Twilight Zone – Back There

★★★★  January 13, 1961 Season 2 Episode 13

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

In this episode Russell Johnson makes his second appearance on The Twilight Zone. If you went back in time could you changed fixed events? We will find out in this episode. I like the time travel episodes and this one is no exception. I like the idea they built it around. This episode takes place on April 14, 1961 and April 14, 1865.

It’s not a perfect episode but a fun time travel adventure. This episode is a hard one to rate.  It just doesn’t gel like some of the others do.

The character Pete Corrigan mentions HG Wells in relation to his story The Time Machine, which had also just been made into a movie the year before this episode.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Witness a theoretical argument, Washington, D.C., the present. Four intelligent men talking about an improbable thing like going back in time. A friendly debate revolving around a simple issue: could a human being change what has happened before? Interesting and theoretical, because who ever heard of a man going back in time? Before tonight, that is, because this is—The Twilight Zone.

Summary

After debating with a member of his Washington club whether you could go back in time and change major events, Pete Corrigan seems to go back to April 15, 1865 the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He tries his best to warn the authorities of what will happen in a few hours time but it all falls on deaf ears. One person seems interested in what he has to say, but that person may have his own reasons for his behavior.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. Peter Corrigan, lately returned from a place ‘back there’, a journey into time with highly questionable results, proving on one hand that the threads of history are woven tightly, and the skein of events cannot be undone, but on the other hand, there are small fragments of tapestry that can be altered. Tonight’s thesis to be taken, as you will—in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Russell Johnson … Pete Corrigan
Paul Hartman … Police Sergeant
Bartlett Robinson … William
John Lasell … Jonathan Wellington
Jimmy Lydon … Patrolman (as James Lydon)
Raymond Bailey … Millard
Raymond Greenleaf … Jackson
John Eldredge … Whittaker
James Gavin … Policeman
Jean Inness … Mrs. Landers
Lew Brown … Lieutenant
Carol Eve Rossen … Lieutenant’s Girl (as Carol Rossen)
Nora Marlowe … Chambermaid
Pat O’Malley … Attendant
Fred Kruger … 1865 Attendant (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – Dust

★★★★  January 6, 1961 Season 2 Episode 12

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

The characters do a good job of showing the listlessness of the town. It’s set in a miserable ghost town that doesn’t know it’s one. The townspeople have no future and they know it. Sun and dust are the only two things these people have and will ever know.

This is a powerful episode all about context. To break it down…a drunk young man (Gallegos) driving a horse and wagon accidently kills a child. Normally under Rod Serling he would be an automatic villain but in this episode the context is different. There is a gray area in this forsaken town. The twist comes suddenly and the episode is over and leaves you thinking.

The acting was superb in this… Thomas Gomez plays Peter Sykes…a despicable man. The worse kind of opportunist you can imagine.  John Larch plays the sheriff who sees things for what they are and is one of the few sympathetic characters in this episode.  He is depressed by the thought of Gallegos being hanged and believes that he does not deserve to be hanged but knows he has to do his job.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

There was a village. Built of crumbling clay and rotting wood. And it squatted ugly under a broiling sun like a sick and mangy animal wanting to die. This village had a virus, shared by its people. It was the germ of squalor, of hopelessness, of a loss of faith. With the faithless, the hopeless, the misery-laden, there is time, ample time, to engage in one of the other pursuits of men. They began to destroy themselves.

Summary

In a dusty old-western town, a man’s scheduled to be hanged, after having been found guilty of accidentally killing a child while drunk. His father begs for mercy, but the marshal, has no choice but to proceed with the sentence. Sykes, an odious salesman takes advantage of the situation by selling the desperate father ‘magic dust’, which he says will make the townsfolk take pity upon his son. Soon, the events provide for an unexpected conclusion.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

It was a very small, misery-laden village. On the day of a hanging. And of little historical consequence. And if there’s any moral to it at all, let’s say that in any quest for magic, and any search for sorcery, witchery, legerdemain, first check the human heart. For inside this deep place is a wizardry that costs far more than a few pieces of gold. Tonight’s case in point – in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Thomas Gomez … Peter Sykes
John Larch … Sheriff Koch
Vladimir Sokoloff … Gallegos
John A. Alonzo … Luís Gallegos (as John Alonso)
Paul Genge … John Canfield
Dorothy Adams … Mrs. Canfield
Duane Grey … Rogers
Jon Lormer … Man (as John Lormer)
Andrea Darvi … Estrelita Gallegos (as Andrea Margolis)
Doug Heyes Jr. … Farmer Boy (as Douglas Heyes)
Nick Borgani … Townsman (uncredited)
Alphonso DuBois … Townsman (uncredited)
Richard LaMarr … Townsman (uncredited)
Frances Lara … Townswoman (uncredited)
Robert McCord … Lawman (uncredited)
Daniel Nunez … Townsman (uncredited)
Paul Ravel … Townsman (uncredited)
Armando Rodriguez … Townsman (uncredited)
Theresa Testa … Townswoman (uncredited)
Dan White … Man #2 (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – The Night of the Meek

