Twilight Zone Season 2 Review

I can’t believe we are ready to start Season 3 already! Today I’ll just have this review and we will start on season 3 on Wednesday. Thank you all again for following me on this long journey. The second season was very strong with many great episodes. In the third season Serling started to burn out. He had writing credits on almost every show and was the Twilight Zones showrunner.

Of 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone, Serling wrote roughly 70 percent of them. He would write a script in less than 40 hours and then on to the next one. Serling also spent a great deal of time defending scripts against narrowminded network executives alarmed that some of the content would upset sponsors. And, with the hundreds of functions as a television producer, the workload caught up to him. By the time the series was canceled in 1964, Serling was physically and mentally exhausted.

While running the show he also fought battles with the CBS executives who complained about the darkness of the scripts among many other things. Serling wanted integrity and would even fight against some of the commercials. However moving and however probing and incisive the drama, it cannot retain any thread of legitimacy when after 12 or 13 minutes, out comes 12 dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.

James Aubrey, who became CBS president after the show launched,  hated the show, believing programs with regular stars were more likely to grab audiences.

Aubrey canceled Twilight Zone twice, once after its third season, but it was revived when a replacement program tanked in the ratings. Later, he reduced the show’s budget to compromise its quality and axed the series in 1964. Ironically, Aubrey was fired a year later…not soon enough…and that was a good thing.

Do any of you have any different thoughts on the rankings below? What was your favorite and least favorite episode of season two?

I would like to link to two other bloggers doing tv shows. They are going through a TV series show by show like I’m doing here. 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

Season 2      
Episode Date Episode Stars
1 Sept 30, 1960 King Nine Will Not Return  3.5
2 Oct 7, 1960 The Man in the Bottle    4
3 Oct 14, 1960 Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room  4
4 Oct 28, 1960 A Thing About Machines  3
5 Nov 4, 1960 The Howling Man 5
6 Nov 11, 1960 The Eye of the Beholder 5
7 Nov 18, 1960 Nick of Time 5
8 Dec 2, 1960 The Lateness of the Hour 4
9 Dec 9, 1960 The Trouble with Templeton 5
10 Dec 16, 1960  A Most Unusual Camera 3.5
11 Dec 23, 1960 The Night of the Meek 5
12 Jan 6, 1961  Dust 4
13 Jan 13, 1961 Back There  4
14 Jan 20, 1961 The Whole Truth 3
15 Jan 27, 1961 The Invaders 5
16 Feb 3, 1961 A Penny for Your Thoughts 4.5
17 Feb 10, 1961 Twenty-Two 4
18 Feb 24, 1961 The Odyssey of Flight 33 5
19 Mar 3, 1961 Mr. Dingle, the Strong 3.5
20 Mar 10, 1961 Static 3.5
21 Mar 24, 1961 The Prime Mover 4
22 Mar 31, 1961 Long Distance Call 5
23 April 7, 1961 A Hundred Yards Over the Rim 5
24 April 21, 1961 The Rip Van Winkle Caper 4
25 April 28, 1961 The Silence 5
26 May 5, 1961 Shadow Play 5
27 May 12, 1961 The Mind and the Matter 2.5
28 May 26, 1961 Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up 5
29 June 2, 1961 The Obsolete Man 5

10 Key Twilight Zone Episodes To Watch If You're New To The Series -  CINEMABLEND

Twilight Zone – Where is Everybody?

★★★☆☆   October 2, 1959 Season 1 Episode 1

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

A good episode to start the series. They would explore this topic of being alone in more episodes to greater affect but a good debut. How new this must have been on the tv landscape at the time. On the DVD set Rod Serling is shown in a short clip trying to sell the series to the network with previews of coming episodes. My guess is the first episode they didn’t want to air a really strange one.

This one has the Twilight Zone twist ending and the moral. Rod Serling wrote this episode. The episode originally featured Westbrook Van Voorhis as narrator. When Voorhis was unavailable for later episodes, Serling re-recorded the narration himself for consistency.

