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Episode 1: Where is Everybody?submitted by Wayoftheredpanda to TwilightZone [link] [comments]
In the pilot episode of this iconic series: A young man, played by actor Earl Holliman, gains consciousness walking down a road leading to a town entirely devoid of people. He does not remember who he is, or where he is. Many of the town’s utilities are functioning and seem recently used, a cigar steaming in an ashtray and a film projector, for example. Convinced it’s just a nightmare, at first, the man soon loses his wits dealing with his inability to remember and his lack of human contact.
This episode is a great start off to such a legendary work of television. Holliman’s character well captures the plight of a man lost in the absurd, going mad and craving human contact although he cannot remember anything about himself or anyone in his life. The setting is a quaint portrait of mid-20th century small town America, but eerie in its destitute nature. The camera work plays a double role of being agoraphobic when it captures the broadness of the town and its devoid nature, and claustrophobic when it focuses on Holliman’s face when he begins to lose it, trapped by no one but his own loneliness.
Episode 2: One for the Angels
The second episode presents a bittersweet tale of a man coming to terms with the end of his life. Mr. Bookman (played by Ed Wynn), a pitchman nearing his 70th birthday, is visited by Death (Murray Hamilton) who informs him that he will pass away peacefully in his sleep that night. Bookman is, naturally, frightened by that statement - so looks to find a loophole within Death’s own rules, insisting that he wants to make “A pitch for the angels” before he leaves, falling under the “Unfinished business” category for the extension of life, which he plans to abuse by never making another pitch again. For his naive attempts at con artistry, Death gives him his wish to keep living but with the punishment of taking the life of an 8 year old girl he’s friends with in his stead. Realizing the consequences of what he’s done and racked by guilt knowing his own selfish want to escape death could lead to the death of an innocent child, Mr. Bookman seeks to fulfill his end of the deal before midnight… making a pitch for the angels.
This episode makes me smile ear to ear and even tear up a little. This episode somehow manages to be really really sweet, suspenseful, and funny at the same time. Wynn’s performance as Bookman is so brilliantly charming, a kindly old man with a sense of humor and relatable plight who you can easily root for. And Hamilton does a good job with the cold, calculated, but reasonable and professional nature of the Grim Reaper.
Episode 3: Mr. Denton On Doomsday
The town drunk (played by Dan Duryea) was once the fastest hand in the West, but after killing a 16 year old who challenged him to a duel many years ago, he drowned his guilt in drink and is now a washed up sorrowful man pushed around by everyone looking to take advantage of him and unable to stand up for himself. After discovering a revolver whilst reawakening from one of his stupors, he is flabbergasted to find his shooting skill still remains even after so many years of drinking when he, seemingly accidentally, cripples the firing hand of the town bully during a half-hearted attempt to finally stand up. Knowing this will only bring back the years of people riding into town to challenge his talent and fearful of keeping up with his regained image, the titular Mr. Denton is approached by a mysterious peddler who offers him a potion guaranteed to keep him the fastest shot in the West.
An interesting look into both the concept of fate, legend, and living a life where the only option for your success only brings back bad memories and guilt. Duryea does a good job playing a sympathetic role, starting as a nobody who used to be somebody, and the burden of expectations that come when he suddenly becomes somebody again.
Episode 4: The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine
Barbara Trenton is trapped in the past, and unable to cope with the ever-moving locomotive of time. A once beautiful movie star has been reduced to a sad, miserable loser of a woman who never goes outside and faces the real world and enjoys life for the moment, and spends nearly every waking moment of her life viewing the ghost of her old self on the picture screen. She has many generous opportunities presented to her, more roles in films (though playing older women), opportunities to visit her old co-stars though, of course, they are much older now - yet she rudely refuses everything that doesn’t exactly match her criteria - criteria nearly impossible to expect now that she’s past her youth. Her maid (Alice Frost) and her old friend (Martin Balsam) have tried nearly everything to get her out, into the world, to live a happy lifestyle despite her age - yet, no matter what, she only yearns to encapsulate herself watching her old movies 24/7… and encapsulate herself, she does.
