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"The Twilight Zone" (1959-1964) - Original Science Fiction Television Created by Rod Serling


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Listen Up! I'm writing this comment six months after writing this post (on Nov 17, 2014). If anyone has any ambition to go through the entire series of The Twilight Zone, do yourselves a favor and buy "The Twilight Zone Companion" by Marc Scott Zicree before you start - I just got my copy yesterday after having already gone through 150 episodes (I didn't know it existed before), and I can assure everyone that it is indispensable - it is *the definitive* reference guide, and the paperback cost me something like $11.96 with free shipping on Amazon Prime. Trust me and buy this book before you begin - you'll thank me after only one episode. I cannot believe I watched this entire series without it - don't make the same mistake I did.

*** SPOILER ALERT: Assume that all episode links contain them ***

The Twilight Zone - Season 1 (Oct 2, 1959 - Jul 1, 1960)

1.1 - "Where Is Everybody?" - Oct 2, 1959 - Screenshot 2016-09-14 at 15.08.15.png <--- The books in this rack are all entitled, "The Last Man on Earth."
Directed by Robert Stevens (Directed 44 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"), Written by Rod Serling (Writer of "Requiem for a Heavyweight" on "Playhouse 90")
Featuring Earl Holliman (Sergeant Bill Crowley on "Police Woman"), James Gregory (Senator John Iselin in "The Manchurian Candidate," Dr. Tristan Adams in "Dagger of the Mind" on "Star Trek"), Garry Walberg (Hansen in "Balance of Terror" on "Star Trek" (2))
1.2 - "One For The Angels" - Oct 9, 1959 - Screenshot 2016-09-14 at 18.02.06.png <--- "A most persuasive pitch, Mr. Bookman - an excellent pitch."
Directed by Robert Parrish (Academy Award Winner for Best Film Editing for "Body and Soul"), Written by Rod Serling (2)
Featuring Ed Wynn (Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor as Albert Dussell in "The Diary of Anne Frank," Army in "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (2) As Himself in "The Man in the Funny Suit" on "Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse"), Murry Hamilton (Dr. Stafford in "The Swan Bed" on "Route 66," Mr. Robinson in "The Graduate"

1.3 - "Mr. Denton On Doomsday" - Oct 16, 1959 - Screenshot 2016-09-14 at 20.25.20.png <--- "The gunner and me, we're gonna have a showdown here."
Directed by Allen Reisner, Written by Rod Serling (3)
Featuring Dan Duryea (Mike McKay in "Don't Count Stars" on "Route 66," "Waco" Johnny Dean in "Winchester '73," China Smith on "China Smith"), Martin Landau (Andro in "The Man who was Never Born" on "The Outer Limits," Rollin Hand on "Mission: Impossible," Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor as Béla Lugosi in "Ed Wood")

[Martin Landau making Mr. Denton sing for his drink reminds me of Paul Dano's unspeakably heinous taunting scene from "12 Years A Slave" - maybe I'm wrong, but I think at least an indirect influence is there.]
1.4 - "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine" - Oct 23, 1959 - Screenshot 2017-04-10 at 20.05.38.png <--- "There you are, Jerry ... there you are. You look so young."
Directed by Mitchell Leisen, Written by Rod Serling (4)
Featuring Ida Lupino (Mrs. Helen Chernen in "The Hard Way," Director of "The Hitch-Hiker" (The first female ever to direct a Film Noir)), Martin Balsam (Milton Arbogast in "Psycho"), Jerome Cowan (Miles Archer in "The Maltese Falcon," Thomas Mara in "Miracle on 34th. Street"), Ted de Corsia (Randolph E. Branch in "The Inheritors" on "The Outer Limits")

[The "aging actress" is Ida Lupino, who, by this episode, was all of 41 (my how times have changed).]

1.5 - "Walking Distance" - Oct 30, 1959 - Screenshot 2017-04-10 at 20.27.38.png <--- "Martin, I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time of life for you."
Directed by Robert Stevens (2), Written by Rod Serling (5)
Featuring Gig Young (Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (2) as Rocky in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"), Ron Howard (Academy Award Winner for Best Director for "A Beautiful Mind"), Irene Tedrow (Lucy Elkins on "Dennis the Menace"), Frank Overton (Sherrif Heck Tate in "To Kill a Mockingbird," Elias Sandoval in "This Side of Paradise" on "Star Trek")

[I'm writing this 28 episodes into Season 2 because I only recently realized that The A.V. Club reviewed The Twilight Zone episodes. The reviewer, Todd VanDerWerff, positively raved about this episode - so I took it seriously, and watched the second half of "Walking Distance" again, and I liked it a *lot* more than I did on first viewing. Maybe it's because that, as a whole, I don't like the series quite as much as I remember as a teenager, but regardless, I really did see things in "Walking Distance" on the second viewing that I missed in the first. A *very* young Ron Howard (five years old!) is in this episode, as is Irene Tedrow, who plays the mother, and who also appears in Season 2's "The Lateness Of The Hour" - many, many actors appeared in multiple episodes.]

1.6.-  "Escape Clause" - Nov 6, 1959 - Screenshot 2015-11-22 at 21.20.46.png <--- "You deed to me your so-called 'soul,' and in exchange, I give you immortality."
Directed by Mitchell Leisen (2), Written by Rod Serling (6) 
Featuring David Wayne (Sam Jacoby in "One More Mile To Go" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (2), Andrew Anderson in "The Thirty-First of February" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Ralph White in "The Three Faces of Eve," The Mad Hatter on "Batman," Dr. Charles Dutton in "The Andromeda Strain," Dr. Mill in "The Diary" on "Night Gallery"), Thomas Gomez, Virginia Christine (Model in "Salvage" and Secretary in "The Long Shot" in on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (3))
1.7 -  "The Lonely" - Nov 13, 1959 - Screenshot 2017-04-20 at 11.45.35 AM.png <--- "No, but you don't understand: She's not a robot; she's a woman!"
Directed by Jack Smight (Directed 4 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (2)), Written by Rod Serling (7)
Featuring Jack Warden (Juror #7 in "12 Angry Men," 3 episodes of "Route 66," Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Performance as George Halas in "Brian's Song," Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (2) as Lester Karpf in "Shampoo" and Max Corkle in "Heaven Can Wait"), Jean Marsh (4 episodes of "The Saint," Co-Creator and Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as Rose Buck on "Upstairs, Downstairs"), John Dehner, Ted Knight (2-time Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series as Ted Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show")

[This is one of Ted Knight's very first roles in Hollywood. Surprisingly, he also plays the prison guard who guards Norman Bates at the end of "Psycho" (*** MAJOR SPOILERS are at this link, which is the end of "Psycho" ***)
1.8 - "Time Enough At Last" - Nov 20, 1959 - Screenshot 2015-11-26 at 20.17.06.png <--- "Books! Books! All the books I'll need!"
Directed by John Brahm (Director of "The Lodger" (1944 version), 10 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (3), and 5 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by - Teleplay: Rod Serling (8), Story: Lynn Venable
Featuring Burgess Meredith (The Penguin on "Batman," Dr. Diablo in "The Torture Garden," Dr. William Fall in "The Little Black Bag" and Charlie Finnegan in "Finnegan's Flight" on "Night Gallery" (2), Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (3) as Harry Greener in "The Day of the Locust" and Mickey Goldmill in "Rocky," Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie as Joseph Welch on "Tail Gunner Joe")
[Not to nitpick, but I seriously doubt there would be a source to provide enough water pressure to make a ruptured hose spray up into the air.]
1.9 - "Perchance To Dream" - Nov 27, 1959 - Screenshot 2017-04-20 at 10.56.04 AM.png <--- "Do you want to know how many hours I've been awake? 87 hours."
Directed by Robert Florey (Co-Director of "The Cocoanuts"), Written by Charles Beaumont (Co-Writer of the Screenplay for "The Masque of the Red Death")
Featuring Richard Conte (Tony Bergdorf in "Ocean's 11," Don Emilio Barzini in "The Godfather"), John Larch (Chief of Police in "Dirty Harry"), Suzanne Lloyd (Featured in 6 episodes of "The Saint")

["Perchance to Dream" comes from Hamlet's "To Be, or Not To Be" speech.]

1.10 - "Judgment Night" - Dec 4, 1959: Screenshot 2017-05-02 at 12.50.12 AM.png

Directed by John Brahm (2), Written by Rod Serling (9)
Featuring Nehemiah Persoff ("Little Bonaparte" in "Some Like it Hot," Jack in "First Class Mouliak" and Vladia Dvorovoi in "Incident on a Bridge" on "Route 66"), Patrick MacNee (John Steed on "The Avengers"), James Franciscus (Ben Kendall in "Summer Shade" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (4), Mike Longstreet on "Longstreet")
[Note: And yes, it's James Franciscus.]

11. "And When The Sky Was Opened" - Dec 11, 1959: tumblr_lnzke2M70D1qddstto1_500.png
Written by Richard Matheson (Writer of "The Enemy Within" on "Star Trek" (xx), "Duel," The Big Surprise" and "The Funeral" on "Night Gallery" (xx))
[Note: One of the reasons this first season comes across as very dated (so far) is that 4 of the first 11 episodes (#1, #8, #10, and #11) deal with post-WWII military paranoia - with 3 of the 4 involving sheer terror. They're very good episodes, but there's no question that they haven't survived the test of time (and are perhaps a bit overacted as well). These definitely play into peoples' fears in the late 1950s - the Cold War took a brutal psychological toll on the American public, and that is represented here in full force.]
12. "What You Need" - Dec 18, 1959: 252584_original.jpg
13. "The Four Of Us Are Dying" - Jan 1, 1960: Screenshot 2016-12-18 at 16.23.36.png


Directed by John Brahm (Director of "The Lodger" (1944) and "Zzzzz" on "The Outer Limits"), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (12), Story - "All of Us Are Dying" by George Clayton Johnson (Writer of "Ocean's Eleven," "Logan's Run," and "The Man Trap" on "Star Trek" (??))
Featuring Harry Townes (Three episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Dr. Clifford Scott in "O.B.I.T." on "The Outer Limits," Reger in "The Return of the Archons" on "Star Trek" (??)),  Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon on "The Wild, Wild West," Mr. Gingold in "Camera Obscura" on "Night Gallery" (??), Bradley Meredith in "The Other Way Out" on "Night Gallery" (??)), Phillip Pine (Leonard O'Brien in "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" on "The Twilight Zone" (??) Colonel Phillip Green in "The Savage Curtain" on "Star Trek" (??) Theodore Pearson in "One Hundred Days of the Dragon" on "The Outer Limits" (??), Dudley Grey in "Log 123: Courtroom" on "Adam-12"), Don Gordon (Luis B. Spain in "The Invisibles" on "The Outer Limits" (??), Dave Crowell in "Second Chance" on "The Outer Limits" (??)) 
[Well, maybe they listened to me - two episodes in a row now having nothing to do with the military. However, with only one exception (okay, 1 1/2 if you include "The Lonely"), all thirteen episodes are very white-male-centric - it's as if Rod Serling was portraying himself, complete with cigarettes (Serling was a four-pack-a-day smoker).]
14. "Third From The Sun" - Jan 8, 1960: 14-Third-from-the-Sun-The-Twilight-Zone.
15. "I Shot An Arrow Into The Air" - Jan 15, 1960: TZIShotanArrow2.jpg
[Note: They shouldn't have shown #14 and #15 back-to-back for obvious reasons. And we're back to the (para-)military episodes again - these two make 6 out of 15. "I Shot An Arrow Into The Air" is from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Arrow And The Song," and this is a genuinely great title for this episode.]
16. "The Hitch-Hiker" - Jan 22, 1960: the_hitchhiker1.jpg
[Note: I'm pretty sure that I'd seen all 16 of these episodes at some point in my life, and unlike Star Trek (either TOS or TNG), they're just not all that wonderful to see a second time. The acting is sometimes poor (refer to the gentleman above with his thumb out), and the plots hinge on "a moment" that's generally worth waiting 30 minutes for (especially when you're a teenager), but not worth another viewing - for example, if you don't figure out "The Hitch-Hiker" in the first 5 minutes, you simply need to watch more plays, movies, or television (I never thought I'd say that). However, Dan Duryea (who played Mr. Denton in episode #3) really stands out to me, acting-wise - when he's forced to sing "How Dry I Am," it is genuine pathos which evokes quite a bit of viewer sympathy.]
17. "The Fever" - Jan 29, 1960: twilight-zone-season-1-17-the-fever.jpg

1.18 - "The Last Flight" - Feb 5, 1960 - Screenshot 2017-04-10 at 08.51.39.png <--- "We had no idea you were so advanced."
Directed by William Claxton (Director of "Sheba" on "Route 66" (xx)), Written by Richard Matheson (xx),
Featuring Kenneth Haigh (Brutus in "Cleopatra"), Simon Scott (General Bronson on "McHale's Navy," Arnold Slocum on "Trapper John, M.D," ), Alexander Scourby (Mike Lagana in "The Big Heat"), Robert Warwick (Major Henry in "The Life of Emile Zola")

