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Twilight Zone Episode Guide
Revision of 9/82
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Lauren Weinstein (vortex!lauren@LBL-UNIX)
Lauren's rating system
* ugh. pretty bad.
** has merit.
*** good, solid show.
**** particularly good.
In this document, comments by Saul Jaffe are preceded by SJ: and comments by Lauren Weinstein are preceded by LW:
"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call... THE TWILIGHT ZONE." Rod Serling
LW: Background The Twilight Zone originally aired on the CBS Television Network. It was heavily sponsored by the large tobacco companies. In fact Serling did a few of the commercials himself! Serling just was not complete without the dangling cigarette, a fact which was later to contribute to his untimely demise... It should be noted that there have been rumors that some of the shows credited to Serling were actually "ghostwritten" by someone else. There is, however, no proof of this. Chalk another one up with Francis Bacon and Willy Shakespeare.... To an even greater extent than with "The Outer Limits", many actors appear in these episodes who later became very big stars. Many familiar (but younger!) faces peer out at us from this program...
FIRST SEASON 1959-1960
WHERE IS EVERYBODY? *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Stevens Cast: Earl Holliman, James Gregory The pilot show for the series concerns a man who finds himself in a completely deserted city. In the end, we learn that it was all a test to observe how human beings will respond to extreme loneliness during space flights. This was the only episode shot at Universal Studios, all others were filmed at MGM. LW: Earl Holliman later became known as Angie Dickenson's sidekick in "Policewoman". Earl is the sole actor in this piece right up to the last five minutes or so of the script.
ONE FOR THE ANGELS **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Parish Cast: Ed Wynn, Murray Hamilton, Dana Dillaway, Merritt Bohn Wynn delivers a bravura performance as a sidewalk salesman who makes the greatest pitch of his life to save a little girl from "Mr. Death".
MR. DENTON ON DOOMSDAY ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Allen Reisner Cast: Dan Duryea, Malcolm Atterbury, Martin Landau, Jeanne Cooper, Ken Lynch, Doug McClure A has-been gunslinger finds his fast draw abilities have been restored after he drinks a magic potion. LW: Neither Martin Landau nor Doug McClure had their careers exactly ended by this episode, even though it was a poor one. Martin continued on to roles in "The Outer Limits", and of course, starred in "Mission Impossible". Doug shows up in a variety of places.
THE SIXTEEN-MILLIMETER SHRINE ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Mitch Leisen Cast: Ida Lupino, Martin Balsam, Alice Frost, Jerome Cowan A former movie queen tries to recreate the spirit of her heyday by screening her old movies...and living them.
WALKING DISTANCE **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Stevens Cast: Gig Young, Frank Overton, Michael Montgomery, Irene Tedrow Young's acting and a magnificent score by Bernard Hermann highlight this episode. Harried advertising agent Martin Sloane visits his home town and slips thirty years into his childhood. LW: Rather sentimental, but I'm a sucker for stuff like that. Our hero actually meets himself as a child, and turns out to be the cause of an old leg injury that bothered him the rest of his life...
ESCAPE CLAUSE *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Mitch Leisen Cast: David Wayne, Virginia Christine, Wendell Holmes, Thomas Gomez A hypochondriac makes a pact with the Devil for immortality. He then kills someone for kicks, but instead of getting the electric chair, he is sentenced to life imprisonment! LW: Rather amusing, actually!
THE LONELY ***** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Jack Smight Cast: Jack Warden, Jean Marsh, John Dehner, Ted Knight, Jim Turley This classic episode concerns one James Corry (Warden), a man convicted of murder and sentenced to spend forty years on a distant asteroid. He has only one companion - a robot made in the form of a woman. Ted Knight, later Ted Baxter on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, has a minor role as a nasty space crewman. LW: I gotta tell ya' ... the closing scene of this episode gave me nightmares for many nights as a child when I first saw it. An excellent episode.
TIME ENOUGH AT LAST **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Burgess Meredith, Jacqueline DeWit, Vaughn Taylor, Lela Bliss In his first of several TWILIGHT ZONE episodes, Burgess Meredith plays a nearsighted bank teller who becomes the only survivor of an H-bomb attack. He is now able to pursue his only real interest in life: reading. LW: At least, he THINKS he will be able to pursue it...
PERCHANCE TO DREAM *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Robert Florey Cast: Richard Conte, John Larch, Suzanne Lloyd, Ted Stanhope, Eddie Marr The first non-Serling script of the series concerns a man (Conte) who is terrified of falling asleep. He fears that the mysterious woman he meets in his dreams will soon murder him. LW: To elaborate a bit: Conte has a heart condition, and fears that the excitement (so to speak) of dying in the dream will kill him. The last time he went to sleep, he ended up in a rollercoaster with this mystery woman. He knows that if he goes back to sleep, the dream will continue, she will push him out, and that will finish him, both in the dream and in reality. This episode involves several "layers" of reality and is a nice one.
JUDGEMENT NIGHT * Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Nehemiah Persoff, Ben Wright, Patrick McNee, Hugh Sanders, Leslie Bradley, Deirdre Owen, James Franciscus Murky tale about a passenger aboard a wartime freighter who is certain the ship will be sunk at 1:15 AM. LW: Serling had a thing about ship stories, and they were almost always rather poor. Oh well.
AND WHEN THE SKY WAS OPENED *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Rod Taylor, Charles Aidman, James Hutton, Maxine Cooper After three astronauts return from man's first space flight, each of them mysteriously disappears. Based on a short story by Richard Matheson. SJ: Serling was so impressed by Matheson's work that he was later asked to write more episodes himself. LW: A good episode concerning the subject of "what IS reality?"
WHAT YOU NEED **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Steve Cochran, Ernest Treux, Reed Morgan, William Edmonson, Arline Sax Swindler Fred Renard (Cochran) tries to profit from an amiable fellow's talent for seeing into the future. Based on a short story by Lewis Padgett.
THE FOUR OF US ARE DYING ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Harry Townes, Beverly Garland, Philip Pine, Ross Martin, Don Gordon Arch Hammer (Townes) can alter his face to make it look like anyone else's. Based on a short story by George Johnson. LW: Not one of the best efforts.
THIRD FROM THE SUN *** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Richard Bare Cast: Fritz Weaver, Joe Maros, Edward Andrews, Denise Alexander, Lori March Weird camera angles and special props left over from MGM'S FORBIDDEN PLANET bolster this story about two families planning to leave a war-threatened world via spaceship. LW: Edward Andrews did at least one other "Twilight Zone", and countless other television shows and movies over the years. A great character actor, he usually is cast into roles involving rather evil, devious, or just plain unlikable men.
I SHOT AN ARROW INTO THE AIR *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Stuart Rosenberg Cast: Edward Binns, Dewey Martin After supposedly landing on another planet, an astronaut kills his comrades to prolong his own life. Based on a short story by Madeline Champion.
THE HITCH-HIKER **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alvin Ganzer Cast: Inger Stevens, Leonard Strong, Adam Williams, Lew Gallo, Dwight Townsend Driving cross-country, a woman becomes panicky when she continually sees the same ominous hitch-hiker on the road ahead. Based on a story by Lucille Fletcher. SJ: a personal favorite. LW: "Going MY way?" ...
THE FEVER **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alvin Ganzer Cast: Everett Sloane, Bibi Janiss, William Kendis, Lee Miller A gambling-hating man named Franklin Gibbs (Sloane) battles a Las Vegas slot machine with a malevolent mind of its own. SJ: Another favorite of mine. LW: Well, let's be careful now, he THINKS it has a mind of its own, but we don't REALLY know that. Still, it might have at that...
THE LAST FLIGHT *** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: William Claxton Cast: Kenneth Haigh, Alexander Scourby, Simon Scott, Robert Warwick A British World War I flyer lands at a modern air base in 1959. LW: A minor time paradox is involved in this plot.