★★★★★  December 23, 1960 Season 2 Episode 11

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episode

This one is a sentimental, touching, and timeless, episode of the Twilight Zone. I watch this every year around Christmas. One of the reasons Rod Serling wrote this episode is to see Art Carney play Santa Claus. This is a genuinely funny episode, with the humor feeling natural and enhancing the characters. There are no big laughs but rather many great moments.

John Fiedler plays Mr. Dundee does a great job and has good comedic moments with Robert P. Lieb who plays Flaherty. Fielder would appear on the Bob Newhart Show later on in the seventies. It was taped just three weeks before Christmas, it had a special effect on the cast and crew, and especially on the many children on the set. Production assistant Lillian Gallo later said there were more children performing on that show as extras than on the other tape shows, and she remembers their excitement and their joy. Sometimes, it was difficult for them to contain themselves during the times that you have to be quiet during the show.

One sour viewer was so enraged at the blasphemy of presenting a drunk as Santa Claus that he sent outraged letters to Serling, the network, and several newspapers.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is Mr. Henry Corwin, normally unemployed, who once a year takes the lead role in the uniquely popular American institution, that of the department-store Santa Claus in a road-company version of ‘The Night Before Christmas’. But in just a moment Mr. Henry Corwin, ersatz Santa Claus, will enter a strange kind of North Pole which is one part the wondrous spirit of Christmas and one part the magic that can only be found… in the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Henry Corwin is a down and outer who is normally unemployed and who definitely drinks too much. Every year he works as a department store Santa Claus. This year however, he’s spent just a little too much time in the bar and is quite drunk by the time he shows up for work. He’s fired of course and deeply regrets what he’s done. In fact, Henry has a big heart and worries not only about the children he’s disappointed at the store but about all of those children who will not get what they’ve asked for Christmas. When he comes across a large bag of gifts, everything changes for the kids and for himself as well.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

A word to the wise to all the children of the twentieth century, whether their concern be pediatrics or geriatrics, whether they crawl on hands and knees and wear diapers or walk with a cane and comb their beards. There’s a wondrous magic to Christmas and there’s a special power reserved for little people. In short, there’s nothing mightier than the meek. And a Merry Christmas to each and all.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Art Carney … Henry Corwin
John Fiedler … Mr. Dundee
Robert P. Lieb … Flaherty
Val Avery … The Bartender
Meg Wyllie … Sister Florence
Kay Cousins Johnson … Irate Mother (as Kay Cousins)
Burt Mustin … Old Man
Steve Carruthers … Bar Patron (uncredited)
Andrea Darvi … Kid with Santa (uncredited)
Jimmy Garrett … Street Child (uncredited)
Larrian Gillespie … Elf (uncredited)
Jack Kenny … Man in Mission (uncredited)
Caryl Lincoln … Store Customer (uncredited)
Mathew McCue … Man in Mission (uncredited)
Frank Mills … Man in Mission (uncredited)
Mike Morelli … Man in Mission (uncredited)
Nan Peterson … Blonde in Bar (uncredited)
Ray Spiker … Man in Mission (uncredited)
Glen Walters … Store Customer (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – A Most Unusual Camera

★★★1/2  December 10, 1961 Season 2 Episode 10

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This is a somewhat humorous episode and then it slides toward darkness. Jean Carson plays Paula Diedrich. Jean was probably best known as the gravelly voiced “fun girl” from The Andy Griffith Show. You have some small time crooks who steal what they thought was a useless camera. This camera can show 5 minutes into the future. They are none too bright but they don’t seem mean until…until there is money involved.

Personally I thought the ending was a little forced and hurried… but I did like the idea about the camera. This is one of the very few episodes that could have benefitted from a one hour format.

The inscribed plate on the front of the camera reads “Dix å la propriétaire”, which translates in English as “Ten per owner”, i.e. ten photographs per owner.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

A hotel suite that, in this instance, serves as a den of crime, the aftermath of a rather minor event to be noted on a police blotter, an insurance claim, perhaps a three-inch box on page twelve of the evening paper. Small addenda to be added to the list of the loot: a camera, a most unimposing addition to the flotsam and jetsam that it came with, hardly worth mentioning really, because cameras are cameras, some expensive, some purchasable at five-and-dime stores. But this camera, this one’s unusual because in just a moment we’ll watch it inject itself into the destinies of three people. It happens to be a fact that the pictures that it takes can only be developed in The Twilight Zone.

