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The Episodes

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Season 1 (1959-60)

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SEARCH THIS GUIDE BY SEASON: Season 1 (1959-1960) ; Season 2 (1960-1961) ; Season 3 (1961-1962) ; Season 4 (1963) ; Season 5 (1963-1964)

Rating Guide:
I - Superior; II - Excellent; III - Very Good; IV - Fair; V - Below Average; VI - Not Good.

For a casual introduction to "The Twilight Zone", READ THIS ARTICLE

Earl Holliman in "Where is Everybody?"

Where is Everybody?

STARRING CAST: Earl Holliman, James Gregory
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Robert Stevens
SUMMARY: Mike Ferris, an astronaut in training, is confined to a box in a hanger for 484 hours and has a bizarre nightmare about being in a vacated town, completely alone.

The saga begins...the first of 156 stories covering multiple aspects of humanity, that often plunged the depths of reality, past the level of fantasy and into the extraordinary. The best would become the finest hours of television and the lesser ones no less than classics in their own right. To call The Twilight Zone an “uneven” TV series would be to do it a great injustice. Twilight Zone became the Citizen Kane of television. It became the standard by which all great anthology series are compared. And few have come close to said level of excellence.

Although it probably hasn't ever been mentioned, Serling likely titled the episode somewhat after the popular science fiction story "Where's Everybody?" by Arthur C. Clarke.

The original opening narration for "Where is Everybody" was done by an actor named Westbrook Van Voorhis and the original opening titles were different than the ones we know today in reruns, DVD, and VHS presentations of the show. The Van Voorhis narration was stodgy and the titles look like something out of a B movie. It was soon changed to a series of landscapes fading in and out, and with a different narrator. Who'd have thought that the series’ creator would have the perfect voice? But it only made sense; with Serling narrating, The Twilight Zone would emerge much like Masterpiece Theater later did, and like Alfred Hitchcock Presents had, with the genius behind the goods delivering the goods. Here was a new brand of televisional sophistication, and Serling's narrations always ensured that the viewer got drawn into the story like a high-gauss magnet.

Musical accompaniment often propelled Twilight Zone scripts to a new level. Bernard Herrmann, who already had many feature film credits to his name including Hitchcock's North by Northwest plus Psycho which would be released the next year, was the obvious choice for scoring the music that would open the series. He also wrote the opening and closing title themes that were used for most of the first season, plus six more scores for various episodes. Others such as Fred Steiner, Jerry Goldsmith, and Nathan Van Cleave would contribute fine-fitting scores as well, but none captured human emotions through music in the style that was Herrmann's trademark.

Earl Holliman found “Where is Everybody” to be a remarkably arresting little pilot script. The first 22 minutes of exploration into Rod Serling's land and vision of shadow and substance was filmed at the backlots of Universal Studios in early 1959. Later that year, Holliman wrote a group of friends and colleagues suggesting that they watch the pilot and the program it was to be part of—that it was innovative and was sure to take audiences by storm. The script was actually written in 1951, nearly 20 years before Armstrong took to the moon that Mike Ferris gazes up at. Holliman had a challenging assignment—he had to carry nearly 20 minutes of drama completely on his own, with lengthy and occasionally awkward-sounding soliloquies probing at possibilities as to why he is part of such a nightmare, roaming from one part of Oakwood to the next. But in the end it paid off and was a fine showcase for the young actor. One could picture any number of fine actors in the part, but few could lend the kind of sensitivity and sensibility to the role as Holliman did.

Serling and others later commented that “Where is Everybody” had its share of problems that kept it from being one of the milestones of Twilight Zone. This seems an overly harsh assessment. There were other stories that perhaps had more distinction, more imagination . but few that claimed the spirit of the moment in such a profound manner. And above all, it got through to the crusty Boss Tweed-type advertising agency execs who would be sponsoring the program. It sold the series.

FACTOID: James Gregory, aka Ursus from "Beneath the Planet of the Apes", makes an appearance at the end of the episode as the lead reporter. Holliman had most of the lines but Gregory had a few too.


FERRIS: I'm terribly sorry, maam. I can assure you that at no time did I mean to be so upsetting. As a matter of fact, I've always had kind of a secret yen for the quiet type. Get what I mean, baby?

FERRIS: (in police station) Calling all cars! Calling all cars! Unknown man walking around police station. Suspicious looking character. Probably wanted by the F-- (sees lit cigar in ashtray)

FERRIS: (sees water running in sink in police station; cell door creaks open) Time to wake up now. Time to wake up now!

FERRIS: (runs out into middle of Oakwood) Hey! Hey, where is everybody?!!

FERRIS: (In the drugstore) Anybody want a sundae? I'm sorry, old buddy, I don't recollect the name. The face is vaguely familiar but the name escapes me. I'll tell you what my problem is. I'm in the middle of a nightmare I can't wake up from and you're part of it. You and the ice cream and the police station and the phone booth. That little mannequin. This whole bloody town wherever it is - whatever it is. I just remembered something. Scrooge said it. You remember Scrooge, old buddy? Ebeneezer Scrooge? That's what he said to that ghost Jacob Marley. He said, "You may be an undigested bit of beef, a crumb of cheese, a blot of mustard, a fragment of an undone potato, but there's more of gravy than of grave about you." You see, that's what you are. You're what I had for dinner last night. You must be. But now I've had it. I'd like to wake up. I'd like to wake up now. If I can't wake up, at least I'd like to find somebody to talk to. Well, I must be a very imaginative guy. Nobody in the whole bloody world could have a dream as complete as mine, right down to the last detail.

OFFICIAL: What happened to him when he pushed that button or whatever it was?
GENERAL: What happened to him is that he cracked. Delusions of some kind we assume. But let me tell you all something, gentlemen....if any one of you were confined in a box five feet square for two and a half weeks, all by your lonesome without hearing a human voice other than your own, I'll give you especially good odds that your imagination would run away with you too, such as his obviously did.

FERRIS: Just off my rocker, huh doc?
DOCTOR: Just a kind of a nightmare that your mind manufactured for you. You see, we can feed the stomach with concentrates, we can supply microfilm for reading, recreation, even movies of a sort, we can pump oxygen in, and waste material out, but there's one thing we can't simulate. That's a very basic need. Man's hunger for companionship. The barrier of loneliness, that's one thing we haven't licked yet.
FERRIS: Next time it won't be just a box in a hanger, will it?
GENERAL: No, Mike. Next time you'll really be alone.

FERRIS: Hey, don't go away up there. Next time it won’t be a dream or a nightmare. Next time it'll be for real. So don't go away. We'll be up there in a little while.

Ed Wynn in "One For The Angels"

One For the Angels

STARRING CAST: Ed Wynn, Murray Hamilton, Dana Dillaway
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Robert Parrish
SUMMARY: Sidewalk salesman Louis J. Bookman sees an inconspicuous looking gentleman writing in a notebook one summer afternoon. The man turns up in his apartment a few hours later—he is Mr. Death, and tells Bookman that his time has come—he's to die at midnight. When Bookman refuses, Death is forced to take a young neighborhood girl instead … and he almost does.

Serling's commentary on death and dying bordered on the pedestrian, but it was propelled immensely by the legendary Ed Wynn and Murray Hamilton (immortalized eight years later on the screen as Mr. Robinson, husband of Anne Bancroft's sultry Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate). When Martin Manulis cast Wynn in Requiem for a Heavyweight, there was some doubt as to whether or not he could do dramatic roles; after all, he had been a leading comedian for years. In “One for the Angels,” he got to do something that had a share of both genres. As a bumbling sidewalk salesman in a suit, who never manages to sell much merchandise, he finally makes the pitch he always dreamed of before heading for the gates up yonder—and he manages to get through to probably the most tough customer of them all. “Ed Wynn was a sweetheart,” recalls Dana Dillaway. “He gave me a box of European chocolates after the filming was finished. I remember saying his character's name, 'Lou,' about a million times during rehearsals. The scene where I was hit by the car was kind of morbid … I remember they kept spritzing the actor who was driving the car with a water spray bottle, who came around to see if I was okay while laying in the street...there is a publicity shot of me laying there and it's kind of morbid!


MR. DEATH: Now don't you think you'd better start making your arrangements?
BOOKMAN: Arrangements for what?
MR. DEATH: For your departure.
BOOKMAN: My departure where?
MR. DEATH: You still don't get it. I just never will understand you people. You get the idiotic notion that life goes on forever and of course it doesn't. Everyone has to go sometime.
BOOKMAN: Go? You mean …
MR. DEATH: That's right. And what I further don't understand is how little you appreciate the nature of your departure. Think of all the poor souls who go in violent accidents. We're not permitted to forewarn them. You, Mr. Bookman, fall into the category of natural causes.
BOOKMAN: Natural causes? Number one, I find you a very devious sort. Number two, I think that you're dishonest. Number three, why don't you say what you mean?
MR. DEATH: Mr. Bookman, I've done everything but phone your own undertaker. How much clearer do you want it? If you still don't know who I am, then you're the most dense man I've come up against.
BOOKMAN: You're … you're Death?
MR. DEATH: Exactly, Mr. Bookman. Now, shall we get down to business? Time of departure is midnight tonight. I trust that will suit you. The preordination is for death during sleep. I assume this too will meet with your approval. You'll find this a relatively simple and painless process...
BOOKMAN: Now just a minute. I don't want to go!
MR. DEATH: No, they never do.

BOOKMAN: Well, just between you and me, I never made a truly big pitch. I mean, I mean a big pitch, a pitch big enough for the skies to open up. You know, a pitch for the angels. Of course, that wouldn't mean very much to you, but it would mean a great deal to me. It would mean that for one moment in my whole life I would have done something successful. It would mean that maybe the children would be very proud of me.

BOOKMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, if you will feast your eyes on probably the most exciting invention since atomic energy, a simulated silk, so fabulously conceived as to mystify even the ancient Chinese silk manufacturers. An almost unbelievable attention to detail. Witness, if you will, a demonstration of tensile strength. Feel that, if you will sir. Unbelievable, isn't it? As strong as steel, yet as fragile and delicate as Shantuang Silk. Picture if you will, three hundred years of backbreaking research and labor to develop this, the absolute ultimate in thread. And what would you expect to pay for this fabulous, I say fabulous, incredible amazing development of the tailor's art? Would you pay thirty dollars a spool? Twenty five? Twenty? Ten? Well very well you might, sir, if you were trying to purchase this in stores. But this fantastic thread is not in stores. It is smuggled in by Oriental birds especially trained for ocean travel, each carrying a minute quantity in a small satchel underneath their ruby throats. It takes eight hundred thirty two crossings to supply enough thread to go around one spool. And tonight, at my special get-acquainted introductory mid July Hot Summer Sale, I offer you this fabulous thread, not at twenty dollars a spool, not at ten, not at five, but at the ridiculously low price of twenty five cents a spool!
MR. DEATH: I'll take all you have!

BOOKMAN: And now for the piece de resistance. An item never before offered in this or any other country. One guaranteed live human man servant.
MR. DEATH: How's that?
BOOKMAN: For what I ask, you shall receive a willing, capable, highly sophisticated wonderfully loyal right-hand man to use in any capacity you see fit.
MR. DEATH: How's that?
BOOKMAN: Me! Lewis J. Bookman! The first model of its kind. He comes to you with an absolute guarantee all parts interchangeable, with a certificate of four years serviceability. He eats little, he sleeps little. He rests only occasionally, and there he is at your elbow, at your beck and call whenever needed.
MR. DEATH: Mr. Bookman, you are a persuasive man.
BOOKMAN: I challenge any other store, wholesale house or industry to even come close to matching what I offer you here, because my dear man, I offer you, I offer you... (clock chimes midnight)
MR. DEATH: It's midnight! It's midnight and I've missed my appointment!
(Bookman smiles with delight; he's succeeded)
DOCTOR: Give her the sedatives every three hours, Mrs. Polanski. She'll be alright. She just needs a lot of rest now.
MR. DEATH: One minute past twelve, Mr. Bookman, and you made me miss my appointment.
BOOKMAN: Thank God.

BOOKMAN: Oh, excuse me. I forgot something. I'll be back in a minute. You never know who might need something up there. Up there?
MR. DEATH: Up there, Mr. Bookman. You made it.

SERLING: Louis J. Bookman. Age: 60ish. Occupation: Pitchman. Formerly a fixture of the summer, formerly a rather minor component to a hot July. But throughout his life, a man beloved by the children, and therefore a most important man. Couldn't happen, you say? Probably not in most places, but it did happen in The Twilight Zone.

"Mr. Denton on Doomsday"

Mr. Denton on Doomsday

STARRING CAST: Dan Duryea, Martin Landau, Jeanne Cooper, Ken Lynch, Malcolm Atterbury, Doug McClure
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Allen Reisner
SUMMARY: Al Denton, the town drunk, was once a master marksman. Fate steps in and Denton gets a chance to prove this when a young kid comes into town and challenges him to a showdown.

"Mr. Denton on Doomsday," like a number of other scripts from the first season, is a simple, fable-style story that was expanded and given dimension as a TV drama, and cast with a group of highly competent actors. Dan Duryea played a lot of roughnecks in westerns of the 40's and 50's and was a perfect casting choice for the soft-spoken Al Denton, who succumbed to the bottle but gets a second chance at life. Jeanne Cooper relates, "So many people have told me how much of an impact that episode made on them, and that they simply love it … Rod Serling was one of a kind. A genius. I well remember Ken Lynch, who played the bartender - he was a great talent." Before beginning a 30-plus year run on the daytime Young and the Restless some 14 years later, Jeanne Cooper also appeared in the 1961 film The Intruder, written by TZ writer extraordinaire Charles Beaumont.

In one of his earliest TV appearances, Martin Landau uses his piercing eyes and violent expression to great effect as Hotaling, the desperado who gives Denton (whom he insists on calling 'Rummy') a drink in exchange for three slurred choruses of "How Dry I Am". The part of Henry J. Fate was entrusted to Malcolm Atterbury, playing a mystical figure dressed in a black frock coat and travelling in a horse-drawn carriage. Although not a terribly interesting role, Atterbury does it well … and it is Fate from which the moral of the story comes; don't rely on gimmicks to get the job done, because the other guy is likely to have the same trick up his sleeve, which he probably bought from the same place you did! Fans of early TV will recognize the late Doug McClure playing the young gunfighter Pete Grant. Like Duryea, McClure was often cast as western heavies, in such films as Shenandoah and Beau Geste, and did a full nine-year run as Trampas on the now rarely-seen TV series The Virginian.

FACTOID: Malcolm Atterbury reprises the role of Fate in a much less well-written character of Professor Eliot in "No Time Like the Past" 4 years later. Atterbury also played the man waiting for a bus on the roadside of the field where the famous Cary Grant vs. Cropduster plane scene takes place in "North by Northwest."


HOTALING: Wait a minute, boys! Here we go again! Let's hear our little songbird! Hey, Denton! Three choruses of "How Dry I Am". Let's hear it!!
LIZ: Al, don't do it.
DENTON: He'll give me a drink, Miss Smith.
LIZ: The devil with him. I can give you one too and you won't have to do that for it.
DENTON: (sings) How dry I am. How dry I am. Nobody knows … how dry I am …
HOTALING: Awwright. Come on, Rummy. Go on and get your drink. You've been a good boy.

(after Denton accidentally shoots Hotaling)
HOTALING: Hey, Rummy! Face me, Denton!
DENTON: It was an accident, Mr. Hotaling.
HOTALING: You're gonna get this right in your stomach!
CHARLIE: Dan, give him a break!
DENTON: I didn't mean to...I didn't even mean to...I didn't even mean to... (Denton fires the gun again; it hits a chandelier, which knocks down Hotaling)
MAN: Mr. Denton, maybe you'd let us buy you a drink.
DENTON: What'd you call me?
MAN: I didn't mean no offense.
DENTON: I just asked you what you called me!
MAN: Nothing. Nothing, Mr. Denton. I didn't call you anything.
DENTON: That's it. Mr. Denton. He called me mister, Charlie.
CHARLIE: (offering him a drink) Here you are, Al.
DENTON: No, thanks. I've had enough. I think I'll go out and get a shave. (slugs Hotaling, who falls to the floor) And don't call me Rummy anymore!!!

LIZ: Al, I think everything's gonna be alright now, understand? Charlie says you're as good with a gun now as you ever were.
DENTON: That's what Charlie says? I was good. I was real good. I was so good that once a day someone would ride into town to make me prove it, and every morning I'd start my drinking a few minutes earlier, until one morning the guy who asked me to prove it turned out to be sixteen years old. I left him there on his face, right there in front of the saloon. I left him there bleeding to death with my bullet in him. I guess it'll start all over again now. Every fast and fancy man who owns a gun will come riding in down that street, only this time it'll be me face down, bleeding to death. I think I'll go in and get a shave. I want to look proper on the day I die.

PETE: Step away from the bar, please, Mr. Denton...and draw.
(Denton and Pete Grant fire their pistols; they hit each other in the hand)
DOC: This is a push, boys. No winner. You won't be shootin' anymore with that hand, Al. A few fingers'll be stiff, too. But that don't matter. The way you stood up there...that'll be something to tell your grandchildren about. And from the way it looks now, you'll live to have some.
DENTON: (to Pete Grant) Just like me. You'll never be able to fire a gun again in anger. You're blessed, son. We've both been blessed. (Pete exits)
He's lucky. He learned it early.
MAN: Did you get him, Pete?
PETE: No more than he got me.

The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine

STARRING CAST: Ida Lupino, Martin Balsam, Jerome Cowan, Ted DeCorsia, Alice Frost
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Mitchell Leisen
SUMMARY: Barbara-Jean Trenton, movie queen of the 1930s and '40s, spends her days watching her old films, desperate to go back to the time when she was queen of the silver screen.

Ida Lupino made her first movie in 1933, and by 1959 undoubtedly she was feeling some of the same things as was her character in Serling's immensely moving "The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine." Barbara Jean Trenton is a retired actress determined not to be part of the world of today, in somewhat stereotypical 'diva' fashion. She's aging, not fresh anymore, and of late has become even more fond of the bottle and remaining in her Bel Air mansion. Like many stars put out to pasture, "Barbie" is still under the benificent care of her agent, played in similarly grand style by Martin Balsam, who frequents her home to make sure she's still alive. Barbara Jean: "I don't know what I'd do without your daily weather reports." Danny: "The question is, Barbie, what do you do with them?"

Mitch Leisen, who directed, was the primary force behind this almost melodramatic half-hour. Director of over 30 films between 1931 and 1959, he was on familiar turf with this particular story, not having done much television and in semi-retirement himself. Indeed, all the sets looks like something out of an old Bogart picture. There are many individually nice moments, including a movie studio scene where Barbara Jean comes to loggerheads with a studio exec. Capping things off is one heckuva climactic ending where the maid (Alice Frost, an old-time radio actress) comes in with her afternoon tea, only to find that she's disappeared for good this time...and is now a figure on the movie projection screen starring in a picture about the life she's so longed to return to.

Music for this episode was written by Franz Waxman, a legendary film scorer in his own right, who composed music for some 200 films as far back as 1929. He was employed by MGM under contract in the 1930s for a period of seven years before signing a contract with Warner Brothers. Waxman's music for the films Sunset Boulevard and A Place in the Sun won him Academy Awards. Rear Window, Cimmaron, The Silver Chalice and Run Silent, Run Deep also had scores penned by him. Beginning around 1959, he got assignments to do incidental music for TV series, including Twilight Zone. Like the director Mitchell Leisen, what Waxman worked out for "The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine" was most definitely a reflection of what he had done for many films before.

FACTOID: Martin Balsam appears in another episode where a tea tray is dropped - in "The New Exhibit", he drops the tray after making the tea and finding that one of the wax murderers killed his boss (played by Will Kuluva).


WEISS: I set up an appointment for you today over at International.
BARBARA JEAN: At International?
BARBERA JEAN: A part, Danny?
WEISS: Sounds like a good one, too.
BARBARA JEAN: Oh darling! You know something? I never did get along with Marty Sall when I was under contract there.
WEISS: Well, he's much older now... I think you'll find that he's mellowed.
BARBARA JEAN: Oh, you know he said I was the most difficult star he'd ever worked with. Danny, you're a nice guy and a loyal friend, and in my own selfish, devious way I'm very much in love with you. Oh, Danny, I hope it's a musical. Oh, I'd love to dance again. Or a love story. Oh, I'd give anything to play love scenes like I saw this morning. Scenes with Jerry Hearndan. You know we did three pictures together? "I have a memory of you for my eyes, thoughts of you for my mind, and the touch of you for all of me." Or something like that. And then we did "A Night in Paris" together.
WEISS: Barbara, you were much younger then.
BARBARA JEAN: Go to the devil!
WEISS: Now, Barbara, honey, this is 1959, 25 years from "A Night in Paris" and 26 years since you made "Farewell Without Tears." That room across the hall is dark, it's damp, it's full of cobwebs. Come on, snap out of it! Snap out of this kick. You get your war paint on, and I'll meet you over at Sall's office at three o'clock, okay?

