Twilight Zone – What You Need

★★★1/2 December 25, 1959 Season 1 Episode 12

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This is a good solid episode but not a classic. The thing about the Twilight Zone is… even the average episodes (average for the Twilight Zone) can become personal favorites.

An old man (Pedott) with a gift that can give you what you need. It could be cleaning fluid, a bus ticket, or a pair of scissors. You would not believe so, but you would end up needing them. He doesn’t use his gift on anyone but the ones he does bestow things to…they are usually grateful. What you need could be something small or something important to save your life.

Enter Mr. Fred Renard played by Steve Cochran. He is a nobody…a nothing that wants to be a somebody and not earn it. He sees the old man with a gift and wants everything. Cochran plays this bad guy well. He is a bully and blames the world on his problems.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Henry Kuttner

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

You’re looking at Mr. Fred Renard, who carries on his shoulder a chip the size of the national debt. This is a sour man, a friendless man, a lonely man, a grasping, compulsive, nervous man. This is a man who has lived thirty-six undistinguished, meaningless, pointless, failure-laden years and who at this moment looks for an escape—any escape, any way, anything, anybody—to get out of the rut. And this little old man is just what Mr. Renard is waiting for.


An old street vendor goes to a bar to sell his wares. However, he foresees what each costumer will need in a short period, selling precisely what they need. After selling in the bar, the crook Fred Renard mocks him and the peddler gives a pair of scissors for him. When Fred arrives at the hotel where he is lodged, his scarf is trapped on the elevator door and he only survives due to the pair of scissors. Now Fred believes that the peddler has a gift and he decides to force the old man to tell him the name of the horse that will win a race. The greedy Fred earns a large amount and seeks out the peddler threatening him again that the old man gives him a pair of shoes to Fred. But who needs the pair of shoes?

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Street scene, night. Traffic accident. Victim named Fred Renard, gentleman with a sour face to whom contentment came with difficulty. Fred Renard, who took all that was needed—in The Twilight Zone.


Steve Cochran … Fred Renard
Ernest Truex … Pedott
Read Morgan … Lefty
Arlene Martel … Girl in Bar (as Arline Sax)
William Edmonson… Bartender
Doris Karnes … Woman
Fred Kruger … Man on Street
Norman Sturgis … Hotel Clerk

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

23 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – What You Need”

  1. another comment not necessarily on this but all the episodes- someone must have had a vast knowledge of character actors in town- its amazing how the actors fit their parts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes I totally agree…the casting people or person was on target. I don’t know of a Twilight Zone where the person doesn’t fit…some are better than others but they fit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There was a bit actor that was in many many episodes… I’m going to get his name. It was like 60 or more episodes. I just read about that. He was only a man on a train or man in a crowd etc.

        Burgess Meredith was wonderful in his roles.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You know someone could go through these episodes and write the lesson for each one and publish a book, “All I needed to know I learned while watching Twilight Zone.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Agree with the rating – a right down the middle episode. Once again my favorite part of the episode is the intro – a chip on his shoulder the size of the national debt! Love it,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking of his intro and closing parts…there are a few where he does no closing parts…I noticed that the other day when I was watching one of the hour long episodes. I’ll have to find out why.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Max speaking of the hour long ones – that’s season 4 right? I have been watching them on Netflix and noticed that Season 4 isnt listed. Do you know where to find season 4 streaming? Are they on YouTube?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes season 4 is the hour long ones. NO they are not on youtube. In fact I have had to replace my short clips on the posts because they are yanked off of youtube.

        I have found an episode or two on Dailymotion but not many.
        I own all of them…what I did was convert all of them to mp4… I think Amazon Prime has season 4.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Paul…I wanted to tell you that my post The Fever totally vanished from Reader…I had to trash it and publish it again. I didn’t want you to think I deleted your comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ok weird. I have heard of that happening. Ok probably won’t bother to repost comment as I know you saw it. A couple better episodes coming up I think

        Liked by 1 person

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