Opening narration:

“The place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we’re about to watch could be our journey.”

Summary

A man finds himself walking down a country road, not knowing where nor who he is. He comes across a diner with a jukebox blaring and hot coffee on the stove – only there’s no one there. A little further down the road, he comes to the picturesque town of Oakwood, and finds, it too, seems deserted. The only sounds he hears are a clock tower, and a pay phone ringing. At the local movie theater, an ad for Battle Hymn (1957) leads him to believe he’s in the Air Force. In spite of no people to be found, he can’t shake off the feeling, he’s being watched.

Closing narration:

“Up there, up there in the vastness of space, in the void that is sky, up there is an enemy known as isolation. It sits there in the stars waiting, waiting with the patience of eons, forever waiting…in the Twilight Zone.”

Earl Holliman Earl Holliman … Mike Ferris
James Gregory James Gregory … Air Force General
Paul Langton Paul Langton … Doctor
James McCallion James McCallion … Reporter #1
John Conwell John Conwell … Air Force Colonel
Jay Overholts Jay Overholts … Reporter #2 (as Jay Overholt)
Carter Mullally Jr. Carter Mullally Jr. … Air Force Captain (as Carter Mullaly)
Garry Walberg Garry Walberg … Reporter #3 (as Gary Walberg)
Jim Johnson Jim Johnson … Air Force Staff Sergeant

Twilight Zone – Walking Distance… #1

Before we get to my number 1 episode…This has been so much fun I’m going to start a huge project. I want to review every Twilight Zone…all 156 episodes…so that will be next…my top 10 is not enough. I’ll start with S01E01 and work myself through and skip the 10 I’ve covered in this section. I’ve never rated shows or movies before but I will try that as well. 

This one gets a 5 out of 5 ★★★★★

Since ratings are subjective to who ever is going it…this is my system

★★★★★ This would be an exceptional episode…to me anyway
★★★★☆ This would be above the already high standards of the show
★★★☆☆ This would be a good to very good episode
★★☆☆☆ This would be just a little below average, the 4th season might see this
★☆☆☆☆ This would be a don’t watch…I don’t think this will ever be seen but I’m watching them all over to be sure

Now for my number 1 Twilight Zone episode! This one has my favorite element…Time Travel. How cool would it be to go back and meet your 11 year old self? Episodes 2-156 could change in my rankings but this one remains my favorite.

They really did this episode right. They followed through with everything. You were not wanting for answers at the end. It wasn’t just Martin who figured out he was back in time. It resolves it self nicely…with a valuable lesson. There are spoilers past this.

If you are new to the Twilight Zone this is a great one to start with…

Rod Serling’s opening narration: 

Martin Sloan, age thirty-six. Occupation: vice-president, ad agency, in charge of media. This is not just a Sunday drive for Martin Sloan. He perhaps doesn’t know it at the time, but it’s an exodus. Somewhere up the road he’s looking for sanity. And somewhere up the road, he’ll find something else.

Gig Young plays Martin Sloan who does a great job in this episode. Many people try to go back home but it’s never the same because of progress and change…Martin Sloan DOES go home and everything is the same…he even sees himself as a boy…and meets his parents…again. Also…watch out for a 4 year old Ron Howard…soon to be forever known as Opie on the Andy Griffith Show.

13 TV shows Ron Howard was on besides Happy Days and Andy Griffith

Rod Serling wrote this episode.

Martin Sloan (Gig Young), a 36-year-old executive, stops in a fuel station off an isolated country road. Not far away, 1.5 miles, is the sight of his hometown, Homewood, he’s very curious about all the kinds of things that shaped his childhood. Martin ventures to take a closer look, first he goes to an old shop where he used to get ice cream sodas. Martin is surprised to see the prices haven’t changed still a dime for a three scoop ice cream soda. Walking around Martin meets a kid, who is his old neighbor. It is then that he realizes he’s in 1934, when he was only 11-years-old. Things get complicated when he bumps into the young Martin, follows him to his house and meets with his parents. They won’t believe him when Martin says he’s in fact their grown up son. Later, Martin insists in talking with young Martin. He finds him on a carousel, where the child gets hurt falling. Martin will learn, after talking to his father, that every man has his own time and is perhaps better off not looking to the past.

