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