[Note: Yes! The best episode to date - perhaps the first great one - *and* it was even military in nature. This reminded me of Star Trek. [interesting - after I posted this, I read on Wikipedia: "This episode is similar to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise.] A couple of these episodes I'd seen in the past, but there's a detail or two I didn't remember, and I'm glad I didn't remember everything about "The Last Flight." If you want to watch *a* Twilight Zone, but don't feel like watching *every* Twilight Zone, start here. "Time Enough At Last" is perhaps the most famous of the first eighteen episodes, and may be just as good as this, but I'd seen it several times, so it lost a bit of luster for me.]
19. "The Purple Testament" - Feb 12, 1960: Purple-testiment.jpg
20. "Elegy" - Feb 19, 1960: twzep20sc05.jpg
[Note: Clunk. My least-favorite episode to date. And with #18, #19, and #20, this makes 9 out of 20 (para-)military episodes. I don't remember if this turns away from military and space, and more into other aspects of science fiction, or not. Well, I guess we'll see.]
21. "Mirror Image" - Feb 26, 1960: 834da03f497b347809071ab3a55c2343.jpg
[Note: It really is amazing just how many of these episodes were reused in Star Trek - maybe not "reused" so much as "borrowed and transformed." "Mirror Image" is a prime example, and this is about the third or fourth time it's happened - that said, this was an extremely weak episode, parallel (no pun intended) to "Mirror, Mirror" in TOS Season 2.]
1.22 - "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" - Mar 4, 1960 - Screenshot 2017-04-10 at 09.15.58.png <--- "Charlie, you killed him - he's dead."
Directed by Ronald Winston (Director of "Banning"), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Claude Akins (Seaman "Horrible" in "The Caine Mutiny," Joe Burdette in "Rio Bravo"), Barry Atwater (Craig in "A Time Out of War," Dr. Jonas Temple in "Corpus Earthling" on "The Outer Limits," Surak in "A Savage Curtain" on "Star Trek," Alec Brandon in "The Doll of Death" on "Night Gallery," Janos Skorzeny in "The Night Stalker"), 

[Note: A classic. Like "Time Enough At Last," I'd seen it a few times so it lost its luster, but still, a classic. Claude Akins is unyielding with his reason, but ultimately not persuasive enough to stop the monsters.]
23. "A World Of Difference" - Mar 11, 1960: 282226_original.jpg
Directed by Ted Post (Director of "Sleep on Four Pillows" on "Route 66," "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," and "Magnum Force")
[Note: Ah, finally! It took 23 episodes before I found one where I hadn't seen the entire thing - somehow, I vaguely remembered the beginning (after "it" happened), but didn't remember the ending at all.]
24. "Long Live Walter Jameson" - Mar 18, 1960: The-Twilight-Zone-Long-Live-Walter-James
[Note: You just get the sense that the show is beginning to mature, and come into its own, with episodes like this.]
25. "People Are Alike All Over" - Mar 25, 1960: Screenshot 2017-01-28 at 22.45.17.png
Directed by MItchell Leisen (Director of "Death Takes a Holiday" and "Murder at the Vanities"), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (xx), Story - Paul W. Fairman (Founding Editor of "If" Magazine)
Featuring Roddy McDowall (Cornelius and Caesar in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, Gerald Musgrove in "The Gentleman Caller" and George in "See the Monkey Dance" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Peter Vincent in "Fright Night," Jeremy Evans in "The Cemetery" on "The Night Gallery"Susan Oliver (Annabel Delaney in "Annabel" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx) 3 Episodes of "Route 66" (xx), Vina in "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Paul Comi (Modeer in "The Crimson Witness" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Lieutenant Stiles in "Balance of Terror" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Byron Morrow (Admiral Komack in "Amok Time" and Admiral Westervliet on "For the World is Hollow, and I have Touched the Sky" on "Star Trek" (xx), Vic Perrin (3 episodes of "Star Trek" (xx), Everett Jones in "Citizens All" on "Adam-12" (xx)), Vernon Gray (John Fraser in "To Paris with Love")
[Note: Why is it that, unlike both Star Trek series that I've watched, The Twilight Zone hasn't skipped a single week? Yes, that's Roddy McDowall.]
26. "Execution" - Apr 1, 1960: Twilight-zone-season-1-26-execution.jpg

[Note: Albert Salmi, who will appear in later episodes, is adept at playing unremorseful bastards.]
27. "The Big Tall Wish" - Apr 8, 1960: Bigwish_zone2.jpg
[Note: I suspect Rod Serling had "The Big Tall Wish" up his sleeve from day one. To quote Serling, "Television, like its big sister, the motion picture, has been guilty of the sin of omission... Hungry for talent, desperate for the so-called 'new face,' constantly searching for a transfusion of new blood, it has overlooked a source of wondrous talent that resides under its nose. This is the Negro actor." This is the first time I remember anyone of color in a Twilight Zone episode, and it's fantastic that it wasn't even referenced; nevertheless, this was a tough pill to swallow. As an aside, who knew that an athlete named Bo Jackson would be seriously injured after watching Bolie Jackson?]
28. A Nice Place To Visit" - Apr 15, 1960: 212762.jpg
[Note: Boy, I don't know if the other seasons will have this many "classic" episodes, but this first season has several. How can anyone see PIP as a child and not remember him (especially us latchkey children who were occasionally subjected to watching the awful Family Affair?).]
29. "Nightmare As A Child" - Apr 29, 1960: nightmare.jpg
[Note: Hey! We skipped a week! I'm pretty sure Rod Serling was a "change the world" liberal relative to his day, but was also smart enough to bide his time and win over the Good Old Boys first. Here is another episode that might be considered "modern" by contemporary standards, one in which the power of a woman defeats the strength of a man. Nothing too radical, and nothing I even noticed when I first posted this, but maybe a little bit.]
30. "A Stop At Willoughby" - May 6, 1960: 18dxhn1bwt25njpg.jpg
[Note: Only 2 of the past 10 episodes (#22 and #25) have used (para-)military or space-age paranoia as premises, so that makes only 11 out of 30 - a much more reasonable number. Also 2 out of the past 4 (#27 and #29) episodes have dealt with people of color or the strength of females - the show is definitely settling in and teaching us something rather than merely entertaining us. That said, the female character in "A Stop At Willoughby" was, just like in "A World Of Difference," a stereotypical harpy - the type of person anyone would despise. You can easily see how they chose Howard Duff to play the lead in "A World Of Difference" - his eyes and his eyebrows are perma-fixed in this kind of confused-looking stare. I've never seen a facial expression that changed so little over the course of a thirty-minute show - it's almost funny although it's not meant to be.]

31. "The Chaser" - May 13, 1960: Thechaser.jpg
[Note: Well, here it is: The very first episode in Season 1 that I hadn't seen any of. What a refreshing point of view to have, not having the foggiest notion of what is to transpire, and not recognizing it when it does. This episode - comic to the point of being laugh-out-loud funny at times - but also tense (in an "Arachnophobia" type of way - not knowing if an innocent mistake might kill you) - was very nearly outstanding, and gave me the "thrill of first sighting" once again, and for that, this whole endeavor has been worth it. This gives me hope that there will be others, perhaps numerous others, and this exercise is like a little treasure hunt. "The Chaser" is absolutely a comic episode, but the acting, particularly by the Clara Bow-like Patricia Barry, is fantastic - Barry plays two distinct roles here, and transitions from being a stand-offish dream-girl to "every guy's worst nightmare" in an instant, and she performs the dichotomy seamlessly. Because of the hilarity of this episode, her excellent acting could easily be overlooked, but it would be a mistake to do so. You should watch this if you haven't - I'd love to see your thoughts.]
32. "A Passage For Trumpet" - May 20, 1960: 595b958c69fb54d375521836a5eb85ef.jpg?ito

[Note: There are many inside jokes in Twilight Zone episodes, and a really clever one here is when Jack Klugman walks out of the bar just after selling his trumpet: The bar is named "Bandwagon," and that's just perfect. Between these playful little jokes, and some of the ingenious titles, there was a very clever person at work here - maybe more than one - but I suspect one of them was named Rod Serling. "A Passage For Trumpet?" Think about that title for a second.]

33. "Mr. Bevis" - Jun 3, 1960: 212767.jpg

[Note: Hey! We skipped a week for the second time in a month! What gives? Baseball season? Why do I feel like I just watched my own biography? Mr. Bevis is the way I want to be. Yeah, it would nice to have wealth, fame, idolizing fans, all that good stuff, but at the end of the day, all that's important is who cares that you're gone, what your children develop into, the character of your grand-grandchildren ... all that stuff that can't be put onto a corporate balance sheet. I know all of this, and to the best of my knowledge, I've yet to walk in ... to ... The Twilight Zone. (Although, honestly, sometimes it seems like I've come pretty close.)]

34. "After Hours" - Jun 10, 1960: After_Hours.jpg

[Note: A surprisingly weak episode after a long run of strong ones. Well, every series is entitled to some clunkers, and this was theirs. Weak acting, a weak storyline, a weak plot, very little consequence, very little at stake, just all-around weak and very little.]

35. "The Mighty Casey" - Jun 17, 1960: Screenshot 2017-02-19 at 1.51.46 PM.png
Directed by Robert Parrish (Academy Award Winner for Best Film Editing for "Body and Soul") and Alvin Ganzer (Directed 14 episodes of "Police Woman"), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Jack Warden (xx), Robert Sorrells (Charlie Guthrie in "Bound for Glory"), Abraham Sofaer (Arch on "Demon with a Glass Hand" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Haji on "I Dream of Jeannie," The Thasian on "Charlie X" on "Star Trek" (xx))

[Note: Gosh, I hate to say it, but my least-favorite Twilight Zone episode so far has been about baseball. This could have been a classic; instead it was just a big dud. If you're a Twilight Zone fan *and* a Sports Fan, you'll be bitterly disappointed in this - the combination couldn't have been worse. That said, I've seen a lot of online comments about this episode, and not one of them mentioned that this was shown just one year after west-coast baseball began, and there's kind of a "cutting" comment at the very end regarding the West Coast - I'm wondering if this is something of a metaphor for teams (the Dodgers and Giants, to be exact) moving west of Kansas City - note that the Giants *shellacked* the Zephyrs after Casey got his heart, but that the manager moved the Zephyrs to the West Coast shortly afterwards and dominated, because he got the robot blueprint. I also read, in one comment, that the gentleman who originally played the manager of the Zephyrs passed away just before filming ended, and they had to reshoot all of his parts with Jack Warden - and they had to do it in short order - that, too, can explain a lot that went wrong. Warden was a fine actor, but he didn't give a good performance in this episode (notice how silly the opening "handshake" scene is).]

36. "A World Of His Own" - Jun 24, 1960: a-world-of-his-own.jpg?w=500&h=374

[Note: Season one is now a wrap, and it went out on a high note - with a comedy, yet. The ending of "A World Of His Own" was wonderful, with two back-to-back surprises (I'm not sure what this second technique is called). I'm so glad I went through this entire season because it not only lent a perspective to things, but also solidified how a series matures over time and gains its own personality. I'm very much looking forward to beginning season two. My remembering how much I enjoyed The Twilight Zone wasn't just childhood reminiscing; it's actually a really good, absolutely groundbreaking series. I believe The Outer Limits may be superior (I'd need to revisit all shows from both series to make that judgment, but hey, I've got "time enough at last," as Burgess Meredith would say). Please allow me to pat myself on the back, feeling and enjoying a small but significant sense of accomplishment.]



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The Twilight Zone - Season Two (Sep 30, 1960 - June 2, 1961) - Produced by Buck Houghton

1. "King Nine Will Not Return" - Sep 3, 1960: 02_1_1.jpg

[Note: Quick character guide on wrecked B-25 Medium Bomber, 12th Air Force Base, Crashed off Tunisia April 5, 1943: 1) Captain James Embry (did not make the flight) Pilot 2) Blake, Co-Pilot 3) Krasky, Radio Operator & Waist Gunner 4) Jiminez, Navigator 5) Connors, Tail Gunner 6) Technical Sergeant William F. Kline, Upper Turret Gunner. I suspect The Twilight Zone was an early catalyst for  PTSD treatment].

2. "Man In The Bottle" - Oct 7, 1960: 212772.jpg

3. "Nervous Man In A Four Dollar Room" - Oct 14, 1960: 212773.jpg

4. "A Thing About Machines" - Oct 28, 1960: 4591684_l3.jpg

[Note: A sophomore slump? While episode #1 was fine, the next three were as bad as any Twilight Zone episodes I've yet seen, particularly #2. Interestingly, I don't think I ever saw any of these before - how is it that I saw so many first-season episodes? I'm hoping Rod Serling didn't use up all his great ideas in season 1 because season 2 has started with an embarrassingly bad sequence. I *guess* if I had to pick one of these (#2, #3, or #4) that I "disliked least," it would be #3, and I suppose that #4 has probably had the most long-term influence on the industry (think: "Killdozer!" (which could have also been embarrassingly bad, but somehow managed not to be) and eventually "The Terminator").]

5. "The Howling Man" - Nov 4, 1960: tzhowling3.jpg

[Note: The sophomore slump is over - this gets my vote as "Scariest Episode To Date." Twilight Zones usually aren't scary, but this one is. Interestingly, this is the first episode of Season 2 that wasn't written by Rod Serling.]

6. "Eye Of The Beholder" - Nov 11, 1960: 93.png

[Note: It's pretty bad when you guess the ending 10 minutes into the episode, and you spend the final 20 minutes suffering through over-acting. This is the first time I'm questioning whether or not it's worth the effort to watch the entire series (I'm actually writing this 15 minutes into the episode - the only thing I haven't done is search for the image). Edit: Yes, I guessed it although I didn't think about the dystopian aspect; I figured it was another planet until they mentioned the word "human" - darn it, too many episodes are tailor-made for an unsophisticated 15-year-old, and "The Zone" (as we used to call it) just doesn't have the depth of Star Trek TOS. One saving grace is that I note this episode was also written by Rod Serling (which I sort of figured) - I always thought Serling was the talent behind this series; I was wrong: he's apparently just not a very good writer, I'm sorry to say (and it kind of hurts me to say this). Since I know this series ran five years, I'm guessing that the network executives recognize this at some point very soon, and have someone else write most of the episodes. I just did some research, and I'm surprised that Serling wrote 28 of the 36 Season 1 episodes - even more surprising is that of the 8 episodes he didn't write, some were my favorites ("The Last Flight"), and others weren't ("Elegy"). For reference, the 8 non-Serling episodes were episodes 9, 18, 20, 23, 24, 28, 31 and 36 (this is all very accessible on that link I just provided, as well as on Wikipedia), with episodes 18, 24, 28 and 31 being four of my favorites during the first season. Well, at least I'm learning something about television history - that has some value, although I'm not sure exactly what it is, or how much it's worth.]