Enough of my favorite episode…what is your favorite?

Rod Serling’s closing narration:

Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives—trying to go home again. And also like all men, perhaps there’ll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he’ll look up from what he’s doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there’ll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he’ll smile then too, because he’ll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man’s mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone.

  • Gig Young as Martin Sloan
  • Frank Overton as Robert Sloan
  • Irene Tedrow as Mrs. Sloan
  • Michael Montgomery as Tweenage Martin
  • Ron Howard as Wilcox Boy
  • Byron Foulger as Charlie
  • Sheridan Comerate as Gas Station Attendant
  • Joseph Corey as Soda Jerk
  • Buzz Martin as Boy with Car
  • Nan Peterson as Woman in Park
  • Pat O’Malley as Mr. Wilson

Twilight Zone – The Masks… #3

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #3 on my list.

Jason Foster is a wealthy person that is going to die…his daughter and her family are there to “visit” and they are truly awful people. This is one where justice gets served. Robert Keith is wonderful as Jason Foster and he has a surprise for his money hungry family waiting for him to die.

Rod Serling’s opening narration: Mr. Jason Foster, a tired ancient who on this particular Mardi Gras evening will leave the Earth. But before departing, he has some things to do, some services to perform, some debts to pay—and some justice to mete out. This is New Orleans, Mardi Gras time. It is also the Twilight Zone.

When Jason Foster’s doctor tells him that he could die at any moment, the wealthy Jason Foster gathers his heirs including his daughter Emily Harper, her husband Wilfred and their children Paula and Wilfred Jr. Jason doesn’t think much of any of them and it’s clear they can’t wait to get their hands on his fortune. It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans and he has one last request – for each of them to wear a carnival mask. Each of the masks is meant to reflect some aspect of their personality – and leave a lasting impression on them.

“The Masks” was the first and only episode of The Twilight Zone that was directed by a woman. Ida Lupino was known for making movies that commentated on the state of society and those who live under a specific social status.

Rod Serling wrote this great episode.

Jason Foster:  You’re cruel and miserable people! Because none of you respond to love! Emily responds only to what her petty hungers dictate! Wilfred responds only to things that have weight and bulk and value! He feels books, he doesn’t read them! He appraises paintings, he doesn’t seek out their truth or their beauty! And Paula there lives in a mirror. The world is nothing more to her than a reflection of herself. And her brother… Humanity, to him, is a small animal, caught in a trap, to be tormented! His pleasure is the giving of pain. And from this, he receives the same sense of fulfillment most human beings get from a kiss or an embrace! You’re caricatures! All of you! Without your masks, you’re caricatures!

Rod Serling Closing Narration: Mardi Gras incident, the dramatis personae being four people who came to celebrate and in a sense let themselves go. This they did with a vengeance. They now wear the faces of all that was inside them—and they’ll wear them for the rest of their lives, said lives now to be spent in the shadow. Tonight’s tale of men, the macabre and masks, on the Twilight Zone.

CAST

  • Robert Keith as Jason Foster
  • Milton Selzer as Wilfred Harper
  • Virginia Gregg as Emily Harper
  • Brooke Hayward as Paula Harper
  • Alan Sues as Wilfred Harper Jr.
  • Willis Bouchey as Dr. Samuel Thorne
  • Bill Walker as Jeffrey The Butler
  • Maidie Norman as Maid
  • Rod Serling as Host / Narrator – Himself

Twilight Zone – Time Enough At Last… #4

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #4 on my list.

