This article provides a volume list for The Twilight Zone: Collector's Edition video set from the CBS Video Library.
Included below are the item details and content from the video covers, containing plot summaries and technical data.
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0307 "The Invaders/One for the Angels/Eye of the Beholder/The Lonely" ; UPC: 000307060004, EAN: 0000307060004, ASIN: B0007LHTR4; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|"The Eye of the Beholder"||Miss Janet Tyler (Maxine Stuart), hospital patient 307, lives in a private world of darkness. Surgeons have just labored to repair the hideously disfigured face that has made her a lifelong outcast. If the procedure fails, state officials will relegate her to a special village with others of her kind. Tyler waits with hope, her head completely covered in bandages, ready to witness the outcome of her doctors' efforts.
Rod Serling considered "The Eye of the Beholder" one of the series' finest episodes. By all accounts, "Eye" features a masterful harmony of creative elements, from the directorial innovations of Douglas Heyes to the makeup of William Tuttle to the camera artistry of George T. Clemens.
In many ways, "The Eye of the Beholder" seems more the work of a gifted choreographer than director. As Serling's script required that the faces of his doctors and nurses be concealed until the drama's climax. Heyes and Clemens pre-planned every single movement of camera and actor.
Heyes also worked hand in hand with Tuttle to develop a makeup that would make the revelation of the staff's faces a real shocker. Tuttle suggested a masking technique that he had recently used to great effect in the Academy Award-winning movie The Time Machine. The final treatment consisted of a brow piece and a larger foam rubber section that covered the nose, cheeks, and upper lip. The two pieces were then attached with spirit gum to the actors' faces.
Casting the part of Janet Tyler also proved tricky. For the bandaged Tyler, Heyes sought an actress whose voice could convey her pain and suffering. Stage and screen veteran Maxine Stuart fit the bill. But for Janet Tyler revealed, Heyes went with the glamorous Donna Douglas (The Beverly Hillbillies). The resulting contrast, between Douglas and those who treat her, is nothing less than horrifying.
Another notable stroke of ingenuity involved Clemens' setup of the bandage scene, in keeping with Heyes vision that the audience experience the story from Tyler's point of view. Clemens hung a fishbowl wrapped in bandages in front of the camera. With the lens shooting from inside of the bowl, as the bandages are unwrapped, we share Tyle's trauma. Her eyes are our eyes.
Finally, the moment of truth arrives. As we view Janet Tyler's face for the first time, we understand Serling's message: That beauty is, in fact, in the eye of the beholder.
|"The Lonely"||For inmate James A. Corry (Jack Warden), solitary confinement means life on an asteroid nine million miles from Earth. Corry craves human contact —so much so that he counts the minutes until a roving ship makes its annual drop-off of provisions. Corry may well be the loneliest man in the universe. But all of that is about to change. Because the supply ship is on its way, this time carrying a special package for Corry that will help him to forget his problems...and present him with a whole new dilemma.
As the inaugural episode of the first season, "The Lonely" met and surpassed the promise of the Twilight Zone pilot "Where is Everybody?" Its success owes as much to producer Buck Houghton's choice of location as to the sterling performances of a fine cast and behind-the-scenes artists.
As Houghton's first goal was to simulate an asteroid, he set up shop in the very hot, dry and flat Death Valley. But Death Valley proved an uncooperative host. Cast and crew found it nearly impossible to cope with the 130 degree heat. The sun defied actors to keep fresh faces of makeup. Meanwhile, a heavy lunch, courtesy of the location caterer, made a bad situation worse. Many crew members took ill, while the remaining were forced into double duty.
After two days of trouble, Houghton and director Jack Smight decided to pack up and head for the cooler confines of an MGM set, where they shot the final scenes.
Yet, in more ways than one, the Death Valley days paid off. Although filming had been among the more difficult in Twilight Zone history, "The Lonely" depicts Corry's hell with a visual clarity that audiences simply cannot forget.
"The Lonely" also went a long way in promoting the popularity of a fledgling series. Smight leads Jack Warden, Jean Marsh (Upstairs, Downstairs), John Dehner and a young Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) in a moving interpretation of a standout Serling script. Fans are enthusiastic about this episode today as they were in 1959, when the first visited that "dungeon of mountains, salt flats and sand that stretched to infinity."
|"The Invaders"||A woman (Agnes Moorehead) lives alone, isolated in a single, out-of-the-way farmhouse. Her only real causes for concern are breakfast, lunch and dinner —that is, until a space vessel lands on her roof. When a pair of squat, menacing aliens emerges, the proprietress suddenly finds herself in a fight for her life.
"The Invaders," one of the most popular episodes of the second season, tells a simple, chilling story. More significantly, it succeeds as one of the series' best explorations of the horror genre. By turns ingenious and daring, director Douglas Heyes stages this memorable struggle for survival—a struggle that could only occur in The Twilight Zone.
Actress Agnes Moorehead (Citizen Cane, Bewitched) was Heyes' first choice for the part of the woman. Although Moorehead was reportedly miffed upon learning that her part contained no dialogue, she delivers a performance that still ranks as a fans' favorite.
Once Heyes had secured a lead actress, he devoted his energies to the making of the "little men." Above all else, Heyes was committed to crafting invaders that would look believable. Thus, he rejected the popular options of process photography and camera tricks.
The makeup department followed Heyes' lead, constructing pint-sized foam rubber creatures that Moorehead could literally pick up and throw. Each puppet-like creature sported a stilt in the back, which allowed Heyes to manually control the movement of the arms and legs.
While fine acting and special effects provide dramatic tension, the moody camera images of photography director George T. Clemens make "The Invaders" a stunning visual achievement. His synchronization of an unusually complex system of dimmer switches pays off most notably in the scene in which Moorehead carries a single candle from dark room to dark room.
Many cherish "The Invaders" for its iconic, totally unexpected ending. After Moorehead battles her intruders to the limit, the camera zeros in on the exterior of the alien ship. The lettering on the side of the vessel reveals a chilling truth...that all is not as it seemed to be.
|"One for the Angels"||Lew Bookman (Ed Wynn) is an unremarkable, sixtyish salesman who works the city streets. Life passes without incident, until one July afternoon when Mr. Death informs him that he is to die at midnight. Faced with the problem of finding a replacement for his elusive subject Death arranges for little Maggie, a neighborhood child, to die in a traffic accident. Bookman, now determined to save the girl, has no choice but to confront Mr. Death and deliver the toughest sales pitch of his career.