7. "Nick Of Time" - Nov 18, 1960: 222.jpg

[Note: I suspected this wasn't written by Rod Serling (because it has always been a personal favorite - it has that goofy, innocent quality that I've always enjoyed in this series). In fact, this was written by Richard Matheson ("The Howllng Man," which was more straight horror, was written by Charles Beaumont). Three observations: 1) It's odd seeing a young William Shatner named "Don" 2) Why did one iced coffee cost $1.10?! (Never mind, it was a mistake of ambiguity in the episode - there were two iced coffees on the table) 3) "Nick Of Time" is yet another great title and great double pun. Yes, my beloved Twilight Zone is teenage-level entertainment (by comparison, I just re-watched "Cinema Paradiso" two nights ago, and I was struggling to fight back tears at the end because I was trying to be manly around my friend), but The Zone is fun escapism for me, and I love the fact that I'm learning about the series, organically, slowly, I turn, step-by-step, inch-by-inch ... oh, never mind - I think I have the wrong series. But I do love pretending to be intellectual about non-intellectual things - it sort of makes me feel like I'm a Washington, DC-based restaurant critic.]

8. "The Lateness Of The Hour" - Dec 2, 1960: 36_late.jpg
Directed by Jack Smight (Directed 4 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Inger Stevens (Wendy in "The Beryllium Eater" and Julie Brack in "Burning for Burning" on "Route 66" (xx), John Hoyt (Principal Warneke in "Blackboard Jungle," Ross in "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" on "The Twilight Zone," Bifrost Alien in "The Bellero Shield" on "The Outer Limits," Dr. Philip Boyce in "The Cage" on "Star Trek"), Irene Tedrow (Martin Sloan's Mother in "Walking Distance" on "The Twilight Zone," Mrs. Lucy Elkins on "Dennis the Menace," Congresswoman Margaret Geddes on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show")

[Note: I didn't guess the ending, probably because it's very late and I'm tired - do yourself a favor: Watch this one without thinking too much, because it's just more fun that way. However, beware! While the opening theme was playing, I walked over to get some water, and all of a sudden I began hearing what was unmistakably porn on my computer, and if you don't believe me, watch it for yourself (but *not* at work). I rushed back to my computer, only to discover, in horror, that it was - oh my God - Irene Tedrow. Yes, *Mrs. Elkins* from Dennis The Menace was *having an orgasm*. Not an actual orgasm (she was getting a massage), but this was indistinguishable, sound-wise, from pornography. And I'm telling you that if you don't believe me, find the episode and watch it with your eyes closed. I thought *sure* when I raced back to my computer that some virus had been activated, and you would too, had I not just warned you. Beware! *Mrs Elkins*! Not safe for work, not safe for children, not safe for much of anything. My goodness! Note: Inger Stevens (the daughter) was the woman in "The Hitchhiker. All three of the primaries in this episode are pretty famous.]

9. "The Trouble With Templeton" - Dec 9, 1960: BrianAherneTempleton.jpg

[Note: Titular inspiration for "The Trouble With Tribbles?"]

10. "A Most Unusual Camera" - Dec 16, 1960: a_most_unusual_camera.jpg

11. "The Night Of The Meek" - Dec 23, 1960: 2night.jpg
Directed by Jack Smight (Directed 4 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Art Carney (Ed Norton on "The Honeymooners," Academy Award Winner for Best Actor as Harry Coombes in "Harry and Tonto"), John Fielder (Juror #2 in "12 Angry Men," Leon Gorwald in "Incident in a Small Jail" and Amos in "The Last Remains" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Malcolm Stewart in "I Saw the Whole Thing" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Administrator Hengist in "Wolf in the Fold" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Meg Wylie (The Talosian "Keeper" on "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" on "Star Trek" (xx), Burt Mustin (Old Man in "The Guests" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Mr. Ward in "The Child Stealer" and Fred Tiller in "Clear with a Civilian" on "Adam-12" (xx), 5 episodes of "All in the Family" (xx))

[Note: You get the feeling that Rod Serling is the nicest guy in the world, and he's spinning yarns for children to enjoy. It's absurd for me to question a man as popular, beloved, and famous as Serling is, so I'm not going to. Of much greater importance is that the PC Police deleted Serling's final sentence in his closing narration of this December 23rd Christmas episode: "and a Merry Christmas, to each and all." Both Netflix and Amazon have re-inserted the phrase, but with a clear degradation in sound quality. You know what? On December 25th, I say "Merry Christmas," on the 25th day of Kislev I say "Happy Hanukkah," and on the 1st day of the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, I say "Ramadan Mubarak," and anyone who doesn't like it can go take a long walk off a short pier. ... Later this evening ... I've spent a good deal of time researching Rod Serling the man, including the Wikipedia entry on him, and I really feel like I "get" him more than I did. He's not a huge talent; he was a thoughtful, ambitious, young man who struggled with school, entered the war wanting to fight Hitler (his parents were Jewish, although he converted to Unitarianism), but was sent to the Philippines and then Japan, and never did much in college or beyond (though he graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH). In the military, he was awarded The Purple Heart, The Bronze Star, and The Philippine Liberation Medal - in other words, he was an American War Hero. Serling also had "the bug" - the writer's bug - and just didn't have much patience to see it through; he wanted results, and scorned radio for television. Serling wasn't puerile; he just wasn't an intellect, but he had "cool," purplish, comic-book-like ideas to share with the world, and wanted to very badly. He was considered a "bad boy" of Hollywood due to his relative liberalism and combativeness against the shows' sponsors and their censorship. Serling was a good guy who cared about people - people of color, people of lesser means, and people without power. Shakespeare he wasn't, but he knew that; his life was molded by war, boxing, and the military, and it shows in these early episodes. I will attempt to view him in a more lenient light now, and accept him for what he was, although I'm still not quite sure exactly what he was. If anyone has anything to say about this, I'd love to read it. But for now, and perhaps for my own sanity, my personal views on Serling have eased.]

12. "Dust" - Jan 6, 1961: 119296.jpg

[Note: Wow, this was somewhat groundbreaking: It involves a death penalty for vehicular homicide (in the old West!). Good acting helped this episode's cause (overacting by Thomas Gomez not included).]

13. "Back There" - Jan 13, 1961: TZ+back+there.jpg

[Note: Russell Johnson in a tale of a fateful trip.]

14. "The Whole Truth" - Jan 20, 1961: 119298.jpg

[Note: This started off being fun, then got sort of lame, and then ended up even lamer *except* for a couple of hilarious cultural references at the end. Chavez Ravine? New York meets California. I had no idea.]

15. "The Invaders" - Jan 27, 1961: 77412.jpg

[Note: Special effects have come a long way (after the stabbing scene, someone off to the side almost surely pitched the little moon-man onto the poor lady). This is one I really remember as a child, and I thought it was both "scary" and "cool" back then - but this is when I was in elementary school. This and "The Howling Man" are probably the two episodes to date that most emphasize fear, and neither was written by Rod Serling (this was written by Richard Matheson who also wrote the "Star Trek" episode "The Enemy Within"). Even when I was young (and occasionally watching "Bewitched,") I never thought the lady in this episode looked much like Agnes Moorehead - she was 59 years old when this was filmed - but in retrospect, that's probably because I only knew her when she had witch makeup on! The score by Jerry Goldsmith is very effective here.]

16. "Penny For Your Thoughts" - Feb 3, 1961: penny2.jpg

[Note: I don't know why I loved this episode, but I did - I'd never seen it before, and I thought it was great fun. It's amazing how much Dick York looks like Roddy McDowall, and I was confusing the two - this is the second-straight "Bewitched" episode. If you see it, freeze the episode right at the point where he throws the coin into the basket. There, you'll see a slice of American numismatic history: on the far left is a Standing Liberty Quarter (minted 1916-1930), right next to it, one millimeter away from touching it, is a Walking Liberty Half (minted 1916-1947), on the left, stacked atop another coin, is the reverse side of a Buffalo Nickel (minted 1913-1938), and every single coin that you see greater than a nickel in denomination was struck in silver (silver coinage was minted through 1964). It seems like yesterday that there was a small chance that you could get some of these in your pocket change, but the truth is, it's been tough for over thirty years now. What a wonderful little walk down memory lane these coins were, and to some degree, they literally date "Penny For Your Thoughts." This was written by George Clayton Johnson who also wrote the Star Trek episode, "The Man Trap."]

2.17. "Twenty-Two" - Feb 10, 1961 - 
Directed by Jack Smight (Director of "Airport 75"), Written by - Teleplay: Rod Serling (??), Story: from "Famous Ghost Stories" by Bennet Cerf (Regular panelist on "What's My Line?")
Featuring Barbara Nichols, Jonathan Harris, Fred Wayne, Arlene Sax (Spock's Bride), Mary Adams, Norma Connolly, Wesley Lau, Angus Duncan

[Note: The Twilight Zone is such a good bridge for mid-century acting and 1960's television series - the doctor in this was Jonathan Adams from "Lost In Space," and the white-collar gambler from the previous episode was Hayden Rorke from "I Dream Of Jeannie." It might sound banal, but I'm learning a fair amount from going through this series.]

18. "The Odyssey Of Flight 33" - Feb 24, 1961: 212788.jpg

[Note: I'm enjoying this series more since I decided to back off of Rod Serling. I had no idea that JFK Airport was referred to as "Idlewild" before 1963 (JFK's death is really being amplified in a couple recent episodes). And what's with the flight attendant rushing to get to the Metropolitan Opera House to see Wagner's Ring? (I assume that's what they're referring to by Valhalla - I know of no other opera by this name.) And hey, the opera buff isn't supposed to be one of the two flight attendants with "heavy dates," but that's what she told a passenger. I had never heard of Lake Success before I saw this episode.]

19. "Mr. Dingle, The Strong" - Mar 3, 1961: hqdefault.jpg

[Note: Don Rickles (left) and Burgess Meredith (center) in the same episode. The two-headed Martians were funny; the two Venusians (yes, that's a word), much less so. As I listened to the Nationals game on radio tonight (see below), the argument about Robin Roberts vs. Clem Labine (there was no comparison around that time) became all the more poignant. I cherish history, and this is so important to me.]

20. "Static" - Mar 10, 1961: 056-static-avi_0013922261.jpg

[Note: It's ironic that I listened to the Nationals game (which was tied for the longest MLB post-season game in history) on radio tonight. As Dean Jagger (playing Ed Lindsay) said in the episode: "Radio: You have to believe it to see it." I love baseball even more than I love the Nationals, so this one didn't hurt so much - it was a great game (suffering through John Kruk notwithstanding), and it's wonderful being part of history. For those who've seen it: Tommy Dorsey, the great jazz trombonist, passed away in 1956, and his shows (according to this episode) were not recorded, making "Static" all the more sentimental.]

21. "The Prime Mover" Mar 24, 1961: the_prime_mover.jpg

[Note: Buddy Ebsen saves the day (sort of).]

22. "Long Distance Call" - Mar 31, 1961: 4668656_l2.jpg

[Note: Bill Mumy's first of three Twilight Zone episodes - this one, I didn't need to see: It just hit too close to home. Both he and Jonathan Adams got their starts for "Lost In Space" here. I also realize I said early on that I wasn't going to simply list every celebrity, but it really is interesting to see just how many there were.]

23. "A Hundred Yards Over The Rim" - Apr 7, 1961: 100_Yards.jpg

[Note: Although in a relatively minor role, John Astin played a 49er early on in this episode (I know that Lurch will be making an appearance later as well), so "The Addams Family" is covered here too - there is just no denying "The Twilight Zone's" influence in subsequent generations of television. For me, this is absolutely the most interesting part of watching this influential series.]

24. "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" - Apr 14, 1961: twzep60sc16.jpg

25. "The Silence" - Apr 21, 1961: The_Silence_The_Twilight_Zone.jpg

26. "Shadow Play" - May 5, 1961: twilightzoneshadowplaydennisweaverelectr

[Note: I don't judge people or institutions (well, I *do* judge them, but I cut them some slack) based on the prejudice and societal norms of entire eras, but I must object to fully two out of five (40%) inmates on death row being of color here - especially based on how many caucasians are featured in Twilight Zone episodes in general - if you're making a show about 99% white people, please put a corresponding number on death row - this stood out like a sore thumb to me, *but* the two condemned inmates of color were the two most sane, normal prisoners out of the five - plus, there was some pretty strong redemption in the interesting plot twist at the very end - I had no idea the condemned prisoner was Dennis Weaver until I researched afterwards (has anyone besides me seen "Duel" (1971)? That was Steven Spielberg's *first film* ever!)]

27. "The Mind And The Matter" - May 12, 1961: 8c509dff5-1.jpg

[Note: Ugh. This may have been my least-favorite episode to date (certainly in the bottom 5 (out of 63 episodes watched so far)). Yes, I just now looked, and yes, sigh, it was written by Rod Serling.]

28. "Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?" - May 19, 1961: will-the-real-martian-please-stand-up-63

[Note: In "just" 53 short years, we've graduated from thinking that there actually might be intelligent life on Mars (and Venus (which is apparently a superior planet!)). There have now been several shows that have spooked people into thinking that this just might be the case - unbelievable. Are we, in 2014, going to be looked upon as primitives in 2067? Alas, my guess is yes.]