Summary

Married couple Chester and Paula have broken into and robbed a curio shop, hoping to sell the loot for a handsome sum of money. Unfortunately, all of it turns out to be junk or fakes. All, that is, save for a mysterious camera. When they try taking a picture, it turns out to be from five minutes into the future. Soon Paula’s brother Woodward joins them and the three decide to use the camera at a horse track to win big.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Object known as a camera, vintage uncertain, origin unknown. But for the greedy, the avaricious, the fleet of foot, who can run a four-minute mile so long as they’re chasing a fast buck, it makes believe that it’s an ally, but it isn’t at all. It’s a beckoning come-on for a quick walk around the block—in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Fred Clark … Chester Dietrich
Jean Carson … Paula Diedrich
Adam Williams … Woodward
Marcel Hillaire … Pierre – Waiter
Franklyn Farnum … Man at Racetrack (uncredited)
Art Lewis … Racetrack Tout (uncredited)
Tony Regan … Man at Racetrack (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – The Trouble with Templeton

★★★★★  December 9, 1960 Season 2 Episode 16

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

A favorite of mine. This one is a hidden gem of an episode. Once again casting was superb in this episode. Brian Aherne as Booth Templeton was an excellent choice as a Broadway Star. The “you can’t go home again” theme is explored in the Twilight Zone more than once…to different results.

The Trouble With Templeton has in it one of the most visually beautiful scenes of the entire series. This occurs in the crowded, smoke-filled speakeasy in which Templeton leaves Laura. Without giving anything away… the camera pans across the room back to Laura. She steps forward. The expression on her face is one we have not seen before in the episode. It’s stunning and eerie at the same time. It’s one of my favorite scenes ever in a Twilight Zone. That one scene makes the episode worth it but it’s much more than that.

The Director Buzz Kulik said Brian Aherne who played Booth Templeton was a charming, wonderful, delightful, a terribly professional man, and one of the nicest people that he had ever worked with. He was very touched by what he had to do. It was very, very real to him. As for himself, Kulik admits that he too was moved by the material.

This was E. Jack Neuman’s only writing credit on the Twilight Zone.

This show was written by E. Jack Neuman and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Pleased to present for your consideration, Mr. Booth Templeton; serious and successful star of over thirty Broadway plays, who is not quite all right today. Yesterday and its memories is what he wants, and yesterday is what he’ll get. Soon his years and his troubles will descend on him in an avalanche. In order not to be crushed Mr. Booth Templeton will escape from his theater and his world, and make his debut on another stage, in another world, that we call the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Booth Templeton is a renowned stage actor who has reached a stage in his personal life where he has idealized his past. In particular he has fond memories of his first wife, Laura. After a stressful encounter at the theater, he walks out of the stage door and finds himself in 1927 where he joins his wife and best friend, Barney Fluegler, for dinner. It all reminds him that his past was not as rosy as he may have remembered it

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. Booth Templeton, who shared with most human beings the hunger to recapture the past moments, the ones that soften with the years. But in his case, the characters of his past blocked him out and sent him back to his own time, which is where we find him now. Mr. Booth Templeton, who had a round-trip ticket – into The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Brian Aherne … Booth Templeton
Pippa Scott … Laura Templeton
Sydney Pollack … Arthur Willis
Dave Willock … Marty
King Calder … Sid Sperry
Larry J. Blake … Freddie (as Larry Blake)
David Thursby … Eddie
Charles Carlson … Barney Flueger

Twilight Zone – The Lateness of the Hour

★★★★  December 2, 1960 Season 2 Episode 8

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

Inger Stevens plays Jana…the same actress who starred in the Hitchhiker. This Twilight Zone has a different look than the previous ones…soon we will find out why. This episode is about comfort and the length man will go to get it. This plot would be later visited in the Stepford wives.

John Hoyt plays Dr. Loren who is a brilliant inventor and has perfected a robot house staff. Every need of his wife and daughter Jana is taken care of every day. His daughter Jana wants a normal life and not have everything so predictable and perfect. You can see the ending coming in this one quite easy but you do have sympathy for Jana.

The first of six The Twilight Zone episodes to be shot on video tape. The network pushed it on Serling because of the cost. This method had its limitations, though. At the time, tape was still at an extremely early stage of its development. Except for the integration of stock footage, none of the taped shows could have any exterior locations; everything had to be shot on a soundstage. Also, since tape couldn’t be edited as cleanly as film, there could be fewer different camera setups and fewer complex camera movements. Obviously, this limited the range of story possibilities. Serling wasn’t happy about this but, the network being the network, he agreed to give it a try.