"One for the Angels," the second episode of the first season, is a moving commentary on the most serious of subjects. From the start of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling would establish that television did not have to be passive entertainment. Indeed, "One for the Angels" serves as evidence of Serling's ability to engage audiences, while forcing them to question their own feelings and beliefs.
Adapted from a teleplay that Serling had written right after college, "One for the Angels" charts the fate of a slick, fast-talking salesman. That is why Serling's choice of actor Ed Wynn at the time seemed curious. (Serling had actually written the episode for Wynn.) After all, Wynn's trademark lisp and deliberate delivery did not meet the outward demands of the script. In the end, though, Wynn transcends the part as written—his performance is winning.
Director Robert Parrish shot night scenes during the day, this as a concession to Wynn's age. The crew simulated nighttime by draping black tarpaulin over the tenement streets. Certainly, Serling and company attended to Wynn's comfort throughout production. But the veteran actor made a sizeable contribution in return. Recalls assistant director Edward Denault, "I remember his chair was very close to the camera at all times. He was a real joy to work with, a real pleasure."
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0308 "Time Enough At Last/The Changing of the Guard/The After Hours/The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" ; UPC: 000308100198, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0309 "The Living Doll/To Serve Man/Judgment Night/In Praise of Pip" ; UPC: 000309060002, EAN: 0000309060002, ASIN: B0007LHTX8; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
Originally Aired: December 4, 1959; Written by Rod Serling; Producer: Buck Houghton; Director: John Brahm; Director of Photography: George T. Clemens; Music: Stock
Starring Nehemiah Persoff, Be Wright, Patrick MacNee, James Franciscus
|An unseen, unfriendly periscope keeps a steely watch over the S.S. Queen of Glasgow as fog and sea whip across the freighter's docks. On board the Glasgow a German passenger, Carl Lanser, wanders about in confusion as the boat rocks to and fro in the black night. He doesn't know how he got aboard or what he's doing there, but strangely all the passengers are familiar. The only thing Carl Lanser knows for certain is that at 1:15 a.m., something horrible is going to happen. Suddenly, a Nazi U-boat surfaces. Lanser zooms in on the sub with his binoculars and begins to understand a horrible truth about himself...the S.S. Queen of Glasgow'...and the terrible reality that lies ahead on this raw, ugly night.
This nightmarish tale was superbly written by Rod Serling and marks The Twilight Zone directorial debut of German-born John Brahm. Brahm's previous credits include Raymond Chandler's The High Window, The Ledger, Hangover Square and The Brasher Doubloon. Brahm went on to direct eleven more episodes in The Twilight Zone series, more than any other director.
"Judgment Night" is also significant because it marked the first and only time a sponsor objected to a reference in the script. The sponsor was General Foods' Sanka. Understandably they didn't want the ship's first officer ordering tea up to the bridge! Serling obliged, tea was deleted and a "a tray" was requested instead.
This haunting drama stars character actor Nehemiah Persoff (Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea), Patrick MacNee, later famous for TV's The Avengers, and a budding, young James Franciscus who apparently had a bit of trouble mastering a German accent.
The use of live U-boat footage and convincing sets employed from the classic The Wreck Of The Mary Deare make this a chillingly convincing episode, indeed.
|The Living Doll
Originally Aired: November 1, 1963; Written: Jerry Sohl; Producer: William Froug; Director: Richard C. Sarafian; Director of Photography: Robert W. Pittack; Music: Bernard Herrmann
Starring Telly Savalas, Mary LaRoche, Tracy Strafford; Featuring the voice of June Foray
|Dolls are nothing more than plastic, nylon and pretty painted smiles. Or so Erich Streator (Telly Savalas) thinks until his wife brings home an expensive chatting doll for his stepdaughter. His annoyance at the high price tag turns to horror when "Talky Tina," the doll, announces to Erich that she hates him—over and over. Pushed to the brink, Erich becomes convinced that "Talky Tina" is out to get him. After Tina escapes Streator's first attempt at her destruction, she phones Streator, issuing a frightening death threat. Is Streator insane or is this horror real? Keep in mind...dolls are just frilly little toys for kids. They can't threaten people or commit murder...or can they?
Superbly crafted, from the script right down to the effectively eerie photography, "The Living Doll" is unquestionably one of the most riveting episodes in The Twilight Zone anthology. Telly Savalas, who later found star status on TV's Kojak, turns in a chilling performance as the desperately spooked Erich Streator. Mary LaRoche, previously seen in The Twilight Zone's "A World Of His Own," stars as Erich's concerned wife.
Conceived by Charles Beaumont and written by Jerry Sohl, this fright-filled tale has its lead character, Erich Streator, walking on a razor's edge. To express fear over a mere doll...nothing more than a mass of plastic and paint...is to announce to the world that you're a lunatic. But if you ignore your fears, they'll swallow you whole...because this is The Twilight Zone.
|In Praise of Pip
Originally Aired: September 27, 1963; Written by Rod Serling; Producer: Bert Franet; Director: Joseph M. Newman; Director of Photography: George T. Clemens; Music: Rene Garriguene, Lud Gluskin
Starring Jack Klugman, Billy Mummy, Bob Diamond, Connie Gilchrist, John Launer, Ross Elliott, Stuart Nisbet, Russell Horton, Gerald Gordon, Kreg Martin
|It's just another thankless day of conning and boozing for bookie Max Phillips (Jack Klugman) when he gets the worst news of his life: His son Pip lies near death in a place called South Vietnam. Frustrated...angry...and remorseful for years of empty promises to his son, Max decides to reach out and help a luckless young bettor. But all his compassion gets him is a bullet in the chest. Seriously wounded, Max Phillips comes face to face with his last chance to do something meaningful for his son. And this time there's no conning and there's no turning back—because Max Phillips has just entered The Twilight Zone.
Amazingly well-timed, "In Praise of Pip" started out the fifth season with groundbreaking material. It was, perhaps, the first TV drama to recognize American casualties in Vietnam—a prelude to the carnage that would soon follow. Because of the controversial subject matter in Serling's script—the Vietnam conflict was still back-page news—the research and legal department scanned the script for accuracy and dialogue that government officials might consider accusatory or erroneous. For instance, the line: "There isn't even a war there" was changed to "There isn't even supposed to be a war there." Yet, in spite of its political overtones, "In Praise of Pip" is not a political story, but a poignant tale of a father's love for his son.