29. "The Obsolete Man" - May 26, 1961: obsolete-man_4241.jpg

[Note: Burgess Meredith may be the 1st person to appear in 3 Twilight Zone episodes in the first 2 seasons ("Time Enough At Last," "Mr. Dingle, The Strong," and "The Obsolete Man." [Correction - *big* correction - after I wrote this, I did some research, and found that I was wrong - and *boy* was I wrong! There are 7 other men who have been in 3-or-more episodes in Seasons 1 and 2 (if you click on the previous link, you can see the episode list): 1) Lew Brown, 2) Bill Erwin, 3) S. John Launer, 4) Barney Phillips, 5) James Turley, 6) Jay Overholts (who appeared in 6), and then, there's the outlier of outliers: 7) Robert McCord, who, believe it or not, appeared in something on the order of 50, or 60, or perhaps even more Twilight Zone episodes. Yes, you read that correctly - McCord is the undisputed King of The Twilight Zone. Well, enough of that fallacy of mine.] Returning to Burgess Meredith, I had always assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that he was Jewish which is why I was somewhat surprised that The Bible played such a big part in this episode; however, I noted that he turned the pages backwards (which would be in line with Hebrew, and I thought that might have been a concession - or perhaps it was just an error). Most importantly, this was a good, strong episode with which to end Season 2, and I am *delighted* to report: It was written by none other than Rod Serling.]

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The Twilight Zone - Season 3


1. "Two" - Sep 15, 1961: em8.JPG
[Note: This was absolutely one of my favorite episodes to date (the first of three written by Montgomery Pittman), and it may have been because I was reading Alice Munro earlier today - "Two" was unlike any other episode I've seen, and was, believe it or not, relatively "Munro-like" in character. Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery - fetching as a brunette - were the only two characters in the entire episode. When Montgomery saw the dress in front of Bronson, she said, in somewhat mangled Russian, "Прекра�ний" - which translates to "lovely" - the only word she spoke in the entire episode. Later on, when she had put on the dress, Bronson (to Montgomery's surprise) replied in kind. I would be very curious to know other peoples' opinions on "Two" - I really liked it. This was also the first Twilight Zone episode aired after I was born (the Berlin Wall was erected the night after my birth, on August 13, 1961, so the Russian language surely had an impact).]
2. "The Arrival" - Sep 22, 1961: the_arrival.jpg
[Note: I've never read any Twilight Zone critiques (other than two or three written on A.V. Club). These first two episodes went from "splendid" to "unwatchably bad," and I'm sorry to say that I'm becoming enough of an aficionado where I can begin to hypothesize that it's the writer. Rod Serling wrote this episode, and it was terrible - to paraphrase from The Twilight Zone: 'Is anybody out there?! Can anybody hear me?!' Do people not see how incredibly *bad* the majority of Rod Serling's episodes are? Has anyone reading this ever come across any other Twilight Zone reviews, and if so, have those reviews put forth the same hypothesis? How can they not? It's so blindly obvious that it hurts. I refuse to accept that I'm the only viewer to ever come up with this theory - I refuse to believe that I'm the first person in the history of the world to recognize something that's so patently obvious.]
3. "The Shelter" - trivia.jpg
4.4 - "The Passersby" - Screenshot 2017-06-27 at 11.29.52 PM.png
Directed by Elliott Silverstein, Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring James Gregory
[Note: I'm going to stop focusing on Rod Serling as writer because I'm getting tired of my repetitive thoughts, but allow me to say that these were two solid episodes. Serling himself said, around this point, that he was running out of ideas, but he seems to be doing okay to me (can you tell I really want to like him and his writing?) You can see some (though perhaps not all) of the plot twists coming, but there's also very much of a surprise guest at the end of "The Passerby," and it, alone, makes the entire episode worth watching.]
5. "A Game Of Pool" - Oct 13, 1961: agameofpool.jpg
[Note: Jonathan Winters as a quasi-Minnesota Fats, and Jack Klugman were dynamite for the first 28 minutes of The Twilight Zone's version of "The Hustler" (which came out earlier this year).]
6. "The Mirror" - Oct 20, 1961: Fidel_Castro_Twilight_Zone_03.jpg
[Note: Though I would have rather seen a Latino play the part, Peter Falk was very good as a quasi-Fidel Castro (who came into power just two years before). For someone who's 'running out of ideas,' Serling has been doing a fine job writing of late.]
7. "The Grave" - Oct 27, 1961: the-grave4.jpg
[Note: Lee Marvin in an addled, confused episode.]
8. "It's A Good Life" - Nov 3, 1961 - cornfield.jpg
[Note: One of the most famous Twilight Zone episodes, and also one of the most memorable; however, after you've seen it once or twice it becomes tedious. A must-see, but only once. Perhaps the most terrifying special effect to date - the (implied) effect is ingenious, and genuinely horrifying. The child in the picture is Bil Mumy of "Lost In Space" fame. Note also: There is a known "bug" in resolving Wiki links containing an apostrophe (believe it or not), and it's not limited to Invision, or for that matter, Wikipedia - because of this, episodes with an apostrophe in the name (in this season, episodes #8, #9, and #18) will have no direct links to Wikipedia in the titles - but I encourage you to go there yourselves and explore to your heart's content.]


9. "Death's Head Revisited" Nov 10, 1961: hqdefault.jpg

[Note: Written by Rod Serling, "Death's Head Revisited" was, to me, the most powerful and devastating episode to date. For those (like me) who cannot bear to witness, or even dwell upon, human suffering, this is an important episode to watch, and one which I would recommend for first-time viewers. The hellish suffering is largely implied, but it's all there for the viewer to process. It sounds ridiculously trite to say "it's important to think about these things from time-to-time," but it's also true no matter how trite it sounds. A painful episode to watch, but even more painful when you realize you're merely watching television in the comfort of your own home, and then you begin to think about how many millions of people were stripped of that comfort, forced to endure squalor, starvation, unspeakable torture, and finally, death as the only relief.]


10. "The Midnight Sun" - Nov 17, 1961: 1120688969.jpg


11. "Still Valley" - Nov 24, 1961: hqdefault.jpg

[Note: It was interesting hearing "Manassas" mentioned in this complex, Civil War episode which took place in Virginia.]


12. "The Jungle" - Dec 1, 1961: Screenshot 2015-11-22 at 23.58.15.png <--- [Jungle sounds in the background, man is scared ... Oh, Rod, how could you have let them?]  

[Note: This gets my vote as the single worst episode to date. I read a review on AV Club that said it was "scary" - even if you agree with that (and I suppose there are some tense moments when the man is walking around New York City, hearing growling animals), then it's still the only redeeming quality. Unless you're watching the entire series, "The Jungle" is best left in darkness.]


13. "Once Upon A Time" - Dec 15, 1961: once+upon+a+time.png

[Note: I can only think of two comic episodes of The Twilight Zone that I really liked - "The Chaser," and "Once Upon A Time." This really went out on a limb (the audience of this weekly series was expecting "eerie and creepy," and when they didn't get it, the producers better have had a good reason why not, and this episode was probably well-received even by people looking for space aliens and monsters). It was just ... fun - not as funny as "The Chaser" (which is the only laugh-out-loud funny Twilight Zone I've yet seen), but fun nevertheless. And if anyone could please tell me what an "ultrasonic cathode" is, I'd surely appreciate it (you can tell Richard Matheson had some fun writing this, too). Oh, and do you know who that is wearing the sparking helmet? You should, you really should.]


14. "Five Characters In Search Of An Exit" - Dec 22, 1961: 41tc39b8g0l-_sx320_sy240_.jpg


[Note: Stylistically, a classic Twilight Zone episode: scared protagonists, trying to find their way out of an unusual, inexplicable situation, followed by "The Twlight Zone Twist." Very much of a pattern here, and not at all badly performed in this episode - a good place to start in order to "dip your toes into the water," just in case you're wondering whether or not you really want to commit to watching all five seasons. Although there are many variations to this plot, some of which are entirely different, this is a recurring theme you'll see often, and you have to like it - or at least, tolerate it - in order to enjoy the entire series.]


3.15. "A Quality Of Mercy" - Dec 29, 1961 - Screenshot 2017-10-21 at 00.34.51.png
Directed by Buzz Kulik (Director of "Brian's Song"), Written by - Teleplay: Rod Serling (xx), Story: Sam Rolfe (Creator of "Have Gun - Will Travel," Writer of "The Vengeance Factor" on "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
Featuring Dean Stockwell as Lt. Katell and Lt. Yamuri (Alfred Hitchcocks (xx) (xx) Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor as Tony "The Tiger" Russo in "Married to the Mob"),  xxx

[Note: There are things in this life that every American (in this particular case, I say "American" and not "person") should commit to memory - any way they can. One of these things I've been paying lip service to for far too long now: I've been telling myself that I would memorize the organizational structure of the U.S. Army, as well as the other branches of military, e.g., a squad compared to a platoon compared to a company, etc. And what the ranks are - a second-lieutenant vis-a-vis a captain, for example, and I should be able to look at their uniforms and instantly tell what rank the soldier is. Well, I can't - and it's something that has been gnawing away at me for years now. It's time for me to *do it*, and stop *thinking about doing it*. I suppose I know more than most which tells me that we should all be ashamed of ourselves, not having taken the *hour* - or however long it would take someone - to commit these to memory. We owe our soldiers - all our soldiers - nothing less than this. I mention "Army" here because this happens to be about a platoon in an Army during World War II, but all the branches are of equal importance, at least they are to me. And I would like to personally apologize for not having done this sooner, and to say "thank you" to all our servicemen (which is, to my credit, something I do on a regular basis). Enough preaching - I hope everyone follows my lead here in taking on this minimal mental exercise. I really wanted to get a picture of Leonard Nimoy in here, as he plays a small part, but "A Quality Of Mercy" is all about Dean Stockwell with Albert Salmi (both pictured) playing a strong supporting role.]

16. "Nothing In The Dark" - Jan 5, 1962: Screenshot 2016-09-14 at 09.12.06.png
Directed by Lamont Johnson (Emmy Award - 11 nominations, 2 wins), Written by George Clayton Johnson (Writer of "The Man Trap" on "Star Trek")
Featuring Dame Gladys Cooper (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 66-year career, Academy Award - 3 nominations), Robert Redford (56-year career (still active), Several Academy Award nominations and wins for acting and directing, including Lifetime Achievement Award), R.G. Armstrong (40-year career, 4 films directed by Sam Peckinpah)

All three actors in this episode were just about perfect, and it's hard to imagine that "Nothing In The Dark" could have been acted any better than it was. This was a childhood favorite of mine that I'd probably seen ten times, but I watched the entire episode again, just because I wanted to. I don't know why, but it's the only episode to date that actually brought tears to my eyes (I have a very large "sympathy button" for the old and the sick). This might be the first episode I give to a newcomer - something that would get them hooked on the series.

17. "One More Pallbearer" - Jan 12, 1962: 5212978537_5f911b4a58.jpg


[Note: A fascinating episode, but not necessarily a great episode - it's fascinating more for its human psychological component than for anything else. Paul Bradin's self-destruction is so total that it almost evokes a sense of pity - "money can't buy happiness" is the obvious parable here, but this really is a good example of that despite its obviousness (this is a true parable that all people seem to ignore, tragically). All four actors (Gage Clark, Katherine Squire, and Trevor Bardette were the supporting cast) played strong roles here, but it was set up for Joseph Wiseman to steal the show - it didn't have to be done that way, but it was. Recent episodes have featured some very strong acting, and are much better off because of it.]


18. "Dead Man's Shoes" - Jan 19, 1962: Screenshot 2016-11-01 at 23.22.12.png
Directed by Montgomery Pittman, Written by Charles Beaumont (Co-Producer and Co-Writer of "The Masque of the Red Death")
Featuring Warren Stevens (Rojan in "By Any Other Name" on "Star Trek," Officer Art McCall in "The Dinosaur" on "Adam-12")


19. "The Hunt" - Jan 26, 1962: Donny-from-Voodo.jpg


[Note: Beautifully acted by Arthur Hunnicutt - any lover of dogs should watch this remarkably touching episode. Okay, along with "Nothing In The Dark," it wouldn't be incorrect to call this "maudlin," but so what.]


20. "Showdown With Rance McGrew" - Feb 2, 1962:  300px-Showdown_with_Rance_McGrew.jpg


[Note: Rance McGrew may look familiar, and that's because he's played by Larry Blyden, who starred in "A Nice Place To Visit." In both of these episodes, he played a smarmy man; in real life, he was purported to be a really good guy - shows what a fine actor he was.]


21. "Kick The Can" - Feb 9, 1962: 119334.jpg


[Note: A more modern (and more pleasing) version of "Kick The Can" can be found starring Scatman Crothers in Steven Spielberg's 1983 "Twilight Zone: The Movie."]


22. "A Piano In The House" - Feb 16, 1962: morse1960.jpg


[Note: It's hard for me to get Barry Morse's "I'm going to be very naughty!" comment out of my head towards the end - he acted very well in this.]