This episode rings true for many people throughout time, a lifestyle that’s, sadly, all but gotten easier. Ida’s character is rude, unrealistic, and perceives everyone as just another nagging voice, no matter how much they try to help her out of genuine concern. Many people can see themselves in Barbara Trenton, whether in their current state or in retrospect of unhealthy periods of their life - and many people can see themselves in her maid and friend, friends and family that only want to help but are refused and have to instead watch their loved one continue to waste away in depression and isolation. Poignant, depressing, but a lifestyle all too many can relate to.
Episode 5: Walking Distance
Martin Sloan (Gig Young) is a 36 year old ad executive living in New York who one day decides to take a short walking trip to his old hometown after his car breaks down only a mile from it during a business trip. Only, when he gets there it’s exactly how he remembers it 25 years ago, to the very finest detail - and there he sees the people from his childhood exactly as they were, including his 11 year old self.
Probably one of the most famous Twilight Zone episodes. I really don’t have much to say here other than that it’s an excellent little portrait on nostalgia, childhood, and retrospect.
Episode 6: Escape Clause
Walter Bedeker (David Wayne) is a hypochondriac, pessimist, shut-in, mean-spirited asshole of a man afraid of even the teensiest germ flaking his skin, confining his life to his own bed convinced he’s seconds from gaining every illness known to man while his wife works her wits off trying to satisfy him. One day, he meets the ever-mysterious Mr. Cadwallader (Thomas Gomez), better known as the Devil, who offers him an accord: Bedeker shall live as long as he wants, never age, and be impervious to all harm all for the seemingly small price of his soul. Bedeker, of course, agrees and soon switches his life from that of shut-in to thrill seeker - attempting to perform all sorts of acts that would kill or at least seriously injure the average man. But soon, he learns that there’s barely any thrill in these stunts when he knows for a fact he will never actually receive damage from them. When his wife accidentally falls to her death, he sees an opportunity for a new thrill: surviving the electric chair by getting himself convicted of her murder.
This episode is a bit weaker to me than the previous two, it’s good but not necessarily as thematically strong. There’s a lot more black comedy in this one as well. Wayne certainly knows how to play an absolute douchebag, and he’s easy to hate - but I believe Gomez’s role as the Devil, though brief, is what steals the show.
Episode 7: The Lonely
Sometime in the future, solitary confinement now means being stationed to live out your sentence on planets and asteroids instead of jail cells. Jack Warden plays Corey, the victim of what is implied to be an unfair trial and receives his sentencing on an asteroid millions of miles from Earth. Feeling some sympathy for the incredibly lonely man, one of the provision suppliers drops an extra present one resupply stop - a robot that looks and acts just like a living woman (played by Jean Marsh).
This episode just fucking hurt to watch. Like a semi-truck barrelling off the highway straight into your feelings. Ouch.
Episode 8: Time Enough At Last
Henry Beemis (Burgess Meredith) is a small, sheepish bank teller with an exhausting job and an exceptionally cruel wife who surveys nearly every waking moment of his home life when he should have free time. His only enjoyment in life is reading, but there’s barely any time to read save for the very small lunch breaks he’s afforded at work - for both his boss and wife get on him for reading anytime else. All he wants is time, time enough at last. One day, while hiding in the bank vaults on a lunch break to get a brief relaxing moment to read - he hears a heart-stopping boom outside. When he gets the courage to open the vault to witness the source, he walks into a world where everyone and everything has seemingly been destroyed by a hydrogen bomb. He finally has all the time in the world, all the time in the world to lose himself and his magnifying glass-sized glasses in the written worlds of Dickens and Steinbeck and Shakespeare and all his favorite characters. Yes, time enough at last.
Arguably THE MOST famous episode of the series, with one of the most haunting plot twists in all of media, Time Enough at Last explores the maddening thought of eternal boredom with its last few minutes, a situation many can relate to being afraid of. The plot twist is well built up, too, with some clever foreshadowing sprinkled throughout the episode. Meredith’s acting conveys that of a rather sympathetic, but weak, character. As legendary as this episode and its haunting twist is, however, I personally do not feel the episode as a whole is nearly as good of some of the better episodes from earlier in the season. Still great.