BARBARA JEAN: There you are, Jerry. There you are. You look so young, so wonderfully young. Who's the strange old man here a while ago who said he was you? Jerry, I wish I could be there with you. I wish I could be up there with you. I wish, oh I wish...
MAID: Miss Trenton? I've brought you a little snack, dear. Wouldn't you like some coffee?
(walks in and sees the current Barbara Jean on the screen; drops the tea tray and screams with horror … china breaks on the floor)

WEISS: Who shut it off?
MAID: I did, an hour ago, and then I called you.
WEISS: Have you looked in her room?
MAID: That's the first place I checked. Then I went to every room in the house. She's not here! She's not here, at least not in the way that you and I are. You gonna run it, Mr. Weiss?
WEISS: Yes, Sally. I'm going to run it.
BARBARA JEAN: (on screen) Darlings, it's so good to see you. We're all having dinner by the pool. Please, everyone outside. (She turns toward camera and throws her small scarf.)
WEISS: Barbie! Please come back, Barbara! Barbie, it's me, Danny! Barbie, come back! Please, Barbie! Barbie! Come back, Barbie! (He picks up the scarf that she threw in the picture.) To wishes, Barbie. To the ones that come true.

Gig Young in "Walking Distance."

Walking Distance

STARRING CAST: Gig Young, Frank Overton, Irene Tedrow, Joseph Corey, Ron Howard, Michael Montgomery
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Robert Stevens
SUMMARY: Martin Sloan drives out of his restless life as a New York advertising exec and back to his hometown … but he goes back to much more than he expected.

"Write who you are." Why is most bad writing bad? The writer tries to top what has been done elsewhere, instead of writing what they know and from whence they came. One of the finest half-hours in all of television, the radiant "Walking Distance" is a longing to go back to the carefree days of youth … to escape the rat race, the pressures, the deadlines and momentarily go back to the place where you first started out. Serling couldn't have wanted that more after he joined the Hollywood scene in the mid-1950s. "Walking Distance"'s fictional Homewood was an extension of Serling's hometown of Binghamton. Even this many years later, there exists a large park that is much like the one seen in the TV episode—with a carousel and gazebo. Serling was able to keep Binghamton close at hand; he and his family spent a good portion of the year in a home built on a lake in the neighboring town of Interlaken.

Writer George Clayton Johnson: "You could write [episodes of the show] knowing that the very best people would be playing the parts. You never had to worry about inept actors messing up what you were trying to do." True. Gig Young made Martin Sloan his own, as did Frank Overton as his father. Overton's career was unjustly brief. He was called in to work on another TV show sometime in the mid '50s by Ethel Winant, the legendary casting agent and network executive, on short notice when a certain well-known actor never showed up. This led to guestings on many TV shows, including two Twilight Zone appearances which also included the hour-long episode "Mute" in the fourth season. Meanwhile, Overton made a deep impression with a marvelous portrayal of Sheriff Heck Tate in To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962.

Incidentally - Ethel Winant cast many episodes of "Twilight Zone", although she was one of the few who never liked the show much. She did like "Walking Distance", however.

The director, Robert Stevens, emphasized what might be called a 'controlled' sense of nostalgia; the time travel of 25 years is slowly unravelled so that Martin Sloan realizes that he is there for a purpose.

Interestingly enough, the incidental music written by Bernard Herrmann for "Walking Distance" is today almost as well-loved as the episode it accompanies. Symphonic in scope and serene in execution, the instrumentation shows the composer's understanding of what was needed. Like his score for Hitchcock's "Psycho", which he would write in a matter of months later - Herrmann used only strings for "Walking Distance."

For all its supporters, one individual who was not a fan of this episode was its writer. In discussions with students from an acting school in Los Angeles many years later, Rod Serling deemed "Walking Distance" as flawed and illogical, also saying instead that its cousin episode "A Stop at Willoughby", also from the first season, was "an infinitely better show." Which may have been true, but even today, "Walking Distance" - like most of the episodes of TZ, is probably the most quality thing you could hope to find on your TV set at any given moment in time.

FACTOIDS: (1) This is one of Ron Howard's first-ever on-camera appearances! He was a mere four years old when it was filmed in 1959. (2) Bill Erwin, veteran character actor, was credited in the closing credits. He was originally slated to play Mr. Wilcox (Ron Howard was The Wilcox Boy). Bill: "I have no memory of doing it, and I would have remembered if I had, because Gig Young and I both trained in Pasadena at the Playhouse together..." (3) Martin Sloan says he hasn't been back to Homewood in "twenty, twenty-five years". Yet he's supposed to be 36 in the story. Do the math....he left sometime between ages 11 and 16? This would only be true if his family had moved away.


MARTIN: Used to live in Homewood. Grew up there as a matter of fact. Haven't been back in 20, 25 years. Twenty, 25 years. Yesterday I just got in the car and drove. I had to get out of New York City. One more board meeting, phone call, report or problem, I would have jumped right out the window. That's walking distance, isn't it?
GAS MAN: Yep, 'bout a mile an' a half.
MARTIN: Yeah, that's walking distance.

(after young Martin has fallen from merry go round)
MARTIN: Martin, I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time of life for you. Don't let any of it go by without enjoying it. There won't be any more merry-go-rounds, no more cotton candy, no more band concerts. I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time for you. Now. Here. That's all, Martin. That's all I wanted to tell you. God help me. That's all I wanted to tell you.

MR. SLOAN: Yes, I know. I know who you are. I know you've come from a long way from here. A long way and a long time. But I don't understand how or why. Do you? But you do know other things, don't you, Martin? Things that will happen.
MARTIN: Yes, I do.
MR. SLOAN: Martin?
MARTIN: Yes, pop?
MR. SLOAN: You have to leave here. There's no room. There's no place. Do you understand that?
MARTIN: I see that now, but I don't understand. Why not?
MR. SLOAN: I guess because we only get one chance. Maybe there's only one summer to every customer. That little boy, the one I know, the one who belongs here, this is his summer just as it was yours once. Don't make him share it.
MARTIN: Alright.
MR. SLOAN: Martin, is it so bad where you're from?
MARTIN: I thought so, pop. I've been living at a dead run and I was tired. Then one day I knew I had to come back here. I had to come back and get on the merry-go-round and eat cotton candy and listen to a band concert. Just stop and breathe and close my eyes and smell and listen.
MR. SLOAN: I guess we all want that. Maybe when you go back, Martin, you'll find that there are merry-go-rounds and band concerts where you are. Maybe you haven't been looking in the right place. You've been looking behind you, Martin. Try looking ahead.

SERLING: Martin Sloan, age 36, Vice-President in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives—trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there'll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then too because he'll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man's mind, that are a part of The Twilight Zone.

"Escape Clause"

Escape Clause

STARRING CAST: David Wayne, Virginia Christine, Thomas Gomez
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Mitchell Leisen
SUMMARY: Walter Bedeker, hypochondriac, is given the gift of immortality.

Self-proclaimed hypochondriac Walter Bedeker is a man full of piss and vinegar considering the fact that he's lying on the threshold of death. Bedeker gets a visit from The Devil (Thomas Gomez) who gives him the gift of immortality, along with an Escape Clause that allows him to die at any time he gets tired of living or if his life somehow becomes intolerable. Bedeker begins a series of daredevil acts that allow him to collect cash from insurance companies, including the accidental killing of his doting wife … simply for the purpose of trying out the electric chair. But his sentence is not the electric chair, it's life imprisonment! Luckily, Bedeker is able to use his escape clause to get out of the pact and drops dead from a heart attack before going to the pen.

Outside of wonderful acting by Wayne, Gomez, and Christine, "Escape Clause" stays very close to home. Wayne plays most of it very deadpan, which works to good effect given the tongue-in-cheekness of the comedy. When his wife falls down the light well by accident, Bedeker walks away from it without a flicker or a regret, muttering only, "I wonder what it felt like?" before turning himself in - even though he's committed no crime!

Twilight Zone never specialized in special effects, instead relying on photography to achieve its purpose. The short scene where Bedeker throws himself into the path of an oncoming train, with bystanders fainting, only to find him unscathed, is particularly tantilizing. Use of dry ice and appropriate sound effects when Cadwallader stamps his pitchfork seal of approval on the escape clause don't fail to please the viewer.

FACTOIDS: "Escape Clause" boasts two performances by future commercial stars. Virginia Christine was Folgers' Mrs. Olson, and Dick Wilson was Charmin's Mr. Whipple. Dick received free Charmin' T.P. for the rest of his life - he died at the ripe old age of 91.


WALTER: You see, that's a doctor. Four years pre-med, four years medical school, two years internship, two years residency, and what is he? I ask you what is he? A quack!
ETHEL: Doctor, how is he?
WALTER: Oh, don't ask him. The man's an idiot.
ETHEL: Now, Walter, don't excite yourself, please!
WALTER: Well, then stop whispering. Now there's half my trouble right there. This woman goes around whispering, making me think I'm sick even when I'm not, and I am. Here I am, on the threshold of death and who is ushering me out? A quack and a whispering woman who doesn't know her mind.
DOCTOR: I'll call tomorrow, Mr. Bedeker.
WALTER: Oh, don't bother to do that. Just come right over with the death certificate! You can sign it right here!
ETHEL: Oh, Walter!
WALTER: Oh, stop those crocodile tears. She'd love to see me gone, I can't tell you.

CADWALLADER: Cadwallader's my name. At least it's the name I'm using this month. Has a nice feeling on the tongue. Cad-wallader!

CADWALLADER: No, it's for your benefit, I assure you. Ah, article ninety-three, yes. Here it is. Well, it's in the nature of an escape clause - your escape clause. Whereas the party of the first part upon due notification of the party of the second part, well, I'll just give it to you thumbnail. It's simply that if you ever get tired of living, Mr. Bedeker, you can exercise this escape clause by calling upon me to furnish your, well there go those terms again, to furnish your demise at which point I shall see to it that you are given a rapid and uncomplicated departure.
Walter: Let me assure you, Mr. Cadwallader, that I am not the sort of fellow that goes around killing the goose that lays the golden egg. When you talk of immortality to me, brother, I mean immortality. You going to have a long, long, long wait.
CADWALLADER: Mr. Bedeker, nothing could please me more.

(Bedeker jumps in front of oncoming subway; people around gasp and faint. Bedeker gets up, unscathed with only a torn jacket)
POLICEMAN: How did you,
WALTER: Take your hands off me and go get your claims adjuster!

WALTER: Iodine … rubbing alcohol. Have we got any ammonia?
ETHEL: Ammonia?
WALTER: That's what I said, ammonia. (he drinks the concoction)
ETHEL: Walter!!
WALTER: Nothing. I have just drunk enough to kill twelve men and it tastes like lemonade to me. Weak lemonade.

WALTER: You will not call the doctor. If you had any imagination at all, you'd find some way for me to get some excitement out of all this. I've been in subway crashes, bus accidentsa, major fires. I've even drunk poison h?re. Nothing! You know what I think I'll do? I think I'll go up on the roof and I'll jump down the light well. Straight smack dab down the light well! Fourteen stories just for the excitement of it.
ETHEL: Walter, please, come back to the apartment. I'll make you potato pancakes. Remember, you used to always love potato pancakes.
WALTER: Ethel, you are a potato pancake. You're as tasteless as a potato pancake. Now leave me alone.
ETHEL: Walter, don't do it!
WALTER: Ethel, get out of my way.
ETHEL: No! No! No, please!
WALTER: Get out of my way, Ethel.
ETHEL: Please, Walter! (she loses her balance and falls backwards off side of building)
WALTER: (unfazed) I wonder what it felt like …

WALTER: Hello, operator, would you get me the police, please? Hurry, it's an emergency. Hello, police station? My name is Walter Bedeker. I live at 11 North 7th Street. That's right. Apartment 1214. Could you come over here right away, please? No, no trouble. I just killed my wife. I'll stay right here. Goodbye. Now let's give the electric chair a little whirl!

CADWALLADER: Mr. Bedeker, about that escape clause. Care to utilize it now? {Bedeker nods} That's a wise man. Odd thing - you look like a man having a heart attack. Just like a man having a heart attack. …

SERLING: There's a saying, 'Every man is put on Earth condemned to die, time and method of execution unknown.' Perhaps this is as it should be. Case in point: Walter Bedeker, lately deceased, a little man with such a yen to live. Beaten by the Devil, by his own boredom, and by the scheme of things in this, the Twilight Zone.

"The Lonely" with Jack Warden and Jean Marsh

The Lonely

STARRING CAST: Jack Warden, Jean Marsh, John Dehner, Ted Knight, James Turley
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Jack Smight
SUMMARY: James A. Corry killed a man in self-defense and in sentenced to life on an asteroid. The government supply crew brings him necessities, and on one visit, leave him an unexpected object that helps him survive the loneliness.

The seventh episode originally aired, yet only the second produced, "The Lonely" took the crew to Death Valley. About 90 percent of the show was shot there, but the ending scenes in Corry's shack were shot back at MGM Studios because they couldn't handle the heat. Despite the stringent environmental challenges, the output was a highly respectable 22 minutes of drama. As James A. Corry, Jack Warden submits an intelligent performance, as does Jean Marsh as the android Alicia. With her piercing blue eyes and gorgeously fair features, she definitely looks the part.

Hunger for companionship was a subject that surfaced in a number of Rod Serling's episodes, this one not excepted. Like "Where is Everybody", the austere storyline (set a century or so in the future) conveys all the bitterness of it's subject's life alone, with nothing to do and nowhere to go. It's clear that Corry relishes the passing of every moment, until he finds love in the very thing he doesn't want thrust upon him: pity.

"The Lonely" also features John Dehner as Allenby, the mission leader. He would return to The Twilight Zone to star in "The Jungle" in the third season and "Mr. Garrity and the Graves" at the very end of the five-year run. Ted Knight, 11 years pre-Ted Baxter of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, is seen here playing Adams, a frustrated young astronaut. For years before he burst upon the scene as the buffoonish WJM TV anchorman, Knight worked off and on, appearing in small parts such as this one, barely making the rent. A gifted actor who usually got passed over for good parts, Knight wasn't even given screen credit for his work on this episode!

"Jack Warden was a man with a tremendous sense of humour," Jean Marsh remembers. "I remember my nostrils burning as the plane flew into Death Valley — it really was that hot. Jack and I stayed very close together during the shoot. He was a man with an exceptional sense of humour. Rod Serling was also there, and went out of his way to help out with the production. The crew were collapsing what seemed like every five minutes, so they needed all the help they could get!"

"The Lonely" was one of several early stories that Serling used to pitch The Twilight Zone to prospective sponsors. Like many episodes of the first year, it centers around a rather prosaic idea imbibed with an extraordinary twist that promised to make the series anything but prosaic.

FACTOID: Jack Warden did so well in this difficult episode that Serling re-hired him - out of his own pocket - to star in "The Mighty Casey" later that season. Ordinarily it was strictly against TZ's rules to hire an actor for a starring role more than once per season, and they tried not to have the same leading actors back again unless the parts were very right for them. Those who were called back more frequently included such people as Warden, Jack Klugman, Burgess Meredith, John Dehner, James Best, and a number of reliable character actors.


CORRY: (o.s.) Fifteenth day, sixth month, year four. All the days and the months and the years the same. There'll be a supply ship coming in soon, I think. They're either due or overdue. And I hope it's Allenby's ship because he's a decent man and he brings things for me, like he brought in the parts for that antique automobile. I spent a year putting that thing together, such as it is. A whole year putting an old car together. But thank God for that car and for the hours I used up and the days and the weeks. I can look at it out there and I know that it's real. Reality is what I need. Because what is there left that I can believe in? That desert and the wind, the silence, or myself? Can I believe in myself anymore?

ADAMS: Hey, we've been here two minutes already and he hasn't asked about the pardon.
CORRY: How 'bout it, Allenby?
ADAMS: You're out of luck, Corry. The sentence reads 50 years, and they're not even reviewing cases of homicide. You've been here four years now, so that makes forty-six more to go, so make yourself comfortable, huh??
ALLENBY: Corry, we don't make the rules. All we do is deliver your supplies and pass on information. Told you last time there's been a lot of pressure back home about this kind of punishment. A lot of people who think it's unnecessarily cruel. They might change their minds, alter the law, imprison you on Earth like the old days. But who knows what the next couple of years may bring.
CORRY: Years? Allenby, every morning when I get up I tell myself this is my last day of sanity. I can't stand this loneliness one more day, not one more day! I know when I can't keep my fingers still and the inside of my mouth feels like gunpowder and burnt copper. Down deep inside my gut I get an ache that's just pulling everything out. Then I force myself to hold on for one more day, just one more day. But I can't do that for another 46 years, Allenby. I'll go right out of my mind.
ADAMS: You're breaking my heart.
ALLENBY: Adams, you and Carstairs go get the supplies.
ADAMS: Mr. Corry got a broken leg or something?
ALLENBY: You go ahead and do what I tell you, now! And that big crate, you know, the big one, you treat that one gently.

ALLENBY: And, Corry, I brought you something else, too. It'll mean my job if they ever suspect. It'll be my neck if they found out for sure.
CORRY: Look, Allenby, I don't want any gifts. I don't want tidbits. Makes me feel like an animal in a cage with an old lady out there who wants to throw peanuts at me. A pardon, Allenby. That's the only gift I want. I'm not a murderer. I killed in self-defense. There are still a lot of people who believe me and it happens to be the truth. I killed in self-defense!
ALLENBY: I know. I know all about it. And I doubt if this will be any consolation to you but this isn't an easy assignment to handle, stopping here four times a year and having to look at a man's agony.
CORRY: You're right, Allenby. It's very little consolation.
ALLENBY: Well, I can't bring you freedom. All I can do is try to bring you things to help keep your sanity. Something to, well, anything so you can just fight the loneliness.

CORRY: Have a good trip back. Give my regards to Broadway.
ALLENBY: Sure, Corry. See you in three months.
CORRY: Allenby, I don't care much what's in it, but for the thought, for the decency, thank you.
ALLENBY: You're quite welcome, Corry.

CORRY: (o.s.) Alicia's been with me now for 11 months. It's difficult to write down what has been the sum total of this very strange and bizarre relationship. Is it man and woman, or man and machine? I don't really know myself. But there are times when I do know that Alicia is simply an extension of me. I hear my words coming from her, my emotions. The things that she has learned to love are those things that I have loved. I'm not lonely anymore. Each day can now be lived with. I love Alicia. Nothing else matters.

CORRY: That's in the constellation of Orion. And there's the Great Bear. See it with it's pointer stars in line with the northern star? There's the constellation Hercules.
ALICIA: God's beauty.
CORRY: That's right. God's beauty.
ALICIA: That star, Corry! What's that star?
CORRY: That's not a star. That's a ship.
ALICIA: A ship? But it can't be a ship. There isn't one due here for three months. You said after the last time not for another three months.
CORRY: Must be Allenby's ship. He's the only one that ever comes close. They stop at the other asteroids then they come here. That means we'll see them in the morning.
ALICIA: We'd better get back to the house, then.

Burgess Meredith in "Time Enough At Last"

Time Enough at Last

STARRING CAST: Burgess Meredith, Vaughn Taylor, Jacqueline DeWitt
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on short story by Lynn Venable
DIRECTOR: John Brahm
SUMMARY: Henry Bemis, a bookish bank clerk, can't find enough time to read. He reads constantly, nearly every waking minute. On his lunch hour, he reads of the H-bomb while down in the vault of the bank. It goes off suddenly, leaving him as the last man on Earth. In the ruins of a sporting goods store he finds a gun and considers doing away with himself … but when he catches sight of the remains of a public library, he has a reason to stay alive.

After doing "Time Enough at Last," Burgess Meredith gained popularity that was almost on a par with that of Rod Serling. In his first of four distinguished appearances on Twilight Zone, he played the bespectacled bank clerk who wanted nothing but time to read books, and he got his wish … only to find himself in much the same position as Mike Ferris of "Where is Everybody" as the last living organism on Earth. Replete with about the thickest pair of spectacles ever seen on TV and books glued to his being (figuratively speaking, of course). Meredith worked wonders with the part. Henry Bemis may not have been the most interesting or vivid character in all of Twilight Zone but for some reason, no one forgot him. He fit the bill of a stereotypical, identifiable character who doesn't fit in with the rest of the world for any number of reasons. In his case, it's mainly because he's saddled with a shrew of a wife and a bad obsession for books. Sadly, he ends up even worse off due to a simple twist of fate, and now won't even be able to find the gun that would have put him out of his misery for good.

FACTOIDS: (1) Lela Bliss, who appears as a bank customer, ran an acting school with her husband Paul. Betty White was one of her pupils. (2) Vaughn Taylor (Mr. Bemis) was a semi-regular on TZ and also "Perry Mason" and other shows, as one of Hollywood's most familiar character actors in the 50s and 60s. Shortly after he shot this episode, he assumed another money-based employer, the real estate agent Mr. Lowery, boss of the late Marion Crane in Hitchock's "Psycho." (3) Bemis toilet seats are still seen all over the world today. Serling must've liked the name, as he also wrote "Mr. Bevis" later in the season.


