★★★★1/2 February 3, 1961 Season 2 Episode 16
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This one is a comedic episode where everything goes right. It’s well written and acted. The 2000 movie What Women Want is related to this episode. Dick York is fantastic in this episode. One of two consecutive Twilight Zone episodes to star a future Bewitched regular, the previous episode The Invaders starred Agnes Moorehead.
This was the first of George Clayton Johnsons four Twilight Zone scripts and was his lightest story, but the easy tone doesn’t detract from it. The episode is charming and funny, and it does have a point…that people do things without thinking about them and think things without having the slightest intention of doing them.
The title comes from the old English expression “A penny of your thoughts” which dates back to John Heywood’s compilation of proverbs “A Dialogue Containing the Number in Effect of all the Proverbs in the English Tongue.”
George Clayton Johnson: Rod came through with a couple of people, visitors that he had brought on, and he saw me and Lola (wife) and he stopped to introduce us to these people. And his attitude toward me was one of great respect. It wasn’t like, Tm Rod Serling and this is one of the flunkies on the set, it was more like, Look, here’s the man who wrote this absolutely wizard thing that were making right now. It really built my ego and made me feel worthwhile.
This show was written by Rod Serling and George Clayton Johnson
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Mr. Hector B. Poole, resident of the Twilight Zone. Flip a coin and keep flipping it. What are the odds? Half the time it will come up heads, half the time tails. But in one freakish chance in a million, it’ll land on its edge. Mr. Hector B. Poole, a bright human coin – on his way to the bank.
Bank clerk Hector Poole develops telepathic powers after tossing a coin to a newspaper vendor that miraculously stands on its edge. He discovers the positive and negative effects of listening in on other peoples thoughts, plans and fantasies
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
One time in a million, a coin will land on its edge, but all it takes to knock it over is a vagrant breeze, a vibration, or a slight blow. Hector B. Poole, a human coin, on edge for a brief time – in the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Dick York … Hector B. Poole
June Dayton … Helen Turner
Dan Tobin … E.M. Bagby
Cyril Delevanti … L.J. Smithers
Hayden Rorke … Sykes
James Nolan … Jim
Frank London … Driver
Anthony Ray … Newsboy
Patrick Waltz … Brand
Aileen Arnold … Pedestrian (uncredited)
Sig Frohlich … Pedestrian (uncredited)