Episode 9: Perchance to Dream
Dreams can either be the sources of our deepest fantasies, the absurd, or the depths of our personal fears - or all 3. In the 9th episode we’re introduced to Edward Hall (played by Richard Conte), a man suffering from both a painful heart disease that could kill him if he’s under too much stress - and an imagination too wild for his own good. He recounts to a psychiatrist his series of dreams in a surreal amusement park where lies Maya the Cat Girl (Suzanne Lloyd), a sinister seductress dressed in leopard fur who ropes a reluctant Hall in with her snickering remarks and forceful nature, pressuring him to go to increasingly stressful places within the park like a haunted house or roller coaster, despite his severe conditions. Hall is deathly afraid of falling asleep, knowing his next dream with Maya he might not wake up from.
This episode is surreal, that’s out of the question. The dream sequence scenes feel so realistic to what it feels like to have nightmares in the real world - a completely delirious, nonsensical, and foggy point of view that still feels completely real. The cinematography and editing in this episode really shine. Conte does a great job of playing a character who genuinely looks convinced that he is on the verge of death if he so much as falls asleep for even a second, and Lloyd plays a devilishly foxy vixen with a penchant for cruelty.
Episode 10: Judgment Night
The year is 1942, and the sea is a very dangerous place. The SS Queen of Glasgow is making a trip from England to New York City in a time when Naval ambushes are at their peak, like a fox attempting to tiptoe across a 3.4k mile one-way mirror while a swarm of starving wolves watch silently underneath. On the Queen there boards a man (Nehemiah Persoff) with no memory on how he got aboard the boat or why, but through a dark and dreary night voyage - he gains an increasing paranoia that something will happen when the clock strikes 1:15.
Ph-fucking-nomenal episode. While the plot twist is a little predictable, it is no less stellar. Persoff is an absolutely brilliant actor with a stunning performance in this. The setting is haunting and claustrophobic, as well - with the set of the boat evoking a cold and isolated feeling amidst the cold mists of a damp and salt scented hell.
Episode 11: And When the Sky Was Opened
A spaceship carrying three human astronauts (Rod Taylor, Charles Aidman, Jim Hutton) crashlands in the desert like Icarus’ failed flight - but this isn’t the average freak accident, as at some point between the astronauts leaving and returning to Earth - the ship’s signal disappeared from all radars and all 3 astronauts blacked out. It seems to be a miracle that all 3 survived, and are in good health - such good health that two of them get discharged from the hospital immediately… Or maybe it was 2 astronauts that came up and returned and 1 that got discharged from the hospital immediately, as the morning after his discharge Lieutenant Clegg rushes back to the hospital and begs the still hospitalized Major Gart if he remembers Colonel Harrington. Gart’s never heard of a “Harrington”, nor do the nurses at the hospital… or even the newspaper that reported the safe return of the 3 - or, 2 astronauts.
This episode is packed with a seemingly paradoxical dynamite suspense and slow burn throughout the 25ish minutes runtime… and I absolutely adore the decision to keep the ending more open, mysterious. If you come to The Twilight Zone looking for horror, look right up into the Open Sky.
Episode 12: What You Need
A salesman (Ernest Truex) has the ability to see very shortly into the future, a virtue he uses to make a humble living selling people small items and trinkets he knows will have a small but positive effect on the buyer’s life. Fred Renard (Steve Cochran) is a man who’s always felt slighted by the world, and when he learns of the salesman’s mysterious virtues, he looks to exploit them.
This episode just isn’t that good, there’s not much more I can say other than the fact it has one of the funniest death scenes in old media I’ve seen.
Episode 13: The Four of Us are Dying
In a massive improvement from the previous episode, a con-man (Harry Townes) uses his uncanny gift of impersonating other’s faces (Ross Martin, Phillip Pine, Don Gordon) to the finest, picture perfect detail to make a sleazy living, scamming the friends and families of the dead by appearing as people they knew from beyond the grave. However his life of lies soon catches up to him when he learns the dead have more than a few enemies as well.