THE PURPLE TESTAMENT *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Richard Bare Cast: William Reynolds, Dick York, Barney Phillips, William Phipps, Warren Oates, Marc Cavell, Ron Masak, Paul Mazursky Powerful tale about a lieutenant with the ability to predict which men in his outfit will be killed in battle. LW: Powerful, yes. But I never cared much for it. Dick York, by the way, played Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) Stevens' first husband in "Bewitched".
ELEGY *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Cecil Kellaway, Jeff Morrow, Kevin Hagen, Don Dubbins Three astronauts land on a world where everyone is in a trance-like state. They then encounter an eccentric old gent named Mr. Wickwire (Kellaway), who apparently runs the planet.
MIRROR IMAGE **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Vera Miles, Martin Milner, Joe Hamilton In a nearly deserted bus depot, a woman finds herself haunted by her double. LW: One of my personal favorites. This episode has a great "creepy" atmosphere. Martin Milner later starred in "Adam 12".
THE MONSTERS ARE DUE ON MAPLE STREET *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ron Winston Cast: Claude Akins, Jack Wagner, Ben Erway, Lyn Guild Hysteria grips a small community as residents suspect a power failure has been caused by invaders from outer space disguised as Earthmen.
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE **** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Ted Post Cast: Howard Duff, Eileen Ryan, Gail Kobe, Frank Maxwell, Peter Walker A business man's working world inexplicably becomes the set for a film in which he has become a character. LW: Another of my favorites. The poor guy suddenly discovers that he is talking into a prop telephone!
LONG LIVE WALTER JAMESON ** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Tony Leader Cast: Kevin McCarthy, Edgar Stehli, Estelle Winwood, Dody Heath An effective horror story in the tradition of "The Man in Half Moon Street." History professor Walter Jameson (McCarthy), an expert on the Civil War, is actually immortal and well over 200 years old. LW: The first of a couple of episodes on this basic theme.
PEOPLE ARE ALIKE ALL OVER **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: David Orrick Cast: Roddy McDowell, Susan Oliver, Paul Comi, Byron Morrow, Vic Perrin An astronaut (McDowell) is pleased to find that people on Mars act just like people at home. Based on a short story by Paul W. Fairman. LW: A TZ classic.
EXECUTION *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ron Winston Cast: Albert Salmi, Russel Johnson, Than Wyenn, George Mitchell, Jon Lormer A western outlaw (Salmi) is snatched from the hangman's noose by a modern day scientist (Johnson) and his time machine. LW: Russel Johnson, by the way, also had the distinction of playing "The Professor" on "Gilligan's Island", some years later! From the Twilight Zone to Gilligan's Island. Sigh...
THE BIG TALL WISH * Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ron Winston Cast: Ivan Dixon, Steve Perry, Kim Hamilton A child's faith in miracles helps a down-and-out boxer win an important match. LW: Ever since "Requiem for a Heavyweight", Rod also had a thing about boxing plots. The Twilight Zone versions of these tended to be comparatively poor.
A NICE PLACE TO VISIT **** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: John Brahm Cast: Larry Blyden, Sebastion Cabot, Sandra Warner While committing a crime, a cheap hood (Blyden) gets killed and finds an afterlife in which all wishes are granted. LW: Sebastion is great as the, well, "helper" in the afterlife (he's called "Pip".) Sebastion starred in many other roles both before and after this of course.
NIGHTMARE AS A CHILD ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alvin Ganzer Cast: Janice Rule, Terry Burnham, Shepperd Strudwick Schoolteacher Helen Foley (Rule) is haunted by the recurring image of herself as a child. LW: Time paradoxes play a minor role in this episode.
A STOP AT WILLOUGHBY *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Parrish Cast: James Daly, Howard Smith, Patricia Donahue, James Maloney Harried by his high-pressure job, an executive falls asleep on a train and wakes at a mysterious stop called Willoughby. LW: Another "classic", though objectively speaking, not a truly great episode.
THE CHASER *** Writer: Robert Presnell, Jr. Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: George Grizzard, John McIntyre, Patricia Barry A loser in the game of love purchases a special potion from a weird "doctor". Based on a short story by John Collier. LW: The doctor's name was somthing like "A. Demon" by the way, to give you some idea of what his practice was like...
PASSAGE FOR TRUMPET **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Don Medford Cast: Jack Klugman, Mary Webster, John Anderson, Frank Wolff An unsuccessful trumpet player is given a second crack at life - after he is struck and killed by a truck, but first he has to learn what it's like to be "dead" in a world full of life... LW: The first of several dramatic appearances on TZ by Klugman, later to become familiar to us all as the sloppy Oscar Madison on "The Odd Couple".
MR. BEVIS ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Parrish Cast: Orson Bean, Henry Jones, Charles Lane, William Schallert A kindly fellow's life is turned topsy-turvy when he receives "help" from his guardian angel (Jones). LW: Sigh. Poor Orson Bean (familiar to all) starred in this the first of two almost identical (except for details) TZ episodes on the subject of guardian angels. Neither was particularly good.
THE AFTER HOURS **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Anne Francis, Elizabeth Allen, James Millholin, John Conwell A woman (Francis) discovers that the floor of a department store on which she bought an item doesn't exist, and that the salesgirl was, in reality, a mannequin. LW: Anne Francis we all know. This episode is one of the most memorable in the TZ series.
THE MIGHTY CASEY *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Jack Warden, Robert Sorrells, Don O'Kelly, Abraham Sofaer The manager of a baseball team adds a new man to the fold - a robot named Casey. LW: This episode is told as a fable, and is presented in a rather "tongue-in-cheek" manner. Fun if not taken too seriously.
A WORLD OF HIS OWN ***** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Ralph Nelson Cast: Keenan Wynn, Phyliss Kirk, Mary LaRoche Serio-comedy, as a playwright creates true-to-life characters on his tape machine. They are so true that he can make them appear in the room with him! SJ: This episode has the strangest and funniest ending of the series. LW: An EXCELLENT episode, which indeed has the most bizarre ending of any show in the entire TZ run. Highly recommended. Keenan Wynn plays a truly delightful character in this comedy/drama.
SECOND SEASON 1960-1961
KING NINE WILL NOT RETURN ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: Bob Cummings, Paul Lambert, Gene Lyons, Seymour Green, Richard Lupino, Jenna MacMahon After crashing in the desert, a bomber pilot (Cummings) is haunted by the images of his dead crew. LW: Basically a rather dry plot (no pun intended to those who remember this episode in detail.) Bob Cummings has starred in many random roles in television and movies over the years.
THE MAN IN THE BOTTLE **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Don Medford Cast: Luther Adler, Vivi Janiss, Lisa Golm, Joseph Ruskin, Olan Soule, Peter Cole, Albert Szabo A pawnbroker (Adler) is granted four wishes by a sinister genie. LW: A favorite! The genie is a truly sinister character, who simply exudes terror, even as he offers the poor pawnbroker and his wife the almost limitless dreams of four wishes. They learn the hard way that every silver lining has a cloud attached.
NERVOUS MAN IN A FOUR DOLLAR ROOM *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Joe Mantell, William D. Gordon Unusual character study about a petty hood who literally confronts his "conscience" in a mirror. LW: In fact, 95% of the plot consists solely of this deep confrontation with no other characters involved. An interesting episode.
A THING ABOUT MACHINES **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Dave McDearmon Cast: Richard Haydn, Barbara Stuart, Barney Phillips A machine-hating writer is suddenly hunted by a small army of mechanical devices. LW: There is a classic TZ television promo which includes a cut of an electric razor slowly loping down the stairs in an attempt to get this guy! A very good segment.