23. "The Last Rites Of Jeff Myrtlebank" - Feb 23, 1962: tumblr_inline_mz587ydKFO1rhu1vv.jpg

3.24 - "To Serve Man" - Mar 2, 1962 -  Screenshot 2020-05-10 at 12.15.33.png <--- "There is nothing ulterior in our motives. Nothing at all."
Directed by
 Richard L. Bare (5), Written by - Teleplay: Rod Serling (62), Story: Damon Knight (2001 Retro-Hugo Award for Best Short Story 1950, Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame Inductee 2003)
Featuring Lloyd Bochner as Michael Chambers (Terrence Bagget in "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear" (Spoofing his Role in "To Serve Man"), Canadian National Award of Excellence Recipient 2004), Richard Kiel as The Kanamits (Jaws in "The Spy who Loved Me" and "Moonraker" (Saturn Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor)), Susan Cummings as Patty (Georgia on "Union Pacific"), Joseph Ruskin as the Voice of the Kanamits (
Collins in 
"Production and Decay of Strange Particles" on "The Outer Limits," Master Thrall Galt in "The Gamesters of Triskelion" on "Star Trek"

25. "The Fugitive" - Mar 9, 1962: TZ+The+Fugitive.jpg


[Note: A very lovable episode for the first 29 minutes, and then it got a little ... squirmy.]


26. "Little Girl Lost" - Mar 16, 1962: little_girl_lost_chalk_portal.jpg?39bd26


[Note: There's no doubt this was an early precursor of "dimension-jumping" and corresponding Star Trek episodes, but boy does it seem particularly dated - the ending, where the dimensional rift was closing, was a highlight, albeit a brief one.]

3.27 - "Person Or Persons Unknown" - Mar 23, 1962 - Screenshot 2017-07-12 at 1.46.33 PM.png
Directed by John Brahm (xx), Written by Charles Beaumont (xx)
Featuring Richard Long as David Gurney (Professor Harold Everett in "Nanny and the Professor"), Frank Silvera as Doctor Koslenko (Mr. Roderiguez in "A Personal Matter" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Alejandro in "The Life Work of Juan Diaz" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx)), Shirley Ballard as Wilma (Vivian Shepherd in, ironically, "The Second Woman"), Julie van Zandt as Wilma (Patricia Van Seckland in "The Best Things in Life Are Free"), Betty Harford as the photo clerk (5 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx) and "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx)), Edmund Glover as Sam Baker (Jacob "Sparks" Winslow, radioman in "The Ghost Ship"), Joe Higgins as the bank guard (Sherriff in 1970 Dodge Challenger commercials)

[Note: I know we're in The Twilight Zone, but I need *some* kind of resolution. Well, maybe not, but this was *so* open-ended - probably the most open-ended episode I've yet seen. I was trying to figure out why Richard Long looked so familiar, before remembering he starred in "Nanny and the Professor." Upon second watching, I liked this episode much more than I did after the first time - the title makes perfect sense, and this plot of "contracting identities," though well-worn, is always interesting - I'm a little surprised I had a problem with the open-ending, as those things don't usually bother me. Sometime in the future, this will be looked upon as a comment which "objectifies" women (that's politically correct lingo for saying a girl is pretty), but David should just keep his mouth shut and be happy with his situation after waking up from his dream. :)]

28. "The Gift" - Mar 30, 1962: Screenshot 2016-08-27 at 16.25.59.png

[Note: Have I seen a variation of this episode before, somewhere? Maybe The Outer Limits? Or Night Gallery? I remember enjoying this premise (a very "typical" Twilight Zone premise), but I don't remember it being this poorly acted. The bartender was the worst of all, but may have been followed by the child (a key character in this episode whose performance it hinged upon).]


29. "The Little People" - Apr 6, 1962: tz-little.jpg


[Note: I liked this a lot, and Claude Atkins once again turned in a strong performance (he was also in "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" - he's good at playing tough men with compassion). I did not guess this twist ending at all, but I thought it was quite effective.]


30. "Four O'Clock" - Apr 13, 1962: 119342.jpg


[Note: A second consecutive good episode. My guess is that the average viewer saw the twist coming (really now, how could anyone not have?); it would have been a fascinating (if over-the-top) second twist had "Pete" dispatched of Oliver Crangle (Theodore Bickle) after the first twist. I suspect that might not have gotten past the censors, but it would have been interesting nonetheless, and entirely unpredictable. Despite this arduous slog through the entire series (yes, I plan to do it), I feel that I'm learning a *lot* about television actors and actresses of two generations ago - which means back through Vaudeville in some cases (Buster Keaton, Gladys Cooper), and up until present times in others (Ron Howard, George Takei) - fifty years ago is almost an ideal time to become familiar with television history, if you wish to become a television historian.]


31. "The Trade-Ins" - Apr 20, 1962: 3tradeins.jpg


[Note: It's late, and I may be tired, but I just can't think of a more beautiful episode than "The Trade-Ins." This struck me from all angles, and unless you've lived and experienced a certain amount of both love and tragedy, aging and pain, you can't be affected by this to the extent that I am right now. What a beautiful couple - role models for me.]


32. "Hocus Pocus And Frisbee" - Apr 27, 1962: hqdefault.jpg


[Note: I don't want to jinx this, but I've enjoyed four episodes in a row now.]


33. "The Dummy" - May 4, 1962: aa250px-The_Dummy.jpg


[Note: A borderline episode, but just to keep the streak going, I'll say I liked it - certainly very creepy in parts, but how can a ventriloquist-dummy episode *not* be creepy?]


34. "Young Man's Fancy" - May 11, 1962: 458-3-34.jpg?2


[Note: First you hate the wife, then you hate the mother, then you hate the son - finally, you kind of hate the episode.]


35. "I Sing The Body Electric" - May 18, 1962: 18dxhn1c2dl46jpg.jpg


[Note: The Twilight Zone has now had (at least) *four* actors and actresses from "Bewitched" - Elizabeth Montgomery (season three, episode one), Dick York (season two, episode sixteen), Agnes Moorehead (season two, episode fifteen), and now David White. Obviously, these performers didn't get their "start" on The Twilight Zone, but my goodness - can there be any doubt about the influence this series had on 1960's television? Incidentally, this was episode #100 in the series, and was written (and based on a short story) by Ray Bradbury - the title comes from Walt Whitman, the second title by a major 19th-century American poet ("I Shot An Arrow Into The Air" came from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).]


36. "Cavender Is Coming" - May 25, 1962: carol-on-bus-7f17a7e6-sz640x480-animate-


[Note: Carol Burnett, The Maytag Man, and Piglet. What more could you wish for, other than a longer version of "Plan 9 From Outer Space?" How bad was this? So bad that it isn't on any type of rating scale. So bad that if you asked someone to make the worst television show in history, they would fail to make something this bad nine times out of ten. This is quite possibly the worst thing I've ever seen. Television - and life in general - cannot possibly get any worse than this.]


37. "Changing Of The Guard" - Jun 1, 1962: 119350.jpg


[Note: Wow! This may be my all-time favorite Twilight Zone episode. An absolute gem in every way, certainly including the acting of Donald Pleasence (yes, that's him in the picture) who did his very first American work with this episode, and was only 42 years old. I've briefly Googled the relationship between this and "Dead Poets Society," (1989), and have found nothing. If there is no attribution, then the movie is a rip-off, plain and simple. A great, classic episode which is to be cherished and remembered.]

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The Twilight Zone - Season 4 (One-Hour Episodes)


1. "In His Image" - Jan 3, 1963: 4668221_l1.jpg
[Note: I had no idea there were one-hour Twilight Zone episodes until about a week ago. The series was canceled after the third season, then picked back up mid-way through the 1962-1963 season as a fill-in emergency ... thank goodness. I'm beginning to write this post after having watched three of these episodes, and the online consensus is that 'they're too long,' and 'they're ponderous, with too much empty space.' Not for me, they're not. The banality I found in the 30-minute episodes has been largely extinguished with the luxury not to be forced to rush everything into half an hour, and these hour-long episodes are more "operatic" in nature - they're not for the fidgety or the impatient; they unwind at a leisurely pace, with much more character development. They seem *much* longer than twice as long as the 30-minute episodes, and for some reason, significantly longer than the 60-minute Star Trek episodes - well, probably because they're being ponderous. Maybe. But from what I've seen so far? This is Twilight Zone for adults. Twilight Zone for the more sophisticated, patient viewer. I don't want to jinx things, but after three episodes, I *love* this hour-long format. And, if that actor looks familiar to anyone who's been following this series, that's because he's George Grizzard, who co-starred in "The Chaser.]
2. "The Thirty-Fathom Grave" - Jan 10, 1963: TZ-season-four-1-400x302.jpg
[Note: A pulsating ghost story cloaked as a Navy ship cruising the Solomon Islands, and happening across inexplicable underwater sonar clangs, "The Thirty-Fathom Grave" stars Mike Kellin (pictured), who pulls an insidiously disturbing performance - Kellin seemed somewhat "off" at first, but that off-ness was richly developed into a survivor's guilt story that will haunt you long after it's over. This episode also features an outstanding co-starring role played by Simon Oakland (you know him as the psychiatrist at the end of "Psycho"), as well as several solid supporting roles, including one by a young Bill Bixby (in one of those situations where you, the viewer, are certain that you know the face, but you can't place the name because the actor is just too young).]
3.3 - "Valley Of The Shadow" - Jan 17, 1963 - Screenshot 2017-07-12 at 12.06.26 AM.png

Directed by Perry Lafferty (Producer of "An Early Frost"), Written by Charles Beaumont (xx),
Featuring Ed Nelson as Phillip Redfield (Col. Luke Stone in "Nightmare" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Dr. Michael Rossi on "Peyton Place"), Natalie Trundy as Ellen Marshall (Jean Dekker in "The Long Silence" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), David Opatoshu as Dorn (Ralph Cashman in "A Feasability Study" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Anan 7 in "A Taste of Armageddon" on "Star Trek" (xx), Latke in "The Fixer"), Dabbs Greer as Evans (The Sheriff in "The Belfry" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Theodore the Milkman in "There Was an Old Woman" on "The Alfred Htchcock Hour" (xx), Mr. Bishop in "The Children of Spider County" on "The Outer Limits" (xx)), Jacques Aubuchon as Connelly (Chief Urulu on "McHale's Navy"), James Doohan as Johnson (Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on "Star Trek" (xx)), Morgan Brittany (2) as Cissie Johnson (Minerva Gordon in "The Inheritors" on "The Outer Limits" (xx))

[Note: Yes, that's a magnificent, very young James Doohan in a supporting role (how can I possibly love this series any more?), The fine actor Ed Nelson, playing the unfortunately trapped reporter Phillip Redfield, is on the right. Yes, this episode has logical holes that you can poke through, but you'll just have to suspend belief for an hour. Another episode with several twists, all of which work towards an interesting finish

4.4 - "He's Alive" - Jan 24, 1963 - Dennis Hopper.png <--- "Shall I tell you who the minorities are? We, we, we! We are the minorities."
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg (Director of "Cool Hand Luke"), Written by Rod Serling
Featuring Dennis Hopper as Peter Vollmer (Director, co-Writer, and co-Star (as Billy) of "Easy Rider," Frank Booth in "Blue Velvet," Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor as Shooter Flatch in "Hoosiers"), Ludwig Donath as Ernst Ganz (Professor Gustav Lindt in "Torn Curtain"), Curt Conway as Adolf Hitler (Franklin Carlin in "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" and Dr. Philip Mendl in "Moonstone" on "The Outer Limits")
[Note: As soon as I wrote my first review after episode 1, I came across the first episode that didn't work for me. Why didn't it work? Not because it was too long, but because it was too preachy. Do I really need to be told that "Hitler is bad?" Okay, then tell me in the first minute, and then please do something interesting with the following 59 minutes. Like with the young Bill Bixby, I stumbled being able to identify the excellent lead actor (pictured above) in "He's Alive." Do you know who it is? I suspect you probably do - it's a blonde-haired Dennis Hopper, and he was just perfect for this role. But indeed, this was an episode that was better suited for the half-hour format, and best shown to people less familiar with the Holocaust than I am - because it aims to teach and preach. Not bad, mind you; just not anything sophisticated or compelling.]
5. "Mute" - Jan 31, 1963: ajtz33.jpg
[Note: Ann Jillian in a badly misjudged role by one of the online critics; it was no surprise at all she'd end up mute, and I don't believe abusive tactics were used to make her so; language is learned, not innate. She was part of their language experiment - announced at the very beginning - but I don't think that's quite the same as abusing a child into submission which the reviewer for AV Club, the generally decent Todd VanDerWerff, seems to conclude. However, there's no question poor Ilse (played by Gillian) isn't able to communicate, and at the end, is forced to pick a direction: talk with an adoptive (non-blood) family who loves her, or remain mute with an adoptive (blood) family who also may love her; it's not much of a surprise she chooses the former.]
6. "The Death Ship" - Feb 17, 1963:deathship3.png
[Note: Jack Klugman has proven to me that he's a magnificent dramatic actor, as well as "just" a comedic actor, and he as a strong captain in this wonderful episode, supported by two superb actors in this double, perhaps even triple-twist plot that left the viewer guessing the whole way through (I personally did *not* guess the major twists, mainly because I wasn't looking for them - I was watching superficially, and enjoying every minute of the episode, and it was to my complete advantage that I did so. "He's Alive" (episode 4) was one overwrought episode out of 6, so we have a very good batting average at this point, and I'm still in love with this format. My question (as of rightnow) is: Why did they go back to the 30-minute episodes the following season?

7. "Jess-Belle" - Feb 17, 1963: Jess-Belle.jpg

[Note: A somewhat painful-to-watch, witch-based, hillbilly episode (The Zone has a habit of setting fables in the old South) which really starts to drag before the hour is over, but revives itself a couple of times as the bewitched Jess-Belle just won't die, and keeps reincarnating herself in the form of a mouse, a spider, etc. until one night when a comet flies by.]

8. "Miniature" - Feb 21, 1963: EP110.JPG

[Note: Robert Duvall plays a very strong role here as a loner, almost a mama's boy, not really fitting in with society - his understated performance is what makes the episode not so much believable, as tolerable.]

9. "Printer's Devil" - Feb 28, 1963: TWILIGHT_ZONE_VOL32-10.jpg

[Note: Burgess Meredith has the time of his life here playing a gloriously evil "Mr. Smith," aka "The Devil" in this Faustian tale with a twist ending. I read on the AV Club that when Meredith is working the linotype machine, he looks like The Phantom Of The Opera playing the organ, and a better description could not be written. This is fun *and* thrilling, and very satisfying in the end when the devil's work is used against him.]

10. "No Time Like The Past" Mar 7, 1963: 4ac122e459ce169c9c2a98ce0821b44f.jpg

[Note: The first of (at least) three consecutive episodes that make me long for the 30-minute format - *now* I know what online critics are referring to. This is a Serling compendium - time travel, regret, redemption, and finally, a futile effort a fleeing the present. Oh gosh, this was tough watching, and unlike the 30-minute episodes, if your mind strays, and you need a second viewing, it's doubly painful. If you're a casual viewer, avoid this; if you're a serial viewer, watch carefully so you don't have to show up for Round Two.]

11. "The Parallel" Mar 14, 1963: 212847.jpg

[Note: I'll give "The Parallel" credit for forging the notion of the parallel universe, but this was a tired, failed-space-mission episode that once again could have, and should have, been displayed in 30 minutes. There is little tension because everyone knows something wrong happened, but the "return to normalcy" is absurd and illogical, and I'm really sorry for viewers who sat through this. There is some, minor buildup of suspense, but not worth the trouble of sitting through an entire hour.]

12. "I Dream Of Genie" - Mar 21, 1963: hqdefault.jpg

[Note: Patricia Barry (from "The Chaser") plays a good role as an entitled office tease, and there's a small change from the "standard Twilight Zone genie episodes" (isn't that kind of sad that I'm saying "standard Twilight Zone genie episodes?") in that the recipient of the genie's powers weighs his decision thoughtfully, but the three potential scenarios aren't much more than filler to reach the one-hour span, and the ending is unforgivably stupid. I'm hoping that this will be the third and final genuinely bad, tedious episode - what started off as a season of intelligence is suddenly transforming into a season of boredom. I'm pulling, hard, for things to change - wow, does this series have its ups and downs.]

13. "The New Exhibit" - Apr 4, 1963: TZexhibit610.jpg

[Note: This episode gets credit for being different in that it doesn't involve the old American South, or the devil, or time travel. The lead, Martin Balsam, played the private detective in Psycho (remember, the one who walks up the stairs?)]

14. "Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville" - Apr 11, 1963: 40598.jpg

[Note: Yet another nostalgia-based time-travel into a fondly remembered time and place that turned out not to be. This has gotten old, and I absolutely see what the other critics mean by saying the hour-long episodes are padded and simply too long. Albert Salmi (the bad guy in "Execution") is very good at playing villains with no redeeming qualities, if you can overlook his over-e-nun-ci-a-ted acting in the beginning of this episode - he's certainly diabolical enough, but his diction leaves much to be desired. The Devil in this episode (yes, there's that angle too) is none other than Julie Newmar, and she's the highlight of the show. With the exception of Newmar, the overacting decays what could have been a really great episode - still, despite the acting, it's worth watching just because it's classic Twilight Zone.]

15. "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford" - Apr 18, 1963: Screenshot 2017-02-08 at 2.47.51 AM.png
Directed by Abner Biberman (Director of "Au Delà du Réel" on "The Outer Limits" (xx)), Written by Reginald Rose (Writer of "12 Angry Men")
Featuring Pat Hingle (Commissioner James Gordon in "Batman") Nan Martin (Victoria Miller in "Haven" on "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), Ruth White (Mrs. Dubose in "To Kill a Mockingbird," Sally Buck in "Midnight Cowboy"), Phillip Pine (Theodore Pearson in "The Hundred Days of the Dragon" on "The Outer Limits" (xx) Colonel Phillip Green in "The Savage Curtain" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Vaughn Taylor (George Lowery in "Psycho," Randall Latimer in "The Guests" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Good Samaritan in "In Cold Blood")

[Note: God, make it stop. *Another* nostalgic journey back in time, in which the past turns out to be not what it was cracked up to be, and another tediously padded episode to make it an hour long. Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon in the 1989 Film Batman) played a good role, at times very good, but it wasn't enough to rescue this boring plod through time.]

16. "On Thursday We Leave For Home" - May 2, 1963: 118-on-thursday-we-leave-for-home-avi_00

[Note: "On Thursday We Leave For Home" is my favorite season 4 episode since "The Death Ship," and perhaps my favorite of all, with small nods to "Printer's Devil" and "Miniature" in making the look back to episode 6. A wiry-haired, persnickety James Whitmore, in an Emmy-caliber performance, is a perfect on-planet foil for the smiling, optimistic Colonel Sloane, and wow was there some grippingly high tension between "Captain" Benteen and "his people" in the colony. The most gut-wrenching Twilight Zone I've yet seen, and also one of the best - it brings me great satisfaction knowing that this masterpiece was written by Rod Serling because this episode by itself is proof positive that he had it in him.]

17. "Passage On The Lady Anne" - May 9, 1963: Lady_Anne.jpg

[Note: You're going to need some real patience to get through this episode, but you'll be lightly rewarded if you do with a tender, romantic, ghostly tale of both endings and beginnings. Wilfrid Hyde-White and a sprightly (and very much alive) Gladys Cooper, whom we last saw walking away with "Mr. Death," Robert Redford, are exemplars of grand, understated, old-school British acting.]

18. "The Bard" - May 23, 1963: 06Reynolds.jpg

[Note: Let me start by saying that "The Bard" is not a good episode; yet, it has one of the funniest parodies I've ever seen on television. Yes, folks, that's Burt Reynolds talking down to William Shakespeare and all but calling him a third-rate hack, not knowing who he was. Reynolds was pitch-perfect in a spoof of Marlon Brando in the character of Rocky Rhodes, and apparently Brando was not too pleased with the takedown. You don't need to see this episode unless you're watching the entire series, but you *must* visit this webpage and view both videos on it, in order (this is assuming you're not going to watch the episode) - visualize this carefully: Burt Reynolds is playing a character, Rocky Rhodes, clearly supposed to be Marlon Brando, and he's unknowingly talking down to William Shakespeare and bragging about his most recent performance in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." Shakespeare's response was priceless. Serling aired his finest work in episode 16, but he saved the fireworks for the final episode with this hilarious, hatred-inducing satire which only lasted a few minutes. And Season 4 is now a deliciously wicked wrap.]

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Thank you for starting this post. I am enjoying these shows, although I am not as methodical as you, and I am watching them in a very random order. I am impressed with the acting, and with how relevant many of these episodes are 50 or more years later.

It also is fun to see so many big stars when they were young and not yet famous. I wish there were a television series of this quality on the air now. If there is one, I can't think of it.

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The Twilight Zone - Season 5 (Back To Half-Hour Episodes)

