Twilight Zone – Twenty-Two

★★★★  February 10, 1961 Season 2 Episode 17

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

I like how diverse the Twilight Zone was from week to week. The last episode was a good comedic episode Penny For Your Thoughts…and this one is anything but comedic. I know some people who say the Twilight Zone really scares them. This one would fit that bill. It is one of the most frightening episodes of the show. This is one of the videotaped episodes that benefits from it. It gives it an eerie look that only helps the story.

Rod Serling adapted Twenty-Two from a short story in Famous Ghost Stories, edited by Bennett Cerf. In the original, an attractive young New York girl visits the Carolina plantation of some distant relatives. In adapting the story, Serling kept the basics but changed the setting from plantation to hospital and the vision from coach to morgue.

Arlene Martel (credited here as Arlene Sax) plays the nurse in the morgue who taunts Liz Powell with the “room for one more,” line. In order to make her look more sinister, they used makeup to give her a somewhat demonic look, complete with arched eyebrows.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Bennett Cerf

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is Miss Liz Powell. She’s a professional dancer and she’s in the hospital as a result of overwork and nervous fatigue. And at this moment we have just finished walking with her in a nightmare. In a moment she’ll wake up and we’ll remain at her side. The problem here is that both Miss Powell and you will reach a point where it might be difficult to decide which is reality and which is nightmare, a problem uncommon perhaps but rather peculiar to the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Liz Powell – an exotic dancer – is suffering from exhaustion and is being treated at hospital prior to a scheduled engagement in Miami. She has a recurring nightmare where she takes the elevator down to the morgue and is invited in by an ominous-sounding nurse, who tells her, ‘room for one more’. Her doctor assures her there’s nothing wrong with her physically and she’s just overworked and tired. To Liz, the nightmare’s very real. The doctor suggests she try to break the pattern to see if she can get them to stop. The next time she has the dream, she travels down to the morgue but the dream goes off as before. With her medical issues taken care of, and her Miami engagement a day away, it’s time for Liz to leave. But it’s her nightmare over?

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Miss Elizabeth Powell, professional dancer. Hospital diagnosis: acute anxiety brought on by overwork and fatigue. Prognosis: with rest and care, she’ll probably recover. But the cure to some nightmares is not to be found in known medical journals. You look for it under ‘potions for bad dreams’ – to be found in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Barbara Nichols … Liz Powell
Jonathan Harris … The Doctor
Fredd Wayne … Barney Kamener
Arlene Martel … Nurse in Morgue (as Arline Sax)
Mary Adams … Day Nurse
Norma Connolly … Night Nurse
Wesley Lau … Airline Agent
Angus Duncan … Ticket Clerk
Carole Conn … Sax Double (uncredited)
Jay Overholts … PA Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
Joseph Sargent … Ticket Clerk (uncredited)

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

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

21 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – Twenty-Two”

  1. Yes this was a creepy one. I think Jonathan Harris added to the creepiness as the doctor – there was just something you couldn’t trust about him at least in my view

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I thought once again they get the actors and their parts right- especially with Barbara Nichols/ Jonathan Harris and Fredd Wayne.. they certainly looked their parts…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Watched it last night, late. Definitely had me on the edge of my seat. I like how they kept reinforcing the “nervous anxiety and overwork.” The stuffed animals were a very nice touch! I also thought Jonathan Harris was just right as the doctor. That nurse was creepy as f… I was so afraid she would fall down the jet steps! You also forgot the “honey” part of the quote… (yes, I’m a nitpicker.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I did! Thanks…
      I would have told you to beware of this one…I wonder how many horror movies just this episode influenced? I’ll add nightmares also.

      Harris is great at “the creepy” guy parts. Paul commented that he plays characters that make you uneasy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Anytime. Oh it definitely set the bar for horror. Just the idea of a recurring nightmare like that creeps me out. Yes, he is. He has that calculating look to him and his voice is very persuasive. The actress who played the stripper is gorgeous. They surely maximized her ooh la-la as she’s walking down that basement hall!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dare I say it? Jiggly Cleavage lol. I will forever use that term.
        I really think that the Twilight Zone had the best casting personnel of any show.
        Tomorrow’s episode is one of my favorites.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “The Twilight Zone” was one of the last great shows from the First Golden Age of Television (The Second Age we are currently living through). After it went off the air, television went downhill into cheapness and tawdriness for most of its shows, culminating in such dreck as Gilligan’s Island and Airwolf in the Seventies and Eighties. It was only with the advent of cable TV that we saw an upswing in quality.

    — Catxman

    http://www.catxman.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the show had some brilliant writing. I did like some of the seventies sitcoms like Barney Miller and Taxi…shows that had good writing. ..but yea…Gilligan’s Island was not Television’s shining moment.

      Like

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