This one I will be giving it all away…more than I usually do…so just a warning.

This one I love and it’s one of the most memorable episodes. If you have never seen it…stop reading now. It’s one of my favorites (and supposedly Rod Serling’s favorite of all that he wrote).

It’s so heartbreaking at the end and I feel so much for Mr. Bemis. This one more than any other Twilight Zone surprised me a bit. It is one of the best twists of any Twilight Zone.

Rod Serling Opening Narration: Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A bookish little man whose passion is the printed page, but who is conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of tongue-cluckers and the unrelenting hands of a clock. But in just a moment, Mr. Bemis will enter a world without bank presidents or wives or clocks or anything else. He’ll have a world all to himself… without anyone.

The show was written by Rod Serling and Lynn Venable.

Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith) is a bookish bank teller who has a childlike fascination for the written word…any written word be it books, periodicals, newspapers. He delights in taking any moment to read, through his incredibly thick “coke-bottle” glasses, even on his salaried time. He is consistently harassed by his wife, customers, and boss for his love of print to the point that he must sneak into the bank’s vault where he works to read on his lunch hour.

During one such visit, a nuclear bomb blast levels his city, leaving him unscathed, whereupon he exits to find that he has “time enough at last” to read all he wants when he finds the local library’s contents scattered about. At this point, (warning: spoiler!) he stacks the books into towers and rejoices in the solitude that will allow him to read everything he can…but in reaching for a particular book, his glasses slip off his face and smash….leaving him to mutter: “That’s not fair… that’s not fair at all… There was time now…. There was…all the time I needed!.. It’s not fair”. The scene then closes with the image panning away from a crying Bemis.

The Twilight Zones are mostly moral plays and justice usually is delivered to a guilty party. On this one, Mr. Bemis isn’t a bad guy. I can’t help but feel pity for Mr. Bemis. It’s not like he was anti-social. He tried to bond with people, although awkwardly, he did try.

He wasn’t the best worker but not terrible and he did read on his lunch breaks. If this episode has a bad “guy” it would be his boss and wife who took away the thing he loved the most. Maybe he was a little selfish and single-minded…but he paid an awfully big price…but the positive…he did survive!

Rod Serling Closing Narration: The best-laid plans of mice and men…and Henry Bemis, the small man in the glasses who wanted nothing but time. Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble, just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself. Mr. Henry Bemis, in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Burgess Meredith – Henry Bemis
Vaughn Taylor – Mr. Carsville
Jacqueline deWit – Helen Bemis (as Jaqueline deWit)
Lela Bliss – Mrs. Chester

Twilight Zone – Little Girl Lost… #6

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #6 on my list.

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: Missing: one frightened little girl. Name: Bettina Miller. Description: six years of age, average height and build, light brown hair, quite pretty. Last seen being tucked in bed by her mother a few hours ago. Last heard: ‘ay, there’s the rub,’ as Hamlet put it. For Bettina Miller can be heard quite clearly, despite the rather curious fact that she can’t be seen at all. Present location? Let’s say for the moment… in the Twilight Zone.

I always thought Poltergeist borrowed heavily from this Twilight Zone episode. Both girls were lost in another dimension and it Poltergeist plays out much like this episode. The inside of the dimension in this episode is done really well.

A couple awakens in the night to hear their daughter Tina crying. When the father, Chris, enters her bedroom, however, she is nowhere to be found. She can be heard as if she is still in the room, but not seen. Moments later, the family dog, Mac, runs into the room in a state of agitation, goes under the bed and vanishes just like Tina. Panicking, Chris and his wife Ruth call their physicist friend Bill, who comes over immediately and begins to investigate, moving the girl’s bed and looking for the “opening.”

