★★★1/2 March 13, 1964 Season 5 Episode 24
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
Two bickering and unlikable characters star in this episode. Do you want to see the dark side of marriage? Watch this episode. It reminds me of the episode A Most Unusual Camera. It’s almost too close to that episode. Both take place in a high-rise apartment building that features a window. This time it’s a TV, not a camera that after a “repair” shows the near feature in wonderful black and white.
William Demarest and Joan Blondell are effective in portraying their characters here, even if neither one is very likable. There is no need for a back story of these two, it’s clear why they fight. Sterling Holloway plays the TV repairman, and you might recognize his voice as Winnie The Pooh. Again, not in the top episodes but certainly not too bad. The next episode coming Wednesday…a classic.
From IMDB Trivia: Joe Britt is surprised at getting Channel 10. When television began, it was broadcast over the very high frequency (VHF) band of the radio spectrum. The VHF channels were 2-13, but, to avoid interference, a city could not have channels with consecutive numbers, except for 4 and 5 or 5 and 6. Britt lives in New York, which had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.
While the TV repairman is fixing the television in the first scene, numerous voices can be heard. One of them is Rod Serling saying, “Next time on The Twilight Zone (1959)…”
According to The Twilight Zone Companion, Martin M. Goldsmith was brought in to write an episode of The Twilight Zone, due to his previous collaboration with William Froug on Playhouse 90. And according to William Froug, Martin Goldsmith came up with a notion of a guy looking at his own extramarital activities on TV, and trying to it off before his wife could see it. Martin Goldsmith would disown the episode, saying “I didn’t like it, it lacked all subtlety the way it was done. I think Joan Blondell and William Demarest overplayed it. It was just too broad.”
This show was written by Martin Goldsmith and Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Portrait of a TV fan. Name: Joe Britt. Occupation: cab driver. Tonight, Mr. Britt is going to watch “a really big show,” something special for the cabbie who’s seen everything. Joe Britt doesn’t know it, but his flag is down and his meter’s running and he’s in high gear—on his way to the Twilight Zone.
Taxi driver Joe Britt usually makes his way home to his wife Phyllis but theirs is not a happy marriage as they constantly bicker and she accuses him of having a girlfriend. The obnoxious Joe is having his TV fixed but after the repairman leaves, Joe sees himself with his girlfriend in scenes from the recent past. Soon after, he has a glimpse of what will happen in the near future.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
The next time your TV set is on the blink, when you’re in the need of a first-rate repairman, may we suggest our own specialist? Factory-trained, prompt, honest, twenty-four hour service. You won’t find him in the phone book, but his office is conveniently located—in the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Joan Blondell…Phyllis Britt
William Demarest…Joe Britt
Sterling Holloway…TV Repairman
Herbert Lytton…Dr. Saltman
Sandra Gould…Woman On T.V.
Ted Christy…The Wild Panther
Robert McCord…Electric Chair Guard
Ron Stokes…Car Salesman
John L. Sullivan…The Russian Duke