The six shows were taped at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. They had no director of photography as such. Instead, a technical director sat up in a booth with the director. On the set were the actors, a lighting man, sound men, and four cameramen. The four cameras were hooked up to monitors in the booth. As taping progressed, the technical director, at the command of the director, would switch from one camera to another. Today this is standard procedure for nearly all sitcoms, but in 1960 tape was something quite innovative.

The short-lived experiment resulted in editing and quality issues, and it was ultimately scrapped. Serling did pick the episodes well that he videotaped. Some with special effects would not have worked.

The video taped shows were:

Twenty-Two
Static
The Whole Truth
The Night Of The Meek
The Lateness of the Hour
The Long Distance Call

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The residence of Dr. William Loren, which is in reality a menagerie for machines. We’re about to discover that sometimes the product of man’s talent and genius can walk amongst us untouched by the normal ravages of time. These are Dr. Loren’s robots, built to functional as well as artistic perfection. But in a moment Dr. William Loren, wife and daughter will discover that perfection is relative, that even robots have to be paid for, and very shortly will be shown exactly what is the bill.

Summary

Jana Loren is an attractive young woman who lives at home with her parents. She feels suffocated living there however, surrounded by their many servants – that are in fact human-looking robots created by her inventor father. Her parents are quite happy with the life they lead but realize that they’re going to have to do something about the rebellious Jana.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Let this be the postscript — Should you be worn out by the rigors of competing in a very competitive world, if you’re distraught from having to share your existence with the noises and neuroses of the twentieth century, if you crave serenity but want it full time and with no strings attached, get yourself a workroom in the basement, and then drop a note to Dr. and Mrs. William Loren. They’re a childless couple who made comfort a life’s work, and maybe there are a few do-it-yourself pamphlets still available… in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Inger Stevens … Jana
John Hoyt … Dr. Loren
Irene Tedrow … Mrs. Loren
Tom Palmer … Robert
Mary Gregory … Nelda
Valley Keene … Suzanne
Doris Karnes … Gretchen
Jason Johnson … Jensen

Twilight Zone – Nick Of Time

★★★★★ November 18, 1960 Season 2 Episode 7

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes. (I have cleaned the page up)

This is one of the two Twilight Zones that William Shatner appeared in. In this one we never know if any thing supernatural is happening or not. It plays on people’s superstitions and beliefs. William Shatner’s character Don Carter is superstitious and comes with a four leaf clover and rabbits foot. That quietly sets up the episode.  Although the answers are extremely general, he soon becomes convinced that the machine has correctly predicted two events: his promotion to office manager and a close call he and Pat have while crossing the street.

The couple has to make a decision, will they let the machine decide their destiny or will they try to make it on their own? Both Shatner and Patricia Breslin play this well…although especially Shatner. I never think of him as a great actor but he hits this one out of the park.  It’s not just Don that has trouble getting past this possible mystical machine…more believing customers are on their way.

It took me a few viewings to appreciate this episode as much as I do. It works on a Twilight Zone level and beyond that. This one could have easily been on Hitchcock. The suspense builds through out the episode because Shatner and Breslin’s chemistry.

In fact Richard Matheson, said that he wished that Pat Breslin (who played Pat Carter) had been available again to play the wife of Shatner’s character in the season five episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” That would have been great as the couple would have continued their story.

The Magic 8 Ball comes to mind that were popular in the seventies and even now.

The Twilight Zone" Nick of Time (TV Episode 1960) - IMDb

This show was written by Richard Matheson and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The hand belongs to Mr. Don S. Carter, male member of a honeymoon team on route across the Ohio countryside to New York City. In one moment, they will be subjected to a gift most humans never receive in a lifetime. For one penny, they will be able to look into the future. The time is now, the place is a little diner in Ridgeview, Ohio, and what this young couple doesn’t realize is that this town happens to lie on the outskirts of the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Don and Pat Carter are on their honeymoon when their car breaks down in the small town of Ridgeview, Ohio. They have a few hours to spare while their car is being repaired and spend time in the diner. There they find a fortune-telling machine, a game where you can ask a question and for a penny will spit out an innocuous answer. When the machine apparently begins to predict events – Don’s promotion at work, a near accident on the street outside – a superstitious Don becomes infatuated with the device threatening his marriage and his future with Pat.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Counterbalance in the little town of Ridgeview, Ohio. Two people permanently enslaved by the tyranny of fear and superstition, facing the future with a kind of helpless dread. Two others facing the future with confidence — having escaped one of the darker places of the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
William Shatner … Don Carter
Patricia Breslin… Pat Carter
Guy Wilkerson … Counterman
Stafford Repp … Mechanic
Walter Reed … Man
Dee Carroll … Woman
Robert McCord … Diner Patron (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – The Eye of the Beholder

★★★★★  November 11, 1960 Season 2 Episode 6

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

One of the true classic Twilight Zones. The episode is set in a dystopian society. Rod Serling was great at creating them. To be different…  means being ostracized with the rest of your kind. It could be set on earth, a far away planet, or in a different time…it doesn’t matter. Undesirables get exiled for the crime of being different.