CARSVILLE: Now, Mr. Bemis, I shall come to the point of this interview. I shall arrive via the following route, which is namely what constitutes an efficient member of this organization. A bank teller who knows his job and performs it. I.e., a man who functions within an organization. You, Mr. Bemis, do not function within the organization! You are neither an efficient bank teller nor a proficient employee! You, Mr. Bemis, are a reader!
HENRY: A reader?
CARSVILLE: A reader!! A reader of books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers! I see you constantly going downstairs into the vault during your lunch hour. An ultimatum, Mr. Bemis! You will henceforth devote your time to you job and forget reading or you'll find yourself outdoors on a park bench reading from morning til night for want of having a job. Do I make myself perfectly clear?
HENRY: Oh, that's perfectly clear, sir, it's just that …
CARSVILLE: Just that what, Bemis? Make it quick and get back to your cage!
Henry : It's just that my wife won't let me read at home. See, when I get home at night and try to pick up a newspaper, she yanks it out of my hand. And then after dinner, if I try to find a magazine, she hides them. Well, I got so desperate that I found myself trying to read the labels on the condiment bottles on the table. Now she won't even let me use the ketchup.
CARSVILLE: Your wife is an amazingly bright woman. I remember last November you spent the better part of the days reading campaign buttons on customer's lapels. You will recall, Bemis, the young lady who took considerable exception to this and tried to hit you with her umbrella.
HENRY: Yes, I remember that. It's just that I never got a chance to tell her that I was only looking to see...who she voted for.
CARSVILLE: Good day, Bemis.

HELEN: (calling him) Henrrrrry!!!
HENRY: Yes, dear, I'm in the living room …
HELEN: (abruptly) You want more coffee or don't you?
HENRY: No, thank you, dear.
HELEN: Well then why don't you tell me that? And don't sneak off into the living room to bury yourself in newsprint. I think we've been over this quite enough, Henry. I won't tolerate a husband of mine sacrificing the art of conversation. Alright, what's so funny?
HENRY: No, no, dear, it was just that you said, 'a husband of mine.' Well, how many husbands have you got? You've only got me!
HELEN: I would appreciate that not being rubbed in! We're playing cards tonight. I want you to change your shirt. We're going over to the Phillips house!
HENRY: Oh dear.
HELEN: Alright, Henry. Anything to say?
HENRY: No, dear. Nothing to say. What time are we due there?
HELEN: In about 15 minutes.
HENRY: I'll be ready on time.
HELEN: See that you are!

(Henry quickly gets into decent shirt and jacket; Helen waits for him behind door, suspecting he's sneaked a book into the pocket to read at the Phillips').
HELEN: Henry?
HENRY: Yes, my dear?
HELEN: What have you got, Henry?
HENRY: Nothing, my dear. (she pulls a book out of his jacket pocket)
HELEN: What's this?
HENRY: That?
HELEN: This!
HENRY: Isn't that odd? Now how did that get here?!
HELEN: Would you like to read me some?
HENRY: Read you some? Do you mean read to you out loud, from the book?
HELEN: Do you want to?
HENRY: Oh, I would love to! You know, there are some lovely things in here. There are one or two things from T.S. Eliot and Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg. (Opens it and sees black X's covering each page) Helen! Who did this, Helen?
HELEN: Who do you think did it, Henry? You should thank me really. A grown man who reads silly ridiculous nonsensical doggerel!
HENRY: This isn't doggerel! There's some very beautiful things here!
HELEN: I say it's doggerel. I also say it's a waste of time. (She unceremoniously rips pages out of the book)
HENRY: Helen! Helen! Don't do that, Helen! Please don't do that. Why, Helen? Why do you do these things?
HELEN: Because I'm married to a fool!

HENRY: Collected works of Dickens! Collected works of George Bernard Shaw! Poems by Browning, Shelley, and Keats! Books! Books! All the books I'll need! All the books, all the books I'll ever want!! Shelley, Shakespeare, Shaw, ohhh! All the books I want.
HENRY: This year and the next year and the year after and the year after that and the year after that. And the best thing, the very best thing of all, is there's time now. There's all the time I need and all the time I want. Time, time, time... there's time enough at last.
(he kneels down abruptly and the glasses fall off his nose, smashing on the cement)
That's not fair. That's not fair at all. There was time now. There was all the time I needed. That's not fair, that's not fair …

Richard Conte and Suzanne Lloyd in "Perchance to Dream"

Perchance to Dream

STARRING CAST: Richard Conte, John Larch, Suzanne Lloyd
WRITER: Charles Beaumont
DIRECTOR: Robert Florey
SUMMARY: Edward Hall, a middle-aged man with a heart condition, hasn't slept in 87 hours and of late has been dreaming in sequences about an amusement park. He thinks a sexy female stripper is trying to kill him by scaring him so badly that his heart will give out and he'll die. Hall goes to a psychiatrist, arriving at the office before he finally falls asleep … for good.

Charles Beaumont's first script for Twilight Zone was arguably the finest of the 22 he wrote for the show. This is the story of a man who can't fall asleep because he fears that if he does, he'll never wake up again.

Several minutes of idle chatter between Hall and Rathmann, the psychiatrist, precede a dark, doomed unfolding of the reason Hall hasn't been able to sleep lately. The first several minutes of the episode are rather unhurried, and a little academic … but this turns out to be a remarkable preface to what lies ahead.

"Perchance to Dream" consists of three discrete segments. The introduction and meeting of Rathmann and Hall, with idle chatter. The episode more or less 'begins' at the point where Hall starts to give Rathmann his history … beginning with a picture of a boat on the wall.

HALL: Did you ever look at this picture, I mean really look at it?
RATHMANN: I think so, why?
HALL: Has it ever moved?
RATHMANN: No, not to my knowledge, anyway.
HALL: I can make it move.
RATHMANN: (slow response) Can you?
HALL: Yeah, but not really. When I was a kid, we had a picture like this in our house. Not the same thing, exactly, but pretty close, a boat. My mother used to tell me to look at it. She said if I looked at it long enough, it would move. All I had to do was keep looking at it. I didn't believe her, but the idea fascinated me. I spent a whole hour just staring at that silly boat.
RATHMANN: And did it move?
HALL: (very slow response) Yes.
RATHMANN: Now you understand there's nothing strange about that, it was an optical illusion.
HALL: Yeah, I know, but after awhile I couldn't control it. The sails would fill and it would begin to dip. It wouldn't stop.
RATHMANN: The imagination is strong in a growing boy.
HALL: Yeah, I realize that. I realized it even then, but the point is that I got just as scared as if it were really happening. The mind is everything. If you've got a pain in your arm and there's no physical reason for it, it hurts just the same, doesn't it?
RATHMANN: Granted.

The third segment is the final two minutes, where Rathmann calls in Miss Thomas to inform him that Hall has died. Of course, the magic is that it was all a dream that took place over the span of less than a minute, before Edward Hall suffered the heart attack that he knew would kill him.

Conte's breathless recitation of almost every line, as if he were really going to die at any moment, couldn't have been done more expertly. John Larch also does splendidly as the psychiatrist. He never says too much and is a subdued personality, letting his patient do all the talking. As Maya, the sultry amusement park entertainer, Suzanne Lloyd too is perfect. In 2002, she recalled her memories of doing the shoot for "Perchance to Dream". "There wasn't much levity on that set and everything except the psychiatrist's office scenes were shot at an angle with the camera tilted throughout. I remember standing there for what seemed like forever, getting that laugh down. Richard Conte and I spent a fair amount of time working on the scenes which featured his terrified face. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life working with that dialogue and those actors. A real joy." Beaumont himself was pleased at the time, saying, "They didn't hardly change a word of it; I was amazed."

FACTOID: (1) The familiar publicity shot of Hall and Maya (Richard Conte and Suzanne Lloyd) with black background, hung in producer Buck Houghton's offices for many years. (2) See the 2002 Convention pages for Suzanne Lloyd's recounting of her second and even more terrifying performance as Maya at the local circus!


SERLING: (o.s.) Twelve o'clock noon. An ordinary scene, an ordinary city. Lunchtime for thousands of ordinary people. To most of them, this hour will be a rest, a pleasant break in the day's routine. To most, but not all. To Edward Hall, time is an enemy, and the hour to come is a matter of life and death.

HALL: When I was 15 I developed a rheumatic heart. They said I'd never really get well, that I'd have to take it easy. No strenuous exercise, no long walks, no stairs, no shocks. Avoid any kind of shock, they said. They forgot about my imagination. Three years ago a woman was killed by a man who was hidden in the backseat of her car. You may have read about it. I did. Anyway, it started me thinking. Maybe somebody was hiding in the backseat of my car. Maybe one night driving over Laurel Canyon I'd look up in the rearview mirror, and I'd see somebody or something coming up out of the darkness. I had to drive the Canyon twice a day. It's a rough road. One slip and you're over the edge. One night, like every other night, I was heading for home. Suddenly I began to feel uncomfortable, as if I weren't alone in the car. It was ridiculous but I couldn't shake the sensation. I keep thinking "there's somebody back there. I'll look in the rearview mirror and I'll see his face. Then I'll see his hands reaching up." Here's the important thing, doctor. I knew intellectually that I was alone, but I also knew that my imagination could make me see something if I thought about it long enough. Of course, there wasn't anybody else in the car. It was all in my mind. What difference does that make? I crashed anyway. I was lucky. The shock should have killed me. I couldn't survive another one, the doctor said. I could be sure of that.
RATHMANN: And has there been another one?
HALL: No, but there will be just as soon as I fall asleep. The girl will be in this dream again, and it'll be the last shock.

HALL: And you don't believe it's possible to dream in episodes?
RATHMANN: I don't say it's impossible.
HALL: It isn't, believe me. For a long time, I didn't dream at all. Then a week ago it started. I went to bed around 11:30. I wasn't too tired, but I needed the rest because of my heart. I don't know when I fell asleep but all of a sudden I wasn't at home anymore. I was at an amusement park. It was the kind of place you see only in nightmares. Everything warped and twisted out of shape, but it was real, too. Very real …

MAYA'S ANNOUNCER: Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry! The show is about to begin! See her dance! See her wiggle! The most sensational and electrifying exhibition since Little Egypt. Now, friends, you're not going to be able to see anything standing around out there! You've got to get down close! That's the idea, right over here, right down close! That's it, friends, now, not too close! Now, friends, you say you want fat ones? We got 'em. You say you want thin ones? We've got 'em. Blondes, brunettes, redheads. And believe me, folks, if they ain't up here, they ain't worth looking at! And now, to give you a little demonstration of what you're gonna see on the inside...Maya, the Cat Girl! Come on, baby, we know you're modest, but why should the folks out there take my word for it?! (Maya dances to bongo drum music for a minute or so; Hall runs off and Maya laughs loudly)

HALL: Maya!
MAYA: Why did you do that?
HALL: Why did I do what?
MAYA: Run away?!
HALL: I had to.
MAYA: You didn't find me nice to look at?
HALL: Maybe too nice. Aren't you supposed to be back there entertaining the customers?
MAYA: I'm free … for tonight. Are you alone?
HALL: Yes.
MAYA: Then come with me. You want to, don't you Edward?

HALL: I didn't want to go anywhere near that roller coaster but I couldn't help myself. I had to follow her. Even though I knew exactly what it would mean, I had to follow her.
MAYA: Edward? Edward!
HALL: Get away from me!
MAYA: There's nothing to be afraid of, Edward. It's only a dream!
HALL: I've got a heart condition. I can't stand all this excitement.
MAYA: But, silly, there isn't any excitement. You said so yourself. You're at home, asleep in bed. Now you can do all the things you can't do when you're awake.
HALL: But the doctor said …
MAYA: Look, Edward! Look, Edward, look! Come on, Edward, it's fun! C'mon!

(Slowly, the coaster slowly makes its way up to the crest, then begins a sharp turn and sails downward, then upward again, it is impossibly high off the ground, like a skyscraper; Hall looks down with horror as Maya grins with delight)
MAYA: Hold on, Edward!!!!
HALL: Stop it! Stop it!
MAYA: They can't, it's too late!
HALL: I've got to get out, I've got to get out!
MAYA: Jump, Edward, jump! Jump, Edward, jump!! Jump, Edward!

RATHMANN: Miss Thomas?
MISS THOMAS: Yes, doctor?
RATHMANN: Would you come here, please? (a beat) I'm afraid he's dead.
MISS THOMAS: But he came in just a minute ago!
RATHMANN: I know. When he came in I told him to sit down and he did. Less than two seconds he was asleep. Then he gave that scream you heard...
MISS THOMAS: Heart attack?
RATHMANN: Probably. Well, I guess there are worse ways to go. At least he died peacefully....
SERLING: (o.s.) They say a dream takes only a second or so, and yet in that second a man can live a lifetime. He can suffer and die, and who's to say which is the greater reality: the one we know or the one in dreams, between heaven, the sky, the earth in the Twilight Zone.

Nehemiah Persoff in "Judgment Night"

Judgement Night

STARRING CAST: Nehemiah Persoff, Hugh Sanders, Ben Wright, Deidre Hall, James Franciscus
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: John Brahm
SUMMARY: Carl Lanser, former Lieutenant of the Kreigsmarine, is aboard a ship headed from Glasgow to the US in 1942. But he can't remember exactly why he's on the ship. After the ship's engines seize up, he starts to recall how he got aboard.

Nehemiah Persoff is not a widely-known actor, but he's an accomplished talent who has had a fairly distinguished career in film, including roles in Al Capone, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Yentl, and The Last Temptation of Christ. In this time-of-Hitler story "Judgement Night", he displays fine control as a spooked U-boat captain.

Like Serling's later "Death's Head Revisited" and other episodes centered around WWII, "Judgement Night" captures the despondence of an era. In 1959, the war was still fresh in many people's minds — television would continuously remind people just how turbulent the time was. One especially nice sequence in the second act comes when Lanser attempts to warn the passengers that they must abandon ship before it gets torpedoed. The ship is stalled and everyone is powerless. At one point, an image of the passengers staring at him coldly momentarily appears, then disappears just before the U-boat sinks the ship. Huge metal joists disassemble with each round, and passengers are trapped in their rooms as fire engulfs them. But the commander ordering his men to fire is … Lanser!

The actor chosen to deliver the punch line was a curious choice. James Franciscus, much later to star in Mr. Novak, was a novice at the time and has his share of trouble opposite Persoff in a short scene at the end. As has been mentioned elsewhere, it was beyond his ability to speak with an authentic German tongue. This is easily overlooked, though. "Judgement Night" was one of the first commentaries of its kind, and even this many years later, doesn't fail to haunt and remind.

FACTOID: This episode was not filmed in the ocean!


CAPTAIN: And they're out there. God knows, they're out there. Waiting, like vultures.

LANSER: It's here! That's the U-boat out there! The U-boat's here! We've got to get out of here, everybody! We have got to leave this ship! Everybody, they're going to sink us! Don't you hear me? Have you all gone out of your minds, all of you? There's a U-boat here! It's going to sink us! What do I have to do to you? Do I have to grab you and put you on deck? Do I have to grab your body and put you into lifeboats? Do I have to knock you unconscious all of you?!!

MULLER: I just, I just found it difficult to …
LANSER: To what?
MULLER: To reconcile the killing of men and women without any warning. Makes me wonder if we're not damned now.
LANSER: In the eyes of the British admiralty, we most certainly are.
MULLER: I mean, sir, in the eyes of God.
LANSER: Oh, you're not only a fool, Lieutenant, but also a religious fool, and perhaps a mystic at that. Suppose we are damned. What will happen then?
MULLER: I have had dreams about it. Perhaps there is a special kind of hell for people like us. Perhaps to be damned is to have a fate like the people on that ship, to suffer as they suffer and to die as they die.
LANSER: You are a mystic, Lieutenant.
MULLER: We'll ride the ghost of that ship every night. Every night, Kapitan, for eternity. They could die only once, just once, but we could die a hundred million times. We ride the ghost of that ship every night. Every night for eternity.

"And When The Sky Was Opened"

And When the Sky Was Opened

STARRING CAST: Rod Taylor, James Hutton, Charles Aidman, Maxine Cooper, Paul Bryar, Gloria Pall
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on a short story by Richard Matheson
DIRECTOR: Douglas Heyes
SUMMARY: Forbes, Harrington, and Gart return from a space mission … or at least they THINK they've returned. One by one, they are erased from existence.

In 1956, a young Australian actor named Rod Taylor had done masterful work in George Pal's The Time Machine. In this early episode, he and his buddies get stuck in a kind of time warp and eventually get yanked out of the land of the living one by one. In a sense, the story works itself backwards. It starts with a view of a space vessel being kept under wraps, with three astronaunts having survived the malfunction and ends with only a long shot of the wraps with all three having been lost, along with the vessel.

Douglas Heyes, director, became unofficially known as the series' Hitchcock. He was a master of suspense, as demonstrated here and in the later episodes "The After Hours,""Eye of the Beholder," and "The Howling Man." In fact, when he was assigned to less dramatic storylines, he usually failed. "And When the Sky Was Opened" endures, thanks to Heyes and emotionally arresting performances by the three leads. Gloria Pall, who plays the girl at the bar who gets picked up by Rod Taylor, comments. "Rod Serling was on the set for the two days I was working; he was very nice and came over and said hello. My part was originally different — it was written with me and two other girls sitting at a table. Rod and the director changed it, and moved me up to the bar. I loved working with Rod Taylor. He was a very nice person—one of the best in the biz at the time, as one of Hollywood's rising stars. Funny story, I got my real estate license in the late '50s and Jim Hutton - whom I didn't share any scenes with, but who co-starred in it - was one of my clients. I remember taking him in my car to show him a house and we got a speeding ticket which he agreed to pay for, but never did. I watch the Twilight Zone marathons today, and I'll see that episode...good memories. The fifties were an exciting time in the world."

FACTOID: Leonard Rosenman, who earlier wrote the music for East of Eden starring James Dean, was hired to write the music for this most frightening of episodes. Rosenman and Dean shared an apartment together for a year when they were both starving artists in New York in the early 1950s, in effort to cut expenses.


COL. FORBES: Oh, I know he's not an illusion. I know. He's been yanked out of here. He's been taken away. He told me, remember. He told me. Maybe somebody or something made a mistake. Let us get through when we shouldn't have gotten through. Gotta come back to get us. Somebody up there. Oh, Bill. This is weird. This is plain weird. Like I just don't belong. Just like I don't belong. Oh, no. Oh, no!!! I don't want this to happen! Bill, I don't want it to happen! I don't want it to happen! I don't want it to happen!!!

"What You Need"
What You Need

STARRING CAST: Ernest Truex, Steve Cochran, Arline Sax, Read Morgan
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on a short story by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore
DIRECTOR: Alvin Ganzer
SUMMARY: Pedott, an elderly street vendor, comes into a local tavern one night and gets spotted by Fred Renard, a 36-year-old loser. Pedott has the ability to give everyone what they need … and Renard certainly wants his share of the pie. But he gets far more than he bargains for.

This quiet vignette of a story aired Christmas day 1959, Rod Serling's 35th birthday. Based on a short story by Kuttner and Moore, the TV adaptation is quiet and enjoyable, even if lacking in imagination. It also features a few actors who would return to appear in later episodes (Arline Sax, William Edmonson, Ernest Truex). Steve Cochran, who ironically died by accident five years later, is every bit the schoolyard bully suffering from arrested character development. "Ever hear of a tip?", a paperboy says. "Yeah, here's a tip: don't play with matches." Says Arline Sax (who shortly thereafter became known as Arlene Martel), "I was very moved by it. As a New York Actor's Studio actor, it took me about five pages to write an autobiography of the girl in the bar that I played. There wasn't that much to say in it, but I see now that she was a specific character with a specific function."
FACTOID: Montgomery Pittman, who wrote the episodes "Two", "The Grave", and "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank" was good friends with Steve Cochran and even worked for him for a period of time when he first came to Los Angeles from New York. Pittman wanted "a shot at showbiz" and found that writing was his forte. He made his significant contribution to TZ, and even Serling recognized him as such. Pittman and his wife Maurita (c. 1918-2006) co-wrote some episodes of TV collaboratively. Maurita was the mother of Sherry Jackson.


PEDOTT: I feel sorry for you. I really do.
RENARD: I don't want you to. I don't want you to go to that kind of trouble. I just want you to keep supplying me with what I need. I don't care what it is. Scissors to save my lousy hide or a leaky fountain pen so I can pick winners. But whatever it is, I want it to keep coming. I don't want it to stop.
PEDOTT: That's a pity, because it must stop. It must stop now.
RENARD: Why? Why does it have to stop?
PEDOTT: Because the things you need most I can't supply.
RENARD: What are they?
PEDOTT: Serenity, peace of mind, humor, the ability to laugh at oneself. Those are the things you need most, but it's beyond my power to give them to you.

RENARD: What are you doing, giving me the business? Is that what you're doing, giving me the business? You know, I can come over there and take you apart bone by bone. Come on, old man, tell me. Are these what I need?
PEDOTT: I didn't say they were. But I'll tell you something. They happen to be what *I* need.

PEDOTT: Mr. Renard, what I saw in your eyes at that bar was death, my death. You were going to kill me. So what was needed for Mr. Renard was slippery shoes … that's what was needed, slippery shoes.