Chris and Ruth are nonplussed, but suddenly Bills hand seems to disappear through the bedroom wall, and he explains that he thinks Tina and Mac are trapped in another dimension. He draws on the wall with chalk and outlines the opening, explaining the theories about alternate dimensions. Suddenly, Ruth realizes that she can no longer hear Tina. The adults move around the house in a frenzy and finally hear her voice again, seemingly coming from another place, as well as the dog’s barks. Bill says to let the dog lead her back out, and Chris repeatedly calls Mac… Will they get her out safely?

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration: The other half where? The fourth dimension? The fifth? Perhaps. They never found the answer. Despite a battery of research physicists equipped with every device known to man, electronic and otherwise, no result was ever achieved, except perhaps a little more respect for and uncertainty about the mechanisms of the Twilight Zone.

Cast

  • Rod Serling (Narrator)
  • Robert Sampson (Chris Miller)
  • Sarah Marshall (Ruth Miller)
  • Tracy Stratford (Tina Miller)
  • Rhoda Williams (Tina’s voice)
  • Charles Aidman (Bill)

Twilight Zone – Nightmare at 20,000 Feet… #7

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #7 on my list.

I have to watch these again before I write about them…Now I wish I would have made this my top 50.

Rod Serling Opening Narration: Portrait of a frightened man: Mr. Robert Wilson, thirty-seven, husband, father, and salesman on sick leave. Mr. Wilson has just been discharged from a sanitarium where he spent the last six months recovering from a nervous breakdown, the onset of which took place on an evening not dissimilar to this one, on an airliner very much like the one in which Mr. Wilson is about to be flown home—the difference being that, on that evening half a year ago, Mr. Wilson’s flight was terminated by the onslaught of his mental breakdown. Tonight, he’s traveling all the way to his appointed destination, which, contrary to Mr. Wilson’s plan, happens to be in the darkest corner of the Twilight Zone.

In this episode he plays a husband (Bob Wilson) who just suffered a nervous breakdown on a plane 6 months before. Him and his wife Julia were taking a flight and you could tell Bob was a nervous as soon as he boarded the plane. He had just spent 6 months in an institution getting over his breakdown and now his Doctor said he was ready to fly again. He sits by the window and the fun begins… after take off he thinks sees a creature of some sort out on the wing of the aircraft.

Because of the breakdown he is not sure he saw the creature or not. Bob starts freaking out and eventually gets a gun from an officer on the plane. Hmmm gun, nervous man, and a plane. Nothing good will come from that. Everyone thinks he is crazy…is he? This one is a thriller with a creepy creature.

Richard Matheson wrote this episode. He wrote 16 Twilight Zones in all.

This is an iconic episode of the Twilight Zone. It was redone in the 1983 movie Twilight Zone with John Lithgow in the title role. I’ll take the classic version though.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration: The flight of Mr. Robert Wilson has ended now, a flight not only from point A to point B, but also from the fear of recurring mental breakdown. Mr. Wilson has that fear no longer… though, for the moment, he is, as he has said, alone in this assurance. Happily, his conviction will not remain isolated too much longer, for happily, tangible manifestation is very often left as evidence of trespass, even from so intangible a quarter as the Twilight Zone.

Cast

  • William Shatner as Robert “Bob” Wilson
  • Christine White as Julia Wilson
  • Ed Kemmer as Flight Engineer
  • Asa Maynor as Stewardess
  • Nick Cravat as Gremlin

Twilight Zone – Ring-A-Ding Girl… #10

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #10 on my list.

If I had to name a favorite show of all time…this would be it. I have all of them and I’ve watched them all at least 5 or more times. Each are like a work of art on their own. I like shows that are “Twilight Zone like” but none measure up to the original. Even the reboots in the 80’s, 2000’s, and now doesn’t live up to the original.

Ring-A-Ding Girl was written by Earl Hamner Jr….the Waltons creator. He went on to write eight Twilight Zones and one more by him will be coming up in my top ten.

The way Rod Serling handled social problems with a science fiction twist was compelling. TV has a reputation of being dumb…and it earned that reputation fair and square… Serling cannot be blamed for that…he was all about quality.

