Twilight Zone – The Prime Mover

★★★★  March 24, 1961 Season 2 Episode 21

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

Buddy Ebsen who plays Jimbo Cobb  has always been a favorite of mine. The soon to be Beverly Hillbilly star and the original Tin Man does a great job in this Twilight Zone. It is a good episode and keep an eye out for a car crash near the start…the crash was from the movie 1958 movie Thunder Road. Buddy has a talent (Psychokinesis) of being able to move things with his mind. Jimbo has a level head unlike his greedy friend Ace Larsen.

As Rod says in the closing narration… Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, the talent becomes a curse…which I thought was great.

The Prime Mover was based on an unpublished story by George Clayton Johnson. Explains Johnson… Charles Beaumont could get an assignment, he needed a story, he didn’t have a story, none of his stories seemed suitable. He therefore bought from me my story. He paid me six hundred dollars for it. My name never ended up on the screen, it was an accident of production for which Buck Houghton apologized. I felt bad that my name wasn’t on it, but I thought it was a good show.

The slot machine seen at the first of the show was in the episode The Fever.

This show was written by Charles Beaumont, Rod Serling and George Clayton Johnson (uncredited)

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Portrait of a man who thinks and thereby gets things done. Mr. Jimbo Cobb might be called a prime mover, a talent which has to be seen to be believed. In just a moment he’ll show his friends, and you, how he keeps both feet on the ground, and his head in the Twilight Zone.


Ace Larson owns a roadside diner. It’s a dreary existence for him, his girlfriend Kitty Cavanaugh, and his friend and employee Jimbo Cobb. Through a serious accident just outside his diner, Ace learns for the first time that Jimbo has telekinetic powers. Ace the gambler sees an easy way to make his fortune, and the three of them set off for Las Vegas. Jimbo has little trouble making roulette balls fall on the right number or making any point with a pair of dice. Ace learns the hard way, however, that there can be too much of a good thing.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, the talent becomes a curse. Jimbo Cobb knew, right from the beginning, but before Ace Larsen learned that simple truth, he had to take a short trip – through The Twilight Zone.


Rod Serling…Narrator
Dane Clark…Ace Larsen
Buddy Ebsen…Jimbo Cobb
Jane Burgess…Sheila
Christine White…Kitty Cavanaugh
William Keene…Desk clerk
Nesdon Booth…Big Phil Nolan
Clancy Cooper…Trucker
Robert Riordan…Hotel Manager
Joe Scott…Croupier


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

18 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Prime Mover”

  1. I really enjoyed this episode. I particularly liked the ending. Buddy Ebsen has always been a favorite of mine also. Of course I had to look up The Tin Man to see what you were talking about — and see he was the uncredited singing voice of him in the 1939 movie? Now that is what I call a neat bit of trivia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Buddy was the Tin Man completely… he found out that he was allergic to the silver body paint or whatever they used… so he couldn’t play him. There is a picture of him in the suit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is good that they held him back…Movie execs and the sort didn’t give a care about people.


      2. Yeah. Once they learned he was out for a while, they wasted no time grabbing Jack Haley, Jr….and conveniently changing the nature of the makeup. The two videos, above, are pretty interesting…if you like behind the scenes on WOOz.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He did a great job….but that is dirty…they should have given it back to Buddy…that does sound good


      4. But it seems like they didn’t want to admit he was sick…but yea….if he breathed that stuff in…it wouldn’t have been good.


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