The ending has an incredible twist. It still holds up through on repeat viewings. What is normal? What is beauty? Who decides that?

Two actresses play the same character in this episode. Maxine Stuart and Donna Douglas.  The first was Maxine Stuart, as Janet Tyler in bandages. The director cast her because of her voice, her voice did not suggest a beautiful girl it suggested a strong, harsh, realistic woman, and therefore the unveiling would be a surprise. She was going to dub her voice over the top of Donna Douglas’s part but Donna’s voice was so similar to  they just kept her voice.

A young Donna Douglas plays Janet Tyler. Although not well known at the time, she soon would be, as Jed Clampett’s daughter Ellie on The Beverly Hillbillies. She was not yet known to anybody, but she was absolutely stunning.

I’ve seen this epidsode listed by two names…now I know why. Originally a “The” preceded the title, until television producer Stuart Reynolds threatened to sue Rod Serling for the use of the name because at the time he was selling an educational film of the same name to public schools. Reruns following the initial broadcast featured the title screen “The Private World of Darkness.”

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Suspended in time and space for a moment, your introduction to Miss Janet Tyler, who lives in a very private world of darkness. A universe whose dimensions are the size, thickness, length of the swath of bandages that cover her face. In a moment we will go back into this room, and also in a moment we will look under those bandages. Keeping in mind of course that we are not to be surprised by what we see, because this isn’t just a hospital, and this patient 307 is not just a woman. This happens to be the Twilight Zone, and Miss Janet Tyler, with you, is about to enter it.

Summary

Janet Tyler is in hospital having undergone treatment to make her look normal. It’s her 11th trip to the hospital for treatment and she is desperate to look like everyone else. Some of her earliest childhood memories are of people looking away, horrified by her appearance. Her bandages will soon come off and she can only hope that this, her last treatment, will have done the trick. If not, her doctor has told she will be segregated with a colony of similar looking people. All that to say that truth is truly in the eye of the beholder.

VIDEO SPOILERS

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Now the questions that come to mind: “Where is this place and when is it?” “What kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm?” You want an answer? The answer is it doesn’t make any difference, because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence. On this planet or wherever there is human life – perhaps out amongst the stars – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lesson to be learned in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling – Narrator
Maxine Stuart – Janet Tyler (under bandages)
Donna Douglas – Janet Tyler (unmasked)
William D. Gordon – Doctor Bernardi
Jennifer Howard – Nurse
Edson Stroll – Walter Smith

Twilight Zone – The Howling Man

★★★★★  November 4, 1960 Season 2 Episode 5

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This one was included in my top 10…but it’s been months now so I thought I would post this with some changes. This weekend will be the best for Twilight Zones so far…two classic episodes. Warning…it’s almost impossible writing this review without spoilers for this particular episode. 

This one is not one of the comedic episodes…it is deadly serious, haunting and chilling. The Howling Man doesn’t have a lot of action but you feel sorry for David Ellington…he realized too late that he has set the devil loose in the world. The special effects of the ragged looking man turning into the devil was spot on. It would look good now in todays time. One well known actor was in this one, John Carradine played Brother Jerome.

This is very much a classic Twilight Zone episode. The set reminds me of those Universal Monster movie sets of the 40s and 50s. The episode tells us that evil can come in many forms and appeal to human weaknesses. As far as David Ellington… the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Charles Beaumont had originally envisioned the monks would keep the Howling Man imprisoned by putting a cross in front of his cell door. Fearful of a backlash in the religious community, the producers substituted the “staff of truth,” over Beaumont’s objections.

This show was written by Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The prostrate form of Mr. David Ellington, scholar, seeker of truth and, regrettably, finder of truth. A man who will shortly arise from his exhaustion to confront a problem that has tormented mankind since the beginning of time. A man who knocked on a door seeking sanctuary and found, instead, the outer edges of The Twilight Zone.

Summary

David Ellington recounts a story, one that began just after the end of World War I. He was hiking in Europe when he sought refuge during a violent rain storm. The residence is isolated and its head, Brother Jerome, tells him he cannot stay. Ellington is ill however and during his short stay meets someone who is being kept prisoner and howls constantly through the night. Ellington believes the Howling Man is being kept there for no good reason but Brother Jerome tells him of the man’s true nature. The decision Ellington makes will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Ancient folk saying: “You can catch the Devil, but you can’t hold him long.” Ask Brother Jerome. Ask David Ellington. They know, and they’ll go on knowing to the end of their days and beyond — in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
H.M. Wynant … David Ellington
John Carradine … Brother Jerome
Robin Hughes … The Howling Man
Frederic Ledebur … Brother Christophorus
Ezelle Poule … Housekeeper

Twilight Zone – A Thing About Machines

★★★ October 28, 1960 Season 2 Episode 4

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

There is one question about this episode. Are the machines really against him or is he having delusions? Richard Haydn plays Bartlett Finchley  a writer who is an insulting snob and one of the most unlikable characters you could meet.  There are not many redeemable qualities in Finchley…change “not many” to none. He has trouble with machines and it seems that machines have trouble with him…but is it in his mind?