Filmed at night at Pacific Ocean Park, "In Praise of Pip" stars Jack Klugman, later seen on TV's The Odd Couple and Quincy; and Billy Mummy of Lost in Space fame. Some twenty-four years later "In Praise of Pip" is still revered as a true Twilight Zone classic.
|To Serve Man
Originally Aired: March 2, 1962; Written by Rod Serling; Producer: Buck Houghton; Director: Richard L. Bare; Director of Photography: George T. Clemens; Music: Stock
Starring Lloyd Bochner, Richard Kiel, Susan Cummings, Theodore Marcuse
|Headlines around the world blare the news. Aliens have finally found us. Weighing in at 350 lbs. each, the Kanamits are an impressive breed. Standing a little over nine feet tall, they dazzle the world with polished rhetoric and winning promises that would make a politician's head spin. With their superior technology, they teach man how to end famine, harness energy and lay down their guns. The title of a Kanamit book left at the UN seems to say it all—translated it reads: "To Serve Man." While decoding experts struggle to decipher the rest of the book, thousands, including head cryptographer Michael Chambers, book passage to the Kanamits' home planet. By the time his assistant translates the book, it's too late...because Michael Chambers and thousands more like him have just bought a one-way ticket into The Twilight Zone!
Adapted by Rod Serling from Damon Knight's winning short story, "To Serve Man" has one of the most shocking, eye-opening endings in The Twilight Zone series.
Damon Knight conceived and wrote this science-fiction masterpiece in just one afternoon in 1950 in Greenwich Village. Originally, Knight's Kanamits were surly, pig-like creatures, but when the episode was being produced, Serling decided that menacing, acromegalic giants would transfer better to the TV screen...and Knight agreed, fearing his pig-creatures might appear too Disney-like.
Seven-foot-two Richard Kiel, later known for his role as "Jaws" in James Bond films, was signed on to play all the Kanamit roles in this episode. By the time the make-up crew finished with him, he would tower over nine feet tall as an "altruistic" Kanamit, determined to Serve Man in The Twilight Zone.
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0310 "Walking Distance/Nightmare at 20,000 Feet/The MIdnight Sun/The Purple Testament" ; UPC: 000310060008, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|"Walking Distance"||Advertising executive Martin Sloan (Gig Young), age thirty-six, is exhausted by the hectic pace of life in New York City. One day, while in an especially disgruntled mood, Martin goes for a drive in the country and winds up not far from his old home town. He stops, leaves his car at a gas station and sets off on foot to the town. Mysteriously, he arrives to find things exactly as they were when he was a child. Then reality sets in. His short walk has taken him a long, long way...much farther than he thought...all the way to The Twilight Zone.
For Rod Serling, "Walking Distance" had an intensely personal meaning. He conceived the plot when he was out walking on an MGM set and became overwhelmed with nostalgia when he realized its similarity to the town of Binghamton, New York, where he grew up during the 1930's. It suddenly struck him that all of us have a deep longing to go back -not to our home as it is today, but as we remember it.
Buck Houghton considered "Walking Distance" one of the best episodes the series produced. Casting, acting, and directing were all superb. And the sets -built by MGM for the movie Meet Me In St. Louis -plus a gorgeously detailed carousel rented for the occasion -were magnificent elements for a half-hour show.
"Walking Distance" is clearly a fantasy. That's why Serling and Stevens use a visual allusion to Through The Looking Glass, a mirror, for Martin's entrance to the past, instead of a time machine. Serling also shifted to a style of writing that is more wistful, nostalgic. Longing for the past is communicated more through the words than action. And it reaches its peak in Serling's closing narration, perhaps the most touching and beautifully lyrical of any episode. Then, too, there's Bernard Herrmann's gentle and evocative score composed specifically for this episode. The music is omnipresent, yet unobtrusive and permeates the entire drama.
|"The Midnight Sun"||It's nearly midnight in New York City. Yet the sun blazes brightly in the sky...on this, the hottest day in history.
Something has gone tragically wrong. One month ago, the Earth suddenly changed its elliptical orbit and in doing so began to follow a path which gradually, moment by moment, day by day, took it closer to the sun...and destruction.
Most people have already left for cooler climates. But Norma (Lois Nettleton) and her neighbor Mrs. Bronson remain in their apartment building trying to cope with irregular electricity, ever-increasing heat, and creeping insanity. Soon Mrs. Bronson becomes delirious. As the temperature rises, Norma's paintings actually melt and run down the canvas. Norma screams and collapses. She'll awaken to discover that her worst nightmare is yet to come.
In "The Midnight Sun" Serling creates a dramatic "end of the world" scenario. It was a daunting challenge to project the fear of increasing heat and a cataclysmic ending to the world on a limited budget and in three shooting days. But many visual effects make the terrible heat credible; the sweaty-looking makeup on the actors, mercury boiling and breaking the glass in a thermometer, and a painting melting and running down the canvas. This last effect was accomplished by painting a picture in wax on a hot plate and turning the hot plate on.
But Director Tony Leader remembers an additional element that put the actors into the spirit of the episode. Although the scenes were shot in the summer without air conditioning, additional heat was added to make everyone distinctly uncomfortable, thus very convincing. Then, of course, there is the last scene, the finale. Only Rod Serling could have dreamed it up. It's Twilight Zone at its best.
|"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"||Mr. Robert Wilson (William Shatner) is a frightened man. He's just been discharged from a sanitarium where he spent six months recovering from a nervous breakdown—a breakdown that occurred during a night flight on a plane very much like the one he has just boarded.
Looking out the airplane window, Wilson suddenly sees a bulky, furry creature land on the wing. In disbelief, he watches as the creature begins to dismantle one of the cowling plates. Unable to convince his wife or the stewardess that there is a creature on the wing, Wilson removes a pistol from a sleeping policeman and decides to act alone.
William Shatner gives a marvelous performance as Wilson, a complex, intelligent, insecure man on the brink, desperately trying to convince himself of his sanity. And when he tells the others what he sees, he risks not only their disbelief, but his own recommitment.
