★★★★ April 21, 1961 Season 2 Episode 24
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This episode shows what greed and selfishness can do to the best laid plans. Oscar Beregi Jr who plays Farwell, was in three Twilight Zones including the classic Deaths-Head Revisited and is very good. This is a time travel episode…sort of. Four expert criminals and one is a professor (Farwell) rob a gold shipment. There is no way they can cash in with everyone looking for the gold and them.
The professor Farwell devised a way ( suspended animation) for them to sleep a 100 years so they would be able to sell the gold in the future . The show is carried by the two veteran character actors, Oscar Beregi, Jr. and Simon Oakland. Like most Twilight Zones…I enjoyed the twist at the end. It’s a good solid episode.
If Farwell would have used his head, he could have patented the suspended animation process and would have been rich without turning to a life of crime.
The Rip Van Winkle Caper was filmed at the same location as the previous episode “A Hundred Yards Over The Rim.”
The futuristic vehicle which is shown at the end of the episode is a modified version of Robby the Robot’s car, first constructed by MGM for the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet
$1,000,000 in gold in 1961 ($35.50/oz.) would weigh over 28,000 ounces or 1760 lbs.
This show was written by Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Introducing, four experts in the questionable art of crime: Mr. Farwell, expert on noxious gases, former professor, with a doctorate in both chemistry and physics; Mr. Erbie, expert in mechanical engineering; Mr. Brooks, expert in the use of firearms and other weaponry; and Mr. De Cruz, expert in demolition and various forms of destruction. The time is now, and the place is a mountain cave in Death Valley, U.S.A. In just a moment, these four men will utilize the services of a truck placed in cosmoline, loaded with a hot heist cooled off by a century of sleep, and then take a drive into The Twilight Zone.
Four thieves steal $1 million in gold bullion in a train robbery and hide the money in a mountainside cave. The four plan to go into suspended animation for approximately 100 years when they hope to awaken as extremely rich men with their heist long forgotten. When they awaken, they’re not quite sure what year it is. One of them, De Cruz, has his eye on getting as much of the gold for himself as he possibly can. The world they have awakened in isn’t exactly what they had hoped for.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
The last of four Rip Van Winkles, who all died precisely the way they lived, chasing an idol across the sand to wind up bleached dry in the hot sun as so much desert flotsam, worthless as the gold bullion they built a shrine to. Tonight’s lesson – in The Twilight Zone.
Oscar Beregi Jr….Farwell
Shirley O’Hara…George’s wife