Twilight Zone Season 5 Review

We have now gone over every episode of the Twilight Zone. For those who have not seen every episode and you get curious or want an episode guide…please go here https://powerpop.blog/twilight-zone-episodes

If only one person watched an episode because of this series…I did my job. THANK YOU once again to all the readers who have followed me through this journey. Even if you just checked a few out.  Thank you for agreeing and disagreeing…that is what this was all about. I started this on April 11, 2021, and now over a year later, we are finishing this up.

When I started this I thought I would end up not liking the show as much but the opposite has happened…I like it even more. I found some episodes that at one time I thought were only so-so…much better than I remembered.  My appreciation grew for them after watching them again. Out of 156 shows…I only rated four shows under a 3…and my rating of 3 was an average good show. That ratio is a great run for any show.

The 5th season’s episodes are at the bottom of this post…. are there any that you disagree with the rating? Lisa brought up the interaction of the blog and that is what made me want to finish it. Some people found different meanings from episodes than I did and some episodes take on a new meaning for me now.

Now for the 5th season review. By the 5th season, Rod Serling was burned out and not as involved as before. The season was uneven but it still had some classic episodes such as Nightmare At 20,000 Feet, In Praise of Pip, Living Doll, Ring-a-Ding Girl, Number Twelve Looks Just Like You, The Masks, Stopover in a Quiet Town, and  I Am the Night – Color Me Black. It also had the creepy Come Wander With Me, Night Call, and Caesar and Me.

For one reason or another, Jim Aubrey [then president of CBS] decided he was sick of the show. He claimed that it was too far over budget and that the ratings weren’t good enough. In truth, Twilight Zone was still rated well, although not in the top ten but doing well, and the show was on budget.

To sum Jim Aubrey up…he had contempt for smart shows. Two of his successes were Gilligans Island and The Beverly Hillbillies… a quote from Mr. Aubrey:  The American public is something I fly over”

Executives have said his formula was “broads, bosoms, and fun” so The Twilight Zone didn’t have a chance. This is another quote by the magnificent Aubrey: Feed the public little more than rural comedies, fast-moving detective dramas, and later, sexy dolls. No old people; the emphasis was on youth. No domestic servants, the mass audience wouldn’t identify with maids. No serious problems to cope with. Every script had to be full of action. No physical infirmities.

ABC wanted the Twilight Zone but they would have had to change the name because CBS owned it. Serling said no. Daily Variety reported that Serling considered the odds of a sixth season unlikely…and then.  Rod Serling: I decided to cancel the network.

The Twilight Zone is still watched and admired by new generations. Many science fiction works are judged against it. SNL, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and songs have referenced the show. It’s now in our pop culture and will never leave.

The Simpsons Parodying The Twilight Zone - YouTube

Family Guy - HTTPete - YouTube

MY SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE... RICK NELSON... S04E12...

After the Twilight Zone, Rod Serling did another TV program called The Loner. The Loner was a terrific 1965 western program that hit on social issues set in the old west. In 1969 He did The Night Gallery but he didn’t have control over that like he did with the Twilight Zone. He later said he regretted not keeping more control. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Planet of the Apes.

Right before he passed away he did the promos for Fantasy Park in 1975.

From Wiki

In May 1975, Serling was admitted to a hospital after experiencing a mild heart attack. One month later, he was re-admitted for a coronary bypass operation. Complications arose after ten hours of open-heart surgery, and he died on June 28, 1975, in Rochester, New York. In all, he had lived fifty years, six months, and three days.

***Just a note…on Saturday I will be posting the precursor to the Twilight Zone and…I picked the show for the current ongoing TV Draft that will appear in a few weeks***