"The Four Of Us Are Dying"

The Four of Us Are Dying

STARRING CAST: Harry Townes, Ross Martin, Phillip Pine, Don Gordon, Beverly Garland, Bernard Fein, Peter Brocco
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on the short story "All of Us Are Dying" by George Clayton Johnson
DIRECTOR: John Brahm
SUMMARY: Arch Hammer, who has the ability to change his face, checks into a cheap inn called The Hotel Real with the intent of turning his life into something more meaningful, but that ends up ruining the lives of others he encounters.

George Clayton Johnson's story "All of Us Are Dying" was his first television story sale, originally broadcast on the first day of January, 1960. "Jay Richards of Famous Artists Agency never would sign any contracts with me [to be my official agent] but he said that if I could find something happening, he'd represent me. I took him this story and he looked at the title and said, 'No, that won't do.' He scratched out the title and re-named it "Rubber Face."

In the short story, a man named Arthur Danyluk has the ability to change his face. He runs into a past girlfriend in a hotel, and meets up with some old buddies over drinks. Unluckily, he meets his demise when he stops for gas and the attendant—a man from his distant past who's been looking for him for 10 years swearing he'd kill him, does kill him. Serling, much to Johnson's approbation, revised the plot significantly and made it far more interesting, giving the main character the name Arch Hammer. The gas station segment was replaced with a remarkable comeuppance of a boxer named Andy Marshack, who runs into his father on the street. Pop Marshak accuses him of a number of past evil doings before shooting him dead. Serling also brought back most of the original title, calling it "The Four of Us Are Dying", which is no doubt the most appropriate of the three.

Despite the convenience of the main character's ability to change his face at the drop of a hat, the episode succeeds due to magnificent performances by Harry Townes, Phillip Pine, Ross Martin, and Don Gordon. Of the four, it is Pine's burning intensity as Virgil Sterig, who was thrown in a river after being blackmailed, that remains the central force of the show. No less important are veteran TV actress Beverly Garland as Maggie, a sexy torch singer, Ross Martin as her former lover, and Peter Brocco as the beaten-down, aging father of Marshack. Suave direction by John Brahm holds everything together splendidly, with a jazzy, almost frenetically nervous musical score by Jerry Goldsmith in the background. Although not often mentioned, the episodes of The Twilight Zone featuring entirely night scenes are usually the most effective. "Dead Man's Shoes", "The Invaders", "What You Need", and "Mirror Image", among countless others, all benefit greatly from this. In "The Four of Us Are Dying", the four distinct tableaux featuring each "face", are separated by promenade footage of neon lights and street scenes of a seedy Manhattan neighborhood. Beverly Garland had fond memories of the episode. "Rod was on the set on the morning when Ross Martin and I filmed our scene and, apparently pleased with my performance, he remarked, 'I had no idea I'd written her so deeply.'"


FOSTER: If you don't drink well, don't drink.
MAGGIE: Johnny! Johnny, are you a ghost?
FOSTER: Sure, a ghost. I just came down to check the mourners, read the obituaries. How'd they feel about the deceased, huh? What kind of tears?
MAGGIE: You came to the right place, Johnny. I have a room full of buckets. I heard it on the radio one night, just like that. "Death as it must come to all men came to talented musician Johnny Foster. Tragic accident, train hitting car." I just sat there and I cried, and then I...and then I...I washed my face and put on some makeup and went to work. But everything had changed for me. My repertoire became very limited. Only blues. Only sad songs for piano and bourbon. Oh, Johnny, I don't care if you are a ghost!

STERIG: It's me, Mr. Penell! (Penell breaks his TV set when his can of beer smashes into the screen) Picture tubes are very can always get yourself another beer. Imported, isn't it? I always liked your taste, Mr. Penell. You always had the taste of a very rich man. Neat, but not gaudy. (Penell heads towards the desk, probably to pull out a gun) Please, don't. Just sit down there and we'll talk, eh?
PENELL: Virg, Virg, this is the happiest day of my life!
STERIG: (laughs; Penell's face drops confusedly) If this is the happiest day of your life, how come you look like somebody just stuck lemon juice in your beer? No, Mr. Penell. You're not so happy. You got no reason to be happy. Believe me, Mr. Penell, I know. You got no reason to be happy. No reason at all. Now, if you could have kept me in the river, a cold clammy little item without a voice, then you could have been happy. But this is one double cross, Mr. Penell, that came back to bite you!!

POP MARSHACK: Andy? (a beat) Andy.
POP MARSHACK: Andy. What's the matter with you?
MARSHACK: (still doesn't recognize him) Oh, Andy, I get it. Uh, what's new with you? How's the journalism business?
POP MARSHACK: (tugging on his shoulder) Andy? What's the matter with ya? Somethin' wrong with your mind? Ya punchy, Andy?
MARSHACK: (shrugging him off) Yeah … I'm punchy. Heh. Why, am I supposed to recognize you?
POP MARSHACK: Yeah, I guess you would.
MARSHACK: We … we met someplace before, huh?
POP MARSHACK: (coldly) That's right.
MARSHACK: But it was a long time ago, right? I don't remember you, old man. Now how do I know you?
POP MARSHACK: (more disgusted) How do you know me? As a son should know his father! What kinda game are ya playin', Andy?
MARSHACK: I'm your son?
POP MARSHACK: (bitter) You were. You were before you ran out! You were before you broke your mother's heart! You were before you did dirt to a decent little girl who woulda cut off an arm for ya! But now ya ain't my son. Now ya ain't nothin' to me. Now ya ain't nothin'. I hate your guts. Do you hear me? I … hate … your … guts. Things go down hard, you just walk away, huh Andy? People get in your way, you just step on them, just kick 'em away, eh? Look what we got here! Andy Marshack, a dirty little punk! Look, everybody look! Spit in his mother's eye, this one! Ruined a girl's life, this one! Hurt people, all the time, hurt people! Look, everybody, look! (Andy pushes him down on the curb) Look at him. Look at the punk. Look at Andy Marshack! Look at the monster! Look at … my son! (he starts to cry)

(Hammer whirls out of the carousel, as Marshack again. Pop Marshack is pointing a gun at him)
MARSHACK: Hey old man …
POP MARSHACK: You got such a debt, Andy. Ya owe for so many years, ya owe for so many things. And now, you pay off, son.
MARSHACK: Wait a minute, you got the wrong guy!
POP MARSHACK: (emotionlessly) I got the right guy.
MARSHACK: Please. Put the gun down. I'll show ya. Honest. But I gotta think! I gotta concentrate! Please!
(Pop Marshack fires the gun at his chest; he drops over, dead)

"Third From The Sun"

Third From the Sun

STARRING CAST: Fritz Weaver, Joe Maross, Edward Andrews, Denise Alexander, Lori March, Jeanne Evans
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on the short story "Third From the Sun" by Richard Matheson
DIRECTOR: Richard L. Bare
SUMMARY: William Sturka and Jerry Riden, who work for the government hydrogen armament division, make plans to leave their planet when reports come in that the enemy has plans to inflict a doomsday. Meanwhile, they must fend off a government mule named Carling, who is determined to hone in on their plans and keep them from boarding the spaceship that will take them away.

Despite a somewhat predictable plot, "Third From the Sun" is a remarkable episode thanks to actors who knew how to portray the material precisely the way it was intended—as if they are literally walking on eggs with fear. As the sadistic, all-knowing government agent Carling, Edward Andrews is perfect. Fritz Weaver and Joe Maross also do very well, trying to keep the plans under wraps and bowing to Carling just enough to keep him at bay. The evening of cards-turned-escape, where Carling pays them a surprise visit, was perfectly staged and photographed by Harry Wild (substituting for George Clemens). The card game was shot upward through a glass table, with slow, close-up camera pans to the faces of Sturka, Riden, and their wives. All is reserved as the couples cut into a cake and tally up their "winnings", which are scribbled upon the back of a blueprint of their flight path. A storm brews violently beneath the surface, in a world (which looks surprisingly like Earth, but this is easily dismissed) that will soon fall victim to a nuclear holocaust.

Serling's script bears hardly any resemblance to Matheson's short story of the same title. The story was indeed short, and the characters are not even given names. The characters Sturka and Riden were Serling's, as was the fleshed-out plot making them government employees and Carling trying to stop them from leaving. The director, Richard L. Bare (later to direct over 150 episodes of Green Acres) kept things in tow, ensuring that a high level of suspense was generated by literally every frame of the picture. Denise Alexander, who played Jody (and later went on to a regular role on General Hospital) says: "The reason [that episode] is still talked about is because it was so well directed. It was a good story and all, but the direction is what made it such a masterpiece."

FACTOID: Jeanne Evans, who played Ann Riden, was married to director Richard L. Bare at the time the episode was produced. The 'L' in Bare's name stands for Leland, although he is not credited as such. In 2013, Mr. Bare emerged from retirement as a centenarian and announced plans to re-make "Green Acres" as a film or Broadway play. TZ is Mr. Bare's second-most prominent credit; he directed almost every episode of "Green Acres" during its 6 year run (cancelled by network honcho Mike Dann in 1971, who "cut down every show with a tree in it.")


CARLING: Your department's going full blast, isn't it? It's coming, boy, it's really coming, and a big one, too. While we're talking here, I'll bet the military is getting all set. Got it all mapped out, I'll bet. Talk is 48 hours. You wait and see if I'm not right. Forty-eight hours and we'll have them aloft. Then whoosh, up, over and whammo. There goes the enemy. Obliterated, finished.
STURKA: But what are they doing in the meantime?
CARLING: What do you mean what are they doing? Probably retaliating the best way they can. It's a big waste of time, let me tell you. We get the first licks so they can't do much.
STURKA: They can go whoosh, up, over and whammo.
CARLING: Absolutely, but no so many, not so properly aimed, not so skillfully carried out.
STURKA: So instead of losing 50 million people we lose only 35, huh??
CARLING: You a defeatist, Sturka? That's dangerous thinking. You better mind what you say!
STURKA: And what I think, too.
CARLING: Yeah, and what you think.

SERLING: (o.s.) Quitting time at the plant. Time for supper now. Time for families. Time for a cool drink on a porch. Time for the quiet rustle of leaf-laden trees that screen out the moon. And underneath it all, behind the eyes of the men, hanging invisible over the summer night, is a horror without words. For this is the stillness before storm. This is the eve of the end.

JODY: Everyone I've been talking to has been noticing it.
EVE: Noticing what, Jo?
JODY: That something's wrong. That something's in the air. That something's going to happen. And everybody's afraid. Everyone, Dad! Why?!
STURKA: People are afraid because they make themselves afraid. They're afraid because they subvert every great thing ever discovered, every fine idea ever thought, every marvelous invention ever conceived. They subvert it, Jody. They make it crooked and devious. Then too late, far too late, they ask themselves the question why. And then it's too late. Everything is too late.

EVE: I have so much fear inside me … I can't give it words.
STURKA: It's too late for subterfuge now. It's too late for anything. It's coming. It's coming, probably within 48 hours.
EVE: Will it be bad?
STURKA: It'll be a holocaust. It will be hell. It will be the end of everything we know. People, places, ideas, everything. It will all be wiped out.
EVE: In 48 hours?
STURKA: Maybe sooner.

CARLING: Evening Sturka. Little cards, eh?
STURKA: Little cards, Carling. We were just about to cut into a cake. Would you care to join us?
CARLING: No, thank you, just a little lemonade for me. I was just telling your wife that she makes wonderful lemonade. Hot night, too. This is a night for a front porch, or sleep, but nothing else.
RIDEN: How right you are. We'll be leaving in a couple of minutes. I've been up north testing an aircraft. Haven't had much sleep the last couple of weeks.
CARLING: I know the aircraft. They say it's capable of leaving our atmosphere. Talk is it could go to another planet if the right man flew her.
RIDEN: Well, not for a while, yet. Needs a lot more testing.
CARLING: (crestfallen) Oh. May I have a cigarette?
RIDEN: The way I figure it, Mr. Sturka, you owe Ann and me a little money here. Marvelous scientist, very bad card player.
CARLING: Oh, I wouldn't have believed that. I would have guessed that Sturka here was a good gambler. I'd have guessed he'd gamble on most anything.

CARLING: I like to take a walk on warm evenings … helps me sleep better.
STURKA: I'll see you to the door, Mr. Carling.
CARLING: Thank you.
CARLING: I'll probably see you at the office tomorrow.
STURKA: Yes, of course.
CARLING: Pretty night. Clear as a bell. Nothing but stars. You ever think, Sturka, that there may be people on those stars too? Maybe people just like us.
STURKA: That thought has crossed my mind.
CARLING: Ever think maybe you'd be happier on one of those than you are here?
STURKA: That thought has crossed my mind, too.
CARLING: Yeah. Yeah, I have no doubt. (he walks off)

RIDEN: Everything alright?
STURKA: It's 12 o'clock and all is well. The stars look far away.
RIDEN: They are far away, but the one we want, that's not so far, Bill. You see it there? It's the shiny one. The bright one over on the right.
STURKA: It's hard to believe there are people there, people like us.
RIDEN: People like us. It's the third planet from the sun, Bill. It's called Earth. That's where we're going, to a place called Earth.

"I Shot An Arrow Into The Air"

I Shot an Arrow Into the Air

STARRING CAST: Dewey Martin, Edward Binns, Ted Otis
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on an idea by Madelon Champion
DIRECTOR: Stuart Rosenberg
SUMMARY: A spaceship takes off for outer space but crash-lands just outside Reno.

A show that rests on it's shocking punchline, "I Shot an Arrow Into the Air" boasts a fine performance by character actor Edward Binns as Col. Donlin (he also played a government official years earlier in the opening scenes of Judgement at Nuremberg). Certainly the audience can empathize with their predicament, but the fact that he, the appointed leader of the mission, can't even recognize that the place they've landed has the same gravity as Earth, is ludicrous. An army veteran himself, Serling was on familiar ground with such colloquialisms and so-called platoon talk, but the episode doesn't hold a place with any of the best. Like "The Lonely," "Arrow" was shot in Death Valley and the main character has the name Corey.


SERLING: Now you make tracks, Mr. Corey. You move out and up like some kind of ghostly billy club is tapping at your ankles and was telling you that it was later than you think. You scrabble up rock hills and feel hot sand underneath your feet and every now and then take a look over your shoulder at a giant sun suspended in the dead and motionless sky like an unblinking eye that probes at the back of your head in a prolonged accusation. Mr. Corey, last remaining member of a doomed crew, keep moving. Make tracks, Mr. Corey. Push up and push out because if you stop, if you stop maybe sanity will get you by the throat. Maybe realization will pry open your mind and the horror you left down in the sand will seep in. Yeah, Mr. Corey, yeah. You'd better keep moving. That's the order of the moment. Keep moving.

Inger Stevens in "The Hitch-Hiker"

The Hitch Hiker

STARRING CAST: Inger Stevens, Adam Williams, Lew Gallo, George Mitchell, Leonard Strong
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on the radio play "The Hitch Hiker" by Lucille Fletcher
(originally broadcast as episode of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater)
DIRECTOR: Alvin Ganzer
SUMMARY: Nan Adams is travelling back to California by car after vacationing on the East Coast. After a tire blows out and her car goes off the road, she continuously sees a hitch hiker who signals that he wants a ride.

The only Twilight Zone episode to be molded after a radio play was "The Hitch Hiker", originally written for Mercury Theater by Lucille Fletcher and read by Orson Welles. Serling's TZ episode is very much the same; in the original, the main character is Ronald Adams, changed to Nan Adams in the teleplay. Inger Stevens and the supporting cast are splendid. The only curious thing is the appearance of the sailor (Adam Williams) in the middle of the night on a dirt road, when Nan stops for gas. He claims he's on leave from the navy. He gets overly spooked when Nan tries to run down the hitch hiker, accuses her of wreckless driving, then abandons her in the middle of the highway. This seems a little more plausible at the end of the story, but out of context, it fails.

The shot where Nan Adams' car stalls in the middle of the train tracks is a nail-biter. The train was not from stock footage, and the car looks like it narrowly misses getting hit. Curiously, Nan does not get out of the car, even when the train is just yards away … it would have been more suspenseful if the car had been in 'drive' rather than reverse, so that at the moment when the train hit, we're not sure if the car was hit and mauled down the tracks or if it made it safely across until the train has passed. Justly, the hitch hiker (Leonard Strong) got the last line of the episode, "I believe you're going … my way?" The running is over, the hum of the highway has stopped, the fear is gone, and Nan Adams is in The Twilight Zone.


MECHANIC: How fast were you going, miss?
NAN: Oh, 60, 65, something like that.
MECHANIC: Blowout, skid marks, shoulders like pudding, and going 65 miles a hour. Lady, you're on the side of the angels. By rights, you shouldn't have called for a mechanic. Somebody should have called for a hearse. Just follow me into town, miss. I'll see if I can fix you up with a new tire.
NAN: Thank you.

MECHANIC: Five bucks for the call, $22.10 for the tire, the tax $2.60. Whole thing comes to $29.70.
NAN: Cheaper than a funeral, isn't it?
MECHANIC: You can say that again.

NAN: (Off Screen voiceover) I saw him again 50 miles further on, and then again on the long straight stretch of Virginia. Just standing there, not menacing really. If anything drab, a little mousey. Just a shabby, silly looking scarecrow man. I shouldn't even think about him at all but it's the coincidence of the thing. The fact that wherever I go there he is. Wherever I stop I see him. No matter how far I travel or how fast I go, he's ahead of me. I'm on a turnpike now. I don't know why it is, but I'm frightened. A fear just about as vague as its object. Maybe it isn't really a fear. It's more just a sense of disquiet. A feeling that things are a little wrong. It's vague because that's what that hitch-hiker is. He's vague. I wonder why it is he's always there. I wonder why I can't shake him.

NAN: (O.S.) Now the fear is no longer vague. The terror isn't formless. It has a form. He was beckoning me. That thin grey man in the cheap shabby suit. He was beckoning me. He wanted me to start across. He wanted me to die! I know that now. I don't know what to do now. I don't know if I should turn around and go back to New York or go on ahead. Stabbing little thoughts gouge my brain. Ugly frightened thoughts. Projections of tomorrow and the next day. Driving through plains. Driving through the desert. Unspeakably nightmarishly alone. And I know I'll see him. I'll see him at detours, at railroad crossings. He'll be looking at me at stoplights. I don't know what to do now. I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do.

NAN: (O.S.) Three days and three nights now driving. Past Tennessee, into Arkansas. Three days and three nights. Stop for food and then drive. Stop for food and then drive. Stop for food, and the routine goes on. Towns go by without names. Landscapes without form. Now it isn't even a trip, it's a flight. Route 80 isn't a highway anymore, it's an escape route. So I keep going, conscious of only one thing. I've to get where I'm going and I can't let that hitch-hiker close in on me! On the fourth day, halfway across New Mexico, I took a side road hoping to lose the hitch-hiker. At 11 o'clock at night, the engine stopped and I sit there in the front seat, refrigerated by fear. Out of gas!

NAN: Operator, I'd like to make a call to my home in New York City. My name is Nan Adams. The telephone number is Trafalgar 41098. Hello, mother?
MRS. WHITNEY: This is Mrs. Adams' residence. Whom do you wish to speak to please?
NAN: Who is this?
MRS. WHITNEY: This is Mrs. Whitney.
NAN: Mrs. Whitney? I don't know any Mrs. Whitney. Is this Trafalgar 41098?
MRS. WHITNEY: Yes it is.
NAN: Where's my mother? Where's Mrs. Adams?
MRS. WHITNEY: She's still in the hospital. A nervous breakdown.
NAN: A nervous breakdown? But there's nothing the matter with my mother. What do you mean, a nervous breakdown?
NAN: Well, it's all taken place since the death of her daughter.
NAN: The death of her daughter? What do you mean, the death of her daughter? Who's this? What number is this?
MRS. WHITNEY: It's all been very sudden. Nan was killed just six days ago in an automobile accident in Pennsylvania. A tire blew out and her car turned over.

NAN: Very odd. The fear has left me now. I'm numb. I have no feeling. It's as if someone had pulled out some kind of a plug in me and everything—emotion, feeling, fear—has drained out. And now I'm a cold shell. I'm conscious of things around me now. The vast night of Arizona. The stars that look down from the darkness. Ahead of me stretch a thousand miles of empty mesa, mountains, prairies, desert. Somewhere among them he's waiting for me. Somewhere I'll find out who he is. I'll find out. I'll find out what he wants. But just now, for the first time, looking out at the night, I think I know.

HITCH HIKER: (from back seat) I believe you're going … my way?

"The Fever"

The Fever

STARRING CAST: Everett Sloane, Vivi Janiss
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Robert Florey
SUMMARY: Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Gibbs go to Vegas after Mrs. Gibbs wins a poetry contest. But Mr. Gibbs succumbs to the slot machines, despite good intentions.

Everett Sloane, with equally-gifted Vivi Janiss as his wife, make a believable 'Archie and Edith'-type couple … bullheaded husband and plaintive wife who tries to talk bullheaded husband out of his neurosis. And like Edith, she always fails. Just as he did in Serling's "Patterns" for Kraft Theater, Sloane made Franklin Gibbs of "The Fever" his own. Spooked and sweaty, he becomes completely captivated by the slot machine. The once-moral Franklin Gibbs makes every excuse in the book to get back to the casino and he watches the stack of coins on the dresser—which he won originally but is determined not to spend—grow higher. In this day of advanced electronics, it is almost heartwarming to see the 'mini Vegas' staging with genuine one-armed bandits. The final sequence, where Gibbs is pursued, doesn't quite come off though. The director had Sloane break through and fall backwards out of a window, then shot an long shot of him lying flat on his back in the parking lot below. Had the window been open, the physics would have more or less added up; the force with which Sloane backs into the window is almost nil. After the medics come to the scene, Gibbs is left there, dead, until the ambulance arrives. The blinking bandit appropriately pulls up alongside of him and spits out his last dollar.