Richard Haydn is great in this part of playing this character. You meet his secretary and TV repairman and it seems the abuse from Finchley has been going on for a while…so this is nothing new. Machines can be bothersome…your computer freezing, car stalling, or your phone dying when you really need it. On that note you can relate but it’s still hard to dig up sympathy for Mr. Finchley.

You have to wonder if this episode influenced future works like Christine and The Car.

This weekend we will have two excellent episodes…two of the best. 

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is Mr. Bartlett Finchley, age forty-eight, a practicing sophisticate who writes very special and very precious things for gourmet magazines and the like. He’s a bachelor and a recluse with few friends, only devotees and adherents to the cause of tart sophistry. He has no interests save whatever current annoyances he can put his mind to. He has no purpose to his life except the formulation of day-to-day opportunities to vent his wrath on mechanical contrivances of an age he abhors. In short, Mr. Bartlett Finchley is a malcontent, born either too late or too early in the century, and who, in just a moment, will enter a realm where muscles and the will to fight back are not limited to human beings. Next stop for Mr. Bartlett Finchley – The Twilight Zone.

Summary

Bartlett Finchley is an odd man, a writer who contributes to food magazines and the like. He lives alone and is always it seems in need of a repairman for one piece of household equipment or another. As time has gone by, he seems to be in a constant battle with machines – his typewriter, his television – which all have the same message for him: get out of the house. He has no intention of doing so however and the battle begins

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Yes, it could just be. It could just be that Mr. Bartlett Finchley succumbed from a heart attack and a set of delusions. It could just be that he was tormented by an imagination as sharp as his wit and as pointed as his dislikes. But as perceived by those attending, this is one explanation that has left the premises with the deceased. Look for it filed under ‘M’ for Machines – in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Richard Haydn … Bartlett Finchley
Barbara Stuart … Ms. Rogers
Barney Phillips … TV Repairman
Henry Beckman … Cop
Jay Overholts … Intern
Margarita Cordova … Girl on TV
Lew Brown … Telephone Repairman (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room

★★★★  October 14, 1960 Season 2 Episode 3

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

If you want to see The Twilight Zone now that Netflix lost the rights to it…you can see it on Hulu.

Rod Serling could write about a certain kind of character better than most. The small time criminal who is a loser. They are not or ever will be a successful crook or human being just the B level kind…forever bench warmers.

In this episode Rod took a different approach to the crook (Jackie Rhoades) played by Joe Mantell and you have some sympathy for him…which usually is not the case in the Twilight Zone. In Jackie you can find a trace of conscious although it’s buried in his cowardice.

Jackie battles himself in this episode and Mantell pulls this off wonderfully. Like King Nine Will Not Return, Mantell turns this into a one man show for most of the episode. His boss (George) played by William D. Gordon takes advantage of the coward Jackie and wants him to do the ultimate crime. The battle begins between Jackie and himself in his hot cheap motel room.

The special effects with the mirror in this one are really good.

This one is about redemption or the chance of redemption if you can find it in yourself.

Something I noticed in this episode is Joe Mantell talking into the mirror at himself said “You talking to me?” and I had to wonder if Martin Scorsese was taking notice before he made Taxi Driver.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is Mr. Jackie Rhoades, age thirty-four, and where some men leave a mark of their lives as a record of their fragmentary existence on Earth, this man leaves a blot, a dirty, discolored blemish to document a cheap and undistinguished sojourn amongst his betters. What you’re about to watch in this room is a strange mortal combat between a man and himself, for in just a moment, Mr. Jackie Rhoades, whose life has been given over to fighting adversaries, will find his most formidable opponent in a cheap hotel room that is in reality the outskirts of The Twilight Zone.

Summary

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Exit Mr. John Rhoades, formerly a reflection in a mirror, a fragment of someone else’s conscience, a wishful thinker made out of glass, but now made out of flesh, and on his way to join the company of men. Mr. John Rhoades, with one foot through the door and one foot out of the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Joe Mantell … Jackie Rhoades
William D. Gordon … George
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – The Man in the Bottle

★★★★  October 07, 1960 Season 2 Episode 02

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This is a dark take on the Genie in the Bottle/Monkey’s Paw…but what else would you expect in the Twilight Zone? It’s another be careful for what you wish for episode and it’s a good one.