Rod Serling Intro: Introduction to Bunny Blake. Occupation: film actress. Residence: Hollywood, California, or anywhere in the world that cameras happen to be grinding. Bunny Blake is a public figure; what she wears, eats, thinks, says is news. But underneath the glamour, the makeup, the publicity, the buildup, the costuming, is a flesh-and-blood person, a beautiful girl about to take a long and bizarre journey into The Twilight Zone.

Image result for rod serling

Unfortunately he died in 1975 at a young 50 years old. Now lets get to the episode…I don’t do spoilers and if I ever did I would mark it before you read it…so here it goes. Just a very short look at it.

The Ring-A-Ding Girl: This one is in my top ten of Twilight Zone episodes. An actress Barbara “Bunny” Blake is in Hollywood is about to take off to Rome to make a movie. She tells her PA that they will be flying over her old hometown of Howardville. She receives a ring from her sister which is giving her warnings to come home while she flies cross country.

Image result for ring a ding girl ring

She then visits her sister in Howardville. The Founders Day picnic is the same day but Bunny has other ideas. You can see something is bothering her so she goes down to the TV station. She announces that she wants to do a one woman play at the High School Gym. Everyone is upset because they think she is so full of herself that she is wanting people to come see her and not to the Founders Day picnic. She has her reasons and we find out at the end.

She knows something that everyone else doesn’t know…I won’t give away the ending.

Bunny Blake is a little self centered but likable. She is what you would think some stars of the 50s and 60s would be like. Maggie McNamara does a wonderful job playing her.

Cast

  • Maggie McNamara as Barbara “Bunny” Blake
  • Mary Munday as Hildy Powell
  • David Macklin as Bud Powell
  • Betty Lou Gerson as Cici
  • Vic Perrin as State Trooper (Jim)
  • George Mitchell as Dr. Floyd
  • Bing Russell as Ben Braden
  • Hank Patterson as Mr. Gentry
  • Bill Hickman as Pilot

Thank you for reading!

The Loner

What made me want to watch a western television show that only aired one season from 1965-1966? Rod Serling…that is the reason and a good enough reason for me.

Do You Remember... "The Loner"

This is the show that he started a year after the Twilight Zone. The show didn’t make it past one season. That is not because of the content. It was an adult western…Serling hated some of the westerns at the time and wanted to make this one more realistic. While he didn’t bring in the Twilight Zone scifi take he did bring his own way of conveying mortality tales.

That didn’t fly with some viewers who only wanted the shoot’em up cowboy tales.

Lloyd Bridges starred in this show about a man named Bill Colton who roamed the west a month after the Civil War ended. Along the way we would meet new characters every week. I watch this show and think…why didn’t it catch on? Was it too smart for some viewers? You did have action but the shows were character and story based.  Another reason it didn’t last is the Western theme at that time had been mined  and mined bare but Serling’s western wasn’t like many of the others.

This series I have to recommend to anyone. There are only 26 episodes all 25  minute each so it’s not a huge investment of time. Serling wrote 75 percent of the scripts so you know the dialog and stories are good. Lloyd Bridges is excellent in the staring role.

If you are looking for an intelligent western with good stories, dialog, and action when needed…get The Loner.

You can watch many if not all on youtube. They were released in 2016 on DVD.

Night Gallery Pilot 1969

This is the pilot that started the television show Night Gallery. Rod Serling started this a few years after Twilight Zone. He didn’t have the control he did with Twilight Zone and it wasn’t as consistent but still had many good episodes. Personally, I think the pilot is the best. It’s three very well acted and written stories.

I was in Tampa Florida visiting some relatives. I was left alone in the living room and watched this. I had one eye covered with my hand…sometimes both. I was 6 at the time so I  do have an excuse.