The logistics involved in shooting "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" were enormous. The set was the interior of an airplane passenger cabin with the left airplane wing attached—all suspended over a huge water tank, in order to contain the water from the rain effect. A man had to fly in on wires...and wind, rain, lightning, and smoke were needed to give the effect of clouds and travel and speed. It was very unusual, at the time, to put some much energy into a small half-hour episode, but, as you will see, it makes a tremendous impact.
|"The Purple Testament"||It's 1945 in the Philippines. As members of the war-weary U.S. infantry prepare for another confrontation with the Japanese, Lieutenant Fitzgerald (William Reynolds) lives in a private war-time hell of his very own. When he looks into the faces of his men prior to a battle, he sees a peculiar light on the faces of those who are about to die.
Captain Riker, Lt. Fitzgerald's close friend and superior officer, scoffs at this—until "Fitz" sees the odd light on his face. Nevertheless, Riker feels duty-bound; he goes into combat and is killed. Soon after, Fitz is relieved to hear that he is being sent back to division headquarters. But as he packs to go, he glances in a mirror and is horrified to see the same terrible light on his face as on the others.
In "The Purple Testament," the 'look of death" in the soldiers' faces is an eerie effect created by a sudden shift in the lighting and overexposing the film.
A special irony attended this production. The evening that it was to be aired first-run, Director Richard Bare and William Reynolds boarded a plane for Miami. At three hundred feet, both engines quit and the place went down, killing one of the five people on board. Although Bare and Reynolds had three broken legs between them, they decided to make for the shore. And when they were four miles off the Jamaican coast, swimming on their backs, Bare called over to Reynolds, "You know what's playing tonight>" Reynolds said, "Yeah, 'The Purple Testament.'" Then, Bare shot back, "Reynolds, please don't look at me!" Both Bare and Reynolds survived and fully recovered. Bare went on to direct 182 episodes of Green Acres, Reynolds to star in The FBI.
William Reynolds, whose wife had had a baby just two weeks earlier, adds an interesting postscript, "Buck Houghton took the show off the air that night, because he didn't know whether I was a survivor or not from first news reports. But I thought it was indicative of the class of that production company that...they didn't subject my family to that."
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0311 "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim/Death's Head/?/?" ; UPC: 000311060007, EAN: 0000311060007, ASIN: B0007LHRVC; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0313 "Night of the Meek / Mirror Image / The Grave / The Masks" ; UPC: 000313060005, EAN: 0000313060005, ASIN: B0007LHU5A; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1988)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0315 "The Dummy/Nothing in the Dark/Shadow Play/The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine" ; UPC: 000315060003, EAN: 0000315060003, ASIN: B0007LHRYY; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|"The Dummy"||Here is the case of a celebrated dummy with a voice all his own who performs his act in an out-of-the-way little club somewhere in The Twilight Zone.
Meet Jerry Etherson -best friend is a liquor bottle and ventriloquist extraordinaire. Jerry is convinced that the wooden dummy named Willie sitting on his lap is no ordinary, mute puppet. Jerry is sure Willie wants to run the show! He relates his fear to his manager, but Frank thinks Jerry is going off the deep end. Eager to escape the malevolent Willie, Jerry performs with another mannequin named Goofy. The show is a resounding success.
Jerry decides he will lock Willie in a trunk and be rid of him for good. But he suddenly hears Willies' mocking voice. Then he sees Willie's shadow moving across the wall. In desperation, Jerry tries to destroy the dummy. But this is The Twilight Zone...the one place where a dummy can truly enjoy the last laugh.
The finale is one of the most startling of any episode of "The Twilight Zone." The astounding impact of that final shot, achieved through a slow camera pan, will send shivers down your spine!
The process of getting a dummy to resemble a living person was arduous. One of the greatest caricaturists of out time -Frank Campbell, who went by the name, T. Hee- was recruited to do a sketch. From the sketches, the mannequin was finally built. This attention to detail evident in the production work, the fine acting of Cliff Robertston in the lead role and the astounding story by Rod Serling contribute to the popularity of this episode.
|"Nothing In The Dark"||Wanda Dunn (Gladys Cooper) is an old woman all alone in the world. She has fought many battles with death and has always emerged the victor. But she is terrified. Of the dark. Of being alone. Of Mr. Death's many disguises. Barricaded in her grim tenement apartment, year after year she sits and waits.
But one day there is a commotion outside her door. Someone has been shot. Wanda agonizes: Should she open the door? Should she get involved? After much hesitation, she overcomes her intense fear and manages to drag the body of a wounded policeman, Harold Beldon (Robert Redford), into her home.
But then someone else pounds on her door. A brutal, iron-fisted man breaks the door down. Thinking this is Mr. Death in all his violent magnificence, she passes out. Is this finally the angel of darkness who will lead her through The Twilight Zone?
Director Lamont Johnson, who was responsible for the feature film Lipstick and for such unforgettable television movies as My Sweet Charlie and The Execution of Private Slovik, has evoked a cramped, dark atmosphere brimming with fear and dread. George Clayton Johnson's script grapples with man's oldest and most provocative fear. What lies behind that door after all and how will we greet Death when he comes calling for us?
Gladys Cooper, a respected star of the London stage and featured in such memorable movies as Rebecca, Now Voyager, My Fair Lady," is so convincing as the desperate, frail Wanda, who tenaciously lives on in order to spite Death, that upon viewing the episode a year later, the elegant and poised actress kept saying, "Oh, look at that woman, look at that old lady." It was if she were watching someone else.
|"Shadow Play"||Do we exist in reality as flesh-and-blood human beings? Or are we really just playing a part in someone else's dream? If a dream can be real, then who is to say that reality isn't after all but a dream?
Adam Grant (Dennis Weaver) is convicted of murder and sentenced to die in the electric chair. Every night, he wakes up screaming, drenched in a cold sweat. Quaking with fear, he is like all other criminals meted out the same fate. Except what he fears is worse than prison, worse than death. He fears that he is living a nightmare -an actual dream! And if he dies now, the world will disappear with him...into The Twilight Zone.
Grant tries to tell people about the situation. Most scoff at the ridiculous notion that if Grant dies everyone will cease to exist. The hour of execution looms closer and closer. Time is running out. Finally, District Attorney Ritchie is about to call the governor to request a stay of execution...but it is too late. Or is it?
John Brahm, who directed many segments of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, builds suspense in a slow, deliberate manner reminiscent of Hitchcock's style. In one scene, Grant chillingly relates to a fellow inmate how someone is actually executed: "the they drop the mask. It's musty. It smells like an old sofa. Then you wait, every muscle tense, straining. Any second, any second. Then you can almost hear it. They pull the switch..."
"Shadow Play" conjures up a visionary reality that will set you thinking long after the show is over!
|"The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine"||Barbara Jean Trenton (Ida Lupino) is an actress past her prime, a once-brilliant star who sequesters herself in her private screening room where she can relive the flickering moments of a fleeting fame played out on the silver screen. Watching her old films drives her deeper into another world...a world beyond space and time...one step away from The Twilight Zone.
Unable to leave the sacred screening room, the former movie queen becomes a recluse. Her agent (Martin Balsam) tries frantically to persuade her to go out for a change. He even recruits a former leading man to come over and visit her. But Barbara Jean does not leave "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine."
One day, the maid enters the projection room carrying the star's meal. To her horror, Barbara Jean is nowhere to be found. Then the maid takes a look at the screen!
Ida Lupino, star of High Sierra and They Drive By Night, gives a powerful subtle performance in a role that could have dissolved into sheer nostalgia. Jerome Cowan, whose credits go back to the golden age of television, invests the character of the has-been leading man with a remarkable poignancy. Then too, there's Franz Waxman's fine score and Mitchell Leisen's fluid direction. Many consider this episode to be Liesen's best. No doubt having been a top director of feature films now working in television, Liesen brought a special understanding and empathy to the project.
Rod Serling has created a dramatic premise that echoes the classic, Sunset Boulevard. Serling's storyline, however, goes that one step further, transforming a woman's wishful dreaming into a reality with a dimension into a reality with dimension all of its own.
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0316 "Little Girl Lost/A Game of Pool/?/?" ; UPC: 000316060002, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0318 "The Obselete Man/Long Distance Call/What You Need/A World of His Own" ; UPC: 000318060000, EAN: 0000318060000, ASIN: B0007LHU64; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|The Obsolete Man
Originally Aired: June 2, 1961; Written by Rod Serling; Producer: Buck Houghton; Director: Elliot Silverstein; Director of Photography: George T. Clemens
Starring Fritz Weaver, Burgess Meredith, Joseph Elic
|Librarian Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Meredith) is judged obsolete and sentenced to death by a Chancellor (Fritz Weaver) of a fascist State of the future that has banned all books and religion. He is granted three requests: that only his assassin know the method of his death, that he die at midnight the next day, and that he have a live TV audience. Forty-five minutes before he is to die, Wordsworth invites the Chancellor to his room. But he has more on his mind than a deathbed chat—he's determined to put both their ideologies to the test, and demonstrate just which man really is obsolete...in this world, and in the Twilight Zone.
Serling's potent preachment against totalitarianism is well served by its actors and director. The episode's director Elliot Silverstein, who had come from live theater, recalls, "There was a certain amount of expressionism in the style of the performances and the sets." The major set of the piece, the room in which Meredith is judged was unlike anything seen before on the series, with walls draped in black velvet, doors 25 feet high and harsh, uniformed, standing at attention, the citizens of the State reflect the room's cold angularity, harsh and cruel. For Fritz Weaver, playing the character Chancellor proved a change of pace. Burgess Meredith explains, "At that time, he was a young, dashing leading man, so it was unusual that he took that character role." Meredith relished his own part, particularly the opportunity to read aloud from the Bible: "I was a great friend of Charles Laughton, who used to read the Bible all the time. I suppose I stole a thing or two from him."
|Long Distance Call
Originally Aired: March 3, 1961; Written by William Idelson and Charles Beaumont; Producer: Buck Houghton; Director: James Sheldon
Starring Billy Mumy, Lili Darvas, Philip Abbott
|For his fifth birthday, Grandma Bayles (Lili Darvas) gives her devoted grandson Billy (Billy Mumy)—whom she possessively thinks of as "her son"—a toy telephone, then promptly takes sick and dies. Though initially sad, Billy soon perks up, spending all his time talking animatedly into the toy. He claims Grandma is on the other end, that she wants him to join her. His parents (Phillip Abbott and Patricia Smith) scoff at this—until the child starts trying to kill himself. Billy is the victim of a macabre tug-of-war...and only love can possibly save him.
"Long Distance Call" was one of only six Twilight Zone episodes shot on videotape, using multiple cameras to film entire scenes rather than each individual shot being filmed separately, as was the case with the rest of the series. The result is a grainy, live-TV look that contributes to the sense of urgency. This is a first-class chiller, and its creepy premise—phone calls from the dead—was one that would again be exploited in Richard Matheson's fine episode, "Night Call." The initial idea came from co-writer William Idelson, whose recently-deceased mother had, some time earlier, given his young son a toy telephone. What makes the story doubly horrifying is the concept of a dead relative guiding a child towards suicide. Billy Mumy, featured in three Twilight Zone episodes before starring in Lost in Space, recalled, "My mother was real upset with the suicide scenes, thinking it might make some type of weird impression on me." A scene of Mumy floating face down in the fish pond was shot but not used.
|What You Need
Originally Aired: December 25, 1959; Producer: Buck Houghton; Director: Alvin Ganzer; Director of Photography: George T. Clemens; Music: Van Cleave; Based on the short story, "What You Need" by Lewis Padgett (pseudonym of Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore)
Starring Steve Cochran, Ernest Truex, Arline Sax.
|Pedott (Ernest Truex) is an enigmatic sidewalk peddler with the uncanny ability to give people the item they will soon desperately need—before they even know why they'll need it. He gives Lefty (Read Morgan), a washed-up ballplayer, a ticket to Scranton moments before Lefty gets a call offering him a coaching job in Scranton. Fred Renard (Steve Cochran), a violent, bitter failure of a man, demands Pedott give him what he needs. Frightened, Pedott produces a pair of scissors. Renard is mystified...until a hotel elevator door closes on his tie and scissors prove very handy.
But Renard wants much more. He shakes down Pedott in his hotel room and gets a leaky fountain pen that lets him win a bet on the horses. But even this cannot satisfy Renard's insatiable hunger. He confronts Pedott a third time, on a rain-slicked, night-cloaked street. And this time, what Renard gets is what Pedott needs. "What You Need" is based on a story by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (under the pseudonym of Lewis Padgett) about a scientist who uses a machine that predicts probable futures to give people what they need to be guided in a certain direction. Serling liked the basic idea, but chose to craft a superior story that returned to the settings and characters that always served him so well: the corner bars, deserted streets and fleabag hotel rooms of petty hustlers, has-beens and never-weres. The result is diverting entertainment with one swell kicker, and lots of food for thought. For although Renard may not make the most of his opportunity, how many of us would mind a visit from a mysterious little old man able to give us just what we need?
|A World of His Own
Originally Aired: July 1, 1960; Written by Richard Matheson; Producer: Buck Houghton; Director: Ralph Nelson; Director of Photography: George T. Clemens
Starring Keenan Wynn, Phyllis Kirk, Mary La Roche
|Victoria West (Phyllis Kirk) is dumbfounded when she looks in the window of her husband's study and sees him with a pretty blonde (Mary La Roche). But she's even more shocked when she barges in and finds him utterly alone! Playwright Gregory West (Keenan Wynn) calmly explains that all he need do is describe anything into his dictaphone and —poof!—it magically appears. To make it vanish, he just throws the tape in the fire. He demonstrates both actions, first with his mistress and then—when Victoria tries to run off—with a full-grown elephant in the hallway.
Unfortunately, Victoria's still not convinced of her husband's supernatural powers. It seems Gregory's going to have to teach her a lesson....and, in one of the most surprising twist endings of the entire series, teach Rod Serling, too. One of Twilight Zone's deftest comedies, "A World of His Own" began in a very different vein. "The first outline I submitted was a serious one in which it became very nightmarish to him when his characters came to life, " Richard Matheson recalled, "I guess it was a little melodramatic for them, so they suggested I try to lighten it up, and I redid it as a comedy, which I think worked well." The episode reunited Serling with Ralph Nelson and Keenan Wynn, director and star of his landmark TV version of "Requiem For a Heavyweight," Nelson had just written "The Man in the Funny Suit," a TV special on the making of "Requiem..." in which Serling had played himself. As a turnabout favor, Nelson directed "A World of His Own." The last episode of the first season, this also marked Serling's first on-camera appearance on The Twilight Zone. Says Nelson, "He objected at first but then went along with the joke."
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0319 "Escape Clause / Jess-Belle / The Long Morrow" ; UPC: 000319060009, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007LHS0M; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|"Escape Clause"||Forty-four-year-old Walter Bedecker (David Wayne) is a hypochondriac par excellence. So when the Devil in the form of fat, jolly Mr. Cadwallader (Thomas Gomez) appears and offers him immortality and indestructibility in exchange for his soul, Bedecker jumps at the chance. He insists on an escape clause, however: if at any time he tires of life, all he need do is summon Cadwallader. Soon, Bedecker is delighted to find that nothing can harm him -steaming radiators can't burn him and throwing himself in front of speeding subway trains only rips his clothes. Insurance agents are lining up to pay off handsomely for all his little "accidents." And yet, something is missing...life lacks a certain zip. Bedecker has a nasty feeling Cadwallader has pulled a fast one. And, in his quest for bigger and better thrills, Bedecker is setting himself up for a nasty shock....courtesy of the Twilight Zone.
"Escape Clause" was one of Twilight Zone's numerous deal-with-the-Devil stories, a romp that was clearly fun for all involved. Directed by Mitchell Leisen (Death Takes a Holiday). It stars two wonderful old-time character actors, David Wayne (a delight in such films as Adam's Rib and star of the TV series House Calls) and Thomas Gomez (Key Largo), who would later star in the third season episode, "Dust".
Aired early in Twilight Zone's first season, "Escape Clause" was a popular favorite that prompted Daily Variety to call it, "A little gem...[that] ranked with the best that has ever been accomplished in half-hour filmed television."
|"Jess-Belle"||On the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Billy-Ben Turner (James Best) proposes to Ellwyn Glover (Laura Devon), the pretty daughter of a successful farmer. But Jess-Belle Stone (Anne Francis), a poor-but-beautiful girl Billy-Ben romanced on the sly before falling for Elly, is determined the marriage never take place. In desperation, she seeks the aid of Granny Hart (Jeanette Nolan) who is rumored to be a witch. Granny produces a love potion, which Jess-Belle drinks down.
The magic works -the moment Billy-Ben sees her, he forgets about Elly and belongs totally to Jess. Jess is overjoyed, but come midnight, she learns the terrible price she has paid for her beloved prize: she transforms into a leopard and prowls until dawn. Granny Hart is a witch, and now so is Jess. She has battered away her soul and is doomed to become a cat every night. Unaware, Billy-Ben is ardent to marry her. In anguish, Jess initially refuses. In time, though, her longing for Billy-Ben weakens her resolve and she accepts his proposal. But Jess-Belle is soon to learn that a damned creature -even one damned for love- has little to look forward save tragedy...especially in the Twilight Zone.
"Jess-Belle" is a classic tale of love and witchcraft and represents the finest work of Earl Hamner, Jr., creator of The Waltons and Falcon Crest. The story behind its creation is nearly as remarkable as the episode itself. Hamner: "Herb Hirschman called me on a Friday and said, 'I've just had a script knocked out from under me...By a week from today, I need an hour-long script'...I said, 'Herb, it usually takes me a week to think of an idea... He said, 'Think about it until Monday and call me.."
By Monday, Hamner had come up with the idea for "Jess-Belle," Hirschman gave him the go-ahead and crossed his fingers. Hamner recalled, "I delivered it that Friday, having written one act each day, and it was one of those cases when I really fell in love with the script."
But if all the actors worked together smoothly, one performer proved a headache, the ferocious feline. "When I wrote it, I believed it was a tiger," said Hamner. "Herb called me one day and said, 'I'm up to [here] in tigers and none of them can act... Do you think some other animal might do? This animal trainer has a nice leopard." And I said, 'Gee, it might be even more exotic to have it be a leopard.'"
Buzz Kulik remembered the trainer well. "He had a tendency to over dramatize everything. And so he said, 'Look here, I can't guarantee what a leopard's going to do... You want a lion> I can tell you what the lion is gonna do. You want a tiger? I can tell you. But a leopard?' So we put together a camera cage and the three of us [Kulik; director of Photography, Robert Pittack; and the cameras operator] got inside it and we cleared the stage, because we didn't know what this [leopard] was going to do. And this lion tamer was there, he had this big chain around his hand. And they said, 'Well, let's roll!' Roll the camera, okay, roll the camera. 'Let him out!' Out comes this leopard, looks around, lays down and goes to sleep!"
|"The Long Morrow"||A month before departing on a round trip interstellar flight that will take forty years, Commander Douglas Stansfield (Robert Lansing) meets and falls in love with Sandra (Mariette Hartley), a Space Agency employee. Both realize the romance is doomed. Stansfield is to be kept in suspended animation for most of the mission. When he returns, he'll still be in his thirties, while Sandy will be an old woman. Nevertheless, she promises to wait for him. Upon his return, Sandy is notified and hurries to see him. It's a moment they have both envisioned for years. But this is the Twilight Zone... and they're both in for the shock of their lives.
"The Long Morrow," directed by Robert Florey (The Coconuts, The Beast With Five Fingers), has one of the best remembered payoffs of any Twilight Zone episode. Says Robert Lansing, "I loved the story. I remember kidding Rod, telling him that he had rewritten 'Gift of the Magi.' which didn't insult him at all.' Lansing particularly enjoyed working with Hartley. "Mariette was, I thought, quite good in that, and it was very early on for her, she had not done much before that."
Lansing did have a certain amount of difficulty with the scene in which he was to lie in suspended animation, clothed solely in his acting ability and a pair of shorts. "I was a little reluctant to do the semi-nude thing in the ice block, but it was such a good idea, so visual, that I bypassed my own feelings and did it. I was wearing a pair of mini-trunks which today I'd wear on a beach."
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0320 "Mr. Denton On Doomsday / The Shelter / The Lateness of the Hour / The Trouble With Templeton" ; UPC: 003200111996, EAN: ?, ASIN: B000BUHF3Y; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|"Mr. Denton On Doomsday"||Town drunk Al Denton (Dan Duryea), once a feared gunslinger but now an object of pity and scorn is forced to draw against a sadistic bully (Martin Landau). A glance from mysterious peddler Mr. Fate (Malcolm Atterbury) allows Denton to get off two miraculous shots, saving his life. Now a town hero, Denton regains his self-respect and swears off liquor. But soon, the routine that drove him to the bottle in the first place begins again -Denton is challenged to a shootout by a young hotshot (Doug McClure). Practicing, Denton finds his ability with a gun is long gone, In desperation, he turns to Fate for more magic. What Fate provides might just save Denton from a bullet...or it might do much, much more.
Although "Mr. Denton On Doomsday" covers a good deal of familiar Western turf—town drunk, cocky fast gun and so on—Serling's style and imagination give the tale genuine emotion and surprise. The supporting roles are all handled well, notably Martin Landau (Tucker) as Denton's delightfully creepy tormentor.
But it is Dan Duryea's agonized portrayal of Denton that makes the episode soar. Noted for his movie portrayals of petty hoods, Duryea is completely convincing as Denton, "a man who's begun his dying early." Paid $5,000 for his four days' work on Twilight Zone, Duryea loved the role and worked hard at it. Assistant director Edward Denault recalls, "Dan was an actor without any ego, which was very unusual. He went in there and did his work and did it damn well. Just a super guy."
|"The Shelter"||During a party for beloved Dr. Stockton (Larry Gates) shocking news comes over the radio: radar has detected UFOs heading southeast; citizens are urged to go to their fallout shelters. Fearing imminent nuclear war, Doc locks himself and his family in the shelter he's had the foresight to build in his basement. But his neighbors aren't so lucky; they didn't shelters. They plead with Doc to let them in. He refuses—there's only air and provisions for three.
As the neighbors argue, bigotry and violence rises to the surface. The tissue of friendship and civility is torn away. Whether the bombs come or not, these hapless men and women will discover their brutal trip through the Twilight Zone has destroyed them all. As in "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," Serling chose to examine an ordinary, happy-seeming neighborhood, then turn up the heat and reveal the fears and hatreds lurking beneath. But while the external threat in "Monsters"—invaders from space—was a science-fictional metaphor, the threat in "The Shelter" was all too real.
A favorite with some viewers, "The Shelter" was less popular with director Lamont Johnson ("Nothing in the Dark" and "Kick the Can"), who felt "it was a little too self-righteous or lecturing in tone." But if Serling's toe in "The Shelter" might seem too bald, it's because the crisis at the time was terribly urgent. Fallout from H-Bomb tests was blanketing the globe, missiles were poised. Serling said, "Twilight Zone cannot really be called escapist fare." His priority as a writer was to comment on pressing issues of the day and avoid censorship by draping his tales in the trappings of fantasy. How well "The Shelter" works as drama is up to the individual, but as preachment its message is as timely now as when it was written. And, as Serling himself wrote in another episode, "the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone."
|"The Lateness of the Hour"||Brilliant scientist William Loren (John Hoyt) has retreated from the outside world into a house of his own design, where his family's safety and comfort is assured by human-looking robot servants. Daughter Jana (Inger Stevens)—whose memories go no further than the house's four walls—feels the sanctuary is actually a prison and that her parents' reliance on the robots is turning them into vegetables. She gives her father an ultimatum: dismantle the robots or she leaves home.
Reluctantly, Loren complies. Jana is overjoyed—with the robots gone, she can throw wide the doors and begin a normal life. But, unbeknownst to her, Loren hasn't had the heart to dismantle one very special robot...and when Jana is introduced to it, she will find herself permanently plunged into the Twilight Zone.
In "The Lateness of the Hour" Inger Stevens (unforgettable in "The Hitch-Hiker") marshals an anxiety and intensity that are mesmerizing. In one scene, she repeatedly strikes a banister to show she can't feel pain. Director Jack Smight recalls the banister was padded. "But she'd have done it even if there weren't padding, that's the kind of actress she was. She'd have hurt herself."
John Hoyt (the three-armed Martian in "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up" and a regular on Gimme a Break) also turns in a marvelous and convincing portrayal—despite his own lack of comprehension of certain aspects of the role. "In one show," he recalls, "I invented a robot and had to describe the process: 'You take 3 centimeters of Tramontium and join it to a length of 5 millimeters of cellophane and turn the whole thing over until it smokes...' And all this time, I'm not knowing what I'm talking about!"
|"The Trouble With Templeton"||Feeling very old and tired, stage-star Booth Templeton (Brian Aherne) longs for those years in the Twenties when his angelic wife Laura (Pippa Scott) was alive—the only truly happy time in his life. When brash young director Willis (Sydney Pollack) savagely berates him for arriving late to a rehearsal, Templeton flees the theater—and finds himself back in 1927!