TRIVIA: "I met Everett Sloane when he was elderly," says George Clayton Johnson. "We were at some party in Hollywood. I told him how many people regarded him as one of the finest actors in the world. He was bitter that he couldn't get work anymore. But he was brilliant in "Patterns" and in that wonderful Twilight Zone episode about the gambling fever."


FLORA: Franklin, dear, you know how awful you feel in the morning after you've been up too late at night.
FRANKLIN: Flora, will you kindly shut your mouth! I hate a shrew, Flora. I hate a woman who stands in back of you and sees to it that you have miserable luck. And that's what you're doing to me now, Flora. You're giving me miserable luck. Now, please, go away and leave me alone! (bystanders start to gather around them)
FLORA: Franklin, please, people are listening.
FRANKLIN: The devil with people! I'm not concerned with people. I'm concerned with this machine. It's inhuman the way it lets you win a little and then takes it all back. It teases you. It holds out promises … and wheedles you! It sucks you in and then …

SLOT MACHINE: Fraaaaankliiiiinnnn!

CASHIER: Five hours. That's how long he's been there.
MANAGER: Boy, when they get hooked, they really get hooked, don't they?

FRANKLIN: Will somebody get me … a drink of water, please?
FLORA: Franklin...
FRANKLIN: Oh, Flora. Would you get me a drink of water? I've almost got her licked now. You see? Special Jackpot. Ten thousand dollars. You see? Ten thousand dollars. She's bound to turn up in a little while. You just have to stick with her long enough.

FLORA: Franklin?
FRANKLIN: What time is it, Flora?
FLORA: It's eight o'clock in the morning, Franklin.
FRANKLIN: I'd swear to you, Flora, this machine mocks me. It teases, beckons, mocks me. Put in five, get back four. Put in six, get back five. But it's got to pay off. Sooner or later, it's just got to …

FRANKLIN: Give me back my dollar. That's my last dollar! You miserable dirty … give me back my dollar!

"The Last Flight"

The Last Flight

STARRING CAST: Kenneth Haigh, Simon Scott, Alexander Scourby, Robert Warwick
WRITER: Richard Matheson
DIRECTOR: William Claxton
SUMMARY: Lt. William Terrence Decker, of the Royal Flying Corps, lands on an American airbase in Reims, France in a WWI biplane. The officials at the base report that a man whom Decker knew, and whom he insists was killed in 1917, is due at the base for a tour of inspection.

Like Charles Beaumont before him, Richard Matheson got off to a high-speed start on The Twilight Zone. "The Last Flight", his first of thirteen installments, was this despondent and surprisingly large-scaled little story of a pilot who gets lost in time, and in the process gets a second chance in the throes of combat. For over 50 years, Matheson was regarded as a leading horrorist. His stories for Twilight Zone seldom had elements of horror, instead focusing on situations with characteristic intensity borne out of the characters.

The episode has some long-winded soliloquies here and there, but Kenneth Haigh delivers them with arresting importance and occasionally with a touch of sentiment, supported well by Simon Scott and Alexander Scourby (Scott appeared in Robert Wise's "The Hindenburg" fifteen years later). As in Matheson's "Death Ship" of the fourth season, the protagonist staunchly refuses to accept anything that he does not choose to—that the fantastic is impossible. Ultimately, Decker gives into the realization that he is in a time warp, but with a purpose, that he has to get back out of obligation to save not only the life of his friend and colleague, but perhaps hundreds of others.

Kenneth Haigh never did much TV in the United States; his background was in the English theater. His work on "The Last Flight" was splendid and stands as one of the most formidable in the series. It's almost as if it were all really happening to him.

Although both Haigh and Robert Warwick were from the UK, this episode was not filmed there. It was filmed in San Bernardino, California.


DECKER: He disappeared one day while flying. At the memorial service, the Cardinal said, "He belonged to the sky, and the sky has taken him."
GENERAL HARPER: Who the devil do you think you're fooling, Decker, or whatever your name is?
DECKER: Sir, I swear to you when I took off this morning it was March the 5th, 1917. Mac and I were going...
DECKER: Mack, uh, Captain Mackaye.
HARPER: Mackaye?
DECKER: Yeah, we're in the same...
HARPER: Alexander Mackaye?
DECKER: How did YOU know?
HARPER: Well, I...
DECKER: How did you know?!!
HARPER: I suppose you're going to tell us you don't know that Alexander Mackaye...Air Vice Marshal Alexander Mackaye, is at this moment on route to this base for a tour of inspection!!
DECKER: Well, that's impossible!
HARPER: Why is it impossible, Leftenant Decker?!
DECKER: Because he's dead.

WILSON: Now look here, Decker. You realize you're asking us to believe something rather incredible. A cloud of silence. A World War I pilot landing in an American Tag Base in France in 1959. Such a thing just doesn't happen everyday!
DECKER: Well, it happened today! Now look here, I've told you I'll see Mackaye. Now, why don't you leave me alone?
WILSON: You really feel you know him, don't you?
Flight Lt. Decker: Know him? Old Leadbottom.
WILSON: Leadbottom?
DECKER: Yeah, well, whenever we fly, whenever we flew over the German lines, the soldiers fired at us. Well, one day Mac got hit in a most embarrassing spot. I always called him 'Old Leadbottom' after that. It's a private joke, of course. Mac's a proud fellow, you know. He wouldn't like it if I bruited it about.

WILSON: What's wrong, Decker?
DECKER: I've got to leave.
WILSON: That's impossible. Mackaye will be here in a little while and we'll get to the bottom of this.
DECKER: I tell you, I can't see him.
WILSON: Why not?
DECKER: Because he'll know me for what I am.
WILSON: Well what are you?!
DECKER: I'm a coward! I'm a coward! I've always been a coward. All my life I've been running away pretending to be something I never was, never could be. That's why I'm here, because I was trying to run away. Because I wanted so desperately to escape that I did escape. I got by with my pretending well enough. My kind of strained idiocy was exactly the brand we all put on. Playing the part, you know, boys on a lark, laughing, joking, drinking. Oh, it's too much, all of it. Then turning into deadly, ice-cold killers in the sky. Although, not me of course. No, not me. Up there, I'm just as afraid as I am on the ground. And Mac and I are supposed to go on patrols together, but I can usually manage to persuade him into splitting up. You know, I think he actually hopes he'll run into some trouble. Me, well I just linger in the clouds, flying back and forth, dreading the possibility that I might see an enemy plane. Just hoping for enough time to pass so that I can go back. You know, sometimes I think I'll land behind the German lines and I'll let myself be captured. The pilots always get the best of treatment, you know. But I'm afraid of doing that even. I'm afraid that I'd be discovered and discredited, and I couldn't bear that. I have to carry on the self-delusion. You know, I've actually fired bullets through the cockpit walls so that the chaps will see them and be impressed. God help me.

HARPER: Look, didn't the Germans usually bring back the personal effects of pilots who had been shot down?
MACKAYE: Usually... I say, what the devil is this all about?!
(Harper pulls out a paper bag containing Decker's passport and dog tags)
MACKAYE: Where in heaven's name did you get these?
HARPER: They're his.
MACKAYE: Yes. Now what the DEVIL is this all about?!!!
WILSON: Maybe you'd better sit down, 'Old Leadbottom'...
MACKAYE: Old … what did you call me?
(Harper looks out the window and up to the sky)

SERLING: (o.s.) Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. And somewhere between heaven, the sky, the earth...lies The Twilight Zone.

William Reynolds in "The Purple Testament"

The Purple Testament

STARRING CAST: William Reynolds, Dick York, Michael Vandever, Barney Phillips, S. John Launer
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Richard L. Bare
SUMMARY: Lt. Fitzgerald can look into the faces of the men in his platoon and tell who will be coming back that night, and who won't. Ultimately, he looks in the mirror and sees the same ominous glow.

The collection of Serling war stories represent some of his best—it was a subject he was all too familiar with. Up until his death, his days in the armed forces haunted him. After all, just how certain can you be that you'll exchange glances with any of your platoon members again, even as little as 24 hours later, during time of combat?

During his brief career, Dick York never received many accolades. He worked steadily through the 1950's in TV and film. York severely injured his back while working on the feature film They Came to Cordura with Gary Cooper in 1958, but still continued to work. In 1964, he landed the part of discombooberated but loveable Darrin Stephens, who always succumbed to the pranks of his mother-in-law, on Bewitched. In between, "The Purple Testament" was one assignment he did particularly fine work on. In 1969, the muscle problems finally took their toll on his career and he was forced to retire early. Nonetheless, York and William Reynolds (later star of The FBI) play it for all it's worth, driving home just how ugly war can be … leaving wife and children back home on the mainland to live out the rest of their days without them.

Reynolds admits, "People don't remember me for FBI and the other work I did as much as they do "The Purple Testament". I'm amazed it's lasted as long as it has … and no wonder, it's a great story!" A few then-minor leaguers who later hit it big for themselves in Hollywood are also seen in the cast - Warren Oates (Dillinger), and later big-time director Paul Mazursky. Oddly, Dick York's role as Capt. Ryker was written for 23 year-old Dean Stockwell. Veteran character actor Ron Masak, who played the man with the harmonica at the end, relates, "I only had a three-line part in it, but a LOT of people remind me of that show today. I got drafted the week after it aired! I remember Dean Stockwell quit the night before filming was to start and accepted another role." Serling didn't forget about Stockwell, though, writing "A Quality of Mercy" (a companion piece to "The Purple Testament") two years later.


FITZGERALD: I looked into 44 faces yesterday morning and when I got to those four there was something special, a light or something. I can't describe it to you. There isn't any description. But I looked into their faces and I knew. I knew this was their last day. I knew they were gonna get it. I knew! There wasn't any doubt about it.
RYKER: Well, that's funny. That's real funny.
FITZGERALD: I haven't slept much. I keep wondering. Is this the way it's gonna be? If every time I stand in front of a platoon, am I gonna be able to look down the line and know which ones aren't coming back?
RYKER: Fitz, when did you write these names down? You're sure it was yesterday? You're sure it wasn't today, on the way back in the truck?
FITZGERALD: Yesterday. Yesterday morning, I swear to you. I wrote those names down yesterday.

COLONEL: As you were, Fitz. I just thought I'd drop around and congratulate you boys on a good job you did.
FITZGERALD: Thank you, sir.
COLONEL: Well, the odds fell on our side. Those gorillas did a right-handy job on those guns and you fellows walked right across, didn't you?
FITZGERALD: Right across.
COLONEL: That's fortunate. The Air Force must have picked off at least six or seven of those 25's. Of course, those guns had been operating, that might have been the longest bridge you'd ever been on or the shortest. Sniper fire, that's all you had, wasn't it?
FITZGERALD: Yes, sir. Sniper fire. We lost one man.
COLONEL: Well, that's a pity. He was a good man. You're good friends, weren't you, Fitzgerald? So much for Mrs. Ryker's lovely wedding. Seven happy years. Two fine sons. Man, war stinks!!



STARRING CAST: Don Dubbins, Kevin Hagen, Jeff Morrow, Cecil Kellaway
WRITER: Charles Beaumont
DIRECTOR: Douglas Heyes
SUMMARY: Three astronauts on a geological mission run out of fuel and their spaceship lands just in time on an asteroid that turns out to be a most unusual cemetary.

The premise of being people being frozen in time would be explored uneventfully several times over the five seasons of Twilight Zone, this being the first show to examine the possibility. But thanks to the segment with the beauty contest, a delightful performance by Cecil Kellaway, and Don Dubbins' intensity as the leader of the trio of astronauts, "Elegy" remains a memorable episode. And it is indeed memorable - known as 'the one where the three guys arrive on the planet and everyone is frozen.'

Charles Beaumont was master of the grand fantasy. While Rod Serling's finest stories focused on 'the little man on the brink of decline who gets a second chance, prejudice, and relationships, Beaumont was at his best with stories of the remarkable and the extraordinary. His best scripts have an innate power that can involve even the most casual of audiences. Like Serling, he was capable of writing crisp, effective, and wholly involving dialogue. "In His Image", "The Howling Man", "Perchance to Dream", and "Long Live Walter Jameson" were his finest. "Elegy" and "A Nice Place to Visit", two scripts done in the first season, fell short.

The asteroid of "Elegy" is supposed to be a cemetary yet according to Wickwire, nearly everyone there is an imitation, and only a select few are dead. Wickwire says he is a robot who "goes on and off like a machine", but that he's been "off" for the last two-hundred or so years. He's been playing Rip Van Winkle all that time, yet he is supposedly the caretaker of the place? The space explorers also mention that they originally left Earth in 2185 and that there was an atomic war there in 1985. What a prediction to make in 1960 … of course, Orwell predicted the world would be a three-ring circus in 1984. Wickwire also asserts that some people from the greatest mortuary in the world, a place called Happy Glades, were supposed to take up residence on his asteroid and he is under the impression that the astronauts are from there.

The development section of the story, wherein they scout out the place, isn't totally without merit, but the extras hired to play the frozen folks were incompetent. Director Douglas Heyes obviously tried to work around this. The theory that one of the astronauts asserts about suspended animation would be explored somewhat successfully in several other episodes ("The Rip Van Winkle Caper", "The Long Morrow", and elsewhere). But the band concert? The wedding with serenading fiddlers? Clever, but it takes a great deal of effort to play a bowed string instrument without moving.

If nothing else, the three explorers got what they wanted: to be onboard their ship, headed for home.

TRIVIA: Don Dubbins got another astronaut part about 5 years later on "I Dream of Jeannie." He was in the pilot episode, and came to the 'green light' party at Chasen's Restaurant in Hollywood when the network picked up the series. Unfortunately, Don got a rude awakening when the network discontinued the character he played...or better stated, they decided not use Don at all. Bill Daily would of course play Captain/Major Roger Healy opposite Larry Hagman's Captain/Major Anthony Nelson. In retrospect, it seems a bit sad that Dubbins wasn't used; he mostly had bit parts for the majority of his career. He certainly demonstrated his acting aptitude in "Elegy."


KIRBY: I told you not to trust him, I told you!!!
MEYERS: We meant you no harm!
WICKWIRE: I realize that, and I'm sorry. Truly I am.
WEBBER: Give us … the antedote!
WICKWIRE: There is no antedote, captain. Even though the eternifying fluid is coursing through your veins, it won't be painful, I assure you.
MEYERS: But why...why us?
WICKWIRE: Because you are here, and because you are men. And while there are men, there can be no peace.

"Mirror Image"

Mirror Image

STARRING CAST: Vera Miles, Martin Milner, Joe Hamilton, Naomi Stevens
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: John Brahm
SUMMARY: Millicent Barnes waits in a bus station for the bus to Cortland, New York and suddenly everything starts going crazy … years ago she read about parallel worlds and that everyone has a twin in this other world that has the power to take over our existence. She meets Paul Grinstead, a kind gentleman who doesn't believe her, and he summons the police who take her away. But then the same craziness starts on Grinstead!

A rain-soaked, windswept night in a one-room bus station with a lavatory was the setting for “Mirror Image.” Directed suavely by John Brahm, it is televisional science fiction at its very, very finest. The theme of alternate worlds or dimensions of existence was one used in many episodes, remaining true to the Twilight Zone mold—ordinary people in extraordinary situations. However, very few of these succeed on the same level. Millicent Barnes (Vera Miles, who co-starred in an equally spooky picture called Psycho that same year) meets with incongruity at every corner she turns, almost—but not quite—to the point where she reaches hysteria. The attendant and an old couple waiting for the next bus rake her across the coals … only a cleaning lady takes half an interest in her. The notion that Paul Grinstead may be an authority figure from this 'other world' is a possibility that comes to mind but in the end, he too falls victim to the devious pranks of the doppelgangers. Except for the old attendant (Joe Hamilton, who does delightfully as the crusty lemon-sucker), the actors underplay the material throughout. In retrospect, this was an excellent directorial approach, similar to what was done in "The After Hours", which also builds to an intense climax. Nothing is predictable here. George Clemens' photography is at its usual level of excellence. A beautiful shot comes at the end, when Martin Milner leans over to take a drink of water, only to stand up a few moments later and realize his briefcase is gone. His double is not immediately within sight but suddenly appears from out of nowhere and darts off. It's a quiet, disturbing series of incidents that has no resolve.

Some trivia: The music for this episode is mostly by Bernard Herrmann, who - like Vera Miles - was working on "Psycho" right around the same time. Only, he was working on the unforgettable musical score, one of the ones he is the most famous for. Cue the shrieking violins: "Eek! Eek! Eek! Eek!" Another interesting thing - the radiant water fountain bit at the end was done in one continuous shot. By rights, it shouldn't have been, as Serling's script called for a two-shot. Bravo, George T. Clemens. Bravo, bravo, bravo. But Milner's double...was it Milner? For a long time, I didn't think so. The double doesn't look quite the same as Martin himself in the first shot. But when he looks back, it looks more like him and we realize that it is indeed a carbon copy of him! "Twilight Zone" at its wickedest.


MILLICENT: Excuse me.
MILLICENT: The bus to Courtland...
ATTENDANT: What about it?
MILLICENT: Well, it was due a half an hour ago.
ATTENDANT: Yep, half hour ago.
MILLICENT: When will it be in?
ATTENDANT: Hard to say. It's been raining hard, roads slick, maybe a bridge or two out.
MILLICENT: Well, when do you think it will be in?
ATTENDANT: She'll be in when she'll be in, that's all! I told you that the last time you asked, miss!
MILLICENT: The last time I asked? The last time I asked was right now. Look, all I want from you is a civil answer!
ATTENDANT: You're gettin' a civil answer!! Trouble is, every ten minutes you're up here acquirin' one! Situations just don't change that rapidly. You wanna know about the Courtland bus? It's late. It was late when you asked a half hour ago, late when you come back fifteen minutes later, and it's late now. And all the asking in the world ain' gonna push it none!
MILLICENT: But this is the first time I've been up here, the very first time! Either you need your eyes...
ATTENDANT: Now whatsa matter?!
MILLICENT: Nothing, nothing's the matter.

MILLICENT: I've been thinking about something. It's very odd...but I've been remembering it.
GRINSTEAD: Remembering what?
MILLICENT: About something I read or heard about a long time ago about different planes of existence, about two parallel worlds that exist side-by-side and each of us has a counterpart in this world, and sometimes through some freak, through something unexplainable, this counterpart, after the two worlds converge, comes into our world and in order to survive it has to take over.
GRINSTEAD: Take over?
MILLICENT: Replace us. Move us out so that it can live.
GRINSTEAD: That's a little metaphysical for me.
MILLICENT: I remember reading it somewhere. Each of us has a twin in this other world, an identical twin. Maybe that woman I saw...
GRINSTEAD: Millicent, there's another explanation. There has to be. One that comes with more reason.
MILLICENT: I can't explain it, but I know that's what's happened. This other woman, my counterpart...
GRINSTEAD: Forget about it, please! Don't think about it. I just thought of something. I've got a good friend, lives in Tully. I'll call him. Maybe he'll bring his car down here for us. He might even be able to drive us into Syracuse. I'll call him. Alright, Millicent? Shall I call my friend?

ATTENDANT: I'll tell you what I think. I'd say she's got a leak in her attic. Parallel planes! Counterparts from another life! You got a thing about sick people, is that it?

"The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street"

The Monsters are Due On Maple Street

STARRING CAST: Claude Akins, Barry Atwater, Jack Weston, Mary Gregory, Jan Handzlik, Amzie Strickland
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Ron Winston
SUMMARY: One sunny afternoon, a flash crosses the sky that looks like a meteor, and results in a neighborhood block destroying itself.

Neighbors. You can't choose them. If you're lucky, you get a good group of them who become friends, or at the very least, who can be counted on during a crisis. More often than not, none of them can be trusted … even those we thought were some of the best people we could ever hope to meet.

Like Serling's "The Shelter" of the third season, "Monsters are Due On Maple Street" makes its points well, even if it is a bit over-the-top dramatically. Some great one-liners from legendary Jack Weston and Claude Akins surface here and there … Weston does some of his best work as a Charlie Farnsworth, a loudmouth fatass determined to exonerate himself from the whole mess and point the finger at anyone. Akins is the leader of the pack who never buckles, attempting to maintain the integrity of the group but ultimately not succeeding.

It may not be dramatically superior, but this is a show that most people familiar with The Twilight Zone know of. The bloodshed at the end quickly leads to a slow camera pan up the hillside to where two evil martians are causing the whole thing by remote control, with Serling's pointed narration about how prejudices can kill and how ambition can destroy, somehow came off powerfully enough to make many viewers' blood run cold.


