★★★★ January 3, 1964 Season 5 Episode 14
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
The first episode that was shown in 1964. America was going through a big change. JFK had been assassinated two months before and The Beatles were on their way the following month. This episode predates the movie Christine and The Car by decades. Edward Andrews plays Oliver Pope who is driving distractedly on a rainy day and runs down a boy on a bike.
The boy is badly injured, and Andrews runs when he sees no one around. He goes home, filled with guilt and paranoia. He is worried about a man who he thinks is after his job. At this point, his car begins to act out. At first, it flashes headlights. Then it’s the horn. Then the radio. No matter what Andrews does, the car continues to act out.
They could have played this one like a horror movie but instead, they built up suspense based on a guilty conscience.
Another good episode that was written by Earl Hamner Jr….the creator of The Waltons.
Earl Hamner Jr: All mechanical things frustrate me. Im like my friend, John McGreevey, the writer, who once cut himself with a sponge. I am afraid of and inept with all mechanical devices. Its kind of a love-hate relationship. I drive a Corvette which I love because it is so at odds with the image of John-Boy Walton as an old man. And of course it is a stunning machine. But at the same time, I do not trust it. It seems to have a life of its own, and sometimes when it will not start I suspect it is because it has some personal grudge against me.
This show was written by Rod Serling and Earl Hamner Jr.
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Portrait of a nervous man: Oliver Pope by name, office manager by profession. A man beset by life’s problems: his job, his salary, the competition to get ahead. Obviously, Mr. Pope’s mind is not on his driving.
Oliver Pope, businessman-turned-killer, on a rain-soaked street in the early evening of just another day during just another drive home from the office. The victim, a kid on a bicycle, lying injured, near death. But Mr. Pope hasn’t time for the victim, his only concern is for himself. Oliver Pope, hit-and-run driver, just arrived at a crossroad in his life, and he’s chosen the wrong turn. The hit occurred in the world he knows, but the run will lead him straight into—the Twilight Zone.
On a rainy day, office manager Oliver Pope is driving home when he hits a newspaper boy with his car and promptly flees the scene. He puts the car in his garage but when his wife sees the lights flashing, she thinks they have an intruder. In fact, its just the car acting up. In the middle of the night, his car horn honks and when his wife takes it out the next day, it stops at the exact corner where the accident occurred. When his competitor at the office, Pete Radcliff, is arrested he thinks he’s home free. It’s apparent however that the car is going to continue acting up until Pope makes things right.
WARNING VIDEO CONTAINS SPOILERS
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
All persons attempting to conceal criminal acts involving their cars are hereby warned: check first to see that underneath that chrome there does not lie a conscience, especially if you’re driving along a rain-soaked highway in the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Edward Andrews…Oliver Pope
Helen Westcott…Lillian Pope
Kevin Hagen…Pete Radcliff
Totty Ames…Muriel Hastings
Michael Gorfain…Timmy Danbers, newspaper boy