signal is only coming from a small asteroid with no atmosphere in the outer Solar System. Despite this, Dr. Burke spends the balance of his grant to equip the telescope with a powerful transmitter to contact the source of the signals. The night of the transmission, Mr. Yellowlees and Mrs. Jones (Patricia Hayes), who runs the tea trolley, stay to witness this historic event. The signal is sent and reaches the asteroid. The asteroid has on it a huge installation that receives the radio signal and answers it with a spaceship sent riding down the radio beam to the point of transmission. When the spacecraft arrives at Project Star Talk, it picks up the transmitter shed and carries it, the project staff and the two witnesses to the alien installation. The telescope staff's leader believes, despite eyewitnesses, that the transmitter shed exploded, killing the Star Talk team.

Upon arrival at the asteroid, the team is greeted by a robot that takes them through a series of tests. After each test, they are provided with rewards such as food for the intelligence test, a weapon for the motivation test, and a "Knowledge Cube" for the knowledge test. After a tour of a control room, they are then brought to a chamber with a small platform and a figure in a chair, who simply happens to be the long-dead caretaker of the base. As they head back to the control room, Ben bumps Sandy onto the platform and she is "transposed" in a puff of smoke to a distant planet peopled by savages who try to kill her. Dr. Burke then follows Sandy to the planet armed with the gun, effects a rescue before she can be killed, and discovers the secret of the Knowledge Cubes in the process. Dr. Burke plugs into the cube, and the horrible secret is revealed: the planet of savages is the home of the survivors of an interstellar war that is fast approaching Earth, and the Star Talk team are the only ones who can use the advanced weapons of the installation to stop an invading enemy fleet from destroying Planet Earth. The team searches frantically through the huge library of cubes for the instructions to use the weapons of the fort but are unsuccessful. As the enemy fleet comes into range, the robot delivers the cubes needed just in time. The battle is joined but the Star Talk team has a hard time hitting the aliens with missiles so with the cubes' instruction, the fortress's engines are started and they rise off the asteroid to intercept the aliens who, nearing defeat, then crash into the fortress. Dr. Burke sets the "Transposer plates" for Earth and the Star Talk team, Mr. Yellowlees, and Mrs. Jones are transposed to the very archaeological dig in France where Dr. Burke's father found the cube so long ago. While they congratulate themselves on their luck, a Gendarme (André Maranne) arrests them for trespassing.


Might this be Battle of the Worlds (1961)...?

From Wikipedia:

Battle of the Worlds (Italian: Il Pianeta degli uomini spenti, lit. 'The Planet of Extinct Men') is a 1961 Italian science fiction film directed by Anthony Dawson. The film stars Claude Rains, Bill Carter, and Maya Brent.

Dr. Fred Steele (Umberto Orsini) and Eve Barnett (Maya Brent) work together at an astronomical station on a bucolic island. Steele has just had his request for a transfer approved, and he and Eve look forward to leaving the island and getting married. However, their budding romance is quickly put on hold as the station's scientists learn they must deal with a rogue planet—"The Outsider"—that has entered the Solar System, and which is on a collision course with Earth. The brilliant but cantankerous Professor Benson (Claude Rains), living in an adjacent greenhouse with his dog Gideon, predicts that the Outsider will not strike the Earth but will simply make a close pass—a prediction that no other scientist will endorse. Meanwhile, a military base on Mars encounters the stray planet on its approach to Earth, and Commander Robert Cole and his wife Cathy quickly travel to the island outpost from Mars to help with the effort.

The base scientists are elated when the Outsider passes the earth at a distance of 95,000 miles, just as Benson predicted. But Benson himself is stunned when the Outsider takes up an orbit round Earth. He concludes that the Outsider must be controlled by an alien intelligence, and he calls upon the world's scientific governing council to destroy it without delay.

Against Benson's wishes, an expedition is launched to make a close study of the new planet. As the exploratory spacecraft approach, a number of disc-shaped alien spaceships emerge from beneath the planet's surface, destroying the Earth vessels.

The phantom planet begins spiraling inward toward the Earth, creating hurricanes and storms, and the beginning of the end appears to be near. Professor Benson discovers that the alien ships are computer-controlled, and he devises a way to seize control of them from the Outsider. Benson is given the opportunity to join an expedition to the Outsider, to learn something of its underground base. Meanwhile, a plan is hatched to launch an all-out attack against the planet, in the hope that a massive nuclear strike will break the planet apart.

Benson's expedition discovers a race of humanoid creatures dead at the controls of their planet-spaceship, as the automated systems continue their work without purpose. But the expedition has overrun its allotted time, and the order is given to begin the attack. It is a race against time as the members of the expedition try to get back to the ship before the nuclear warheads strike. Cathy is mortally wounded in the attempt to flee the Outsider. Benson refuses to leave, insisting that life without scientific knowledge is not worth living. He sees a way to communicate with the Outsider and program it to leave, but it is too late. The warheads reach their target, and the Outsider is successfully destroyed. As the exploratory ship returns to Earth, Commander Cole speaks Benson's epitaph: "Poor Benson—if they'd opened up his chest, they would only find a formula where his heart should have been". The screen fades out on Benson's little dog waiting for him by the window.

The plot is pretty consistent with your description, judging by the Wikipedia summary, and the film is available to watch on YouTube. You can view the scene where Professor Benson explains that the aliens ships can be controlled remotely around the 1:03:15 mark. There's a battle between spaceships a couple of minutes later.

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