Brilliant concept that’s very well executed, with all 4 actors playing the sleazy chameleon like a true scum hiding in a face that isn’t theirs. Some stellar cinematography and soundtrack work as well, really emulating the feel of the roaring 20s.
Episode 14: Third From the Sun
In an episode very reminiscent of the fear leaden mindset felt by most Americans during the time of the Cold War, a worker at a chemical weapon plant (Fritz Weaver) becomes paranoid that the eve of an apocalyptic war wrought by the own weapons he helped make is on the horizon, so conspires with his coworker (Joe Maross) to steal a spaceship from another sector of the plant and escape to another planet with their families (Denise Alexander, Lori March, Jeanne Evans).
This episode has a pretty classic example of one of the show’s cornier twists, but as cheesy as it is the rest of the episode is solid. The cinematography is nice and suspenseful, but I would say it relies a bit too much on the dutch angle, but I do really like the shots of the glass table during the poker scene and I think some of the set design is really well done. The acting is decent as well. However, I will say this is a bit of a weaker episode overall.
Episode 15: I Shot an Arrow into the Air
I shot an arrow into the air, it landed I know not where. A spaceship carrying 7 astronauts crashlands in a mysterious desert land ravaged by the sweltering sun, an accident so bad only 4 are left alive - with one on the verge of death. The power conflict is immediately noticeable, with Colonel Donlin (Edward Binns) and Pierson (Ted Otis) retaining their sense of humanity and devotion to order, maintaining level headed and democratic in their pitches for survival, and carefully tending to the comfort of their dying fellow officer by letting him have some of the rationed water even after it’s clear there’s no hope left to him - compared to Officer Corey (Dewey Martin), complaining about every little inconvenience that befalls him specifically, going so far as to pitch a fit about how there’s no reason to give water to a man who’s clearly already dying. As the 3 survey their options for survival, the rift between the 2 orderly men and the wanton complainer grows only deeper.
Now, I’ll admit I found the plot twist of this one quite predictable - but that’s not to say it’s bad, it is AMAZING. I love the tension in this episode, the clear stress, conflict, and slowly slipping sanity between the 3 men is wonderfully acted, with Dewey Martin excellently portraying himself as an easily dislikeable villain ready to forsake his human morals when push comes to shove. The cinematography also greatly captures the feeling of utter isolation and hopelessness. Something neat about this episode is that it is the only time Rod Serling, a man who probably got so many story suggestions to the point of annoyance, ever liked a concept sent in by a fan, Madelon Champion, so much he decided to actually turn it into an episode.
Episode 16: The Hitch-Hiker
The year is 1960, and the idea of women being independent and living on their own is a fresh and still developing idea in the American mindset – and with this fierce independence came a new horror that many daring women sadly faced: be it stalkers, perverts, rapists, bandits, murderers, or all five occupied seemingly everywhere in their scope and travels, looking to take advantage and overpower people trying to be successful and independent in their lives simply for their bodies, and many others who’d turn a blind eye to this very reality. It is this real life horror that is wonderfully captured in this episode adapted from a radio-play written by Ms. Lucille Fletcher.
Nann Adams (Inger Stevens) is a 27 year old woman taking a cross country trip by herself via car from her home in New York to California, a long and daring trek for anyone even now – but especially a lone woman in the 1960s. After her car gets a flat on the side of the road, she notices a mysterious hitch-hiker in simple clothing (Leonard Strong) across the road from her – something that isn’t too unusual by itself. However, after she gets her tire fixed and she continues on her journey, the very same hitch-hiker mysteriously seems to be ahead of her on every road, somehow knowing exactly where she’s going and being there first every time no matter how illogical it may be. She asks for help, but people either don’t see the man or tell her she’s probably hallucinating or making a big deal over nothing. She hasn’t slept in days, and the little scarecrow man never seems to slow down.
Creepy episode with a well written protagonist and some excellent commentary.
