Twilight Zone – A Penny for Your Thoughts

★★★★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)


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

21 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – A Penny for Your Thoughts”

  1. Its funny this one was next on your list. Two days ago a friend and I were talking and somehow the Twilight Zone came up and he was mentioning episodes he liked and he mentioned this one- with Dick York featured in it. I agree with your ranking not quite a 5 star episode but close. And we both agreed we wouldn’t want to know what other people’s thoughts are.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea I would not want to know what people were thinking…you would hear some ugly things here and there. I’m almost through the second season…now only 3 more seasons to go lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree with rating on this one – an enjoyable episode that could have been a. Hour episode bit I liked how the nicely wrapped up the story in this one – didn’t feel abrupt or rushed. When I was a kid I used to think it would be fun to know what others were thinking but after a bit more thinking about it realized how problematic that would be

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I almost gave it a 5…I check around with ratings and they are all over the place…Yea I don’t think I would want to know…hmmm…playing poker maybe lol

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve noticed that….and my cousin is a huge Waltons fan…on a lot of the 60s shows he will say…oh he or she was on the Waltons later… those actors were everywhere.


      1. Those were the days when if you weren’t a star, you grabbed every part you could just to keep food on the table. Some shows, like “Perry Mason” and “Burke’s Law,” seem to have been set up specifically to give actors work. I admire the actors back then who just kept plugging along, taking any role they could just to keep working.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched this one last night also. It was so wonderful seeing Dick York (I think of him as Darren) again. He is so good in this! I also adore the old guy and love how they gave him some real juicy lines. The boss was admirably weasly lol. I liked Miss Turner. I love what “Hector” did when the male co-worker started being a jerk. Even the young guy selling newspapers was well-done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is something the TZ did better than almost anyone else…is casting. Hans and I were talking about how good they were at finding the right character actor for each part.

      The old man I really liked….all of us think things like that at times.

      Liked by 1 person

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