THE HOWLING MAN **** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: H. M. Wynant, John Carradine, Robin Hughes, Estelle Poule Classic episode about a man (Wynant) who takes refuge in a European monastery during a thunderstorm. He is told by the bearded, saintly Brother Jerome (Carradine) that the prisoner locked in an cell is no ordinary human being--he is the Devil himself! Atmospheric music (by Bernard Herrmann) and a terrific transformation sequence add to the tale's effectiveness. SJ: This episode is my all time favorite episode and rates 6 stars. LW: Well, I only give it 4 stars, but it still is a good one.
THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER ***** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: William B. Gordon, Donna Douglas, Jennifer Howard, Joanna Heyes Another outstanding entry in the series. Plastic surgeons in some unknown society make one final attempt to improve a young woman's face so that she can live among "normal people." William Tuttle's make-ups are some of the most horrifying ever conceived for television. LW: Definitely in the super-classic catagory. One of the most amazing pieces of camera work ever done for televsion. Beautifully conceived and executed. I believe that this episode was originally titled, "A Private World of Darkness" or "Her Private World of Darkness".
NICK OF TIME *** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Richard L. Bare Cast: William Shatner, Patricia Breslin A newlywed husband (Shatner) is fascinated by a fortune-telling machine that makes uncanny predictions about his life. LW: A rather YOUNG Shatner, in his pre-Federation days of course.
THE LATENESS OF THE HOUR *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Jack Smight Cast: Inger Stevens, John Hoyt The faultless precision of robot servants invented by her father begins to annoy a young woman (Stevens). Originally done on video tape. LW: Of course, John Hoyt has a long history of many appearances in films and television. Two "SF" efforts of his that come to mind are "The Time Travelers" and "Flesh Gordon" (Of course, I am using the term "SF" rather loosely in the latter case...)
THE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON * Writer: E. Jack Neuman Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: Brian Aherne, Pippa Scott An aging actor is given a sobering glimpse at the past he holds so dear. LW: Not good. Dry, boring, and basically a loser.
A MOST UNUSUAL CAMERA **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Rich Cast: Fred Clark, Jean Carson, Adam Williams Examining their latest haul, two-bit thieves discover a camera that can predict the future. LW: A memorable, and rather humorous, classic. A fine episode.
NIGHT OF THE MEEK *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Jack Smight Cast: Art Carney, John Fielder, Meg Wylie, Robert Lieb Sensitive, well-acted drama about a department store Santa Claus (Carney) who ends up being the real thing. Originally done on video tape. SJ: My second favorite...a 5 star episode. LW: Well, we have a disagreement here. It is a nice episode, but so sopping in sentimentality that even I have problems with it. Still, Carney puts forth a first rate performance.
DUST *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Thomas Gomez, Vladimir Sokoloff, John Alonso, John Larch On the day of his execution, a man's father is conned by a vicious traveling salesman (Gomez) who sells him "magic dust" capable of eliminating hate. LW: Not terribly good, but a well done period piece.
BACK THERE *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: David Orrick McDearmon Cast: Russel Johnson, Paul Hartman A man is catapulted backward into time to the moments preceding the assassination of President Lincoln. The stirring score by Jerry Goldsmith [who recently did the score for ST-TMP] was later heard as background music for ABC'S WIDE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT mysteries. LW: Note that Russel Johnson (Gilligan's Island) has shown up again, in another time travel oriented piece! A serious question concerning the structure of time is brought forth in this episode.
THE WHOLE TRUTH *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: James Sheldon Cast: Jack Carson, Jack Ging, Nan Peterson, George Chandler An unsrupulous car salesman (Carson) meets his match in a haunted auto with a mind of its own. LW: Imagine! A used car dealer FORCED to tell the truth. Something like that could put late night television out of business. In any case, this is a rather amusing episode.
THE INVADERS **** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Agnes Moorehead In this classic episode, an old woman in an isolated farm house must battle a horde of extraterrestrial invaders. In the end, Moorehead takes an axe to their starship and demolishes, in reality, FORBIDDEN PLANET'S famous space cruiser! No actual dialog until the final sequence. LW: A classic indeed!
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS **** Writer: George Clayton Johnson Director: James Sheldon Cast: Dick York, Hayden Rourke, Dan Tobin, June Dayton Unusual tale about a timid bank teller (York) who suddenly gains the ability to read people's minds after a freak accident. LW: Dick York (Bewitched) returns. This is a nice, light episode, and I've always liked it. We learn that being able to read minds is no picnic!
TWENTY TWO **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Jack Smight Cast: Barbara Nichols, Jonathan Harris, Fredd Wayne A woman is haunted by a recurring nightmare that always ends with her being escorted to hospital room 22 - the morgue. LW: In fact, she is having this dream while IN the hospital! I am told that this episode resulted in lots of nightmares when it originally ran, and it does have some terribly creeping elements. The nightmare sequences are excellent. We must not overlook Jonathan Harris who plays the doctor in this episode. Good old Jonathan later played the evil/tragic/comical Dr. Zackery Smith in "Lost in Space"! This episode made the line "Room for one more, honey." a TZ classic.
THE ODYSSEY OF FLIGHT 33 *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: J. Addiss Cast: John Anderson, Sandy Kenyon, Paul Comi, Harp McGuire, Wayne Heffley, Nancy Rennick, Beverly Brown A commercial airliner becomes unstuck in time. The prehistoric sequence, courtesy of Jack Harris, was unused footage from the movie DINOSAURS.
MR. DINGLE, THE STRONG **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Burgess Meredith, Don Rickles Several weird-looking extraterrestrials appear in this episode about a timid little man (Meredith) who is given superpowers by a double-headed Martian experimenter. Don Rickles is customarily caustic as a character named Bragg. LW: This is a pretty funny episode.
STATIC ** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: Dean Jagger, Carmen Mathews, Robert Emhardt An old radio provides a valuable link with the past for two elderly lovers. Originally done on video tape; based on a short story by Ocee Ritch.
THE PRIME MOVER *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Richard L. Bare Cast: Dane Clark, Buddy Ebsen A telekinetic gentleman (Ebsen) is used to win some big money for a greedy man (Clark) at the gambling casinos. LW: Sure 'nuf: Jedd Clampett, from "The Beverly Hillbillies", on a Twilight Zone. Seriously, good acting by Ebsen.
LONG DISTANCE CALL *** Writer: Charles Beaumont and William Idelson Director: James Sheldon Cast: Billy Mumy, Phillip Abbott, Patricia Smith, Lili Darvas Powerful episode about a little boy with a toy telephone by which he mysteriously remains in contact with his dead grandmother. Originally done on video tape. LW: Billy Mumy later starred as Will Robinson in "Lost in Space". In fact, Mumy had many parts as a child over many years, including another TZ episode we have yet to cover. He dropped out of sight a few years ago, and I believe now plays guitar and sings rock music in some L.A. nightclub. Oh well, easy come, easy go.
A HUNDRED YEARS OVER THE RIM *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: Cliff Robertson, Miranda Jones A western settler mysteriously enters the 20th century when he goes off in search of medication for his dying son.
THE RIP VAN WINKLE CAPER *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Justus Addiss Cast: Oscar Beregi, Simon Oakland, Lew Gallo, John Mitchum Four thieves steal gold bullion and place themselves in suspended animation for a hundred years. LW: Robbie's car from FORBIDDEN PLANET is used in this episode.
THE SILENCE **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Boris Segal Cast: Franchot Tone, Liam Sullivan, Jonathan Harris A man (Tone), sick of the incessant chatter of a fellow club member (Sullivan), offers him a half million dollars if he can keep silent for a full year. LW: Jonathan Harris (Dr. Smith) has a fairly minor role in the story. Tone manages to win the bet, but pays a dear price in the process.