WOMAN: Well, sometimes I stay up late at night and a couple of times, well a couple of times I've come out on my porch and I've seen Les Goodman here, in the wee hours of the morning, standing up in his yard just looking up at the sky. That's right, just looking up at the sky as though he were waiting for something. As though he were looking for something.
GOODMAN: You know, really, this is for laughs. You know what I'm guilty of? I'm guilty of insomnia. Now what's the penalty for that? Well, you heard what I said. I said it was insomnia! I said it was insomnia! You scared frightened rabbits, you. You're sick people, do you know that? You're sick people, all of you. And you don't even know what you're starting here because let me tell you, let me tell you, you're starting something here that, that's what you should be frightened of. As God as my witness, you're letting something begin here that's a nightmare!

MRS. FARNSWORTH: It just doesn't seem right keeping a watch on them. Why, they're our neighbors. We've known the Goodmans ever since they came here. We've been good friends.
CHARLIE: That don't prove a thing. Any guy who'd spend his time looking up at the sky early in the morning, there's something wrong with that kind of a person. Something that ain't legitimate. Under normal circumstances we'd let it go by but these aren't normal circumstances. Look at that street. Nothing but candles. It's like going back into the dark ages or something.

MRS. BRAND: Steve, please! It's just a hand radio set, that's all. I bought the book for him myself. It's just a ham radio set. A lot of people have them. I'll show it to you. It's down in the basement.
STEVE: No, no, we won't show them anything. If they want to look inside our house, let them get a search warrant.
CHARLIE: Look, buddy, you can't afford to...
STEVE: Now, Charlie, don't you tell me what I can afford, and stop telling me who's dangerous and who isn't and who's safe and who's a menace. And you with him too, all of you! You're all standing out here all set to crucify somebody! You're all set to find a scapegoat! You are all desperate to point some kind of a finger at a neighbor! Well, believe me friends, the only thing that's gonna happen is that we're gonna eat each other up alive!

ALIEN #1: Understand the procedure now? Just stop a few of their machines and radios and telephones and lawn mowers, throw them into darkness for a few hours, and then sit back and watch the pattern.
ALIEN #2: And this pattern is always the same?
ALIEN #1: With few variations. They pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves. All we need do is sit back and watch.
ALIEN #2: Then I take it this place, this Maple Street, is not unique?
ALIEN #1: By no means. Their world is full of Maple Streets. And we'll go from one to the other and let them destroy themselves, one to the other, one to the other, one to the other …

"A World of Difference"

A World of Difference

STARRING CAST: Howard Duff, David White, Eileen Ryan, Frank Maxwell, Gail Kobe, Susan Dorn
WRITER: Richard Matheson
SUMMARY: Arthur Curtis is conducting business in his office, when all of a sudden a movie director yells 'cut!' Curtis is supposedly suffering a case of mistaken identity due to a mental breakdown from the pressures of work and a rotten marriage and everyone around him, including his wife, claims that his name is Gerald Raigan and that he's a movie star. Which is his true identity?

The shows about mistaken or lost identity almost always brought home the figurative trophies, and this is easily the most powerful of the bunch. Matheson's trademarks were horror and the dramatic, and almost everything he did for Twilight Zone had a certain percentage of both. Howard Duff and the supporting cast did what could almost pass for a short dramatic film, it was that large in scale. It's a shame that Ted Post wasn't to direct more early episodes of Twilight Zone. He returned in the final year to guide a few segments of lesser stature and went on to direct well into his eighties.

"A World of Difference" took a slightly unusual turn, with the punchline at the beginning rather than at the end. It starts on a high note and gets even higher. Duff and Eileen Ryan (mother of actor/director Sean Penn) get the sparks glowing brightly as Curtis plunders his way through the nightmare. His loudmouth wife tries to get his signature on a check for a million or so, before he can take off on his next wild spending/drinking binge. His agent, Brinkley (David White, who for eight seasons played Larry Tate on "Bewitched"), tries to convince him that the movie he's shooting has sucked him into a whirlpool that leads to another life, the life he craves … a quieter existence away from Hollywood, with a lovely wife and a happy home. But Curtis insists that he already has all of that and that the movie studio is a figment of his imagination. The climax comes in the form of Curtis' screamingly frantic car race back to his office, where he arrives just in time to meet his 'real' wife and make a fast break for a much-needed vacation.

Gail Kobe, who played Curtis' secretary, remembers the episode, and the director with great admiration. "Ted Post was a wonderful guy … so many, many actors in town today are still around to talk of their work with Ted. For "A World of Difference", he had this removable wall built in Howard Duff's office, which then disappeared … nothing like that had ever been done in TV before. I remember I played this rather smart-assed secretary and I had my legs up on the desk. And I even recall that I wore my own clothes for that part—a red sweater. In those days, we did that a lot!" Ted Post recalls, "Rod Serling handed me the script and I ended up directing it—he wanted me to do a couple more that season, but unfortunately I wasn't available again until the fifth season! The later ones I worked on weren't nearly as good stories; I wish I could've done more!"

Nathan Van Cleave's score, which sounds like an accompanied solo soprano, caps the electrifying hurl of events. In fact, this was not a vocalist but an organ-like synthesizer.


CURTIS: I don't know what's going on! I don't know what's going on!
NORA: Alright, get over here now.
BRINKLEY: Nora, don't!
NORA: Look, you stay out of this!
BRINKLEY: Nora, please, can't you see he's upset?
CURTIS: Leave me alone.
NORA: You're going to sign this check, Jerry! You're going to sign it right now!! Gerald Raigan! (taking his hand with pen) G-E-R!! A-L-D!!!
CURTIS: That is not my name!
NORA: (screaming loudly) R-A-I-G-A-N!!!!
CURTIS: That's not my name! Now, listen, this has gone far enough! I'm not Gerald Raigan. I don't know any of you. My name is Arthur Curtis. Do you hear me? Arthur Curtis, and I work for Davis... (calls directory assistance) I'd like to have a telephone number of the Davis Morton company. 189 Brand Street, in Los Angeles. (a beat) Of course there is! I work there! I've worked there for the last seven years. Hello?! Hello?!!

BRINKLEY: Feeling better?
CURTIS: You don't believe me, do you?
BRINKLEY: I believe you've been overworked and under a terrible strain. You need help, Jerry.
BRINKLEY: It's not my province but I've known you a long time. Can't you see what's happened? Cast of characters: Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six. A young business executive, happily married. Curtis lives in Woodland Hills with his wife and child. Marian Curtis, age thirty-three. A charming young woman. Typical of that efficient breed which can manage a house and family and still have ample time...
CURTIS: Stop it!
BRINKLEY: The only information you have about Arthur Curtis is what's written in this script.
BRINKLEY: Jerry, sometimes I'd like to escape myself. Away from this turmoil to some simpler existence.
CURTIS: You're telling me that this is a delusion, that I'm really Gerald Raigan, a drunken...
BRINKLEY: Gerald Raigan, a sweet, unhappy man, burdened with that...that harpie. Jerry Raigan, trying to find a little happiness, that's all.
CURTIS: No, it's real. It's real.
BRINKLEY: I wish it were. For your sake Jerry, I wish it were. I've got to go, Jerry. Try and get some rest. Forget about the picture. You don't have to finish it. I just spoke to the studio a few minutes ago. They're canceling production. Arthur Curtis is dead. (he drops the script in the wastebasket)
CURTIS: I've got to get back.
BRINKLEY: It's too late, Jerry. It's finished.
CURTIS: I've got to get back to my office!
BRINKLEY: Your office? If you mean the set, they're probably tearing it down right now.
CURTIS: They can't! They can't do that! (he bolts down the stairs and out to his car, driving wildly through LA back to the studio)

CURTIS: Let's get out of here.
MARIAN: Artie, are you alright?
MARIAN: Well, where were you?
SALLY: Mr. Curtis, are you leaving now?
SALLY: Well, I have your tickets for Saturday night. Here you are.
CURTIS: Fine, thanks.
WORKER: (O.S.) Alright, let's get those lamps and tables out of here!!
MARIAN: Honey, what's the matter?
CURTIS: Please. Honey, let's not wait. Let's go on our vacation right away.
MARIAN: Hey, what's wrong?
CURTIS: Nothing, darling. I just don't want to lose you.

Kevin McCarthy in "Long Live Walter Jameson"

Long Live Walter Jameson

STARRING CAST: Kevin McCarthy, Edgar Stehli, Dody Heath, Estelle Winwood
WRITER: Charles Beaumont
DIRECTOR: Tony Leader
SUMMARY: Walter Jameson, Professor of History, has lived over two-thousand years.

"In that episode, I played a man who just lived and lived and lived … and I am still playing that character!", recalled 88-years young Kevin McCarthy in 2002.

"Long Live Walter Jameson" was definitely one of the most enduring of the original run of TZ. McCarthy's bravura performance, supremely reserved and thoughtful, was essential to the show's success. Nothing is rushed, nothing is superficial or obtrusive. Right down to the delivery of each word, the notion that he is really as old as he claims to be is completely convincing. In Beaumont's most austere and gruesome of stories, Walter Jameson was the man who simply could not die, no matter how hard he tried. His suspicious colleague and soon-to-be father-in-law is the one who finally calls his bluff (Edgar Stehli, who played the doctor in Serling's "Requiem for a Heavyweight") but to no significant avail. In the beginning, Sam Kittridge asks how many times he's been married...and sure enough, one of his ex-wives returns just in time to give him his just desserts.

Although it needs no mention, the special effects at the conclusion are the highest point of "Long Live Walter Jameson", and the final sequence wherein Walter perishes was perfectly directed and photographed under the guidance of George T. Clemens. McCarthy remembers it well. "There were all kinds of filters on the camera for that, and tons of lines were applied to my face, in different colors … because, I literally had to age 2000 years in a span of 10 or so seconds. Then they applied a special, very heavy makeup when I was supposed to resemble the 2000 year-old monstrosity. The makeup guy told me that it cost them $25,000."

By 1959, Beaumont was no doubt thinking about immortality as he began to age rapidly himself. He would eventually succumb to Alzheimer's disease and died prematurely at only age 38. Although he had very little conception of what was happening to him, or how to deal with it properly, the subject of death was no doubt on the forefront of his mind:


JAMESON: You're a PhD.
SUSANNA: Not yet, I'm not! There's a little matter of an examination, remember?
JAMESON: A technicality. Besides, you're going to be a housewife.
KITTRIDGE: The devil she is!! I'm giving you my daughter's hand, not her brain! She's gonna get that PhD if I …
JAMESON: If I have to spank her, I know. Don't tell me you're the cook again tonight?!
KITTRIDGE: Indeed, and why not?
JAMESON: Well, I think it's time I tried Susanna's cooking.
SUSANNA: Don't worry, you will.

JAMESON: What have you got there?
KITTRIDGE: A book of photographs taken by a fellow named Matthew Brady during the time of the Civil War.
JAMESON: What is it? You look as though you'd seen a ghost.
KITTRIDGE: Maybe I have. Walter...was your grandfather in the Civil War by chance?
KITTRIDGE: Then I'd say we have something of a mystery here.
JAMESON: How so?
KITTDRIGE: You made me curious about this Major Skelton today. I thought it would be interesting to see what he looked like. So I went through my Brady pictures, not really expecting to find anything. These are three of Sherman's staff officers.
The man sitting at the table is identified as a Major Hugh Skelton. (Jameson looks at the photo - it is himself) That photograph was taken almost one-hundred years ago.
KITTRIDGE: You shouldn't have kept that ring, it's a dead giveaway.
JAMESON: What are you getting at, Sam?
KITTRIDGE: Oh come now, Walter! You know exactly what I'm getting at!
JAMESON: You're joking! Just because I happen to look like a man in a photograph?
KITTRIDGE: And happen to be wearing the same ring and happen to have the same small mole on the left side of your face? Walter, you and I have been very close for twelve years. Tell me the are that man in the photograph, aren't you?
JAMESON: (very slow response) Yes.
KITTRIDGE: (feels his forehead, sits down) I've suspected a long time... but it seemed...fantastic.
JAMESON: Mmmm. It is.
KITTRIDGE: (weakly) Yes... How old....are you, Walter?
JAMESON: You wouldn't believe me.
KITTRIDGE: I'll believe anything now.
JAMESON: (standing next to statue of Plato) Let's just say I'm old enough to have known this gentleman personally.
KITTRIDGE: Plato?! But that was two-thousand years ago!
JAMESON: I knew you wouldn't believe me.
KITTRIDGE: It isn't's just...two...thousand...years... How, Walter? How?! In heaven's name, Walter, this is what mankind has been dreaming of!
JAMESON: Oh, come now, Sam.
KITTRIDGE: (crying a bit) Tell me the secret!
JAMESON: I can't tell you the secret, Sam, because I don't know it myself. I was like you, Sam. Afraid of death. I thought of all the things that a man had to know, in the miserable few years a man had to know them, and it seemed senseless. Every night I dreamed as you dream, of immortality....only if a man lived forever, I thought, would there be any point in living at all. I talked to priests, philosophers... Then one day, I met an alchemist and told him these things. He said he could grant my wish but that it would cost a great deal of money. I was desperate...I paid him his money and submitted to his experiments. I remember very little about it. I lay in a coma for many weeks and when I revived, I was alone. The alchemist had disappeared.
JAMESON: There's really very little more to tell. I thought that the experiment had failed because I didn't feel any differently. But then, I saw my wife and my children aging, my friends dying. This was something I hadn't considered, you see.
KITTRIDGE: But surely there's some answer to that problem.
JAMESON: Is there? Think about it! If I tell you that somehow I can stop you from aging? At thirty? You watch everyone around you grow old. At seventy? Do you want to live forever, the way you are now? Old, sick?
KITTRIDGE: It's better than dying.
JAMESON: No. You're wrong, Sam. I was wrong. It's death that gives this world its point. We love a rose because we know it will soon be gone. Whoever loved a stone?
KITTRIDGE: I'm not a rose! I'm not a stone! I'm a man! Very old. And very frightened.
JAMESON: Of death?
KITTRIDGE: Yes, of death!
JAMESON: You're a fool, Sam. I want to die.
KITTRIDGE: Then why don't you?
JAMESON: Because I'm a coward. I haven't changed, you see. I was a coward then, I'm a coward now. I'm tired of living. In my desk, I have a revolver and every night I take it out and pray for the courage to pull the trigger, but I can't.
KITTRIDGE: You mean to say that you've survived over two-thousand years without an accident? Without being wounded?
JAMESON: Some people are lucky that way. They go through life never breaking a bone or seeing the inside of a hospital. Oh, I've been close to death many times. But never close enough.
KITTRIDGE: Thank you.
JAMESON: For what?
KITTRIDGE: I thought if a man lived forever, he'd grow wiser. But that isn't true, is it?
JAMESON: You just go on living, that's all.

KITTRIDGE: I'll tell her!!
JAMESON: She won't believe you. Nobody would. You won't believe it yourself by tomorrow morning.
(He exits)

LAURETTE: Tommy, it's wrong. You can't go on hurting people … (she shoots him)

"People Are Alike All Over"

People are Alike All Over

STARRING CAST: Roddy McDowall, Paul Comi, Susan Oliver
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on the short story "Brothers Beyond the Void" by Paul Fairman
DIRECTOR: Mitchell Leisen
SUMMARY: Samuel Conrad, biologist, and Warren Marcusson, astronaut, are sent to Mars to get information about the atmosphere. Their ship crash-lands and is destroyed, and Marcusson dies. Conrad is warmly greeted by the citizens of Mars, but their plans for Conrad do not include his going back to Earth.

With his adaptation of Paul Fairman's story "People Are Alike All Over", Serling tapped into a universal fear of the time, one that he would later explore in the ultra-classic episode "To Serve Man"—that of interplanetary race relations. Save for the remarkable twist ending, the plot lingers a bit and doesn't make much of an impact until the end. It would have been far more interesting to have the martian communicate only telepathically and thus have the ability to perceive what living conditions on Earth are like. The 1960 George Pal masterpiece The Time Machine succeeds greatly using the same sort of twist. We never see very much of Mars. What is seen looks much like a dusty asteroid with Earth men walking around in kilts and sandals. A few interesting guest appearances: Byron Morrow (not to be confused with Vic Morrow, whose involvement in The Twilight Zone movie 24 years later would lead to a tragic death); Susan Oliver—who had a very short life herself, expiring at age 58; Vic Perrin (voicethrower for many, many cartoons); and of course, Roddy MacDowall, already a well-established Hollywood figure who, for the duration of his career, always kept his wonderful English accent. Paul Comi, as fellow astronaut Marcusson who craves to know what's on the outside of the ship but dies just moments before he can find out, remembers the fun he had shooting the episode. "It was just wonderful," he recalled in 2002. "We all had a great time." Comi would return to Twilight Zone twice more, in "The Odyssey of Flight 33" alongside John Anderson and as a psychiatrist in “The Parallel.”


MARCUSSON: It's an odd way to spend the last night, isn't it?
MARCUSSON: Well, last night on Earth you don't spend looking at your transportation. Last night on Earth you spend it enjoying Earth. You walk its streets, go in its bars, dance with its women. That's gonna be our world for a long time, Sam, and yet we stand out here watching her just three hours before we take off.

CONRAD: How do you know my language?
TEENYA: We don't, Mr. Conrad. As you will no doubt soon realize, you are speaking our language.
CONRAD: Your language?
MARTIAN: Unconscious transference. You'd call it hypnosis of a sort.

TEENYA: No one will hurt you, you must believe that. No one will hurt you.

(The front of the house slides open to reveal bars of a cage; the entire community of people, men, women, and children of all ages are outside watching Conrad as if he were part of a zoo. There is a sign in front of him that reads 'Earth Creature in his native habitat', which Conrad picks up, reads, then promptly throws down)
CONRAD: (yelling up towards the sky) Marcusson!!! Marcusson, you were right! You were right. People are alike. People are alike everywhere.

Albert Salmi in "Execution"


STARRING CAST: Albert Salmi, Russell Johnson, Richard Karlan, Than Wyenn, John Lormer
WRITER: Rod Serling, based on the short story "Execution" by George Clayton Johnson
DIRECTOR: David Orrick McDearmon
SUMMARY: Joe Caswell kills a territory of men in 1880 and gets hanged for it...just as Professor Manion reaches back in time with a time machine and claims Caswell just before he expires at the end of the rope. Caswell makes a short, but violent, trip 80 years into the future.

"Execution" is one of a few shows with a fine idea that, in execution (pun unintentional), was not up to par. Albert Salmi's virtuosic performance carries the entire half hour, but on closer inspection, Serling's re-vamp of George Clayton Johnson's short story is mediocre. The main fault is the ending; in the original short story, a man named Jason Black is hanged in 1880, then disappears and finds himself transported in time. He winds up in a laboratory with two attending doctors, then breaks out. He has an encounter with a female hoodlum who wants to help him. He gets hit by a car, and the two doctors catch up with him again. Black threatens to pull the trigger on them, is shot dead, then vanishes into thin air, back at the end of the rope in 1880. In the televised version, this is replaced with a scene in a bar, and a burglary sequence at the end. A small-time burglar named Paul Johnson (named after Johnson's own son) provides Caswell with death, but he is not transported in time again.

The fight sequence was staged such that Caswell appears almost weak compared to this burglar. What might have been more plausible: Caswell forcing him into the time machine, hitting a few buttons and sending him back in time. Although Caswell is the first time traveller in the history of man, he isn't forced to live in this new time...instead, he gets an easy out with death inflicted by a minuscule, wiry hoodlum, who by rights should not have successfully killed him. After all, his whole life has been centered around fighting and killing. Directed nicely by David Orrick McDearmon (who would direct "A Thing About Machines" and "Back There" the next season) are effective street sequences wherein 'Buffalo Bill' Caswell is really and truly bewildered, afraid, lost and alone in a time period he has no place in.


MAN: Well, if you've got that to say, I've got this to add. I'd like it to take awhile. I'd like you to feel it, Caswell! The more you kick, the more you squirm, the more justice I figure there is in the world.
CASWELL: Oh, I'll do a jig for you, pappy, just like a puppet.

MANION: (talking into tape recorder) At 8:15 the subject appeared desperately tired so I put him to bed. After two hours, I've discovered the following. His name is Joseph Caswell. He tells me he was a trail boss on a cattle ranch in the territory of Montana. His last moment of recollection was November 14, 1880. He says he was riding herd when suddenly he blacked out. He awoke to find himself on the cot of my laboratory. He felt no sensations and only in the last few moments did he seem to have any grasp of what has occurred. There's one disturbing point. There are the marks of a rope etched deeply into his neck. He has no explanation for this. And I have one other observation, hardly scientific. I don't like his looks. I don't like the eyes or the face or the expression. I get a feeling of disquiet. I get a feeling that I've taken a 19th Century primitive and placed him in a 20th Century jungle. And heaven help whoever gets in his way.