1. "In Praise Of Pip" - Sep 27, 1963: 119369.jpg
[Note: This episode features Jack Klugman (in his 4th episode) and Billy Mumy (in his 3rd) in a well-meaning, but ultimate overwrought episode that's sad, longing, tragic, and doesn't really belong in the series because there isn't much "Zone-ish" about it except for one motif which has occurred in many TV series. This one really needed to be 30-minutes long because there would be nothing to fill an hour with, unless you really got into some character development with the older Pip. I look back at this episode and think it's sweet (mainly because I can identify with the theme), but while I was watching it, I was waiting for it to end. This would have been much more satisfying had Klugman realized he got his wish, but he never did.]
2. "Steel" - Oct 4, 1963: leetvsteel4.jpg
[Note: Now we're talking! The first of two classic episodes back-to-back, featuring a desperate-for-money Lee Marvin as the "manager" of Battling Maxo - an aging "B2" boxing android (human boxing has been illegal since 1968, and it's 1974), scheduled to fight a devastating "B7" model for $500. Given that this episode is ultimately about human courage and will, and how desperate Marvin was for the $500, you can probably guess what happens - it's a great episode: one which I loved as a child, and one which I love to this very day. My favorite line, after Battling Maxo is introduced to the blood-thirsty crowd, is when a heckler in the audience yells out, "*Rattling* Maxo, you mean!" Needless to say, this was most likely an inspiration for the "BattleBots" series, not to mention "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots" which was introduced by Marx Toy Company in 1964, one year after this episode aired - things like this make you realize just how much The Twilight Zone has propagated forward into our present-day popular culture. Great acting all around, including by Chuck Hicks - whose face you never even see - as the B7 android, Maynard Flash.]
3. "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" - Oct 11, 1963: A3BB2LS1MW51BT2.jpg
[Note: William Shatner in a perfectly paced, classic performance with not a single dull moment, solid acting (yes, even by Shatner), and a surprisingly effective gremlin which could have been *really* bad, but wasn't (think: The Horta on Star Trek). Richard Matheson has emerged as my favorite writer of this series (perhaps by a good margin). Like "Steel," this is a justifiably famous episode that is perfect for the first-time Twilight Zone viewer - the fact that it (like "Steel") has been redone more than once is a testament to its quality. The ending is a dramatically pleasant surprise (it wouldn't necessarily be pleasant in reality), assuming you think Shatner plays a likable character (and he does), and worth sticking around for. The past two episodes are both arguably Top 10 material.]
4. "A Kind Of A Stopwatch" - Oct 18, 1963: 07_stopwatch.jpg
[Note: This was a surprisingly (to me) enjoyable episode, starring Richard Erdman (still officially active with a 70-year career going!) as an annoying Patrick Thomas McNulty, who stumbles upon an enormous power, but pays a painfully high price for having abused it. This clearly took its inspiration from "Time Enough At Last," and is just as tragic (if not for mankind, then at least for Mr. McNulty).]
5. "The Last Night Of A Jockey" - Oct 25, 1963: Mickey_Rooney_The_Twilight_Zone_1963.JPG
[Note: I'm not one to be starstruck, but I've become very starstruck with The Twilight Zone's amazing roster of actors and actresses. In "The Last Night Of A Jockey," Mickey Rooney stars as jockey Michael Grady in a one-set, low-budget, absolute clunker-dud of an episode. It could not have been any more predictable or boring - what a letdown this was after the previous shows. That said, I don't think I've ever heard a taunting cackle quite like the one when Grady's alter-ego begins laughing at him. This is yet another "deal with the devil" plot cloaked in a different format.]
6. "Living Doll" - Nov 1, 1963: savalas.jpg
[Note: I haven't gone back and studied this, but my impression is that for (often redundant) plot twists, the writer is Rod Serling, for sheer quality, the writer is Richard Matheson, and for the macabre, the writer is Charles Beaumont - such is the case with Talking Tina, the doll who is quite literally the bane of Telly Savalas' existence. For children, this is a genuinely scary episode - I'm not sure it was ever the first "murderous doll" scenario, but if so, it was influential beyond description.]
5.7 - "The Old Man In The Cave" - Nov 8, 1963 - Screenshot 2017-08-17 at 7.44.31 PM.png
Directed by Alan Crosland, Jr. (Director of 16 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Director of 3 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (xx), Story - Henry Slesar (Writer of "The Old Man in the Cave" and "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross")
Featuring James Coburn as French (Britt in "The Magnificent Seven," Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (xx) as Wade Whitehouse in "Affliction"), John Anderson (4) as Goldsmith, Josie Lloyd as Evie (3 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Janie Sanders in "Fron an Enchantress Fleeing" on "Route 66"), John Craven as Man (George Gibbs in the original stage version of "Our Town"), John Marley as Jason (Jack Woltz in "The Godfather")
[Something of an allegory on religion, you either like these things, or find them too message-oriented - well, not always, as I was somewhat split down the middle. Considering the apocalyptic premise we were working with, this could have been extremely dramatic (the world has been destroyed by a nuclear war, and there remain only about 500 people between New York and Georgia). A strength can be found in John Anderson, the tall lean actor known for playing stoic roles on this series, who was "the guardian of the guardian," so to speak - really, none of the acting was bad; it was the direction that was lacking.This just didn't have any punch, and there's no reason it couldn't have - I'm a finesse guy, and I certainly don't need to be hit over the head by a club, but I need *something* other than drab. And, in fact, I found that something in the ending which was one of the creepier things I've seen on this series - not scary; creepy. This is another episode that I'm writing up a couple days after having watched it, and I'm remembering fond things about it as I type - but my first impression was that this just wasn't a great representative of the series.]
8. "Uncle Simon" - Nov 15, 1963: 5unclesimon.jpg
[Note: It's kind of hard to believe they packed all of this into thirty minutes. A definite influence of "Lost In Space" - which debuted two years later - for reasons that will become obvious.]
5.9 - "Probe 7, Over And Out" - Nov 29, 1963 - Screenshot 2017-05-01 at 1.51.37 PM.png
Directed by Ted Post (Director of "Magnum Force"), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Richard Basehart (The Fool in "La Strada"), Antoinette Bower (Miss Greco in "A Woman's Help" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Sylvia in "Catspaw" on "Star Trek" (xx))
[(Don't read this if you want to watch the episode - I usually give away some, but here, I give away pretty much the whole thing.) Surprisingly, this type of plot has a name: "A Shaggy God Story." This was not an effective episode because given all The Zone experience I had going into it, I guessed everything except the very end (which is what made it a "Shaggy God Story") - any experienced viewer would. The name was not chosen randomly, and I'm surprised that I couldn't find a single critic who figured out why the number seven was used in the title (the seventh day - it's as simple as that). Overall, a ponderous, boring episode that was a chore to watch because it was a mishmash of prior episodes, shuffled, and presented in a slightly different format. Unfortunately, Serling simply ran out of fresh ideas, and he's figuring out different ways to recycle them, and they're not working very well.]
10. "The 7th Is Made Up Of Phantoms" - Dec 6, 1963: tumblr_inline_mps28cBFUR1qz4rgp.jpg
[Note: Some may find this boring to the point of tears, but I like the few "historical" Twilight Zones because I love to learn things, and this really refreshed my memory (as well as teaching me things for the first time) about "Custer's Last Stand." For me, this was thirty minutes of TV well-spent by just about any standard; for the casual viewer, it will be tedious at best. I can't in good faith recommend this to anyone who isn't going through the entire series.]
11. "A Short Drink From A Certain Fountain" - Dec 13, 1963: Ashortdrink.jpg
[Note: Not very realistic, but who cares - the shrew gets her comeuppance.]
12. "Ninety Years Without Slumbering" - Dec 20, 1963: 1138679644.jpg
[Note: I have a natural soft spot for this episode because when I was in elementary school, our class sang "My Grandfather's Clock" (written by Henry Clay Work in 1876) - it's a sweet song that trespasses over into being maudlin, but I can forgive that. The grandfather was Ed Wynn, the lovable pitchman who fooled the devil in "One For The Angels" (Season 1, Episode 2). This particular episode needed a silly little twist at the end (it was on the fast track towards catastrophe) - and it got one although it should have been both different and stronger.]
13. "Ring-A-Ding Girl" - Dec 27, 1963: Screenshot 2017-01-30 at 21.16.33.png
[Note: Small-town girl makes good, and small-town girl decides to give back to her small town in the biggest possible way. This script is addled, but it's also haunting, sweet, and sad. The viewer isn't quite sure what to make of superstar actress Bunny Blake, played by Maggie McNamara, but in the end? There's no doubt. The title is never fully explained, but this is clearly Blake's nickname in the industry, similar to Clara Bow being named "The 'It' Girl," and it's also clear (though never explicitly stated) that she's a mega-star. This episode does not feel the need to explain everything to the viewer, and that works to its advantage because you'll find yourself pondering some questions when it's all over.]
14. "You Drive" - Jan 3, 1964: TwilightZoneYouDrive610.jpg
[Note: Oh, I *like* this ending - a very, very refined twist with elements of both justice and mercy; I just didn't particularly care for the 29 minutes leading up to it. So if you want to watch a fairly boring episode, just for an interesting ending (which I absolutely didn't see coming), this is the Twilight Zone for you.]
15. "The Long Morrow" - Jan 10, 1964: twilightzonelongmorrowlansinginanimation
[Note: Given the likability of the two protagonists of "The Long Morrow," and what they did - especially Commander Douglass Stansfield (played by Robert Manning, whom you might recognize as Gary Seven in Star Trek TOS) - this could easily be the dramatically saddest episode of The Twilight Zone I've yet seen. It is tragic, in more than one way, and for the romantic in us all, quite sad, although I thought of a potential solution to the "problem" - if anyone wants to know, just ask. There are the usual Twilight Zone "turn off your mind and don't question it" moments, but this episode goes a bit further to strain credulity. Nevertheless, it managed to pierce my armor, and to touch my heart (because I turned off my mind).]
16. "The Self-Improvement Of Salvadore Ross" - Jan 17, 1964: 119384.jpeg
[Note: "Self-improvement" - that is the perfect term for this, chock full of both description and irony. The ending was a complete surprise in its lack of subtlety.]
17. "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You" - Jan 24, 1964: number-12.jpg
[Note: I was really hoping this one would have a different ending - one where Marilyn would walk out and shove a knife in her gut, but that might have been a bit much. On the other hand, it wouldn't be any more jolting than what happened in the previous episode, and would be much more (dramatically) satisfying.]
18. "Black Leather Jackets" - Jan 31, 1964: Black_Leather_Jackets.jpg
[Note: It is remarkable how "modern" this series became in just five years - comparing the opening of "Black Leather Jackets" to a 1959 episode really shows how much this series escorted television from post-WWII to Vietnam, from "I Love Lucy" to "Star Trek" (not that there was anything wrong with I Love Lucy). Speaking of which, Michael Forest (the tallest of the three bikers) played Apollo in the season 2 episode of Star Trek: "Who Mourns For Adonais?" Given how much was packed into this 30-minute episode (I can't even begin to summarize the plot), and that it didn't feel rushed at all, it's clear how padded some of the season 4, 60-minute episodes really were.]
19. "Night Call" - Feb 7, 1964: night-call-twilight-zone.jpg
[Note: Originally scheduled to air Nov 22, 1963, the night of President Kennedy's assassination. Without a doubt, the scariest Twilight Zone I've yet seen (and I only have seventeen left) - the sounds made during the initial phone calls were as creepy as anything I've ever seen on TV. This episode is genuinely spooky, and even more so once the plot reveals itself - one of the very best Twilight Zones ever, strengthened by the great Gladys Cooper in her third appearance on this series.]
20. "From Agnes - With Love" - Feb 14, 1964: elwood_only.jpg
[Note: So, one of the greatest episodes was followed by one of the worst. "From Agnes - With Love" is just awful, and you know it's going to be awful from the "funny" music they play in the first minute of the episode (when The Twilight Zone decides to be lighthearted, you know you're in for a tedious ride). Not only was it bad, you knew what was going to happen, and what was happening - there was no twist, no shock, no characters to care about, no surprises worth mentioning; only your own thoughts: 'Dear Lord, please get this half-hour over with.' A clunker, and a legitimate candidate for worst episode ever, not to mention because it's painfully dated.]
21. "Spur Of The Moment" - Feb 21, 1964: Spur_of_the_moment.jpg
[Note: A very creepy beginning has an interesting twist, but becomes (As Zack Handlen terms it) a farce - the black horse, the black cape, the white horse, the white dress, the giving up the chase, the overlap in time - it's all just a bit much unless you agree to agree to it. There's a surprise in focus, followed by a nice plot twist, both of which catch the viewer off-guard, and this isn't a bad episode. The camera work has become much more sophisticated in the past five years in terms of filming motion.
22. "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge" - Feb 28, 1964: an%2Boccurence%2Bat%2Bowl%2Bcreek%2Bbrid
[Note: A unique episode among Twilight Zone episodes, for reasons you will understand after you watch, then Google it (in that order). This is a masterpiece, filmed in France, and used as the final Twilight Zone made (the following episodes were all shot previously; just not aired). "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge" won the 1962 Palme d'Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival (for short films) and the 1963 Academy Award for the same, and is fully deserving of the honors. An extremely un-Twilight Zone-ish Twilight Zone, originally procured to save money, and, darn it, could have been a transition to a new format of the show going forward. Watch this episode on Amazon.com if you have access - it is the most tension-filled one I have seen (whereas "Night Call" is the creepiest). The difference between European and American film - not a knock on either, but reinforces that The Twilight Zone is a uniquely American institution. You'll never forget this if you see it.]
23. "Queen Of The Nile" - Mar 6, 1964: hqdefault.jpg
[Note: Unbearably predictable given the title and set, with no sympathetic characters except for perhaps the daughter who is secondary at best, this is an episode to avoid. I don't know if it's just dated, but many of these later episodes have become so utterly routine that I'm guessing what happens ten minutes into them, and there's just no payoff of any kind for the viewer.]
5.24 - "What's In The Box?" - Mar 13, 1964 - 
Directed by Richard L. Bare (7), Written by Martin M. Goldsmith (Academy Award Nominee for Best Story for "The Narrow Margin")
Featuring Joan Blondell as Phyllis Britt (Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actress as Annie Rawlins in "The Blue Veil"), William Demarest as Joe Britt (Uncle Charley on "My Three Sons"), Sterling Holloway as TV Repairman (Voice of "Winnie the Pooh")

[Two of the most unsympathetic characters in any Twilight Zone episode - an episode which plays out just as you know it will, with no twists, no surprises, and absolutely no fun to be had. I've suffered through these last two episodes, and couldn't wait for them to end: Thank God they're not an hour long. On the other hand, if it weren't for this insufferable couple, there could not have been this delightful 17-second video (to be watched only after watching the episode).]
5.25 - "The Masks" - Mar 20, 1964 -
Directed by Ida Lupino (2), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Robert Keith as Jason Foster (Arthur "The Professor" Duffy" in "Ten O'Clock Tiger" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Doc in "Final Escape" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx)), Milton Selzer as Wilfred Harper (2), Virginia Gregg as Emily Harper (2), Brooke Hayward as Paula Harper (Laura White in "The Storm" on "Bonanza"), Alan Sues as Wilfred Harper, Jr. (Frequent guest on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"), Willis Bouchey as Dr. Samuel Thorne (Conductor Jason Tully in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"), Bill Walker as Butler (William in "Bed of Roses" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Reverend Sykes in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (xx)), Maidie Norman as Maid (Eloise in "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Elvira Stitt in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

5.26 - "I Am the Night - Color Me Black" - Mar 27, 1964 - 
Directed by Abner Bieberman (2), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Michael Constantine as Sherrif Koch (Big John in "The Hustler," Primetime Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series as Seymour Kaufman on "Room 222"), 

5.29 - "The Jeopardy Room" - Apr 17, 1964 - Screenshot 2017-08-28 at 5.41.38 PM.png
Directed by Richard Donner (xx), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Martin Landau (xx) as Major Ivan Kuchenko, John Van Dreelen as Commissar Vassiloff (Claude Martin in "Topaz"), Robert Kelljan as Boris (Frank Brandt in "Controlled Experiment" on "The Outer Limits")

[More "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" than "The Twilight Zone," this is nevertheless an exciting, spellbinding battle of wits, not to be missed. It's Martin Landau (previously seen in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday") vs. his former tormentor, cocky, sadistic KGB agent, John Van Dreelen, and his sharpshooting stooge, Robert Kelljan. Landau is a hunted man, and does everything he can just to get the heck out of this Rope-like episode (the whole show took place in two sets: overlooking hotel rooms), whereas Van Dreelen isn't content merely to kill Landau; he must win his ultimate victory: to mentally torment and emotionally torture his victim. "The Jeopardy Room" is the last truly great episode of The Twilight Zone series, and one of only several that doesn't deal with the supernatural - at the end, the joke's on ... well, see for yourself.]

5.30 - "Stopover In A Quiet Town" - Apr 24, 1964 - Screenshot 2017-08-28 at 11.29.17 AM.png
Directed by Ron Winston (3), Written by Earl Hamner, Jr. (7)
Featuring Barry Nelson as Bob Frazier (Dr. James Parkerson in "Anyone for Murder" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Nancy Malone as Millie Frazier (Laura Hanley in "Fun and Games" on "The Outer Limits"), Denise Lynn as Little Girl

["The Sixth Sense" isn't as good when you guess the twist ending early on, and such was the case with me and "Stopover In A Quiet Town" (really now, how could anyone with any "Zone" experience *not* guess the ending?) As such, it was a pointless half-hour, with two unlikable people quarreling the entire time, and me sitting there waiting for it to get over with. The special effects at the end were well-done I suppose, but not enough to save the piece for me. If you're fortunate enough not to guess the ending, just enjoy it, I suppose. I cannot find anything else that Denise Lynn was ever in, and other than internet references to this Twilight Zone episode, I cannot find any other reference to her existence - my guess is that Denise Lynn isn't her real name, but if anyone can find anything, would you please post it here? (The same situation occurs with the writer Mike Korologos, in episode 5.32, "Mr. Garrity and the Graves.")]

5.31 - "The Encounter" - May 1, 1964 - Screenshot 2017-08-26 at 2.15.35 PM.png
Directed by Robert Butler, Written by Martin M. Goldsmith (2)
Featuring Neville Brand (Al Capone on "The Untouchables"), George Takei (Hikaru Sulu on "Star Trek" (xx))

[Yes, it's George Takei: the Betty White of gay Asian-American males, except that his role here is deadly serious, and an important parable-styled, thought-provoking piece. Pitted against a white man still tinged with racism, Takei and he are locked in a house, needlessly getting into a fight which will seemingly be to the death - or will it? This points out both the stupidity and inevitability of racism and reverse racism, and is quite effective if you let it be. Takei is quite good at showing built-up resentment, even though you'll probably never see this on network television, as it's the only Twilight Zone that was never replayed due to its controversy over World War II - if only Takei could have lived until now, he could have seen what an internet star he became, and we loved him for it. Oops! Takei pairs wonderfully with the gritty, gravelly Neville Brand, who's just about perfect as a former Marine. Brand, a well-established actor by this point, had top billing in this episode; whereas Takei's career was just getting started. If you've never seen "The Encounter," be aware that it falls into cliché, but it's still well-worth watching for its sheer power and rapid decline into depravity.]

5.32 - "Mr. Garrity and the Graves" - May 8, 1964 - Screenshot 2017-08-20 at 12.37.41 PM.png
Directed by Ted Post (3), Written by: Teleplay - Rod Serling (xx), Story - Mike Korologos
Featuring John Dehner (3) as Jared Garrity, J. Pat O'Malley (4) as Mr. Gooberman (Sam Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (xx)), Stanley Adams (2) as Jensen (Perelli in "Requiem for a Heavyweight," Cyrano Jones in "The Trouble with Tribbles" on "Star Trek" (xx)), Jack Parkly in "Your Home Sweet Home is My Home" on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (xx))

[Note: John Dehner plays a classic con-man (or does he?) in a very slick episode with a couple intractable flaws: 1) people do not carry five hundred dollars on their person in the old west (duh!) and 2) the ending just seems wrong and forced; otherwise, it was a clever story that didn't need the supernatural to work. Notice the "dead dog," who didn't want to cooperate with the director in terms of playing its role. Of note: I can find no evidence that Mike Korologos is a published writer, or that he was even a real person - if anyone has information to the contrary (other than internet-based references to The Twilight Zone's "Mr. Garrity and the Graves"), please let us know. You'll recognize J. Pat O'Malley (the man who plays the shameless drunk), but probably won't be able to identify him by name, as he's a classic character actor.]