SHADOW PLAY **** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: John Brahm Cast: Dennis Weaver, Harry Townes, Wright King An hysterical young man (Weaver) tries to persuade the judge, who sentenced him to death, that he and the people around are just part of a recurring nightmare. SJ: Another of my favorites. LW: This is a good one, and deals directly with issues of realities within realities. Dennis Weaver does a fine job in this segment.
THE MIND AND THE MATTER *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: Shelly Berman, Jack Grinnage, Jeanne Wood, Chet Stratton A book on the power of thought enables a meek clerk (Berman) to create a world exactly as he would want it. LW: This is basically a comedy, and it is pretty good.
WILL THE REAL MARTIAN PLEASE STAND UP ***** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Montgomery Pittman Cast: Morgan Jones, John Archer, Bill Kendis, John Hoyt, Jean Willes, Jack Elam, Barney Phillips Offbeat entry about a pair of state troopers who must determine which member of a bus trip is, in reality, a Martian invader. LW: A real classic, this is that second effort by John Hoyt which I alluded to above. Has a great sight gag near the beginning. The production company that did all the TZ's was called "CAYUGA". The bus passengers spend most of the episode off the bus and in a diner. We get a glimpse of the writing on the side of the bus, and it says, "CAYUGA BUS"!
THE OBSOLETE MAN **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Eliot Silverstein Cast: Burgess Meredith, Fritz Weaver Meredith delivers an emotion-packed performance in this symbolic tale about a librarian judged "obsolete" by a totalitarian society of the future. LW: An excellent episode.
THIRD SEASON 1961-1962
TWO *** Writer/Director: Montgomery Pittman Cast: Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Bronson, Sharon Lucas In this contemporary Adam and Eve story, the two lone, frightened survivors of a nuclear holocaust must start the world afresh. LW: Golly, we got the other half of "Bewitched", Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha) herself. Strange how so many people from TZ episodes went on to work together in the late 60's. Or maybe not so strange when you consider the relationships built up with MGM and other studios over this period.
THE ARRIVAL *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Boris Segal Cast: Harold J. Stone, Bing Russell, Robert Karnes, Noah Keen, Jim Boles, Robert Brubaker, Fredd Wayne The aviation administration is completely baffled by the appearance of a mysterious empty airliner - until an examiner poses the unlikely but apparently sound theory that the craft is imaginary.
THE SHELTER **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Lamount Johnson Cast: Larry Gates, Peggy Stewart, Michael Burne, Jack Albertson, Jo Helton, Joseph Bernard, Moria Turner, Sandy Kenyon, Mary Gregory, John McLiam When a possible nuclear attack is announced, several suburban friends and neighbors are reduced to selfish, vicious animals in a struggle over one family's bomb shelter. LW: A strong cast (including Jack Albertson) lend power to this dramatic story of emotions and fears running wild during a yellow alert.
THE PASSERBY ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Eliot Silverstein Cast: Joanne Linville, James Gregory, Rex Holman, David Garcia, Warren Kammering, Austin Green A company of Civil War soldiers who believe they are marching home from battle soon come to realize that they are actually dead.
A GAME OF POOL **** Writer: George Clayton Johnson Director: A. E. Houghton Cast: Jonathan Winters, Jack Klugman A young pool player finds himself playing against a long-dead master pool shark. The stakes: his life. LW: A good one. Klugman and Winters are the only actors onstage at any time during this powerful and well acted episode.
THE MIRROR ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Don Medford Cast: Peter Falk, Tony Carbone, Richard Karlan, Arthur Batanides, Rodolfo Hoyos, Will Kuluva, Vladimir Sokoloff, Val Ruffino In the state offices of an overthrown government, a revolutionary leader uses a mirror reported to possess strange powers - it can show the viewer the face of the person who will kill him. LW: An interesting role for Faulk. The segment is really not terribly good. The country is obviously a thinly obscured representation of Castro's Cuba.
THE GRAVE *** Writer/Director: Montgomery Pittman Cast: Lee Marvin, James Best, Strother Martin, Ellen Willrad, Lee VanCleef, William Challee, Stafford Repp, Larry Johns, Richard Geary When a gunman scornfully defiles an outlaw's grave, he sees the man's dying threats come true. LW: Not a bad cast for a TZ! Not a terribly good story, but well done nevertheless.
ITS A GOOD LIFE *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Jim Sheldon Cast: Billy Mumy, John Larch, Cloris Leachman, Tom Hatcher, Alice Frost, Don Keefer, Jeanne Bates, Lenore Kingston, Casey Adams A rural community is held terrorized by the unearthly powers of a young boy. Based on a short story by Jerome Bixby. LW: Billy Mumy and (a relatively young) Cloris Leachman playing on TZ. Will wonders never cease? This is an interesting episode, particularly since Serling had to spend the first five minutes setting up the basic premise of the story by using a U.S. map and individually introducing us to the main characters! If you have ever read the classic story of the same name by Bixby, you will know why this was necessary.
DEATHS-HEAD REVISITED ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Don Medford Cast: Joseph Schildkraut, Oscar Beregi, Chuck Fox, Karen Verne, Robert Boone, Ben Wright A visit to a concentration camp at Dachau forces a former Nazi to confront the horrifying ghosts of his ghastly wartime crimes. LW: A well-meaning episode, but rather poor in overall quality.
THE MIDNIGHT SUN **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Anton Leader Cast: Lois Nettleton, Betty Garde, Jason Wingreen, Juney Ellis, Ned Glass, Robert J. Stevenson, John McLiam, Tom Reese, William Keene The Earth is being slowly drawn into the sun, causing drought, devastating heat waves - and panic. This episode features an outstanding musical score by Van Cleave. LW: A fine episode.
STILL VALLEY *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Jim Sheldon Cast: Gary Merrill, Ben Cooper, Vaughn Taylor, Addison Myers, Mark Tapscott, Jack Mann A strange book presents the Confederate Army with a difficult choice: they can win the Civil War - but they must make a pact with the Devil. Based on a short story by Manley Wade Wellman.
THE JUNGLE ** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: William Claxton Cast: John Dehner, Emily McLaughlin, Walter Brooks, Hugh Sanders, Howard Wright, Donald Foster, Jay Overholts, Jay Adler A contractor who has violated certain African lands must deal with the fury of the African tribal wizard, even back home in the United States.
ONCE UPON A TIME **** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Norman Z. McLeod Cast: Buster Keaton, Stanley Adams, Gil Lamb, James Flavin, Michael Ross, Milton Parsons, George E. Stone, Warren Parker A janitor in the late 1800s finds himself in the next century when he innocently fiddles with his inventor-employer's contraption. LW: Boy, is THIS a strange one! Note the presence of Buster Keaton as the main character in the cast. The whole beginning and ending segments of the show (whenever we are in 1880) are done as a SILENT FILM! We get the usual slightly sped up effect, piano music, and dialog cards. When we go into the future (or rather, OUR present), we suddenly go from silent mode to regular sound, regular speed photography! This is one of the class of Twilight Zone comedies, and is a very good one indeed.
FIVE CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN EXIT **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Lamont Johnson Cast: William Windom, Murray Matheson, Susan Harrison, Kelton Garwood, Clark Allen, Mona Houghton, Carol Hill Five people trying to escape from some sort of large cylindrical container have no memory of who they are or how they came to be there. One is a soldier, one a clown, one a dancer, and one a bagpiper. At least I think there was a bagpiper. Hmm. There was also one other character (total must equal five for the title to work!) Based on a short story by Marvin Petal. LW: A good cast, and what has to be about the simplest set ever used in a TZ, or almost any other television show for that matter.
A QUALITY OF MERCY ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: Dean Stockwell, Albert Salmi, Rayford Barnes, Ralph Votrian, Leonard Nimoy, Dale Ishimoto, Jerry Fujikawa, Michael Pataki A soldier gets a fresh, frightening perspective on his militaristic ways when he suddenly experiences a war situation from the enemy's point of view. LW: The only notable element of this episode is Leonard Nimoy in a relatively minor role.