Episode 17: The Fever
Franklin Gibbs (Everett Sloan) is an incredibly reserved man with a massive superiority complex, so when his wife (Vivi Janiss) wins an all expenses paid trip to a casino in Las Vegas, he is more than happy to make his disgust at all the “scum” wasting their lives in front of the machines known. By chance, a drunk patron hands him a silver dollar and tells him to try it – and unsure of how to stop his insistence, reluctantly pulls the lever and wins big! Suddenly he can’t sleep, all he can think about is winning – doesn’t help that an otherworldly voice calling his name followed by a slot machine jingle haunts his ears. No matter how much his own senses tell him he’s wasting his money and time, he can’t stop pulling the lever – and he never can get the same luck again.
An okay episode with a pretty apt portrait of life ruining addiction. It gets pretty corny near the end but the voice he hears from the machine is admittedly, really creepy.
Episode 18: The Last Flight
Some people will say they’d do anything for an opportunity to change one mistake in their life… but for British WW1 Pilot Terry Decker (Kenneth Haigh), that opportunity comes sooner than he’d think. Flying through a mysterious cloud one day in 1917 escaping German fire, Decker lands somehow on a US Air Force base… in 1959.
Good episode with an interesting time travel concept, solid acting, and a really really really fucking funny sucker punch.
Episode 19: The Purple Testament In one of the most viscerally atmospheric intros in the series, we are greeted with the sight of the hell that was World War 2 and the hell that remains War. The title being a reference to the Shakespeare quote from Richard II, “He has come to open the purple testament of bleeding war”, the episode makes its central theme clear right from the get-go. Lt. Fitzgerald (William Reynolds) is a respected and hardworking leader of his division currently fighting the Japanese army in the Philippines, but his sanity is called into question by those around him once he starts to claim, and seemingly prove, that he has suddenly gained the ability to tell who will die hours before it happens.
Great episode with some of the best atmosphere I have currently seen from the series. Reynolds’ acting is great as is the concept and execution. Only thing keeping it below a 10/10 is the fact that the ending feels really scuffed.
Ironically, for an episode so centered on death, Reynolds and Richard Bare were almost killed themselves on the day this episode aired, both being on a plane that crashed and killed one other passenger hours before this episode was scheduled to hit American airwaves. However, both Reynolds and Bare survived.
Episode 20: Elegy
Losing fuel 900 million miles from Earth, 3 astronauts (Jeff Morrow, Kevin Hagen, Don Dubbins) have to make an emergency landing on a mysterious asteroid. The asteroid seems to resemble mid 20th century Earth perfectly (200 years ago from when the episode takes place), the only noticeably strange thing at first besides the era of decor being that there are two suns up in the sky. However, upon exploring further - it seems that the world, though densely populated, is filled with human beings that don’t move at all.
This episode is good for what it is and it has a good ending twist, but I feel like the concept could’ve been done a bit better. I feel this episode takes more of a campy tone at points when I think it could’ve gone for a full creepy, slow-burn tone. Not to mention being able to see some of the extras accidentally blink or wobble at various points. Though for the most part the extras remain remarkably still.
Episode 21: Mirror Image
A woman (Vera Miles) is waiting for the bus, when she begins to observe that people she talks to at the station say they’ve seen her minutes before doing things she didn’t do. Assuming they’re being delusional, she soon faces the truth when she sees a perfect replica of herself assuming her place.
Creepy episode with good acting and a great concept. Love when the old guy straight up asks the male support character (Martin Miller) if he’s into mentally ill women.
Episode 22: The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
In what is probably a tie for the most iconic episode in the series, we are presented with a pretty obvious metaphor for Mccarthy Era Communist witch-hunts… but a very well made one that’s theme hasn’t changed one bit in the 6 decades since its airing. The people of Maple Street (Claude Akins, Barry Atwater, Jack Weston, Burt Mecalfe, Amzie Strickland, Anne Barton), your typical suburban lane in late 1950s America, are quite annoyed to find that every device in the entire neighborhood seems to stop functioning - electricity or no - shortly after witnessing a strange meteor sail past. Perplexed by this strange coincidence, the neighbors’ annoyance soon turns to hostility when a local boy suggests that this is like a comic book he read about disguised aliens that look like people integrating into human society in order to take over. They laugh and call the idea childish, at first… but it isn’t long before the paranoia soon takes hold and the real monsters come out.