CASWELL: Mister, you're just talkin' words! Justice, right and wrong. They sound good in this nice, warm room and a nice, full stomach, just a few feet away from a soft bed. They sound nice and they go down easy! But you just try them on an ice cold mesa where another man's bread or another man's jacket stands between you and staying alive. You get in this machine of yours and you go back to where I was and you talk about your law and your order and your justice. They're gonna sound different. Mister, I know your kind. Your clean face, your Johnny-come-lately dandies. You come out in your warm trains rolling over the graves of men like me! I just hate your kind!! (Caswell grabs Manion and shoves him backwards over the desk; Manion reaches into a drawer and pulls out a pistol as Caswell realizes what he's reaching for and strikes him unconscious with a lamp)

CASWELL: What is that? Where's that music comin' from?!
BARTENDER: That thing? That's a jukebox, just a plain old jukebox.
CASWELL: It's just that I need some sleep and those things runnin' around!!
CASWELL: Those carriages without horses and the lights goin' on and off and the noise! It's like thunder all the time!
BARTENDER: Buddy, why don't you go home and sack down, huh? Get yourself a good night's sleep. Take a couple of bottles with you. That's all you need is sleep. Here, here, take these home with you. (Cawell sees TV set) Well, don't you know what that is?
CASWELL: It's a window.
BARTENDER: Here, we'll give you a demonstration!
OUTLAW ON TV: Alright, hombre. You got your chance to draw. Now you better make your move. (Caswell shoots at the television)
BARTENDER: Alright, cowboy! You gotta pay for this! Police! Police!

JUDGE: Cut him down. Hurry up! Cut him down.
COWHAND: That ain't Joe Caswell! That ain't the guy we hanged.
REVEREND: Look at his clothes. What kind of clothes are they?
COWHAND: Who is it?
JUDGE: This is not Caswell, Reverend. It's a stranger.
MAN: What kind of devil's work is this?
REVEREND: I don't know. I don't know if it is devil's work.
JUDGE: Did we hang an innocent man, then?
REVEREND: I hope not. I pray to God not.

"The Big Tall Wish"

The Big Tall Wish

STARRING CAST: Ivan Dixon, Steven Perry, Kim Hamilton, Walter Burke, Henry Scott
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Ron Winston
SUMMARY: Retired prizefighter Bolie Jackson heads back into the ring for a bout with an active prizefighter … and some unexpected twists due to the magical powers of a young friend.

This was Rod Serling's Twilight Zone return to "Requiem for a Heavyweight". The acting is superlative all around and the tone is warm and sentimental. But a few curious elements weaken the storyline, and keep it out of the 'classic' category. If Henry did, in fact, use his mystic powers to stop the boxing match and make Bolie the champ, no amount of "you stupid kid, there's no such thing as magic" reprimanding from Bolie is going to convince him that there's no such thing as magic, or somehow obliterate the powers he has. If anything, Bolie (as Henry's surrogate father) ought to let him know that even though he has the powers, using them could lead to some real disaster. One second, Bolie knows the truth, and the next second he's completely dismissed the possibility. Fade back to the arena. Bolie has now lost the match, faces gawkers on the sidewalk who tell him how dumb he was for not using his (busted) hand, and returns home. So now Bolie must believe in magic, since Henry put things back the way they 'should have been.'

The characterizations and candid direction make the material fare much better. Ivan Dixon and Steven Perry make a great duo. Unfortunately, Perry was never heard from again (although he did become very successful ass a restauranteur) and Dixon went on to work on the daffy Hogan's Heroes and other projects of lesser distinction. Ron Winston—a fine director who died very young, choreographed the boxing match sequence splendidly. He used glimpse shots of nervous hands in the crowd as the fight proceeds, and shots from beneath a glass table of Bolie lying on his back, down for the count.


HENRY: Feelin' good, Bolie? Feelin' sharp?! Take a tiger tonight, huh, Bolie?!
BOLIE: Take a tiger. I'm gonna take a tiger, Henry. I'll give him a left then a right and one to the stomach and then pick him up by the tail and throw him right up into the ninth row.
HENRY: You're lookin' good, Bolie. You're lookin' sharp.
BOLIE: You gonna watch?
HENRY: You fooling? I'll yell so loud you'll hear me all the way to St. Nick's.
BOLIE: You know, a fighter don't need a scrapbook, Henry. You want to know what he's done and where he's fought? You read it in his face. He's got the whole story cut into his flesh. St. Louis, 1949. Guy named Sailor Leavitt. A real fast boy. And this, Memorial Stadium. Syracuse, New York. Italian boy. Fought like Henry Armstrong. All hands and arms, just like a windmill on the wind. First time I ever got my nose broke twice in one fight. And move south, Henry. Miami, Florida. Boy got me up against the ring posts. He did this with his laces. Tired old man. Tired old man trying to catch a bus, and the bus has already gone. Left a couple of years ago. Arms are heavy, legs like rubber, short of wind, one eye almost gone. There I go, running down the street trying to catch that bus to glory.
HENRY: Bolie, you are going to catch a tiger tonight. I'm gonna make a wish. I'm gonna make a big tall wish, and you ain't gonna get hurt none, either. You hear, Bolie? You've been hurt enough already, and you're my friend, Bolie. You're my good and close friend.

BOLIE: Little boys, little boys with their heads full up with dreams. When do they find out, Frances? When do they suddenly find out that there ain't any magic? When does somebody push their face down on the sidewalk and say to them, "Hey, little boy. That's concrete, and that's what the world is made out of—concrete." When do they find out that you can wish your life away?

HENRY: I ain't gonna make no more wishes, Bolie. And there ain't no such thing as magic, is there?
BOLIE: I guess not, Henry. Or maybe...maybe there is, and there just aren't enough people around to believe. G'night, boy.
HENRY: Goodnight, Bolie.

"A Nice Place To Visit"

A Nice Place to Visit

STARRING CAST: Larry Blyden, Sebastian Cabot
WRITER: Charles Beaumont
DIRECTOR: John Brahm
SUMMARY: Minor-league criminal Rocky Valentine gets shot and killed when police catch him robbing a pawn shop. After he dies, he's escorted through a series of fun events by a corpulent, jolly man named Pip. But after awhile, it turns out not to be so much fun!

In retrospect, it is more than a trifle odd that Charles Beaumont drafted "A Nice Place to Visit". This from the man who gave us "Perchance to Dream"?

Thoroughly stereotypical Rocky Valentine, played by Larry Blyden, makes for an unconvincing criminal who, like the rest of them, digs the "stacked" chicks and jewelry and cash. Five minutes of his "hoo, boy!", and "ho, ho! ha, ha!" are enough to drive anyone insane, or at least drive them to change the channel. Had he played Valentine as a violent roughneck who actually knew how to make a decent robbery and knew how to dodge the cops... According to his record, kept in the Hall of Records, (an impressively designed yet simple set featuring the Public Library steps from "Time Enough at Last") he slaughtered a small dog because it bit him. Not likely. Now, Steve Cochran's Fred Renard would have, as would have Albert Salmi's Joe Caswell, but not Blyden's Rocky.

Sebastian Cabot (later of Family Affair), dressed in a white tux, buoys the show with a fantastically debonair performance as the guardian angel. Infintely happy and doting, nothing pleases the guy more than providing. Unless, that is, he feels unappreciated!


ROCKY: Come on. Sit down, Fats. Sit down. Now, look, I don't know how to explain this but it just ain't the same thing. I mean, what's the kick knocking off a bank if everybody knows about it, huh. And the dames! I never thought I would get bored with beautiful dames but...look, look, I wouldn't expect an angel to understand this, see, but, but, being a big guy with a chick - it don't mean anything if it's all set up in advance. And, I mean, everything is great here, you see, really great. It's just the way I always imagined it except that, that, just between you and me, Fats, I don't think I belong here. I don't think I fit in.
PIP: Oh, nonsense. Of course you do!
ROCKY: No, no, I mean it. I mean it. Somebody must have goofed. If I gotta stay here another day I'm gonna go nuts! Look, look, I don't belong in heaven, see. I want to go to the other place.
PIP: Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea you were in heaven, Mr. Valentine? This is the other place!! Hahahahaha!!! Hahahahahaha!!! Hohohohohoho!!

"Nightmare As A Child"

Nightmare as a Child

STARRING CAST: Janice Rule, Terry Burnham, Shepperd Strudwick
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Alvin Ganzer
SUMMARY: Helen Foley, a schoolteacher, gets a visit from a man who knew her mother just before she was murdered.

Tautly directed by Alvin Ganzer, Serling's spooky "Nightmare as a Child" was the only Twilight Zone story to essay and explore the unconscious (although "Perchance to Dream" somewhat examines the idea).

Unfortunately, Janice Rule, in the lead as Helen Foley (named after Serling's high school teacher), and Shepperd Strudwick as businessman Peter Selden, submit unmemorable performances. It is Terry Burnham, playing the intelligent young Markie, who carries the entire show. Ms. Burnham's career in showbiz started when she was 4 years old and she was but 10 when she did this part - arguably the finest performance given by a child in all of "Twilight Zone." No other actress could have done the role better. Markie is of course just a mental construct of Helen's, in attempt to restore her sanity and provide resolve to the trauma of her mother's death. But she does not let the adult Helen continue living her life in denial. Despite the bland performance, Rule herself was no stranger to the subject matter of the episode. She later earned a doctorate degree in psychology, and pursued a long career as a psychotherapist. Strudwick does adequately in his transformation from 'nice guy' to ice-cold killer; Strudwick and Burnham appeared together in an episode of Thriller later that year. But today, no one of "Nightmare as a Child" is remembered more than Morgan Brittany (then acting under her given name, Suzanne Cupito), appearing here in one of her first roles, as the little girl at the end of the episode. Twenty-odd years later, she'd play Katherine Wentworth on Dallas.

The episode begins quietly but with a good amount of dramatic thrust. Peculiarly, the thrust all but completely dies down until Peter Selden's evil intentions are suddenly uncloaked after Markie returns for the second time, and only after she delivers this shockwave speech:

MARKIE: You STILL don't understand, do you!
HELEN: Understand WHAT?!
MARKIE: That I'm you, Helen! I'm you! I am you. I'm you when you were ten years old, when you were called Markie! I'm you when you lived with your mother in the apartment house! And a man came into the house that night, and he was arguing with mother downstairs! Then he picked up something heavy and he hit her on the head! And she tried to get away, but he caught her. And he choked her. Helen? Remember? He choked her! And then she fell, and then you screamed! The man looked at you! The man looked at YOU! You screamed so loud, Helen, you screamed SO LOUD …

Just as Markie suddenly vanishes, Helen quickly spins around and finds Selden standing over her, ready to bring her up to date on what actually happened to her dear dead mother. Ganzer directed this bit especially well, although the remainder is lackluster; the task of explaining the meaning of Helen's inner child was given over to the town doctor and deputy who is there to observe the accident.

"Nightmare as a Child" deserves better than it usually gets. One reviewer has remarked that it was "something that could happen in our everyday world...and the child is little more than harsh and irritating." But if the story was not a fantasy, and the child not harsh and irritating, how would Helen have put the incident to rest?


MARKIE: Do people look familiar to you sometimes?
HELEN: What do you mean?
MARKIE: I mean when you pass people on the streets or see them in a bank or they walk by you. Do they look familiar to you?
HELEN: Sometimes.
MARKIE: Today?
HELEN: Today?
MARKIE: Yes, today. Did someone go by you today who looked familiar?
MARKIE: Really?
HELEN: It's not polite to contradict people, I told you that I didn't.
MARKIE: Did you remember?
HELEN: Yes. Yes, there was someone.
MARKIE: Outside the school when you were crossing the street. There was a man in a car.
HELEN: There was a man in a car. He stopped for a red light. I looked at him through the windshield.
MARKIE: And you recognized him?
HELEN: No, I didn't recognize him. He looked so...
MARKIE: So familiar to you, that he made you frightened, didn't he? (a beat) Of course he did.
HELEN: What are you talking about?
MARKIE: I know he looks familiar, and I know he frightens me, just like he frightens you.
HELEN: Who are you? What's your name?! Where are you from?!
MARKIE: I live around here and I have a nickname. People call me MARKIE. That's not my real name but that's what people call me. MARKIE! Did you hear?
HELEN: Yes, I heard, MARKIE. It's a very pretty name.
MARKIE: Is that all you've got to say?
HELEN: It's a very cute name. What more did you want me to say?
MARKIE: Nothing. I just thought...feeling warm?
HELEN: Yes. It is a bit warm, don't you think?
MARKIE: I don't think so. I think it's very comfortable. Someone's coming!
HELEN: We're not the only people on the floor, there are four other apartments.
MARKIE: I know that, but whoever is coming is coming here. I'm going out the back door! I don't want to be here!
HELEN: Look honey, there's nothing to be afraid of!
MARKIE: Yes there is! Goodbye, I'll come back later!

"A Stop At Willoughby"

A Stop at Willoughby

STARRING CAST: James Daly, Patricia Donohue, Howard Smith, Jason Wingreen
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Robert Parrish
SUMMARY: Gart Williams, advertising agency exec, dreams of a place called Willoughby during the train ride home. Faced with an unruly boss and a shrewish wife, and a job he can't stomach for much longer, he makes a permanent escape.

One writer called it "one of the most enduring episodes of The Twilight Zone". The same writer also remarked that Rod Serling always wrote from what is called 'an authentic self.' This is is an accurate assessment of "A Stop at Willoughby"'s remarkable 24 minutes, in more ways than one. It epitomized everything Rod Serling was experiencing at the time, mainly constant battling with the networks and a frenetically-paced schedule.

But unlike Serling, Gart Williams (James Daly, father of actor Tim Daly and best known for his role as one of the lead apes in "Planet of the Apes") had a wife and co-workers who were unsupportive of him. Particularly noteworthy are his two arch enemies, his boss (Howard Smith) and his beyond-bitchy wife (Patricia Donahue). Serling may have taken pride in giving the scowling fat man of the first scene the name of Misrell, which has a vague ring that sounds like 'miserable,' and the relentless business tycoon he personifies. The only individual who takes any interest in Williams is the train conductor, played by Jason Wingreen (a familiar face on TV for many years as Harry the Bartender on All in the Family, and who later did the voice of Boba Fett in the Star Wars films.)

Like "Walking Distance", "A Stop at Willoughby" resonates very deeply. But unlike its predecessor, it is quite a sad story with a bittersweet ending.


MISRELL: We have now been here thirty-four minutes, Mr. Williams.
WILLIAMS: This is a communication from Jake Ross.
MISRELL: Would you be so kind as to share its contents with us?
WILLIAMS: I can give you the sense of it very quickly, Mr. Misrell. This is Jake Ross's resignation. He's moving over to another agency.
MISRELL: And...?
WILLIAMS: And he's taking the automobile account with him.
MISRELL: That account represented a gross billing of something in the neighborhood of three million dollars a year! And how many times have you promised it to me?
WILLIAMS: This is as much a shock to me as it is to you, Mr. Misrell.
MISRELL: Don't sit down! And don't con me, Williams. It was your pet project. Your pet project! Then it was your idea to give it to that little college greenie. Now, get with it, Williams! Get with it, boy! So what's left, Williams? Not only has your pet project backfired, but it's sprouted wings and left the premises. I'll tell you what's left to us in my view. A deep and abiding concern about your judgment in men. This is a push business, Williams. A push push push business. Push and drive! But personally, you don't delegate responsibilities to little boys. You should know it better than anyone else. A push push push business, Williams. It's push push push, all the way, all the time! It's push push push, all the way, all the time, right on down the line!
WILLIAMS: Fat boy, why don't you shut your mouth?!!

CONDUCTOR OF 1888: Willoughby, sir? That's Willoughby right outside. It's July. It's summer. It's 1888. Real warm one, too. Really a lovely little village … you oughtta try it sometime. Peaceful, restful, where a man can slow down … live his life full measure.

HELEN: Mr. Williams, messages are on the desk, and there's some hot coffee here. Can I bring you some?
WILLIAMS: No, no thanks.
HELEN: Do you want anything at all?
WILLIAMS: Yeah, a sharp razor and a chart of the human anatomy showing where all the arteries are.

JANIE: And just where would you be if it weren't for my appetite?
WILLIAMS: I know where I'd like to be.
JANIE: Where's that?
WILLIAMS: A place called Willoughby, a little town I manufactured in a dream.
JANIE: Tell me about your dream, Gart.
WILLIAMS: It was an odd dream. Very odd dream. Willoughby. It was summer, very warm. Kids were barefooted. One of them had a fishing pole. It all looked like a Currier and Ives painting. Bandstand, bicycles, wagons. I've never seen such serenity. It was the way people must have lived a hundred years ago. Crazy dream.
JANIE: Yeah. You let me know when you wake up, huh, Gart.
WILLIAMS: No, wait a minute, Janie, please. Janie!
JANIE: You know what the trouble with you is, Gart? You were just born too late. Because you're the kind of a guy that could be satisfied with a summer afternoon, or an ice wagon being drawn by a horse! So it's my mistake, pal, my error, my miserable tragic error, to get married to a man whose big dream in life is to be Huckleberry Finn!
WILLIAMS: Yeah, maybe.

"The Chaser"

The Chaser

STARRING CAST: George Grizzard, Patricia Barry, John McIntire
WRITER: Robert Presnell, Jr. based on the short story “The Chaser” by John Collier
DIRECTOR: Douglas Heyes
SUMMARY: Roger Shackleforth is in love with Leila, who can't stand that sight of him. In effort to win her over, he invests a dollar for some magic potion that will do the trick. But when Leila falls completely head over heels for him and can't tear herself away from him for even a minute, Roger invests a thousand dollars for 'the chaser' potion.


"The Chaser" is basically a fairytale-turned-television script, and it's one of the oldest stories in the book. Man loves woman, but woman despises man. Man gets magic potion to get her to love him. The potion works too well, and now he can't get rid of her, but something runs amok and now he's stuck with her for good. The adaptation by Robert Presnell, Jr. (who for many years was married to silver screen actress Marsha Hunt) is concise and extremely predictable.

Cast in the lead was John McIntire, who gives a bravura performance as the chemist-professor A. Daemon. With an acting career that lasted almost 50 years, he’s best known for his work in TV and small parts in films. He appeared often with his wife Jeanette Nolan, who also made her imprint on "The Twilight Zone" with two memorable performances. Unfortunately, McIntire's appearance is nearly all "The Chaser" has to offer. George Grizzard tries his best as Shackleforth, but he is hampered by a predictable character with little range. Patricia Barry (who later appeared in the 1983 Twilight Zone, The Movie) plays his annoying lover, Leila. Both Grizzard and Barry would individually return to appear in hour-long Zone episodes filmed in the fourth season, with Grizzard justly getting a far superior part.

The best moments come at the end, when Leila reports that the latest death in the rabbit hutch is hers. As Roger faints, the camera slowly pans out to their patio, where Daemon's apparition sits in a lounge chair, smoking a cigar...he blows that classic smoke ring in the shape of a heart, which fades up into the sky and into "The Twilight Zone." Also nice are the decorations used for Leila's posh apartment.


DAEMON: What is it you want?!
SHACKLEFORTH: Oh, nothing.
DAEMON: Nothing I don't supply. Something is my specialty. Anything is what you get here.

SHACKLEFORTH: I don't know why I came. You see, I was in this phone booth and...
DAEMON: Of course you know why you came!! You want what I've got!
SHACKLEFORTH: But I don't know what you've got.
DAEMON: Ointments, salves, powders, sovereign remedies, nectars, lotus blossoms, toxins, tonics, detoxins, antitoxins, concoctions, and potions. All guaranteed.
DAEMON: For instance, this little bottle costs one thousand dollars.
SHACKLEFORTH: Are all your prices like that?
DAEMON: Some are, some aren't.
SHACKLEFORTH: But that thing that's gonna make Leila love me??
DAEMON: Oh, that. That's only a dollar. Love potions are my cheapest items, and they're overpriced at that.
SHACKLEFORTH: A dollar for my Leila's love?!

SHACKLEFORTH: It's millennium!
LEILA: What's happening? What's happening?!
SHACKLEFORTH: What difference?! Come here, baby!!

DAEMON: I promise you, she'll never leave your side. When she isn't telling you she loves you, she'll be gazing at you lovingly. She won't even eat before you do and nothing will be too much for you to ask of her. She'll worship you. She'll beg for kisses and weep for joy at your touch...and if in time you should happen to look at another girl, or even do a little bit more than look, she'll be hurt, but she'll forgive you and love you just the same. Frankly, you can get the same shake from a cocker spaniel.
SHACKLEFORTH: But that's wonderful! That's all I want is my Leila's love!
DAEMON: If it isn't his Leila's love, it's his Dorothy's love, his Rhea's love, or his Gwen's love. The world goes on ad infinitum and all he wants is LEILA.

