★★★1/2 November 15, 1963 Season 5 Episode 8
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This is not a top drawer Twilight Zone episode. On the surface… the problem is no relatable character and absolutely no sympathy. Uncle Simon is a sick, mean, and vindictive old man. He was being cared for by Constance Ford who plays Barbara Polk. Uncle Simon is quite mean to Barbara but she stayed for 25 years putting up with it. You have to wonder why Barbara is still there taking his abuse for years. As you watch you start finding out why.
Its a sad story about two sad people, both of whom make it a point to say everything thats on their mind but by this point. Uncle Simon tells Barbara at one point “You are the only woman I know who looks as if, underneath her clothes, she wore clothes.” That perfectly described the bland Barbara. I wanted so much to feel pity for Barbara…and in some ways I do but her reasons for being there are to inherit the mansion and money. You just get the feeling she wasn’t there for the right reasons.
There is one bright spot. Robby the Robot makes an appearance in this one. Robby has 30 screen credits from 1956 Forbidden Planet to 2014’s The Big Bang Theory.
The Twilight Zone: Probe 7, Over and Out (1963), the next episode of The Twilight Zone (1959), would not air for two weeks. The broadcast of the following week’s episode on November 22, 1963, which was to have been The Twilight Zone: Night Call (1964), was canceled due to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas that day.
Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet (1956) is used in this episode. However, the dome portion of his head has been altered. This is one of many instalments to use props from “Forbidden Planet”, since the series was frequently filmed at MGM, which kept the film props in use for many years.
This show was written by Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Dramatis personae: Mr. Simon Polk, a gentleman who has lived out his life in a gleeful rage; and the young lady who’s just beat the hasty retreat is Mr. Polk’s niece, Barbara. She has lived her life as if during each ensuing hour she had a dentist appointment. There is yet a third member of the company soon to be seen. He now resides in the laboratory and he is the kind of character to be found only in the Twilight Zone.
Barbara Polk takes care of her elderly and mean-spirited uncle Simon. He is a scientist who spends much of his time in his basement laboratory but when he’s not there, he seems to take great pleasure in demeaning his niece. She can’t wait for him to die and doesn’t hesitate to tell him so. When he does die, things are… not quite what she expected.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Dramatis personae, a metal man who’ll go by the name of Simon, whose life as well as his body has been stamped out for him; and the woman who tends to him, the lady Barbara, who’s discovered belatedly that all bad things don’t come to an end, and that once a bed is made, it’s quite necessary that you sleep in it. Tonight’s uncomfortable little exercise in avarice and automatons, from the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Cedric Hardwicke … Uncle Simon
Constance Ford … Barbara Polk
Ian Wolfe … Schwimmer
Robby the Robot … Robotic Uncle Simon