NOTHING IN THE DARK *** Writer: George Clayton Johnson Director: Lamont Johnson Cast: Gladys Cooper, Robert Redford, R. G. Armstrong A frightened old woman who has sealed herself off from the world to avoid confronting death, admits a wounded policeman and soon learns that she may have made a big mistake.
ONE MORE PALLBEARER *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Lamont Johnson Cast: Joseph Wiseman, Trevor Bardette, Gage Clark, Katherine Squire, Josip Elic, Robert Snyder, Ray Galvin A rich man schemes to wreak revenge on three people who humiliated him at various points in his life. How? By staging a fake nuclear war, just for their benefit.
DEAD MAN'S SHOES ** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Montgomery Pittman Cast: Warren Stevens, Harry Swoger, Ben Wright, Joan Marshall, Eugene Borden, Richard Devon, Florence Marly, Ron Haggerthy, Joe Mell When a derelict dons the shoes of a dead gangster, he finds himself following the course of the dead man's life. LW: Not very good really, but it has a couple of fair moments.
SHOWDOWN WITH RANCE McGREW *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: C. Nyby Cast: Larry Blyden, William McLean, Troy Melton, Jay Overholts, Robert J. Stevenson, Robert Cornwaithe, Arch Johnson, Robert Kline, Hal K. Dawson An obnoxious cowboy star gets his comeuppance whan he suddenly finds himself confronting one of the outlaws who has been poorly presented in his television show. LW: Tongue-in-cheek. Fairly humorous.
THE HUNT *** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: Harold Schuster Cast: Arthur Hunnicutt, Jeanette Nolan, Titus Moede, Orville Sherman, Charles Seel, Robert Foulk, Dexter DuPont When a hunter and his dog are killed while stalking their prey, they go to the Gates of Heaven, where they must deal with St. Peter. Or IS it really St. Peter?
KICK THE CAN * Writer: George Clayton Johnson Director: Lamont Johnson Cast: Ernest Treux, Russell Collins, Hank Patterson, Earle Hodgins, Burt Mustin, Gregory McCabe, Marjorie Bennett, Lenore Shanewise, Anne O'Neal, John Marley, Barry Treux, Eve McVeagh, Marc Stevens A children's game somehow offers rejuvenative powers to an old man. LW: Blech. Sopping sentimentality again. A number of these crept into the series.
A PIANO IN THE HOUSE ** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: David Greene Cast: Barry Morse, Joan Jackett, Don Durant, Phil Coolidge, Cyril Delevanti, Muriel Landers The right tune played on a mysterious player piano will reveal the listener's true nature. LW: Note the presence of Barry Morse (later of "Space: 1999" among other shows).
TO SERVE MAN ***** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Richard Bare Cast: Richard Kiel, Hardie Albright, Robert Tafur, Lomax Study, Theodore Marcuse, Susan Cummings, Nelson Olmstead, Lloyd Bochner When aliens come to Earth bearing promises of a utopian existence, the military's suspicions and skepticism eventually prove justified. But too late. The alien "Canamits" were executed by make-up artist William Tuttle. Based on a short story by Damon Knight. LW: This is a "super-classic". Probably the most popular TZ episode of all time, and one of my personal top favorites as well. EXCELLENT.
THE LAST RITES OF JEFF MYRTLEBANK ** Writer/Director: Montgomery Pittman Cast: James Best, Ralph Moody, Ezelle Pouley, Vickie Barnes, Sherry Jackson, Helen Wallace, Lance Fuller, Bill Fawcett, Edgar Buchanan, Mabel Forrest, Dub Taylor, Jon Lormer, Pat Hector Because a young man has seemingly awakened from the dead, the superstitious townspeople assume he is possessed by the Devil.
THE FUGITIVE ** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Richard L. Bare Cast: J. Pat O'Malley, Susan Gordon, Nancy Kulp, Wesley Lau, Paul Tripp, Stephen Talbot, Johnny Eiman, Russ Bender A magical old gentleman uses his powers to help a sick little girl, thus risking being returned to his home planet if agents of his planet locate him.
LITTLE GIRL LOST ***** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Paul Stewart Cast: Sarah Marshall, Robert Sampson, Charles Aidman, Tracy Stratford A couple can hear their daughter's desperate cries, yet she is nowhere to be found - she's fallen through an invisible "hole" in her wall, and is lost in the fourth dimension. LW: Another classic. Another excellent episode.
PERSON OR PERSONS UNKNOWN *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: John Brahm Cast: Richard Long, Frank Silvera, Shirley Ballard, Julie Van Zandt, Betty Harford, Ed Glover, Michael Kelp, Joe Higgins, John Newton A man's day gets off to a bizarre start when he awakens to discover that no one knows who he is. LW: Richard Long also starred in several other TZ's over the years.
THE GIFT ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Allen Parker Cast: Geoffrey Horne, Nico Minardos, Cliff Osmond, Edmund Vargas, Carmen D'Antonio, Paul Mazursky, Vladimir Sokoloff, Vito Scotti, Henry Corden A group of Mexican villagers are convinced that a downed flyer is, in fact, an extraterrestrial.
THE LITTLE PEOPLE *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Bill Claxton Cast: Joe Maross, Claude Akins, Michael Ford Everything is relative, as a space traveler soon learns when he proceeds to lord his size over the tiny folk who inhabit a planetoid.
FOUR O'CLOCK ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Lamont Johnson Cast: Theodore Bikel, Phyllis Love, Linden Chiles, Moyna MacGill Based on a short story by Price Day. Theodore Bikel is cast as demented Oliver Crangle, a man dedicated to the expulsion of evil... at all costs. His plan: reduce all the evil people in the world to 2 feet tall, at 4 o'clock.
THE TRADE-INS *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Elliot Silverstein Cast: Joseph Schildkraut, Noah Keen, Alma Platt, Ted Marcuse, Edson Stroll, Terrene De Marney, Billy Vincent, Mary McMahon, David Armstrong Youth isn't all it's cracked up to be, as an old man learns when a mind and personality transplant gives him a lonely new life in a young new body. LW: Actually, he doesn't get the body until near the end of the show. The primary focus of the episode is that he and his wife only have enough money for ONE of them to be transplanted. A good show.
HOCUS POCUS AND FRISBY **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Lamont Johnson Cast: Andy Devine, Milton Selzer, Howard McNear, Dabbs Greer, Clem Bevans, Larry Breitman, Peter Brocco The town windbag so impresses a visiting group of aliens (who are masquerading as humans) with his tall tale stories that they attempt to take him back to their planet for study as a prime Earth specimen. Based on a short story by Frederic Louis Fox. LW: Crusty-voiced Andy is perfect in his role. Very humorous.
THE DUMMY *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Abner Bibberman Cast: Cliff Robertson, Frank Sutton, George Murdock, John Harmon, Sandra Warner, Ralph Manza, Rudy Dolan, Bethelynn Grey A cut-rate ventriloquist starts believing that his dummy actually has a mind - and a will - of its own. Based on a story by Leon Polk.
THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD * Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Ellis Miller Cast: Donald Pleasance, Liam Sullivan, Phillippa Bevans, Kevin O'Neal, Jimmy Baird, Kevin Jones, Tom Lowell, Russ Horton, Buddy Hart, Darryl Richard, James Browning, Bob Biheller, Dennis Kerlee, Pat Close A popular teacher faces the prospect of a life without purpose when he is asked to retire from his post. LW: Very little socially redeeming value to this one.
YOUNG MAN'S FANCY ** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: John Brahm Cast: Phyllis Thaxter, Alex Nicol, Wallace Rooney, Ricky Kelman, Helen Brown A young man yearns so desperately for the days of his youth that the past does, in fact, reappear. LW: In fact, he becomes a little boy again, and goes back to his mother (deserting his fiance). There is a scene in the episode where the fiance sees the elements of the man's youth, right up to his mother, start to appear around them.
