Village of the Damned is a 1960 British science fiction film by German director Wolf Rilla. The film is adapted from the novel The Midwich Cuckoos (1957) by John Wyndham. The lead role of Professor Gordon Zellaby was played by George Sanders. All of the inhabitants (including the animals) of the British village of Midwich suddenly fall unconscious, and anyone entering the village also loses consciousness. The military arrives and establishes a cordon. The military send in a man wearing a gas mask, but he too falls unconscious and is pulled back by a safety rope. The man awakens and reports that he experienced a cold sensation just before he passed out. The pilot of a passing civilian plane is contacted and requested to investigate. When he goes below 5,000 feet, he loses consciousness, and the plane crashes. A five-mile exclusion zone around the village is established for all aircraft. At nearly that very moment, the villagers regain consciousness, seeming otherwise unaffected. The incident is referred to as a "time-out", and no cause is determined.