★★★★★ April 24, 1964 Season 5 Episode 30
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This is a classic episode of the Twilight Zone. The characters are both a little hungover. They can be short-tempered, quarrelsome, and blame each other for their predicament. The wife tends toward hysteria and the man is totally insensitive, but we feel for them. They wake up in a strange house and town after drinking at a party the night before. In this quiet town, the horror is real, and we can sense the panic that the characters are going through. You start caring for the characters and are invested at this point as they think they find the way out time after time.
Serling has used this idea before with the pilot Where Is Everybody? but he explores it more with this episode. Rod Serling achieves a heightened sense of claustrophobia of feeling trapped in this episode. Serling’s closing narration turns it in a warning against drunk driving. “The moral of what you’ve just seen is clear. If you drink, don’t drive. And if your wife has had a couple, she shouldn’t drive either. You might both just wake up with a whale of a headache in a deserted village in the Twilight Zone.”
Earl Hamner Jr: I got that idea walking around the backlot at MGM once, Hamner recalls. Everything was made of papier-mache and was a false front. It suddenly came to me, what if someone woke in this surrounding and there was nothing but false labels on everything, and if you dropped a lighted match on the grass it would catch fire, and if you got on a train it would come all the way around to where you started from?
IMDB Trivia: The abandoned town in which the Frazers find themselves is the same location used for The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (1960). As the actors move through the ‘town’, they traverse several of the old themed ‘street’ sets which were then standing on the old MGM backlot, including the New England street, the “St Louis” street, and the western town.
The bulletin board in front of the church says that the sermon will be given by Rev. Kogh Gleason. F. Keogh Gleason was a set decorator at M-G-M for many years, and worked on The Twilight Zone (1959).
This is the second episode that shows two people sharing the same bed together on television, something unusual at the time. The first was The Twilight Zone: Person or Persons Unknown (1962). Due to censorship regulations from the networks, TV shows at the time would portray married couples sleeping on separate beds. In both of these cases, the couples were still fully dressed and had gone to sleep while drunk, thus making it clear to the viewer they hadn’t “slept” together.
This show was written by Rod Serling and Earl Hamner Jr.
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Bob and Millie Frazier, average young New Yorkers who attended a party in the country last night and on the way home took a detour. Most of us on waking in the morning know exactly where we are; the rooster or the alarm clock brings us out of sleep into the familiar sights, sounds, aromas of home and the comfort of a routine day ahead. Not so with our young friends. This will be a day like none they’ve ever spent – and they’ll spend it in the Twilight Zone.
After drinking too much at a party, Bob and Millie Frazier awaken in a strange bed, in a strange house in a strange town. They’re still dressed in the clothes they wore to the party but their memories are fuzzy. Bob was too drunk to drive so Millie was behind the wheel and she vaguely remembers a shadow falling over them. They soon realize that everything in the town is fake: the telephone in the house isn’t wired; the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen are only a façade; even the trees are fake. The town is deserted and Millie begins to wonder if they’re dead. They keep hearing a child laughing and begin a search. They’re not prepared for what they encounter.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
The moral of what you’ve just seen is clear. If you drink, don’t drive. And if your wife has had a couple, she shouldn’t drive either. You might both just wake up with a whale of a headache in a deserted village in the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Host / Narrator – Himself
Barry Nelson … Bob Frazier
Nancy Malone … Millie Frazier
Denise Lynn … Little Alien Girl
Karen Norris … Alien Mother