I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC * Writer: Ray Bradbury Director: James Sheldon Cast: Josephine Hutchinson, David White, June Vincent, Vaughn Taylor, Charles Herbert, Dana Dillaway, Paul Nesbitt, Susan Crane, Veronica Cartwright, Judy Morton A girl comes to understand that a grandmother can be a tender, thoughtful, caring, loving woman. Even if she is a robot. LW: To all the Bradbury fans out there, I'm sorry, but this episode is TERRIBLE. Probably one of the five worst TZ's ever made. Is dripping in sentimentality, has rather poor acting, and is generally a lose.
CAVENDER IS COMING *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Chris Nyby Cast: Carol Burnett, Jesse White, Howard Smith, William O'Connell, Pitt Herbert, John Fielder, Stanley Jones, Frank Behrens, Albert Carrier, Roy Sickner, Norma Shattuc, Rory O'Brien, Sandra Gould, Adrienne Marden, Jack Younger, Danny Kulick, Donna Douglas, Maurice Dallimore, Barbara Morrison In this pilot for a never-launched series, a klutzy guardian angel's attempts to make a bumbling woman happy don't work out quite as expected. LW: If it weren't for the presence of Carol Burnett and Jesse White, I would only give this TWO stars. Another guardian angel plot. Obviously, it was a comedy. Carol tries hard despite a horrid script. Jesse White has played many character roles, but perhaps is best known as the lonely Maytag repairman! The basic plot is VERY similar to the "Mr. Bemis" episode above. By the way, this episode had one very unusual aspect, it was the only TZ with a LAUGHTRACK!
FOURTH SEASON Jan-May 1963
SJ: These episodes are one hour in length. They WERE sold into syndication but none of the networks air the episodes since they only allow half-hour slots for the show. LW: Further investigation on my part seems to indicate that they were indeed made available for syndication at one time, but apparently nobody picked them up. Two things should be noted. First of all, the "networks" never buy syndicated programs. Local stations (be they independents, network affiliates, or network owned and operated) are the entities that buy syndicated programming. Oddly enough, at least two major markets (L.A., and apparently N.Y.) have independent stations which run the half hour shows back to back in a one hour slot. Clearly they COULD in theory run the one hour shows if they wanted to, but either nobody wants to or else there are some sort of legal/logistic complications in doing so, even assuming they are still available for syndication.
IN HIS IMAGE **** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Perry Lafferty Cast: George Grizzard, Gail Kobe, Katherine Squire, Wallace Rooney, Sherry Granato, James Seay, Joseph Sargent, Jamie Forster The first hour installment of THE TWILIGHT ZONE concerns a young man who murders an old woman for no apparent reason. He also discovers all sorts of discrepencies in his memories of the town where he THOUGHT he was currently living. In the end he discovers a horrible truth about himself. LW: I like this one. It does a good job of portraying fear and confusion as our hero finds himself deeper and deeper within a nightmarish situation. By the way, the opening scene of this episode is a REAL winner, something to gladden the heart of many of us.
THE THIRTY-FATHOM GRAVE *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Paul Lafferty Cast: Mike Kellin, Simon Oakland, David Shiener, Bill Bixby, Tony Call, John Considine, Conlan Carter, Derrick Lewis, Charles Kuenstle The crew of a Navy destroyer hear strange tapping noises coming from a submarine that sank 20 years before. LW: This was another famous nightmare producing episode. Bill Bixby? He was later of "My Favorite Martian" and several more recent programs, such as "The Magician" and "The Incredible Hulk".
THE MUTE *** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Stuart Rosenberg Cast: Frank Overton, Barbara Baxley, Ann Jilliann, Irene Dailey, Hal Riddle, Percy Helton, Oscar Beregi, Eva Soreny A little girl raised on telepathic communication must adjust to the spoken word after her parents are killed in a fire
JESS-BELLE *** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: Anne Francis, James Best, Laura Devon, Jeanette Nolan, Virginia Gregg, George Mitchell, Helen Kleeb, Jim Boles, Jon Lormer Thrilleresque occult yarn about a woman (Francis) who sells her soul to the Devil to recapture the love of a former suitor (Best). Rural witchery from the creator of THE WALTONS.
DEATH SHIP **** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Dan Medford Cast: Jack Klugman, Ross Martin, Fredrick Beir, Sara Taft, Ross Elliot, Mary Webster Sets, props, costumes and stock footage from FORBIDDEN PLANET enhance this tale about three space travelers who discover their own crashed ship and dead bodies when they investigate a strange reflection on a planet surface. LW: This is really a good episode. It has true recursion, and is one of the more memorable episodes. Klugman we know from previous TZ's. Ross Martin played James West's "sidekick" Artemis Gordon in "The Wild Wild West".
VALLEY OF THE SHADOW *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Perry Lafferty Cast: Ed Nelson, Natalie Trundy, David Opatoshu, James Doohan, Suzanne Capito, Dabbs Greer A reporter (Nelson) wanders into a backwoods town and discovers an incredible secret that might cause the end of the world. HE'S ALIVE ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Stuart Rosenberg Cast: Dennis Hopper, Ludwig Donath, Curt Conway, Howard Caine, Barnaby Hale, Paul Mazursky, Bernard Pein, Jay Adler The "he" of this title refers to Adolf Hitler. A young reactionary (Hopper) is guided by a shadowy figure on methods to control and mesmerize the populace. LW: Not too good.
MINIATURE ** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Ralph Senesky Cast: Robert Duvall, Pert Kelton, Barbara Barrie, Len Weinrib, William Windom, Claire Griswold, Nina Roman, John McLiam An unhinged man (Duvall) escapes into a fantasy world by visiting a museum's miniature replica of life in the 1890's.
PRINTER'S DEVIL **** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Ralph Senesky Cast: Burgess Meredith, Robert Serling, Patricia Crowley, Charles Thompson, Ray Teal, Ryan Hayes, Doris Kemper A dying newspaper is rescued from oblivion by a mysterious fellow (Meredith) whose Linotype machine predicts tomorrow's news. LW: This is a pretty good episode. In fact, most of the episodes that Burgess had anything to do with turned out well. He can really be a sinister fellow in this one ...
NO TIME LIKE THE PAST ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Justus Addiss Cast: Dana Andrews, Patricia Breslin, Robert F. Simon, Violet Rensing, James Yagi, Tudor Owen, Lindsay Workman, Reta Shaw A moody scientist (Andrews) travels into the past to prevent the major catastrophes of history. LW: One of the problems with the third season was that plot elements of previous shows began to repeat, and the one hour format was really too long. This show is an example of both problems.
THE PARALLEL ??? Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alan Crosland Cast: Steve Forrest, Jacqueline Scott, Frank Aletter, Shari Lee Bernath, Phillip Abbott, Pete Madsen, Robert Johnson, Morgan Jones Following a routine seven-day space flight, an astronaut is catapulted into a strange parallel universe. LW: The brain cells in charge of remembering this episode seem to be on the blink, I cannot remember enough details to rate it. Oh well.
I DREAM OF GENIE *** Writer: John Furia Director: Robert Gist Cast: Howard Morris, Patricia Barry, Loring Smith, Mark Miller, Robert Ball, Jack Albertson, Joyce Jameson, Bon Hastings A genie pops out of an old brass lamp and offers one magic wish to his unwitting liberator. LW: The bulk of the show consists of our hero visualizing the various things he could wish for and what the outcome of each wish might be. Eventually he finds the perfect wish... You may notice a surface similarity with a previous episode ("The Man in the Bottle"), but unlike that episode, this one is tongue-in-cheek and rather humorous.