Luther Adler and Vivi Janiss play Arthur and Edna Castle, a poor couple running a pawn shop. They are near bankruptcy but with kind hearts…helping those around them. There is always a price to be paid for anything you get…something Arthur and Edna learn really quick.

Again casting got this one perfect. Joseph Ruskin plays the Genie and creepy is a nice word for him. This is not your Genie in a turban or Barbara Eden in a skimpy outfit. This Genie doesn’t play…he is honest to a fault and you are not going to slip something by him. As the wishes count up…. Arthur loses his cool and himself.

The third wish I won’t talk about here…but it’s got plenty of consequences for Arthur. Appreciate what you have is the message that I get.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

“Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, gentle and infinitely patient people whose lives have been a hope chest with a rusty lock and a lost set of keys. But in just a moment that hope chest will be opened and an improbable phantom will try to bedeck the drabness of these two people’s failure laden lives with the gold and precious stones of fulfillment. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, standing on the outskirts and about to enter the Twilight Zone.”

Summary

Arthur and Edna Castle run a small antique shop but business is not good and they’re having trouble paying their bills. Despite that, the good-hearted Arthur buys an old wine bottle from the desperate Mrs. Gumley for a dollar. When he knocks the bottle open, a genie appears offering them four wishes. They soon find that their wishes don’t lead them to the outcomes they had hoped for and certainly don’t lead to happiness.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

A word to the wise, now, to the garbage collectors of the world, to the curio seekers, to the antique buffs, to everyone who would try to coax out a miracle from unlikely places. Check that bottle you’re taking back for a two-cent deposit. The genie you save might be your own. Case in point, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, fresh from the briefest of trips into The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Luther Adler … Arthur Castle
Vivi Janiss … Edna Castle
Joseph Ruskin … Genie
Olan Soule … IRS Man (as Olan Soulé)
Lisa Golm … Mrs. Gumley
Peter Coe … German (uncredited)
Albert Szabo … German Officer #2 (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – King Nine Will Not Return

★★★ 1/2  September 30, 1960 Season 2 Episode 1

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

Now we are starting the second season.

This is an episode about survivor’s guilt….how Captain Embry thinks he should have been with his crew . Robert Cummings plays Captain James Embry and the episode is driven by him. Cummings does a fantastic one man show for the first of the episode.

This revisits the pilot episode’s plot and it would explore again in the fourth season with The Thirty-Fathom Grave. The scenery and they way they present this episode is realistic.

The episode was based on a real event – the discovery of the B-24 Liberator four engine bomber Lady Be Good. The plane lost course during a WWII raid over Italy in 1943, and crashed deep in the Libyan desert. In 1959, a team of British geologists stumbled upon the wreckage — discovering that while the supplies were intact, the nine-man team were nowhere to be found. In the episode, the marker of a grave of a member of the crew of King Nine is dated “5 April, 1943,” the day on which the Lady Be Good was lost.

The bomber aircraft used in this episode was a North American Aviation B-25C-10NA 42-32354, which still exists in storage with Aero Trader, Borrego Springs, California. The plane was bought from the air force for $2500 (rather than the original cost — $345,000). It was disassembled, flown to set, and reassembled there.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead, and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning, she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in the wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

Summary

The pilot of a downed B-25, Capt. James Embry, awakens in the desert, with no memory of how he got there. More worrisome, his crew’s nowhere to be found. He begins to wonder if he’s hallucinating, especially after he sees one of his men, sitting in the cockpit. When he awakens in hospital, he thinks it might’ve all been a dream, but wonders: did any of this really happen?

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Enigma buried in the sand, a question mark with broken wings that lies in silent grace as a marker in a desert shrine. Odd how the real consorts with the shadows, how the present fuses with the past. How does it happen? The question is on file in the silent desert, and the answer? The answer is waiting for us – in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Robert Cummings … Capt. James Embry (as Bob Cummings)
Gene Lyons … Psychiatrist
Paul Lambert … Doctor
Jenna McMahon … Nurse
Richard Lupino … Blake (uncredited)

Twilight Zone Season 1 Review

This is an extra post today after todays Twilight Zone…A World Of His Own

What a debut season! Out of 36 episodes we only had one episode below the Twilight Zone standards. That would be The Fever. We had nine 5 star episodes and it very easily could have been 12.

I thought I would post a tally for season 1 of this great series. There are a few I wish I would have bumped up from 4 1/2 to 5… Those would be The Lonely,  Long Live Walter Jameson, and The Last Flight.

Do any of you have any different thoughts on the rankings below?