My favorite story is The Cemetery. Roddy McDowall and Ossie Davis starred in this story that is the opener. Roddy plays a playboy who kills his uncle to inherit his fortune. Ossie plays the loyal butler who is still trying to do his job and stay loyal to his old boss. A painting of the family cemetery keeps changing and shows the uncle moving out of his plot slowly to the door. The story has a cool twist ending.

The second story is called “Eyes” which stars Joan Crawford. It was directed by a young Steven Spielberg. A blind terrible rich woman who would pay for someone’s eyes to see just for eleven minutes. After an illegal operation to transplant someone’s eyes in her the bandage is taken off and then a surprise.

The third story is called “Escape Route” about an ex-Nazi looking for peace in a painting at a museum. Very well acted and justice prevails.

 

For more details below is the Wiki description of each story

“The Cemetery”

Jeremy Evans is a despicable selfish young man who murders his rich uncle to inherit his estate, both much to the detriment of his uncle’s butler, Osmond Portifoy. Later, Evans notices that a painting of the family graveyard has changed – a fresh, empty grave appears in it and soon after a coffin standing upright appears in the grave. Little by little, the painting depicts the return of his uncle from his burial site, moving closer and closer, or so it seems, to Evans.

“Eyes”

Claudia Menlo is a heartless, wealthy blind woman who desperately wants to be able to see. Sidney Resnick, a hapless gambler who owes money to loan sharks, agrees to donate his eyes to her for the grand sum of $9,000. Her doctor, whom she blackmails into performing the illegal surgery, warns her that her vision will only last for about eleven hours. After the surgery, she removes the bandages from her eyes, and by a quirk of fate, there is a blackout seconds later. She awakens the next day to see the sunrise, but she panics when her sight quickly begins to fade.

“The Escape Route”

A Nazi fugitive named Joseph Strobe is constantly on the run from the authorities and his nightmares about the past. One day, while fleeing from imaginary pursuers, he finds himself in a museum where he meets Bleum, a survivor of the same concentration camp where Strobe made the decisions about who would live or die. Bleum does not initially recognize him, but points out a painting that depicts a man being crucified in a concentration camp. Strobe turns away; he is drawn to a painting of a fisherman, and imagines himself in the painting. When Strobe returns to the art gallery the next day, Bleum recognizes him as a Nazi, and later, outside a bar, Strobe kills him to ensure his own anonymity. Once again, Strobe must hide from authorities. In a state of desperation he returns to the museum and prays to become the fisherman in the painting, but dire consequences loom.

 

The Twilight Zone

The way Rod Serling handled social injustice and racial bigotry all with a science fiction twist was compelling. He had to do it that back then because of sponsors. Picking a favorite episode (Walking Distance is hard to beat) is almost impossible. Black Mirror covers some of the same territory but nothing beats the intelligence of Twilight Zone.

Hands down my favorite show of all time. I never get tired of it. 5 seasons of quality 30  minute stories. Season 4 has hour long episodes. Just a few of them are a little forced but even the weakest are very watchable. Rod Serling was a great TV writer and he picked some great writers like Richard Matheson to contribute to the show. The show doesn’t age and the black and white only adds to it.

I would really look forward to labor day because one channel would always play Twilight Zones for 24 hours. I then just went out and bought the complete collection on DVDtwi.jpg.

The Twilight Zone has been revived a few times. In the 80’s and 2000’s but they didn’t come close to the original. A movie was made in 1983 called Twilight Zone: The Movie  but it came with a tragic a cost. Vic Morrow and two child actors died needlessly in a scene with a helicopter.

The movie was alright…I liked the Vic Morrow story but my favorite part was the intro with Dan Aykroyd “You want to see something really scary”and Albert Brooks. Again not even scratching the surface of the original series.

You could always depend on a twist in the smart scripts. I’ve seen all of them probably 5 – 10 times each. The one that is the most haunting to me is “Come Wander With Me”… It’s not the most famous one but I loved it…if you haven’t seen it check it out. A lot of future stars were on the show from Robert Redford to Jack Klugman.

Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks