"A Thing About Machines" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.

From the CBS Video Library cover:


Episode Details

Title Sequence

Opening Narration

"This is Mr. Bartlett Finchley, age forty-eight, a practicing sophisticate who writes very special and very precious things for gourmet magazines and the like. He's a bachelor and a recluse, with few friends, only devotees and adherents to the cause of tart sophistry. He has no interests, save whatever current annoyances he can put his mind to. He has no purpose to his life, except the formation of day-to-day opportunities to vent his wrath on mechanical contrivances of an age he abhors. In short, Mr. Bartlett Finchley is a malcontent, born either too early or too late in the century, and in just a moment, will enter a realm where muscles and the will to fight back are not limited to human beings. Next stop for Mr. Bartlett Finchley: the Twilight Zone."

Episode Summary

Bartlett Finchley is a critic for gourmet magazines who dislikes people and machines even more. In fact, he believes the machines in his house are conspiring against him - his television set and radio go on and off, his clock chimes past the hour and the typewriter types "GET OUT OF HERE FINCHLEY". His fears are dismissed as paranoia, but one night, his machines begin tormenting him, including his electric razor. Even the clock he smashed to pieces keeps haunting him. Finchley runs out of the house, where his car is waiting. It starts by itself and proceeds to chase him throughout the neighborhood. The chase ends when Finchley falls to the bottom of his pool and drowns. The next day, his body is pulled out and the police have no explanation as to how he could have been on the bottom without anything to weigh him down. It's theorized that Finchley may have had a heart attack.

Closing Narration

"Yes, it could just be. It could just be that Mr. Bartlett Finchley succumbed from a heart attack and a set of delusions. It could just be that he was tormented by an imagination as sharp as his wit and as pointed as his dislikes. But as perceived by those attending, this is one explanation that has left the premises with the deceased. Look for it filed under 'M' for Machines - in The Twilight Zone."

Preview for Next Week's Story

Down this hall is a very strange individual locked in a room. He's known by various names and by various forms and next week on The Twilight Zone, you'll be close to the elbow of the people who let him out. Our story is called "The Howling Man" by Mr. Charles Beaumont. It's designed for the young-at-heart but the strong-of-nerve. I hope we'll see you next week along with the Howling Man. Thank you and good night.


Critical Response

Background Information



Production Companies


  • Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
  • Corporation, The (2008) (France) (DVD)



Cast Connections

Memorable Quotes

Notes and References

  1. CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #? "?/?"; UPC: ?, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)

External Links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.