SHACKLEFORTH: How are things with you?
DAEMON: Things haven't changed with me in years.
SHACKLEFORTH: Kind of an ugly situation we've got...with China.
DAEMON: You don't look so good, either.
SHACKLEFORTH: That potion of yours sure works.
DAEMON: I know, I know.
SHACKLEFORTH: You don't know what it's like! All the time, just love, love, love!
DAEMON: I do know what it's like. How do you think I came to invent the glove cleaner?
SHACKLEFORTH: Professor, I am going out of my ever lovin' mind! I can't stand it anymore! Isn't there a way we could just quiet it down?
SHACKLEFORTH: But she's so nice to me, she's so very good!! Isn't there such a thing as too much love? Isn't there a way we could transfer some of this love to, say, a nice cocker spaniel?
DAEMON: Not a chance, she's yours.
SHACKLEFORTH: There must be a way.
DAEMON: This is the way.
SHACKLEFORTH: Glove cleaner, huh? Say, you sell much of that stuff?
DAEMON: Now and again.
SHACKLEFORTH: By the way, what's in it?
DAEMON: No trace, no odor, no taste, no way to detect its presence. And it's sure. One thousand dollars.
SHACKLEFORTH: But that's all my savings!
DAEMON: It's always that way. (Shackleforth hands him the check) Ah, all made out, eh?!
DAEMON: One thing I must caution you must use it immediately. Do you hear me? Immediately, and you must use it all.
SHACKLEFORTH: Why, will it spoil?
DAEMON: No, but you will. Once you delay, you're lost. If you fail the first time, you'll never have the courage to use it again. Never.
SHACKLEFORTH: It won't hurt her, will it?
DAEMON: If anyone gets hurt, it'll be you, but I don't expect you to believe me. Put it in soup, coffee, water, anything. You'll get exactly what you say you want.
SHACKLEFORTH: Goodbye, Professor.
DAEMON: Farewell. (a beat) It always happens the same way. First the stimulant...and then the chaser.

LEILA: I've got news for you...sweet little rabbit!
LEILA: Oh, well, we won't worry about it.
SHACKLEFORTH: I could never have gone through with it...I could never have done it.
LEILA: We're going to be like this for the rest of our lives.
SHACKLEFORTH: Rest of our lives … (he faints)

"A Passage for Trumpet"

A Passage for Trumpet

STARRING CAST: Jack Klugman, Ned Glass, John Anderson, Frank Wolff, Mary Webster
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Don Medford
SUMMARY: Joey Crown, trumpet player who is finally getting off the bottle, gets turned down for a gig and sells his horn to a pawn shop...just before he steps off a curb and gets hit by a truck. He goes into limbo and meets the angel Gabriel, and gets a second chance.

Jack Klugman was a jack of all trades when it came to acting, and he was a master of all trades. He could do drama, comedy, farce, sci-fi … all equally well. Whereas Burgess Meredith is always a pleasure to watch, Klugman milks the lines for all they're worth, but never overplays them. His performances are usually very intense, but occasionally he got roles like that of declining musician Joey Crown in Serling's "A Passage for Trumpet", which allowed him to be intense in a role that also allowed him to show a very sensitive side. Both Meredith and Klugman got four starring roles on The Twilight Zone, but John Anderson also had the distinction of the same privilege, and this one is probably his finest of the four (the others were "The Odyssey of Flight 33", "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville" and "The Old Man in the Cave"). As the angel Gabriel—naturally, also proud possessor of a golden horn, who appears momentarily while Joey is in limbo, he is the arbitrator while Joey is on the fence between life and death.

With "A Passage for Trumpet", Serling was writing his variations on the theme of “It's a Wonderful Life.” He tried the 'guardian angel' gimmick several other times on Twilight Zone, never with much success. But in this case, the results were splendid. While the entire script is beautifully written, the second act stands alone. It takes awhile for Joey to realize that he is neither here nor there, via some awkward confrontations with those who can't see or hear him. "Look at ME!", he shouts at one man. Once he does come to realization through his conversation with Gabriel, he knows he's being given a second chance and this time he even gets a girl to go with it.

Jack Klugman and John Anderson were not horn players had to learn how to finger the notes of some trumpet melodies. They apparently took to the task quickly, and it was not an easy one since a trumpet player did all the solos offstage. But to watch the two actors in action, it is hard to tell that they are not the ones playing. To have them fake it would have been easier, but thanks to that unmistakable Twilight Zone quality, they got as close to the real thing as they could. Every accomplished musician who plays a stringed or wind instrument has mastered what is called the vibrato, which is used to make certain desired pitches more resonant-sounding. Amazingly enough, Klugman and Anderson also learned how to finger the notes with vibrato. Today, few TV actors would bother with details so seemingly insignificant.


SERLING: (o.s.) Joey Crown, musician with an odd, intense face, whose life is a quest for impossible things like flowers in concrete or like trying to pluck a note of music out of the air and put it under glass to treasure. Joey Crown, musician with an odd, intense face, who in a moment will try to leave the Earth and discover the middle ground, the place we call the Twilight Zone.

JOEY: Because I'm sad. Because I'm nothing. Because I'll live and die in a crummy one-roomer with dirty walls and cracked pipes. I'll never even have a girl. I'll never be anybody. Half of me is this horn. I can't even talk to people, Baron, cause this horn, that's half my language. But when I'm drunk, Baron … Oh when I'm drunk, boy, I don't see the dirty walls or the cracked pipes. I don't know the clock's going, that the hours are going by, cause then I'm Gabriel. Oh, I'm Gabriel with a golden horn, and when I put it to my lips it comes out jewels, comes out a symphony, comes out the smell of fresh flowers in summer, comes out beautiful. Beauty. When I'm drunk, Baron. Only when I'm drunk.

PAWN SHOP DEALER: Don't worry, I ain't getting that price so fast. I got an overhead too, you know. Guys like you, you don't understand that. What kind of responsibilities somebody like you got, huh? Nothin', nothin' at all!
JOEY: Yeah, nothin'! Nothin' at all. No responsibilities. No nothin'.

JOEY: But what about the people in the bar, the girl in the ticket booth, and the people in the streets?
GABRIEL: They are dead. They're the ghosts, Joey. They just don't know it, that's all. Sometimes, to make it easier, we have to work it that way. We let them go on in a life that they're familiar with. They never know for a long while. But that's why they couldn't hear you. You're the one that's alive.
JOEY: But like I said, I stepped off a curb...
GABRIEL: That you did. Right now you're in a kind of a limbo, Joey. You're neither here nor there. You're in the middle, between the two. The real and the shadow. Which do you prefer, Joey?
JOEY: Which do I prefer? You know something? I always felt I was getting dealt from the bottom, or maybe, or maybe I just forgot how much there was for me. And maybe I forgot about the music that I could make on this horn and how nice it sounded. And going into Charlie's and talking to people. And maybe going to a movie now and then, huh. You know, I never won a beauty contest, but, you know, I had friends. I mean, I had good ones. Good ones! Yeah, somewhere along the line I just forgot all the good things. That's what happened, you know. I just forgot.
GABRIEL: You've got a choice, you know.
JOEY: A choice?
GABRIEL: There's still time.
JOEY: Well, if I've got a choice, I mean, if I got a choice, then I wanna go back. Understand? I want to go back!
GABRIEL: Alright, you go back. But, Joey, no more stepping off curbs. You take what you get and you live with it. Sometimes it's sweet frosting and nice gravy. Sometimes it's sour, it goes down hard, but you live with it, Joey. Ah, it's a nice talent you got. To make music, to move people, make them wanna laugh, make them wanna cry, make them tap their feet, make them wanna dance. That's an exceptional talent, Joey. Don't waste it. See you around, Joey.
JOEY: Hey, hey mister!
GABRIEL: What is it, Joey?
JOEY: I didn't get your name.
GABRIEL: How's that?
JOEY: Your name! I didn't get your name!
GABRIEL: My name? Call me Gabe.
JOEY: Gabe?
GABRIEL: Gabe. Short for Gabriel. Bye, Joey.

"Mr. Bevis"

Mr. Bevis

STARRING CAST: Orson Bean, Henry Jones, Charles Lane
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: William Asher
SUMMARY: James B.W. Bevis is assigned a guardian angel, J. Hardy Hempstead, who tells him that he's going to have to give up his eccentric ways if his life is ever to amount to anything. He becomes "normal" for awhile, then opts to go back to his stuffed squirrels and zither music.

Like the later "Cavender is Coming" starring Carol Burnett, "Mr. Bevis" was Serling's attempt at a guardian angel spinoff TV series. Why Serling had an affinity for these kinds of cliched stories is a question lost to history, but Twilight Zone certainly had a good number of these mentors who helped out characters on the decline, in some form or another. As the guardian angel Hempstead, Henry Jones - known for his jolly, gravelly-voiced blue-collar roles in many old movies, does splendidly. But Orson Bean was no Orson Welles in the lead, reciting nearly every line blandly and with complete lack of interest. An added bonus was the brief appearance of Charles Lane, perhaps one of the most permanent fixtures of television and one of the longest-living Hollywood actors (at this writing he is 102 years old). For over 30 years, he played snipish, short-tempered businessmen like the Peckinpaugh he plays in "Mr. Bevis". Also seen in the cast for a brief few moments are House Peters, Jr. (who played TV's Original Mr. Clean), and William Schallert (Dobie Gillis' high school English teacher, Mr. Pomfrit, who later had a role in Twilight Zone, The Movie).


BEVIS: Bartender?
BARTENDER: You alright, buddy?
BEVIS: Would you kindly tell me what are the 'ingredinents' of this drink?
BARTENDER: Well, you said you wanted to get fortified, pal. I put everything in there but atomic energy.
BEVIS: Does that explain why I can see him in the mirror but I can't see him in the booth?
BEVIS: Whom, objective case.
HEMPSTEAD: Quite right, Mr. Bevis. Whom, objective case.

"The After Hours"

The After Hours

STARRING CAST: Anne Francis, Elizabeth Allen, James Milhollin, Patrick Whyte, Nancy Rennick
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Douglas Heyes
SUMMARY: Marsha White arrives in a department store, shopping for a gift for her mother. She begins to question her true identity and discovers that she's not quite as human as she thinks.

Millicent Barnes was a bland secretary, and "a girl with a head on her shoulders, end of quote." The head on her shoulders was put to a test and she wondered if she was going mad and circumstances assaulted her sense of reality. Helen Foley had been a bland schoolteacher who underwent a brief trauma that aided in restoring her sanity. But Serling went both of these previous efforts one better. At last, here was Marsha White, one of the more headstrong females to log an appearance on the stage known as "The Twilight Zone."

"The After Hours" was one of the finest. The first act sets up a number of beckoning, odd questions that are slowly, ever so meticulously, answered in the second. It seems as though Douglas Heyes choreographed the whole thing like a ballet. "That was quite a task we had," recalls Anne Francis, "building up to that insane hysteria at the end." Every step that Marsha White takes as she gingerly walks through the deserted floor brings with it a new level of suspense. The buildup to the hysteria was followed by yet another remarkable sequence wherein the saleslady and Marsha slowly move, in step, from the elevator over to a group of assembled mannequins. It is then that she finally forces herself to resign, and to admit her true identity and share her sorrow over not being able to be part of the rest of the big, beautiful world...and wait for her turn to venture out into it again.

But Francis' performance was not the only strong one. Elizabeth Allen, who retired from acting after 20 years and only a handful of credits, knew what her role was supposed to accomplish. Indeed, the saleslady was a perfect complement to the temperaments of Marsha White. Allen was also beautiful and looked sophisticated enough to be a model. "She was wonderful in it," says Francis. Adding a much-needed humorous touch as Armbruster, the store manager, was wide-eyed James Milhollin, who often got ersatz Barney Fife-ish roles. "That wonderful double-take he did at the end … so great. They were all great people and wonderful to work with."


MARSHA: Now that's odd.
SALSLADY: What is, Marsha?
MARSHA: Well, you haven't any merchandise here at all except the thimble. Except the very thing I needed. The whole floorlooks so empty called me Marsha.
SALESLADY: Did I? I'm sorry. That was forward of me, I apologize.
MARSHA: How did you know my name?
SALESLADY: I've probably seen you around the store.
MARSHA: No, you haven't. I've never seen you. Now, look, I don't want to make a big thing out of this, but what kind of a place is this? I mean, all I want is one small item, a gold thimble. I come up on a floor that hasn't a single thing in evidence except what I'm looking for. Well, you may be a little more sophisticated than I am but this I call odd.
SALESLADY: Please come again, anytime.
MARSHA: Thank you.
SALESLADY: Miss White? (a beat; Marsha turns around) Are you happy?
MARSHA: (curtly) I beg your pardon? I what? Am I happy? Well, you'll forgive me, but that's really none of your business.
SALESLADY: Oh, really? It's none of my business! Alright, Miss White, suit yourself! It's none of my business!

MARSHA: I'm a mannequin. That's what I am, I'm a mannequin, and it was my turn to...
SALESLADY: ...your turn to leave us for a month. Becoming much clearer now, isn't it? You left us for a month and you lived with the outsiders. But you were due back yesterday and you didn't show up! Now, that's very selfish Marsha, my dear. All of us wait for our turn and we simply do not overstay it! Now, it was my turn starting last night. I'm one day delayed already.
MARSHA: I'm sorry...I'm sorry I forgot. When you're on the outside, everything seems so normal. As if...
MAN: As if what, Marsha?
MARSHA: As if we were like the others. Like the outsiders. Like the real people.
SALESLADY: Well, no serious harm done. Well, I'll see you all in a month?!
ALL: (walking toward elevator) Okay, take good care of yourself, have a ball!
SALESLADY: And you'll all miss me?
ALL: Oh, yes!! Have a good time! Bye!
SALESLADY: Bye! (elevator door closes)
MAN: Did you enjoy yourself, Marsha? Was it fun?
MARSHA: Ever so much fun.
(both revert into their mannequin poses)

SERLING: (o.s.) Marsha White in her normal and natural state. A wooden lady with a painted face who, one month out of the year, takes on the characteristics of someone as normal and as flesh and blood as you and I. But it makes you wonder, doesn't it? Just how normal are we? Just who are the people we nod our hellos to as we pass on the street? A rather good question to ask, particularly in the Twilight Zone.

"The Mighty Casey"

The Mighty Casey

STARRING CAST: Robert Sorrells, Jack Warden, Jonathan Hole, Abraham Sofaer
WRITER: Rod Serling
DIRECTOR: Alvin Ganzer
SUMMARY: Casey, a mechanical man constructed to be the world's greatest pitcher, gets beaned in a baseball game and while in the hospital, officials find out that he doesn't have a heart. He gets one, and then retires from his short-lived baseball career to become a social worker.

"The Mighty Casey" was one of two episodes (the other being "I Sing the Body Electric" from the third season) that underwent an almost complete re-shoot. The story goes that Paul Douglas, star of the original, perished from a heart attack just days after the first version was completed. No doubt CBS would have aired it, had Douglas' performance not shown off the fact that he was on the brink of the grave. He was a very competent actor who appeared in a number of movies of the time, plus a memorable appearance on the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, the final version of I Love Lucy. Jack Warden does about as well as can be expected; and although it's a pleasant enough story and Rod Serling spent $27,000 to re-shoot the entire episode, there is not enough in it to set it on the topmost shelf.


DOCTOR: Well, there's not a thing wrong. Everything is just fine. It's just that...
BEASLEY: Just that what?
DOCTOR: Well, this man doesn't have any pulse. No heartbeat. This, this man isn't alive.
DR. STILLMAN: It'll have to come out now, Mr. McGarry.
BEASLEY: What's this all about, Mouth? What are you trying to pull off?
McGARRY: Well, you're not going to like this, Beasley, but...
DR. STILLMAN: Doctor, I think you should know this before you go any further. This man hasn't a pulse or a heartbeat because he doesn't have a heart. He's a robot.
DOCTOR: A what?
DR. STILLMAN: That's right, a robot.
DOCTOR: You're sure?
DR. STILLMAN: By all means. I built him.
DOCTOR: And he's been pitching for the Hoboken Zephyrs. Under the circumstances, as team physician, I'm afraid I must notify the baseball commissioner.
McGARRY: Casey, move over.

COMMISSIONER: Article Six, Section Two of the baseball code. I quote: a team shall consist of nine men, end of quote. Men, understand? Not robots! He's suspended. That's my final decision.
BEASLEY: Commissioner, to all intents and purposes, he is human! Casey, talk to him! Tell him about yourself.
CASEY: What should I say?
McGARRY: You see, he talks better than me. And he's a lot smarter than most of those muttonheads I got on the club.
COMMISSIONER: He is not human!
BEASLEY: How human do you want him? He's got arms and legs and a face and he talks.
COMMISSIONER: And no heart! He doesn't even own a heart. How can he be human without a heart?!

CASEY: The thing is, Mr. McGarry, I just couldn't strike those poor fellows out. I didn't have it in me to do that. Hurt their feelings. I felt compassion.
DR. STILLMAN: That's it. He's got compassion. See how he smiles? Give a man a heart, Mr. McGarry, particularly someone like Casey, who hasn't been around long enough to understand competitiveness or drive or ego. That's what happens.
CASEY: I'm sorry, Mr. McGarry. I just can't hurt fellow's careers. Dr. Stillman thinks I should go into social work.
DR. STILLMAN: That's right.
CASEY: I want to help people. Goodbye.

A World of His Own

STARRING CAST: Keenan Wynn, Mary LaRoche, Phyllis Kirk
WRITER: Richard Matheson
DIRECTOR: Ralph Nelson
SUMMARY: Playwright and hopeless romantic Gregory West can bring characters in his plays to life via his tape recorder … much to the consternation of his “wife.”

Keenan Wynn and Ralph Nelson, who helped put Rod Serling on the map with "Requiem for a Heavyweight" in 1956, returned to star in and direct Richard Matheson's comedy-fantasy "A World of His Own". Strikingly beautiful Mary LaRoche (remembered today in Zone circles for her fine performance in "Living Doll") and 1950s movie queen Phyllis Kirk, were cast as Gregory's women. LaRoche had done a small part at the end of "Requiem" with Jack Palance.

The entire story takes place in his study, where West does his best to rationalize the ruse. In the end, he ditches Victoria and opts for Mary, who undoubtedly is a better match. "Why not leave well enough alone?", he says bemusedly, and brings her back yet again.

Richard Matheson tried and did reasonably well with comedy in “A World of His Own.” If the storyline comes off as silly and heavy-handed, the performances are so delightful that it remains an enjoyable piece. Son of the great comedian Ed Wynn, the younger Wynn was a dramatic actor with more than 150 acting credits that began in 1934 and continued up until his death in 1986. Lucille Ball called Keenan Wynn “a massive talent,” and Rod Serling was a great admirer of the younger Wynn's work in TV, film, and theater.

"A World of His Own" also marked Rod Serling's first on-camera TZ appearance. Dressed in casual wear and seeming a little ill at ease, he'd several months later confidently storm the stage as narrator—and as the honorable Professor Serling—in "King Nine Will Not Return", the first episode produced in the second season. But before that, he'd make a live appearance at the 1960 Emmy Awards to claim his fourth trophy, the first of two for incomparable work on a TV series that already had produced—and would continue to produce—some of the best TV of all time.


VICTORIA: I thought I saw a woman in your arms.
GREGORY: Did you?
VICTORIA: Yes, isn't that just too ridiculous? Would you like to have me describe her to you?
VICTORIA: Oh, let me, let me. She had masses of blonde hair and she wore one of those frumpy little blouses with a kind of tacky little broach at the bosom and one of those dreadful sort of peasant skirts. But the funny thing was that she handed you a drink.
GREGORY: Oh, such detail. It's quite remarkable.
VICTORIA: Yes, isn't it. Of course, if I had thought about it, darling, well, I would have realized how ridiculous it was. I mean I would have realized, if I had thought about it for a minute, that a man of your grace and extraordinary taste couldn't possibly be interesting in such a drab, ugly little creature.
GREGORY: Well, she's not so drab.
VICTORIA: A-ha!! Didn't think I'd be home so early, did you?! Didn't think I'd be home the whole afternoon, did you?! Thought you had me fooled, didn't you?! Well, let me tell you something, Gregory. I've had my eye on you for some time now. Didn't think I suspected the real reason for why you were always sending me out of the house on one pretext then another, did you? 'I must be alone to work', you said. The great and famous playwright! The great and famous philanderer!!

GREGORY: I can describe a dog or a cat or any character you want. But I'm sure you would prefer to see Mary and I've created Mary so many times that she'll be much more.
VICTORIA: I'll just bet she is. Give me the key, Gregory.
GREGORY: (recording all this on tape recorder) Her name is Mary. She's thirty years old. Five feet six inches tall. Nicely built, blonde hair, fair complexion. A simple, unassuming female but with that quality of inner loveliness that brings real beauty to a woman. She's dressed in a soft blouse, oldfashioned broach, and a full skirt. Her hair is attractively arranged. She's coming up the front walk. She's crossing the porch. She's opening the front door. She's closing it. She's walking across the hall.
MARY: Good afternoon, Mrs. West.

VICTORIA: Is this another one of your tawdry little tricks?
GREGORY: Now why do you think I got so upset when you came back here awhile ago? Not because of Mary, but because you came back against my will, for the first time, for the first time.
VICTORIA: Do you think you're frightening me?
GREGORY: No, I guess not. You're beyond that. I made you too strong. I forgot to add a little human frailty. Well, I asked for it. I'll put this back in the safe.
VICTORIA: Gregory, would you like to know what I think of your childish nonsense? This! (she tosses her envelope, marked VICTORIA WEST into the fire)
GREGORY: Victoria!
VICTORIA: Oh, Greg! I feel so strange! You don't mean that you were telling me the truth? You were right! (she vanishes)

SERLING: We hope you enjoyed tonight's romantic story on the Twilight Zone. At the same time, we want you to realize that it was, of course, purely fictional. In real life, such ridiculous nonsense could never …
GREGORY: Rod! You shouldn't! I mean you shouldn't say such things as...nonsense and ridiculous.
SERLING: Well, that's the way it goes.

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