While this episode is fantastic, and features some of Serling’s best narration ever as well as one of the most timeless classics of the series… I have to say the last two minutes when the message of the episode is really spelled out to the audience is incredibly corny and keeps this just out of the 10/10s.
Episode 23: A World of Difference
Everything we do is real, tangible, and actually happened, right? For businessman Arthur Curtis (Howard Duff), he soon finds himself questioning just how real his own life is after he finds his work place is suddenly on a soundstage, and learns that “Arthur Curtis” was just a character he was playing in a movie.
Phenomenal episode with a phenomenal soundtrack and phenomenal acting. While this idea was more popularized by The Truman Show, it’s quite interesting to see an early version of the idea on screen.
Episode 24: Long Live Walter Jameson
Every man is born with an expiration date, it is a fact we all must face and make peace with: for Walter Jameson (Kevin Mccarthy), however, it seems he’s lived far past his. And just how extraordinarily old he really is becomes the obsession of one of his fellow university professors (Edgar Stehill).
This episode is a good drama. I really don’t have that much more to say about it.
Episode 25: People are Alike All Over
A team of two astronauts, a dweebish scientist (Robby Mcdowall) and a more adventurous explorer (Paul Comi) are on an expedition to Mars when their ship crashlands. The latter is left with fatal injuries due to the crash, and tells the former not to worry as he believes that if there really are people on Mars, they’ll help him get back to Earth as “People are alike all over”.
This episode is just so dumb. The technical elements are all fine but the story is just so so so dumb.
Episode 26: Execution
A serial killer from the 1880s (Albert Salmi) about to be hanged for his crimes finds himself mysteriously transported to 1960 by a professor (Russel Johnson) testing his time machine. Suffering from sudden culture shock after expecting to finally have his life put to end, the outlaw explores modern society and finds a feeling of cold alienation.
Okay episode. Not many introspective things to say besides that.
Episode 27: The Big Tall Wish
Some people would give anything for a second chance, a redemption arc, to rise to the heights they once had in their youth. For aging boxer Bolee Jackson (Ivan Dixon), his second chance might just lie in the dreams of a young boy (Stephen Perry).
This episode has a great theme and some great cinematography, some really creative ways to visually showcase the supernatural part of the episode. The acting is good from both leads. This episode also should be remembered for being the first Twilight Zone to star non-white actors in the leading parts.
Episode 28: A Nice Place to Visit
In a much more improved spin on the concept from Episode 6, a mean-spirited burglar (Larry Blyden) gets more than he bargained for after waking up in a seeming paradise after being shot in a police chase as he was fleeing the scene of a botched robbery that ended in murder. In this place, he receives every wish he’s ever had granted without him ever having to work for everything, all thanks to his magic “guardian angel” (Sebastian Cabot) who acts as his afterlife butler, of sorts.
I’ve loved this episode since the first time I saw it, and it was great to watch it again. Not only does it deal with one of my greatest fears, it also has a sly and cynical sense of humor underneath all it. Blyden is great, but Cabot as the “angel” is one of my favorite performances from the entire show.
Episode 29: Nightmare as a Child
Now THIS is prime Twilight Zone! One of the first episodes I remember watching, though I only vaguely remembered it since and that made this viewing all the more better. In an incredibly suspenseful narrative, a schoolteacher (Janice Rule) comes home to her apartment to find a little girl (Terry Burnham) there who seems to know her a little too well, seemingly able to recall multiple fine details that even she had forgotten about her life in a matter-of-fact tone.
So so so good! The acting is great, even from the child actress, which is rare to see. The suspense is so well built! Watch!
Episode 30: A Stop at Willoughby
An old favorite of mine, and with a character whose plight is still relatable to too many people on this Earth even today. A suicidal ad executive (James Daly) whose soulless corporate job and nagging, unsympathetic wife are slowly eating away at his sanity starts having dreams that his daily commute home via train makes a stop at a mysterious, nonexistent town stuck in the 1880s called “Willoughby”, a place that seems right out of the pages of Huckleberry Finn where it’s always bright and sunny, and the people there are always in the cheeriest of moods. He feels that these brief dreams of Willoughby, though he never has time to get off the train in them, are the only moment of happiness he’s given in his constantly monotonous lifestyle, and begins to become obsessed with the idea of living there.