I would like to link to two different bloggers doing other tv shows. The will be going through show by show like I’m doing here. Join in if you have a favorite show that you like. I’ll continue to have the Twilight Zone every Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday.

Hanspostcard is going through the episodes of The Andy Griffith Show

Best 'The Andy Griffith Show' episodes, ranked - GoldDerby

John Holton is going through each episode of Hogan’s Heroes 

Hogan's Heroes Intro - YouTube

THE TWILIGHT ZONE

Season 1      
Episode Date Episode Stars
1 Oct 2, 1959 Where is Everybody?       3
2 Oct 9, 1959 One for the Angels     3.5
3 Oct 16, 1959 Mr. Denton on Doomsday  4.5
4 Oct 23, 1959 The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine 3.5
5 Oct 30, 1959 Walking Distance   5
6 Nov 6, 1959 Escape Clause  4
7 Nov 13, 1959 The Lonely  4.5
8 Nov 20, 1959 Time Enough at Last     5
9 Nov 27, 1959 Perchance to Dream    3
10 Dec 4, 1959  Judgment Night  3.5
11 Dec 11, 1959 And When the Sky Was Opened    5
12 Dec 25, 1959 What You Need       3.5
13 Jan 1, 1960 The Four of Us Are Dying   3.5
14 Jan 8, 1960  Third From the Sun    5
15 Jan 15, 1960 I Shot an Arrow Into the Air  4
16 Jan 22, 1960 The Hitch-Hiker  5
17 Jan 29, 1960 The Fever 2.5
18 Feb 5, 1960 The Last Flight   4.5
19 Feb 12, 1960 The Purple Testament 4
20 Feb 19, 1960 Elegy  4
21 Feb 26, 1960 Mirror Image  3.5
22 Mar 4, 1960 The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street 5
23 Mar 11, 1960 A World of Difference   4
24 Mar 18, 1960 Long Live Walter Jameson  4.5
25 Mar 25, 1960 People Are Alike All Over  4
26 April 1, 1960 Execution 4
27 April 8, 1960 The Big Tall Wish 4
28 April 15, 1960 A Nice Place to Visit 5
29 April 29, 1960 Nightmare as a Child 4
30 May 6, 1960 A Stop at Willoughby  5
31 May 13, 1960 The Chaser 3
32 May 20, 1960 A Passage for Trumpet 4
33 June 3, 1960 Mr. Bevis  3.5
34 June 10, 1960 The After Hours  5
35 June 17, 1960 The Mighty Casey       3
36 July 1, 1960 A World of His Own  4

 

ELBA FLAMENCO | Rod Serling's Social Commentary in 'The Twilight Zone' |  DIGITAL PRODUCT MANAGER | PRODUCER | WRITER

Twilight Zone – A World of His Own

★★★★  July 1, 1960 Season 1 Episode 36

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

We have some to the last episode of the first season!

This episode features Rod Serling briefly interacting into the episode…not just giving a narration. It’s a clever story and it’s wrapped up in a light hearted episode and it’s one of the better ones. This episode has grown on me through the years. There is a small cast in this one. Keenan Wynn portrays playwright Gregory West  who can do something extraordinary with his Dictaphone.

Phyllis Kirk plays his unlikable wife to perfection. This is an interesting episode because the power that Gregory West has… could have been quite dangerous in the hands of another person. The show closes season 1 on a lighter note.

Years later Stephen King would write a story similar to this one called Word Processor of the Gods that would be turned into a Tales From The Darkside.

Rod Serling’s cameo at the end of the episode marked his first onscreen appearance in the show. Although Serling appeared on-screen at the end of most first season Twilight Zone episodes to plug the following week’s show, this is the only episode in the first season in which Rod Serling appears on-screen within the episode itself and not in a separate “coming next week” segment. This is also one of only two episodes of the entire series where Serling appears on camera at the conclusion of the episode.

This show was written by Richard Matheson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The home of Mr. Gregory West, one of America’s most noted playwrights. The office of Mr. Gregory West. Mr. Gregory West—shy, quiet, and at the moment, very happy. Mary—warm, affectionate…And the final ingredient: Mrs. Gregory West.

Summary

Peeking into the window of her husband Gregory’s study, Victoria West sees him with a beautiful woman. When she finally gets into the room however, the woman is nowhere to be found. His explanation is preposterous – he claims that when he speaks into his dictation machine, the characters for his play come to life before his eyes. Victoria’s first reaction is that her husband should be committed and a demonstration still doesn’t quite convince her. Gregory has something else to show her.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Leaving Mr. Gregory West—still shy, quiet, very happy… and apparently in complete control of The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Keenan Wynn … Gregory West
Phyllis Kirk … Victoria West
Mary LaRoche … Mary (as Mary La Roche)
Modoc … Elephant (uncredited)