THE NEW EXHIBIT *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: John Brahm Cast: Martin Balsam, Will Kuluva, Maggie Mahoney, William Mims, Billy Beck, Robert L. McCord, Bob Mitchell Another episode reminiscent of TV's THRILLER. Much to the bewilderment of a museum custodian (Balsam), wax figures of five notorious murderers come to life and begin a series of killings.
OF LATE I THINK OF CLIFFORDVILLE **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: David Rich Cast: Albert Salmi, Julie Newmar, John Anderson, Mary Jackson, Wright King, Jamie Foster, Guy Raymond A heartless, very rich man (Salmi) desires to return to the small town where he was born and start life again. He figures he will end up even RICHER this time, since he already knows where all the big oil fields will be, which stocks will go up, etc. A demon (Newmar) obliges him. LW: This is the TZ adaptation of the classic story "Blind Alley", by Malcolm Jameson. It is very well done.
THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF HORACE FORD ** Writer: Reginald Rose Director: Abner Biberman Cast: Pat Hingle, Nan Martin, Phillip Pine, Ruth White, Vaughn Taylor, Mary Carver, George Spicer, Bella Bruck Toy manufacturer (Hingle) literally becomes a child again when he visits his old neighborhood.
ON THURSDAY WE LEAVE FOR HOME *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Buzz Kulik Cast: James Whitmore, Tim O'Conner, James Broderick, Russ Bender, Paul Langton, Jo Helton, Mercedes Shirley, John Ward, Daniel Kulik Space settlers on a barren world finally get the chance to return to Earth, but the group's leader (Whitmore) protests. Episode plusses: strong performances and FORBIDDEN PLANET hardware.
PASSAGE ON THE LADY ANN * Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Lamont Johnson Cast: Joyce Van Patten, Lee Phillips, Wilfred Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper, Cecil Kellaway, Alan Napier Disillusioned young couple (Patten, Phillips) book passage on the final voyage of an ancient cruise ship inhabited by elderly folks. LW: Another ship story ... poor, as usual.
THE BARD **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: David Butler Cast: Jack Weston, Henry Lascoe, John Williams, Marge Redmond, Doro Merande, Clegg Hoyt, Judy Strangis, Claude Stroud On-target satire. Hack writer Julius Moomer (Weston) conjures up William Shakespeare (Williams) to help him write a television script, but network and sponsor representatives suggest a few changes. LW: This is a funny one! Willy writing TV scripts. Alot of familiar character actors in this episode, and a bit part is played by a young (and relatively unknown) Burt Reynolds!
FIFTH AND FINAL SEASON 1963-1964
LW: The one hour format almost killed the show... it was just too long and plots tended to really drag. Still, the show returned for one more season. Things still continued downhill though; much of the magic of the series was gone forever.
IN PRAISE OF PIP ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Joseph M. Newman Cast: Jack Klugman, Connie Gilchrist, Billy Mumy, Bob Diamond, John Launer, Ross Elliot, Gerald Gordon, Stuart Nesbet Jack Klugman is outstanding as a soul-searching bookie who tries to make up for the way he raised his son when he learns that the boy has been seriously wounded in Vietnam. Both Billy Mumy and Bob Diamond play the kid. LW: Klugman's performance is the only really positive aspect of this episode.
STEEL ** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Don Weiss Cast: Lee Marvin, Joe Mantell, Merritt Bohn, Frank London, Tipp McClure In the early 1970's boxing was ruled too violent a sport for human beings, so sophisticated androids took their place in the ring. A small time promoter (Marvin) is forced to enter the bout when his robot protege gets damaged.
NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET *** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Dick Donner Cast: William Shatner, Christine White, Edward Kemmer, Asa Maynor, Nick Cravat A newly-recovered mental patient (Shatner) on an airplane flying home peers out the window and sees a bestial creature on the wing, tampering with one of the engines. Naturally, nobody believes his story. Tale is enhanced by the marvelous William Tuttle monster make-up, especially in one shocking close-up. LW: A classic.
A KIND OF STOP WATCH **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Rich Cast: Richard Erdman, Herbie Faye, Leon Belasco, Doris Singleton, Roy Roberts A talkative and rather unpopular fellow (Erdman) stumbles upon a watch that can stop all action in the world. LW: Another classic. Very humorous. Nice effects too.
THE LAST NIGHT OF A JOCKEY * Writer: Rod Serling Director: Joseph Newman Cast: Mickey Rooney Rooney is the sole star of this predictable yarn about a jockey who thinks that being tall will solve all of his personal problems. LW: I never liked this one at all.
LIVING DOLL *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Richard Sarifian Cast: Telly Savalas, Tracy Stratford, Mary La Roche A child's new doll has a most unusual vocabulary. It says things like "Momma," "Papa" and "I'm going to kill you!". LW: Alot of people remember this one! Telly in an interesting role.
THE OLD MAN IN THE CAVE *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alan Crosland, Jr. Cast: James Coburn, John Anderson, Josie Lloyd, John Craven, Natalie Masters, John Marley, Frank Watkins A group of survivors from a nuclear holocaust continue to survive through the help of a mysterious "old man in the cave". From a short story by Henry Slesar. LW: This was Coburn's only appearance in the series, and he does a good job.
UNCLE SIMON *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Don Siegal Cast: Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Ford, Ian Wolfe, John McLiam Robby the Robot is featured in this episode. The spirit of an old inventor avenges himself on his greedy niece when he dies at her hands.
NIGHT CALL **** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Jacques Tourneau Cast: Gladys Cooper, Nora Marlowe, Martine Bartlett The ladies are great in this tale about a lonely spinster (Cooper) who suddenly starts receiving mysterious phone calls. LW: A really good one which really manipulates your emotions.
PROBE 7 - OVER AND OUT ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ted Post Cast: Richard Basehart, Antoinette Bower, Frank Cooper, Barton Heyman The lone survivors (Basehart, Bower) of two annihilated planets must begin new lives together on a new world. LW: Ho Hum type episode.
THE 7TH IS MADE UP OF PHANTOMS ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alan Crosland, Jr. Cast: Ron Foster, Warren Oates, Randy Boone, Robert Bray, Wayne Mallory, Greg Morris, Jeffrey Morris, Lew Brown Modern-day soldiers on the site of Custer's Last Stand encounter the warring spirits of the 7th Cavalry and the Sioux nation. LW: There is a funny story behind this episode that I will have to relate some time. It involves a personal friend of mine. In any case, the episode itself is largely a loser.
NINETY YEARS WITHOUT SLUMBERING ** Writer: George C. Johnson Director: Roger Kay Cast: Ed Wynn, Carolyn Kearney, James Callahan, Carol Byron, John Pickard, Dick Wilson, William Sargent An old codger (Wynn) is convinced that his life will end the moment his grandfather's clock breaks down. LW: Even Wynn can't help this poor plot.
RING-A-DING GIRL ** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: Alan Crosland, Jr. Cast: Maggie McNamara, Mary Munday, David Macklin, George Mitchell, Bing Russell, Betty Lou Gerson, Hank Patterson, Bill Hickman, Vic Perrin Movie star Bunny Blake (McNamara) saves her home town from tragedy by heeding a weird ring of hers that predicts the future.
YOU DRIVE *** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: John Brahm Cast: Edward Andrews, Hellena Westcott, Kevin Hagen, Totty Ames, John Hanek A hit-and-run driver (Andrews) is harassed by his own car. LW: Andrews returns to the TZ, and somehow makes this plot work pretty well.
NUMBER 12 LOOKS JUST LIKE YOU *** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Abner Biberman Cast: Suzy Parker, Richard Long, Pamela Austin, Collin Wilcox The actors play multiple roles in this futuristic drama about the loss of individuality. A young woman (Wilcox) rejects treatments that will make her physically flawless like the rest of the people in the drab society she lives in. LW: There is a great flub in this episode. In one scene, if you know where to look, you can see some cigarette smoke wafting in from a stage hand standing off camera! A pretty good episode overall.