Very tragic episode that’s aged incredibly well. Daly’s character is easy to sympathize with, and there’s some great editing in this episode.
Episode 31: The Chaser
An episode I actually had to read the source material of Freshman year in High School, a short story by John Collier - a short story I hated. A young man (George Grizzard) is head over heels for a girl (Patricia Barry) who doesn’t like him back, so disturbingly head over heels for her that he continuously calls her on the phone and visits her even after she expresses strict disinterest. His last resort comes in line when he’s given the business card of a potion seller (John Mcintire), who sells love potions dirt cheap. Naive to the consequences of it, our main character spikes “his Leila’s” drink, and soon his deepest fantasy unfolds - or his greatest nightmare.
Aside from the good acting and solid soundtrack, this is a pretty horrible episode. While it has a good message in theory, I hate the execution of it. It feels somewhat misogynistic even if that wasn’t the intention. Leila gets no justice, and even the main character’s “punishment” is quite mild. While I don’t doubt the good intentions of the moral message, the execution is just seeing an independent woman having her individuality stripped of her by a selfish man who can’t take “no” for an answer.
Episode 32: A Passage for Trumpet
In the second episode to star an actor who was in 12 Angry Men, and the first episode to have Jack Kluggman star in it (tied with Burgess Meredith for most number of episodes starred in, 4): we see Kluggman’s character as a down on his luck trumpet player who believes that the world ignores him, and that his passion will take him nowhere. After attempting suicide, he wakes up in a world where no one seems to notice him for real.
Good episode, but really don’t have much to say about it besides that. The music was nice and it had a positive message and also an actor who looks suspiciously like Abraham Lincoln.
Episode 33: Mr. Bevis
Mr. Bevis (Orson Bean) is a somewhat childish, eccentric, obliviously clumsy but good natured, friendly, and optimistic man who still finds enjoyment in carnivals, stuffed animals, and model ship building even as an adult. Almost everyone who knows him enjoys his presence, everyone but those who decide his future, it seems. After having a particularly upsetting day: losing his job, getting his car stolen and crashed, and getting evicted from his apartment - he begins to feel really down. After meeting his guardian angel (Henry Jones), he’s offered an accord: he can start the day over and have everything that went wrong for him be fixed, but he loses his individuality in the process.
This was just a particularly hard to watch episode. Even if it has a good ending and good message, it’s just kinda upsetting watching a guy who just wants to brighten everyone’s day be the butt end of the world’s cruel joke.
Episode 34: The After Hours
In a more horror oriented episode, a woman (Anne Francis) wants a refund for a damaged product she bought from a department store on the ninth floor, only to be told it doesn’t exist nor does the strange woman (Elizabeth Allen) who sold her the thimble. When she sees the same woman as a mannequin in the store, she faints and wakes up after the store closes.
For as popular as this episode is, I found it kind of half baked. There’s a really good concept in here that could make for a really eerie episode, but instead you get like 4 minutes worth of “actual horror” followed by a corny plot twist that just kinda ruins it. Not bad, just could’ve been better. Elegy was a slightly better version of a similar concept, imo.
Episode 35: The Mighty Casey
A baseball coach (Jack Warden) runs the worst team the nation has ever seen, but soon picks up a robotic pitcher (Robert Sorellis) with immaculate talent the nation has also never seen.
I love how both episodes that star Jack Warden involve him having some relationship with a robot that looks perfectly human, except one is tied for my favorite episode of the season and this one is just super boring with a really unsubtle message. While I don’t think this one is as morally problematic as The Chaser, I’d definitely call it the most uninteresting episode in the season.
Episode 36: A World of His Own An adulterous playwright (Keenan Wynn) can create real people and scenarios out of thin air, simply by describing them into a tape recorder.
Another episode with a problematic and unlikeable character who doesn’t really receive punishment for his actions, but a much more interesting concept and overall better story. The little skit at the end with Rod was also fun.
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