5.33 - "The Brain Center At Whipple's" - May 15, 1964 - Screenshot 2017-08-24 at 6.24.35 PM.png
Directed by Richard Donner (xx), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Richard Deacon as Wallace V. Whipple (Mel Cooley on "The Dick van Dyke Show" (xx)), Paul Newlan as Walter Hanley (Captain Gray on "M Squad"), Ted de Corsia as Dickerson (Randolph E. Branch in "The Inheritors" on "The Outer Limits"), Thalmus Rasulala as Technician (Omoro Kinte on "Roots"), Robby the Robot (3!) as Himself (Robby the Robot in "Forbidden Planet")

[Richard Deacon is terribly miscast as the relentlessly selfish Wallace V. Whipple, hell-bent on using technology to replace all things human (it's not hard to guess how this ends) - he gives a very powerful performance, but it's almost impossible not to see Mel Cooley, no matter what he does. The most interesting (really, the only interesting) thing about this is that on Amazon, a key scene has been edited out - at least that's what my "Twilight Zone Companion" book implies: the viewer now must deduce that Whipple shot Dickerson the foreman, and it's not immediately obvious - I have no doubt the episode suffers from this having been censored out because when I watched that censored scene, for a few moments, I was going "Huh? Wha?" until I got it - the viewer shouldn't be required to figure this out on his own, and at no point is it even implied that Whipple took the gun from the security guard to do the shooting. Plus, according to my companion book, there's a "so bad it's good line" that Dickerson blurts out before he dies that is edited out of the episode. Note: As of Aug 24, 2017, the edited-out parts of the episode are on the Hulu version (and the "so bad it's good" line isn't bad; I actually like it - the entire scene is a gutteral, no-holds-barred piece of acting by Ted de Corsia.) Finally, if you've seen "Forbidden Planet," how do you not love the final scene?]

5.34 - "Come Wander WIth Me" - May 22, 1964 - Screenshot 2017-08-23 at 11.52.38 AM.png 
Directed by Richard Donner (xx), Written by Anthony Wilson (Writer of "The Nomads" on "Tales of the Unexpected")
Featuring Gary Crosby as Floyd Burney (Officer Ed Wells on "Adam-12" (xx)), Bonnie Beecher as Mary Rachel (Sylvia in "Spectre of the Gun" on "Star Trek" (xx)), John Bolt as Billy Rayford (Secret Service Agent in "The Greek Tycoon"), Hank Patterson (3) as Old Man (Fred Ziffel on "Petticoat Junction" and "Green Acres")

[I suspect this is going to be something of a "love it or leave it" episode for viewers, although as usual, I fall somewhere in between. Gary Crosby (Bing's son, Denise's uncle) plays Floyd Burney, an Elvis Presley-like character who drove back into the deep woods in search of inspiration for some new music, inexplicably parking his car and getting out somewhere in the backwoods. [*** SPOILERS FOLLOW ***] This is an interesting episode because it's preordained by a ballad which has lyrics that are slowly revealed over the course of the show - it's also clear this is a time loop since there are indicators this has all happened before (again, influence for "Star Trek"). Much of the viewer reaction will come from whether or not they like the ballad (I liked it), and it was fascinating to see the new lyrics being revealed right after the events took place. A haunting, Raven-esque aspect is added by a somewhat extraneous "girl in a black dress" which does serve to permeate everything with an ominous tone.]

5.35 - "The Fear" - May 29, 1964 - Screenshot 2017-08-23 at 11.27.38 AM.png
Directed by Ted Post (4), Written by Rod Serling (xx)
Featuring Mark Richman as Trooper Robert Franklin (Officer Steve Barrett in "Man with a Problem" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Mike in "The Cure" on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx), Ian Fraser in "The Borderland" on "The Outer Limits" (xx)), Hazel Court as Charlotte Scott (4 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (xx)), Juliana in "The Masque of the Red Death"

[I'm delighted that Rod Serling had one more good episode in him (I've heard negative things about the upcoming, final episode) - this brings back the old Twilight Zone seasons, and it was a very good way to (almost) end on. Worth watching, despite dragging a bit, and one of the better episodes of this season. Even though "The Fear" was very much like the old episodes in spirit, (the sense of advancement in cinematography, sound, and special effects is palpable) this just doesn't "feel" like a Twilight Zone. This last season is fascinating in that regard, even though overall, the stories tend not to be quite as good. When a Twilight Zone special effect fools *me* (a cynical, jaded, hyper-observant viewer), then you know they've done something right.]

5.36 - "The Bewitchin' Pool" - Jun 19, 1964 -Screenshot 2017-08-23 at 10.45.51 AM.png 
Directed by Joseph M. Newman (Directed 10 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by Earl Hamner, Jr. (8)
Featuring Georgia Simmons as Aunt T (La Nonna di Guido in "8 1/2"Mary Badham as Sport Sharewood (Jean Louise "Scout" Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (xx)), Jeffrey Byron as Jeb Sharewood (Administrator of the Kobayashi Maru Scenario in "Star Trek" (xx)), Dee Hartford as Gloria Sharewood (Felicity Simpson in "Day of Reckoning" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Mrs. Clarke in "The Invisibles" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Miss Iceland in "Green Ice" and "Deep Freeze" on "Batman" (xx)), Tod Andrews as Gil Sharewood (Skipper in "Beneath the Planet of the Apes"

[Wow, the final episode, and one which the critics will bust on without doubt. Me? I liked it, but I know how precious and fragile children are, and how important they are to me. A "The Secret Garden"-like fantasy that means ultimate happiness for two forlorned children that will end up being the unhappiness of two terrible human beings as parents. Very much of an escape fantasy with both a sad and happy ending, but, as they would have said in the court room ... it's what's best for the children. Plus Aunt T, played by Georgia Simmons (1884-1980) was about the sweetest grandmother figure you could ever hope to see - the acting was good overall, but both she and Mary Badham really stood out in this episode, the last of a strangely dwindling season - given the budgetary constraints (and, quite frankly, the decline in teleplays), this great, historically important show had clearly run its course. For those who have seen "The Bewitchin' Pool," you may be stunned to discover that "the other thing" Georgia Simmons is best known for is playing Guido's grandmother in "8 1/2"  by Federico Fellini!]


And the series is a wrap. I'm so glad I watched the entire thing, and I'm less invested than I was after Star Trek: TNG because I haven't grown to love the characters as much. Nevertheless, along with a sense of accomplishment is a sense of loneliness because I *will* miss Rod Serling and his goofy tales of the supernatural, darn it. Onward and upward.


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It is nice that you pre-screen all of these episodes so I don't have to suffer through the clunkers. Are there some that are SO bad, they're good? If so, they may be worth a look.

Of the handful of episodes I have watched so far, a few stand out. The episode I watched today, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," from Season 5, was amazing. It was like a well made feature film condensed into 30 minutes. I never would have guessed it was a Twilight Zone episode. Beautifully shot, with minimal dialogue, it was packed with emotion. I loved the contrast between the calm beauty of nature and the tension he felt as a hunted man. If I could only watch one episode, I think this would be the one.


Of the more traditional Twilight Zone episodes, my favorites so far are:

"The Chaser," from Season One. Fluffy and fun. One scene in particular made me laugh out loud.

"Two," from Season Three. An untraditional love story. It was fun seeing a young Elizabeth Montgomery and Charles Bronson together.

"The Hunt," from Season Three. A sweet story about a man and his dog. Proof positive that dogs go to heaven, despite what that mean nun told me when I was in second grade and my sweet Missy was hit by a car.

"Nothing in the Dark," from Season Three. A great performance by Robert Redford in a moving story.

"The Trade-Ins," also from Season Three. The best older couple since Carl and Ellie from "Up."

"The Changing of the Guard," Season Three. A touching tale that reminded me of "It's A Wonderful Life" meets "Dead Poets Society." Extremely well acted.

"On Thursday We Leave for Home," Season Four. An incredible performance by James Whitmore.

"Ring a Ding Girl," Season Five. A captivating story about a charming actress who truly is a hometown heroine.

So far, it looks like Season Three is winning for me.

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Nothing to add really, but I had the Shatner seat (Nightmare at 20,000 Feet) on my flight home from San Diego. No gremlin as far as I could tell, but I did think of this thread. :D

It's a really good episode!

The one in the movie was good, too (albeit more comic).

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This is a fascinating interview between Mike Wallace and Rod Serling which took place in 1959, before "The Twilight Zone" aired.

Unfortunately, there is a cringe-worthy moment in the first minute when Mike Wallace addresses Mr. Serling as RON Serling - I've seen it three times, and I'm pretty sure that's what he says. And then, he does it again about a minute later. Oof!

Do yourselves a favor: watch the entire interview. The Twilight Zone is first mentioned at 8:45, and the questions which follow are fascinating, insinuating (in a bad way), and borderline insulting. You're going to like Rod Serling even more than you do if you watch this entire interview - he's terrific!

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On 11/8/2014 at 12:43 PM, DonRocks said:

The Twilight Zone - Season 5 (Back To Half-Hour Episodes)

5.36 - "The Bewitchin' Pool" - Jun 19, 1964 -Screenshot 2017-08-23 at 10.45.51 AM.png 
Directed by Joseph M. Newman (Directed 10 episodes of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"), Written by Earl Hamner, Jr. (8)
Featuring Georgia Simmons as Aunt T (La Nonna di Guido in "8 1/2"Mary Badham as Sport Sharewood (Jean Louise "Scout" Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (xx)), Jeffrey Byron as Jeb Sharewood (Administrator of the Kobayashi Maru Scenario in "Star Trek" (xx)), Dee Hartford as Gloria Sharewood (Felicity Simpson in "Day of Reckoning" on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (xx), Mrs. Clarke in "The Invisibles" on "The Outer Limits" (xx), Miss Iceland in "Green Ice" and "Deep Freeze" on "Batman" (xx)), Tod Andrews as Gil Sharewood (Skipper in "Beneath the Planet of the Apes"

[Wow, the final episode, and one which the critics will bust on without doubt. Me? I liked it, but I know how precious and fragile children are, and how important they are to me. A "The Secret Garden"-like fantasy that means ultimate happiness for two forlorned children that will end up being the unhappiness of two terrible human beings as parents. Very much of an escape fantasy with both a sad and happy ending, but, as they would have said in the court room ... it's what's best for the children. Plus Aunt T, played by Georgia Simmons (1884-1980) was about the sweetest grandmother figure you could ever hope to see - the acting was good overall, but both she and Mary Badham really stood out in this episode, the last of a strangely dwindling season - given the budgetary constraints (and, quite frankly, the decline in teleplays), this great, historically important show had clearly run its course. For those who have seen "The Bewitchin' Pool," you may be stunned to discover that "the other thing" Georgia Simmons is best known for is playing Guido's grandmother in "8 1/2"  by Federico Fellini!]

It is *very* contrarian to say "The Bewitchin' Pool" is one of the Top 10 "Twilight Zone" episodes, and while I don't agree with the ranking, I also don't agree with people who completely trash the episode (which almost everyone does - they're wrong):

Oct 6, 2014 - "10 Twilight Zone Episodes that Will Give You Chills" by Alexandra Rosas on huffingtonpost.com

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For those with access to Hulu, this episode of "The Twilight Zone" is very topical in today's landscape.

The Twilight Zone - Season 4 (One-Hour Episodes, Jan 3, 1963 - May 23, 1963)

4.4 - "He's Alive" - Jan 24, 1963 - Dennis Hopper.png <--- "Shall I tell you who the minorities are? We, we, we! We are the minorities."
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg (Director of "Cool Hand Luke"), Written by Rod Serling
Featuring Dennis Hopper as Peter Vollmer (Director, co-Writer, and co-Star (as Billy) of "Easy Rider," Frank Booth in "Blue Velvet," Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor as Shooter Flatch in "Hoosiers"), Ludwig Donath as Ernst Ganz (Professor Gustav Lindt in "Torn Curtain"), Curt Conway as Adolf Hitler (Franklin Carlin in "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" and Dr. Philip Mendl in "Moonstone" on "The Outer Limits")


Please refer to "The Twilight Zone" thread in our TV forum.

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On 5/8/2020 at 1:34 PM, DonRocks said:

For those with access to Hulu, this episode of "The Twilight Zone" is very topical in today's landscape.

Hey, its (still) a food board, right?  I'd vote for "To Serve Man" as (potentially?) most topical.

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23 hours ago, Steve R. said:

Hey, its (still) a food board, right?  I'd vote for "To Serve Man" as (potentially?) most topical.

That would be this:

3.24 - "To Serve Man" - Mar 2, 1962 - Screenshot 2020-05-10 at 12.15.33.png <--- "There is nothing ulterior in our motives. Nothing at all."
Directed by
 Richard L. Bare (5), Written by - Teleplay: Rod Serling (62), Story: Damon Knight (2001 Retro-Hugo Award for Best Short Story 1950, Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame Inductee 2003)
Featuring Lloyd Bochner as Michael Chambers (Terrence Bagget in "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear" (Spoofing his Role in "To Serve Man"), Canadian National Award of Excellence Recipient 2004), Richard Kiel as The Kanamits (Jaws in "The Spy who Loved Me" and "Moonraker" (Saturn Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor)), Susan Cummings as Patty (Georgia on "Union Pacific"), Joseph Ruskin as the Voice of the Kanamits (
Collins in 
"Production and Decay of Strange Particles" on "The Outer Limits," Master Thrall Galt in "The Gamesters of Triskelion" on "Star Trek"

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