★★★★★ June 10, 1960 Season 1 Episode 34
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This one is a classic… a 5-star episode. As surprise endings go…this one is near the top. This episode lacks explanation for things but that makes it more mysterious. There is no big moral lesson here just a great episode.
Anne Francis’s portrayal of Marsha White was great. She is demanding and a little whiny at first but when you see the nightmare situation she is in…you understand why. She wonders how many of the store workers know her name and so much about her…and we wonder the same thing. This is the first appearance of Anne Francis in the starring role of a Twilight Zone episode. She would appear again in the season four episode “Jess-Belle”.
The twist totally took me off guard the first time I watched this one. The 1985 Twilight Zone redid this one and it was a mess.
Here is something interesting. The band 9fm (short for Ninth Floor Mannequin) song “Below the Ninth Floor” was inspired by “The After Hours.”
This show was written by Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Express elevator to the ninth floor of a department store, carrying Miss Marsha White on a most prosaic, ordinary, run-of-the-mill errand.
Miss Marsha White on the ninth floor, specialties department, looking for a gold thimble. The odds are that she’ll find it—but there are even better odds that she’ll find something else, because this isn’t just a department store. This happens to be The Twilight Zone.
Marsha White is looking for a gold thimble as a gift for her mother. She can’t find it anywhere in the store and an elevator operator suggests she try the 9th floor. She arrives there to find it abandoned but a sales clerk suddenly appears and has just what she is looking for. On the way back down to the main floor, she realizes the thimble she bought is scratched and goes to the complaints department where she is told there is no 9th floor in the building. She is shocked however to see a mannequin that looks just like the woman who served her. A return to the absent floor reveals the explanation to her dilemma.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
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.
Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Anne Francis … Marsha White
Elizabeth Allen … Saleswoman
James Millhollin … Mr. Armbruster
John Conwell … Elevator Man
Patrick Whyte … Mr. Sloan
Nancy Rennick … Miss Keevers