Season 5
Total Episode Date Episode Stars
121 1 Sept 27, 1963 In Praise of Pip 5
122 2 Oct 4, 1963 Steel 4.5
123 3 Oct 11, 1963 Nightmare at 20,000 Feet 5
124 4 Oct 18, 1963 A Kind of a Stopwatch 4
125 5 Oct 25, 1963 The Last Night of a Jockey 3.5
126 6 Nov 1, 1963 Living Doll 5
127 7 Nov 8, 1963 The Old Man in the Cave 4.5
128 8 Nov 15, 1963 Uncle Simon 3.5
129 9 Nov 29, 1963 Probe 7 – Over and Out 4
130 10 Dec 6, 1963 The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms 4
131 11 Dec 13, 1963 A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain 3.5
132 12 Dec 20, 1963 Ninety Years Without Slumbering 4
133 13 Dec 27, 1963 Ring-a-Ding Girl 5
134 14 Jan 3, 1964 You Drive 4
135 15  Jan 10, 1964 The Long Morrow 4
136 16  Jan 17, 1964 The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross 4
137 17  Jan 24, 1964 Number Twelve Looks Just Like You 5
138 18 Jan 31, 1964 Black Leather Jackets 2.5
139 19 Feb 7, 1964 Night Call 4.5
140 20 Feb 14, 1964 From Agnes – With Love 3
141 21  Feb 21, 1964 Spur of the Moment 4
142 22 Feb 28, 1964 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge 5
143 23 Mar 6, 1964 Queen of the Nile 3.5
144 24 Mar 13, 1964 What’s in the Box 3.5
145 25 Mar 20, 1964 The Masks 5
146 26 Mar 27, 1964 I Am the Night – Color Me Black 5
147 27 Apr 3, 1964 Sounds and Silences 2
148 28 Apr 10, 1964 Caesar and Me 3.5
149 29 Apr 17, 1964 The Jeopardy Room 4.5
150 30 Apr 24, 1964 Stopover in a Quiet Town 5
151 31 May 1, 1964 The Encounter 4.5
152 32 May 8, 1964 Mr. Garrity and the Graves 5
153 33 May 15, 1964 The Brain Center at Whipple’s 4
154 34 May 22, 1964 Come Wander with Me 4.5
155 35 May 29, 1964 The Fear 4.5
156 36 Jun 19, 1964 The Bewitchin’ Pool
Season 5 Review Twilight Zone Season 5 Review

Rod Serling…OHSAA Football In 2020, You've Just Entered The 'Twilight Zone'  – Stateline Sports Network

Twilight Zone – Night Call

★★★★1/2 February 7, 1964 Season 5 Episode 19

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

I really like this one a lot. It has a feel of a horror movie because it is somewhat of a ghost story. It’s about an older lady who starts getting calls in the middle of the night. Gladys Cooper is brilliant as Elva Keene in this episode. Elva is confused and frightened by persistent phone calls from an eerie sounding caller. 

Gladys also appeared in Nothing in the Dark opposite Robert Redford in the 3rd season.  Who else but Rod Serling could take something as simple as an inanimate object, a telephone, and turn it into an element of fear and dread?Highly suspenseful episode with an ironical ending. So who is the caller interrupting elderly Elva’s rest? One typical Twilight Zone trait is here…loneliness. This one will make you hesitant to answer the phone at night. 

From IMDB Trivia: The title of Richard Matheson’s original short story is “Long Distance Call”. However, as there was already an episode of The Twilight Zone (1959) with this title, The Twilight Zone: Long Distance Call (1961), the title of this episode had to be changed.

Originally scheduled to air on November 22, 1963, it was preempted by John F. Kennedy’s assassination. In the alternate timeline featured in The Twilight Zone: Profile in Silver/Button, Button (1986) in which JFK’s assassination was prevented, a CBS television announcement is heard: “We will now return to our regular programming” and the theme of The Twilight Zone (1959) is played, a reference to the intended broadcast date of this episode.

Elva’s phone number is KL-5-2368. The K and the L are both the number 5 on the phone dial. “555” is an exchange number commonly thought to be reserved by the phone companies for use by TV and movies in order to prevent prank phone calls to real people. In fact, only 555-0100 through 555-0199 are now specifically reserved for fictional use, and the other numbers have been released for actual assignment.

On the day that this episode was first aired (February 7, 1964), The Beatles arrived in the United States in preparation for their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948): The Ed Sullivan Show: Meet The Beatles (1964).

This show was written by Rod Serling and Richard Matheson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Miss Elva Keene lives alone on the outskirts of London Flats, a tiny rural community in Maine. Up until now, the pattern of Miss Keene’s existence has been that of lying in her bed or sitting in her wheelchair, reading books, listening to a radio, eating, napping, taking medication—and waiting for something different to happen. Miss Keene doesn’t know it yet, but her period of waiting has just ended, for something different is about to happen to her, has in fact already begun to happen, via two most unaccountable telephone calls in the middle of a stormy night, telephone calls routed directly through—the Twilight Zone.

Summary

The elderly Elva Keene is not too happy when she begins receiving phone calls in the middle of the night. At first the calls are little more than static and her complaints to the local telephone operator, Miss Finch, seem to go unheeded. Over time however, she begins to hear a man’s voice but out of fear, tells whoever it is to go away. When Miss Finch reports they’ve found the problem, Elva visits the site only to realize the identity of the caller, and that regardless of anything she’s said, desperately wants the calls to continue.

VIDEO SPOILERS

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

According to the Bible, God created the Heavens and the Earth. It is man’s prerogative—and woman’s—to create their own particular and private Hell. Case in point, Miss Elva Keene, who in every sense has made her own bed and now must lie in it, sadder, but wiser, by dint of a rather painful lesson in responsibility, transmitted from the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Gladys Cooper…Elva Keene
Nora Marlowe…Margaret Phillips
Martine Bartlett…Miss Finch