Twilight Zone – The Trouble with Templeton

★★★★★  December 9, 1960 Season 2 Episode 16

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

A favorite of mine. This one is a hidden gem of an episode. Once again casting was superb in this episode. Brian Aherne as Booth Templeton was an excellent choice as a Broadway Star. The “you can’t go home again” theme is explored in the Twilight Zone more than once…to different results.

The Trouble With Templeton has in it one of the most visually beautiful scenes of the entire series. This occurs in the crowded, smoke-filled speakeasy in which Templeton leaves Laura. Without giving anything away… the camera pans across the room back to Laura. She steps forward. The expression on her face is one we have not seen before in the episode. It’s stunning and eerie at the same time. It’s one of my favorite scenes ever in a Twilight Zone. That one scene makes the episode worth it but it’s much more than that.

The Director Buzz Kulik said Brian Aherne who played Booth Templeton was a charming, wonderful, delightful, a terribly professional man, and one of the nicest people that he had ever worked with. He was very touched by what he had to do. It was very, very real to him. As for himself, Kulik admits that he too was moved by the material.

This was E. Jack Neuman’s only writing credit on the Twilight Zone.

This show was written by E. Jack Neuman and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Pleased to present for your consideration, Mr. Booth Templeton; serious and successful star of over thirty Broadway plays, who is not quite all right today. Yesterday and its memories is what he wants, and yesterday is what he’ll get. Soon his years and his troubles will descend on him in an avalanche. In order not to be crushed Mr. Booth Templeton will escape from his theater and his world, and make his debut on another stage, in another world, that we call the Twilight Zone.


Booth Templeton is a renowned stage actor who has reached a stage in his personal life where he has idealized his past. In particular he has fond memories of his first wife, Laura. After a stressful encounter at the theater, he walks out of the stage door and finds himself in 1927 where he joins his wife and best friend, Barney Fluegler, for dinner. It all reminds him that his past was not as rosy as he may have remembered it

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. Booth Templeton, who shared with most human beings the hunger to recapture the past moments, the ones that soften with the years. But in his case, the characters of his past blocked him out and sent him back to his own time, which is where we find him now. Mr. Booth Templeton, who had a round-trip ticket – into The Twilight Zone.


Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Brian Aherne … Booth Templeton
Pippa Scott … Laura Templeton
Sydney Pollack … Arthur Willis
Dave Willock … Marty
King Calder … Sid Sperry
Larry J. Blake … Freddie (as Larry Blake)
David Thursby … Eddie
Charles Carlson … Barney Flueger


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

17 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Trouble with Templeton”

  1. Interesting. Being a 5-star, it’ll be on my list to see ! Interesting concept from the description. I think people fall into two categories. Most (probably for the better) look back on our live fondly and highlight the good points and times and thus want to relive them. A few only remember the bad ones, and usually are tortured souls… although I guess the former can be tortured too if they are too nostalgic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one wasn’t rated as high by a lot of people but I loved it for the story, the acting, and that scene…a simple one but great. Her face told the whole story.


  2. Rose-tinted glasses Syndrome is and always will be a feature of older people longing for happier times when they were young, the same things were being said back in Roman times. The key point is “young”, which generally means better health, when lost loved ones were alive, and less responsibility, conveniently forgetting all the bad stuff that is always around and that you live through. So, this episode will remain timeless and ever-relevant…!

    One day future old people will look fondly back on the good old days of Covid in the same way my grandparents generation started getting all rose-tinted about the War…

    “We had hardships, not like you young’uns” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea and we forget things when looking back…or in this case…don’t look back and live your life…I like how the ghosts were telling him something

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes that’s it exactly – live the life you’re in be satisfied by it don’t live in the past. I had the same reaction you did to the scene you mention. When all their facial expressions change esp hers I got chills – wasn’t sure why but knew the episode was gonna be different. I live at the end when he’s like “That’s Mr Templeton to you”. I agree with the 5 star for the message

        Liked by 1 person

      2. See I didn’t expect them to be mean on purpose…I thought maybe he misremembered them…but he didn’t…she wanted them to go back to his own life.
        Oh I loved the end. Thanks for the agreement about the 5 stars…this one isn’t mentioned as much. We have some gread ones coming up next weekend

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea but…that is what is cool about this one…it was great but they just wanted him to get back to his life…I liked that twist in this one.


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