Twilight Zone – Nick Of Time

★★★★★ November 18, 1960 Season 2 Episode 7

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes. (I have cleaned the page up)

This is one of the two Twilight Zones that William Shatner appeared in. In this one we never know if any thing supernatural is happening or not. It plays on people’s superstitions and beliefs. William Shatner’s character Don Carter is superstitious and comes with a four leaf clover and rabbits foot. That quietly sets up the episode.  Although the answers are extremely general, he soon becomes convinced that the machine has correctly predicted two events: his promotion to office manager and a close call he and Pat have while crossing the street.

The couple has to make a decision, will they let the machine decide their destiny or will they try to make it on their own? Both Shatner and Patricia Breslin play this well…although especially Shatner. I never think of him as a great actor but he hits this one out of the park.  It’s not just Don that has trouble getting past this possible mystical machine…more believing customers are on their way.

It took me a few viewings to appreciate this episode as much as I do. It works on a Twilight Zone level and beyond that. This one could have easily been on Hitchcock. The suspense builds through out the episode because Shatner and Breslin’s chemistry.

In fact Richard Matheson, said that he wished that Pat Breslin (who played Pat Carter) had been available again to play the wife of Shatner’s character in the season five episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” That would have been great as the couple would have continued their story.

The Magic 8 Ball comes to mind that were popular in the seventies and even now.

The Twilight Zone" Nick of Time (TV Episode 1960) - IMDb

This show was written by Richard Matheson and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The hand belongs to Mr. Don S. Carter, male member of a honeymoon team on route across the Ohio countryside to New York City. In one moment, they will be subjected to a gift most humans never receive in a lifetime. For one penny, they will be able to look into the future. The time is now, the place is a little diner in Ridgeview, Ohio, and what this young couple doesn’t realize is that this town happens to lie on the outskirts of the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Don and Pat Carter are on their honeymoon when their car breaks down in the small town of Ridgeview, Ohio. They have a few hours to spare while their car is being repaired and spend time in the diner. There they find a fortune-telling machine, a game where you can ask a question and for a penny will spit out an innocuous answer. When the machine apparently begins to predict events – Don’s promotion at work, a near accident on the street outside – a superstitious Don becomes infatuated with the device threatening his marriage and his future with Pat.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Counterbalance in the little town of Ridgeview, Ohio. Two people permanently enslaved by the tyranny of fear and superstition, facing the future with a kind of helpless dread. Two others facing the future with confidence — having escaped one of the darker places of the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
William Shatner … Don Carter
Patricia Breslin… Pat Carter
Guy Wilkerson … Counterman
Stafford Repp … Mechanic
Walter Reed … Man
Dee Carroll … Woman
Robert McCord … Diner Patron (uncredited)

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

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

24 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – Nick Of Time”

    1. They did start it strong… This one is a strong story with the TZ or not. It would have been cool if they could have been a couple in the other one…a continuation.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Watched it today…wasn’t sure while watching if it was Shatner. Pretty solid episode but ending seemed a wee bit anti-climatic…seems like something big shoulda happened, whethet something terrible or a bigger ‘near miss’ or something odd like her leaving & him deciding he was never going to leave the town. I’d say 4* to me…good but short of great.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It wasn’t an action one at all…I wish they would have kept them a couple in the other one with Shatner about the plane and monster

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes really enjoyed this one. I think the chemistry between Shatner and Breslin really makes the episode. And I like how the show is being more creative in having Serling pop up for the opening monologue- I think he was in another booth in this one

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 3 top episodes in a row…this season is strong. The one after the next one is a hidden gem.
      They did a great job and it would have been so cool if they would have been the couple in Nightmare at 20,000 Feet like the writer wanted.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I will try and watch this one tonight on hulu so won’t watch the trailer. You sold me. Will comment further after I see it. I do remember the one at 20,000 feet but not this one. That machine looks creepy as heck.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The is the 2nd one I watched. Frustrating because it took me close to an hour to watch it because the hulu reloads, but I had to see how it ended. Was not expecting that end at all but it was perfect. I thought Shatner and Breslin had good chemistry, as others have said. I love the “Counterman” also in this. For a relatively small role, he really brought the character to life. I also think the episode has a good message to impart about depending on something outside of the self to give answers and direction. I’ve seen people get hooked on horoscopes before where they can’t make a move without reading theirs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It did have a good message….not to let something or anyone dictate your life…The counterman was good and it was a cool touch to make him southern.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That always adds a little color because you just didn’t hear it as much unless it was an episode about the south.

        Liked by 1 person

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