Twilight Zone -Execution

★★★★  April 1, 1960 Season 1 Episode 26

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

Albert Salmi was a wonderful character actor. He would appear in two more Twilight Zones and all of them involved time travel. You could see Albert on TV shows through the 80s. This is a looked over episode that I do enjoy but it’s not without it’s faults. The way the time travel happens is unique but it’s the delivery that gets a little clumsy. I give it 4 stars because of the plot and the way they showed an 19th century primitive dropped into the loud modern world.

My biggest fault with this episode is the foolish way Professor Manion (Russell Johnson) handles Joe Caswell (Albert Salmi) after knowing what kind of man he was after he got there. Salmi’s acting is the standout in this. He is great at playing bad guys. Caswell is a hot-tempered sociopath who has no conscious. He makes a believable time traveler from the old west.

Watch for Russell Johnson (as Professor Manion) who will be remembered as the Professor off of Gilligan’s Island.

This show was written by  Rod Serling and  George Clayton Johnson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Commonplace—if somewhat grim—unsocial event known as a necktie party, the guest of dishonor a cowboy named Joe Caswell, just a moment away from a rope, a short dance several feet off the ground, and then the dark eternity of all evil men. Mr. Joe Caswell, who, when the good Lord passed out a conscience, a heart, a feeling for fellow men, must have been out for a beer and missed out. Mr. Joe Caswell, in the last, quiet moment of a violent life.

Summary

In the late 19th century, Joe Caswell is about to be hanged for murder, when he vanishes into thin air. He’s been snatched by Prof. Manion’s time machine and brought 80 years into the future. Caswell was selected at random and Manion can see the rope marks on his neck. Caswell is eager to see his new world but Manion wants to send him back. When Caswell runs off into the night, his new world proves to be too much for him. Justice is served in the end and a murderer hangs.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

This is November 1880, the aftermath of a necktie party. The victim’s name—Paul Johnson, a minor-league criminal and the taker of another human life. No comment on his death save this: justice can span years. Retribution is not subject to a calendar. Tonight’s case in point in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Albert Salmi … Joe Caswell
Russell Johnson … Prof. Manion
Than Wyenn … Paul Johnson
George Mitchell … Old Man
Jon Lormer … Minister
Fay Roope … Judge
Richard Karlan … Bartender
Joe Haworth … TV Cowboy (uncredited)