THE LONG MORROW ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Fleury Cast: Robert Lansing, Mariette Hartley, George MacReady, Edward Binns A scientist hopes that by refusing to use a suspended animation apparatus on a thirty year space probe he will remain in the same age ratio as the woman he loves. LW: The cast is the only quality element of this segment. Otherise it is pretty dull and boring.
THE SELF-IMPROVEMENT OF SALVATORE ROSS ** Writer: Henry Selsar and Jerry McNelley Director: Don Siegal Cast: Don Gordon, Gail Kobe, Vaughn Taylor, Douglass Dumbrille, Doug Lambert, J. Pat O'Malley A man (Gordon) tries to parlay his strange ability to trade traits with other people into a perfect life. LW: Not one of the better ones.
BLACK LEATHER JACKETS *** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: Joseph Newman Cast: Lee Kinsolving, Shelly Fabares, Michael Forest, Tom Gilleran, Denver Pyle, Irene Harvey, Michael Conrad The three young motorcyclists who ride into a sleepy community are actually invaders from space who intend to contaminate the Earth's water supply. LW: Somehow, this one actually comes out rather good.
FROM AGNES-WITH LOVE *** Writer: Barney Scofield Director: Dick Donner Cast: Wally Cox, Ralph Taeger, Sue Randall, Raymond Biley, Don Keefer Serio-comedy, as an advanced computer falls in love with its technician (Cox). LW: Wally Cox is excellent in this fable for programmers.
SPUR OF THE MOMENT *** Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Elliot Silverstein Cast: Diana Hyland, Marsha Hunt, Roger Davis, Robert Hogan, Phillip Ober Odd melodrama about a woman (Hyland) who confronts the frightening vision of her future self. LW: Time recursion plays a major role in this episode.
STOPOVER IN A QUIET TOWN **** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: Ron Winston Cast: Barry Nelson, Nancy Malone, Denise Lynn, Karen Norris A married couple (Nelson, Malone) wake up one morning in a strange town where everything is artificial, and the air is filled with a child's laughter. LW: A TZ classic. Very good indeed.
QUEEN OF THE NILE ** Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: John Brahm Cast: Ann Blyth, Lee Phillips, Celia Lovsky, Ruth Phillips, Frank Ferguson An inquisitive reporter (Phillips) tries to find the key to the apparent immortality of a glamorous movie star (Blyth), who is currently playing the "Queen of the Nile." Prepare yourself for an unusually gruesome finale! LW: The ending may be gruesome, but that doesn't save this episode, which steals elements from other TZ episodes.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX *** Writer: Martin Goldsmith Director: Dick Baer Cast: William Demarest, Sterling Holloway, Herbert Lytton, Howard Wright Cab driver (Demarest) sees himself killing his wife on the television set. Later remade as the premier episode of William Castle's GHOST STORY. LW: Demerest (Uncle Charlie in "My Three Sons") and Holloway (a favorite of mine, he played one of the wacky professors in the "Superman" television show and has had many character roles), do their best in this basically weak plot. It too stole plot elements from various TZ episodes.
THE MASKS **** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Abner Biberman Cast: Robert Keith, Milton Selzer, Virginia Gregg, Brooke Hayward, Alan Sues Another grisly horror tale that benefits from William Tuttle's make-up. A dying millionaire forces his evil, greedy family into wearing grotesque masks that match their inner selves. Alan Sues, a few years before his LAUGH-IN success, has a minor role as the man's sadistic nephew. LW: Not well known, but deserving of "classic" status. A minor favorite of mine.
I AM THE NIGHT-COLOR ME BLACK * Writer: Rod Serling Director: Abner Biberman Cast: Michael Constatine, Paul Fix, George Lindsay, Terry Becker, Ivan Dixon Symbolic, talky message piece. On the day an idealistic young man is to be executed for the willful murder of a bigot, the sun fails to shine on a small western town. LW: Awful. Terrible. Bad. One of the worst.
CAESAR AND ME ** Writer: A. T. Strassfield Director: Robert Butler Cast: Jackie Cooper, Suzanne Cupito, Stafford Repp, Sarah Selby, Don Gazaniga, Sidney Marion, Ken Konopka Continuing a gimmick started earlier in "Dead of Night", a ventriloquist's dummy comes to life and offers his master some pretty unusual advice. This was one of the first television scripts to be written by a woman. LW: Another "dummy" story. Sigh.
THE JEOPARDY ROOM *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Dick Donner Cast: Martin Landau, John VanDreelen, Robert Kelljan A defector is captured by a hired assassin and given three hours to earn his freedom. LW: Landau returns in this well executed episode (no pun intended).
MR. GARRITY AND THE GRAVES ** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ted Post Cast: John Dehner, Stanley Adams, J. Pat O'Malley, Norman Leavitt A traveling salesman (Dehner) tells the backward members of a small community that he can raise the dead. Later remade (sort of) as an episode of "Night Gallery" called "Dr. Stringfellow's Rejuvenator."
THE BRAIN CENTER AT WHIPPLE'S *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Dick Donner Cast: Richard Deacon, Paul Newlan, Ted DeCorsia, Burt Conroy Robby the Robot makes another Twilight Zone appearance in this story about a callous executive (Deacon) who hopes to improve his corporation by replacing all the employees with machines. LW: A slightly different model of Robbie appeared in each of these episodes, by the way...
COME WANDER WITH ME ** Writer: Tony Wilson Director: Dick Donner Cast: Gary Crosby, Bonnie Beacher, Hank Patterson, John Bolt Haunting tale about the doom awaiting a fraudulent folk singer who persuades a backwoods girl to sing him an authentic folk ballad.
THE FEAR *** Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ted Post Cast: Hazel Court, Mark Richman Everything is relative in this story about an unhinged woman and a state trooper who sights a giant alien in a California park. LW: Not bad at all.
THE BEWITCHIN' POOL *** Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr. Director: Joseph Newman Cast: Mary Badham, Tim Stafford, Kim Hector, Tod Andrews, Dee Hartford The last show of the series is about two neglected children who escape their constantly bickering parents by diving into their swimming pool and emerging in a mysterious, but loving, world.
The following episodes were originally broadcast on the network but have been pulled out of syndication. Unfortunately, no cast or credits are available.
SOUNDS AND SILENCE ???
A SHORT DRINK FROM A CERTAIN FOUNTAIN ** LW: A man wants to become young again, and obtains a rejuvenating potion in the hopes of accomplishing this.
THE ENCOUNTER ???
OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE ***** This was actually an award winning French short subject picked up by Rod Serling for one network play on the TWILIGHT ZONE. Based on a classic tale by Ambrose Bierce, it is set during the Civil War and concerns a man about to be hung.
LW: Epilog: And so it ends. By the end of the series, Serling had already lost substantial control over the production of the show, and was rapidly becoming disgusted by the start of the fifth season. He began having as little as possible to do with the series since he did not have the control he wanted. He began filming several show intros at once in front of a neutral gray backround, instead of placing himself in the action as in earlier shows. These intros could then be simply edited into the series as production continued. He had hoped that "Night Gallery" would provide the situation he needed for his creativity, but such was not to be the case. He ended up with even less control over this series, and the show was quickly degenerated by management into a series of dull episodes on ESP. Serling NEVER liked this show. It goes to prove that television is indeed a magic medium. It can destroy anything that crosses its path, however good that thing was to start with. But at least we have lots of GOOD Twilight Zone episodes to look back at and reflect on.
© Copyright 2001-2004 Twilight Zite
Sitio creado el 15 de octubre de 1999
|Principal | Episodios | Rod Serling | Galería|