Templeton has only one overwhelming desire—to find Laura and stake his claim on the past. Soon enough, he gets his wish...but it's hardly the reunion he imagined.
"The Trouble With Templeton" is a lovely second-chance story by E. Jack Neuman, who wrote only this one episode. Says Neuman, "It was the kind of show that any writer wants to write, simply because it's the fun of total imagination." Other writing commitments forced Neuman to write "Templeton" in one day, a remarkable feat considering the quality of the script.
Movie star Brian Aherne (Juarez) is ideal as Templeton, but when he first got the script he didn't know what to make of it. "I thought the writer must surely be out of his head." Aherne had never heard of Twilight Zone. Serling arranged to show him several episodes. "Then I realized what Twilight Zone meant, and that the script was really an excellent one."
For the role of director Willis, Buzz Kulik cast a friend from New York theatrical days. It was to prove prophetic typecasting. Today, Sydney Pollack is one of Hollywood's top directors, with credits that include Tootsie and Out of Africa.
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0322 "The Silence/Kick the Can/A World of Difference/And When the Sky Was Opened" ; UPC: 000322060003, EAN: 0000322060003, ASIN: B0007LHU6O; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|"The Silence"||Wanting only to enjoy a little peace and quiet at his men's club, aristocratic Archie Taylor (Franchot Tone) is infuriated by the endless prattle of fellow member Jamie Tennyson (Liam Sullivan). Taylor makes him a bet: if Tennyson can remain silent for a year, he will pay him half a million dollars. To insure his silence, Tennyson must remain a virtual prisoner in the club's basement.
Deep in debt, Tennyson agrees to the wager. Taylor feels sure Tennyson will soon crack under the strain. But as the weeks go by, it becomes increasingly clear that Tennyson is determined to win at all costs. Taylor is desperate to make him speak…but he has no idea to what lengths Tennyson has already gone to win the bet.
"The Silence" remains one of the most talked-about episodes of The Twilight Zone—thanks largely to its shocking, unforgettable ending. But the most remarkable element of "The Silence" occurred behind the scenes. In his younger days, Franchot Tone had been a screen heart-throb and he still fancied himself as a ladies' man. "He drank and he womanized and he was a marvelous man," said Rod Serling. The opening and closing scenes of "The Silence" were filmed on a Friday, then cast and crew broke for the weekend. On Monday, everyone was there on the set—except Tone.
Serling: "We waited and we waited...When it got to be 10 A.M....we get his agent, who tracks him down. He's in a clinic. It seems that in the parking lot of Romanoff's, he decided that he liked the look of some girl and went after her. And first she hit him and then her boyfriend hit him and stomped his face on the gravel, so that the left side of Tone's face was a gigantic, overripe watermelon."
"And I said, 'So be it. Come on in, Franch, and we'll shoot the other side of your face,' which we did."
For the entire middle section of "The Silence," Tone's face is only seen in profile, or with half of it obscured. Curiously, the effect works to the episode's advantage, making Tone seem even more devious and serpentine. In fact, director Boris Segal recalled reviews complimenting him on the effect!
|"Kick the Can"||Charles Whitley (Ernest Truesx), a resident at Sunnydale Rest Home, becomes obsessed that the secret of eternal youth lies in acting young. A romp through the sprinklers only lands him in isolation. But Whitley is sure that if he can play a game of kick-the-can, he will regain his lost youth. Only problem is, he can't play it alone—he needs the other old people to join him—and his best friend, sour Ben Conroy (Russell Collins), is dead set against such a notion, certain Charley is going senile.
"Kick the Can," written by George Clayton Johnson (Star Trek) is one of Twilight Zone's finest, a touching and perceptive commentary on youth, age, death, and friendship. Ernest Truex is passionate and persuasive, and the others in the cast are uniformly fine. Director Lamont Johnson recalls, "They were just a beautiful bunch...they were better children than middle-aged actors. It was such a joy to them to be released into this kind of fanciful thing. Truex was such a dear person, so open and charming, that everybody around him reacted extremely well."
In 1983, "Kick the Can" was remade as a segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie, directed by Steven Spielberg. Full of sentimentality and lacking most of the heart, it stands as a pale imitation of the classic original.
|"A World of Difference"||Arthur Curtis (Howard Duff) is going about his workday, talking to his secretary, making a call. But the cry of "Cut!" shatters this image—Curtis is on a soundstage, surrounded by a film crew, his office merely a set. Everyone but Chris insists he's actually Jerry Raigan, a drunken, fading movie star playing the role of Arthur Curtis. There's no sign of Curtis' family, his house, even the street he lives on. Curtis is frantic to find some doorway to the life he remembers, to escape the nightmare existence of Raigan for the idyllic one of Curtis. But one nagging question confronts us—is Curtis trying to emerge from the Twilight Zone or plunge into it?
The issues of alienation and the nature of reality would dominate the Sixties and the years beyond. "A World of Difference" is Richard Matheson's classic examination of these themes. "I liked that one," said Matheson. "It's one of those Kafkaesque ideas that you get..." Howard Duff (radio's Sam Spade) is ideal as Curtis, an Everyman whose dilemma we can all readily identify with. In a computerized world in which one's identity is challenged each day, it only takes a small step into the Twilight Zone for any of us to become Arthur Curtis.
Those watching closely will find extra rewards. Playing an assistant director is William Idelson, co-writer of "Long Distance Call." And showing the studio inside and out, the episode gives an accurate picture of MGM during the period that Twilight Zone was filmed there.
|"And When the Sky Was Opened"||During man's first flight into space, the X-20 disappears from radar then crashes in the desert. Major Gart (James Hutton) is laid up with a broken leg, but Colonels Harrington and Forbes (Charles Aidman and Rod Taylor) go out for a night of revelry. Suddenly getting a strange feeling, Harrington calls his parents—and finds the have no son! Abruptly, he disappears, and no one but Forbes remembers him. Forbes is desperate to find out what's going on—for whatever yanked Harrington away may not be satisfied with just one.
"And When the Sky Was Opened" marks the first Twilight Zone entry by the peerless Douglas Heyes, who directed a lion's share of classic episodes, including, "The After Hours, "Eye of the Beholder" and "The Invaders." Serling's writing is sharp and engaging, and a considerable departure from the original Matheson short story, which has nothing to do with space or astronauts, telling of a man whose best friend, wife and relatives disappear one by one, until finally he himself vanishes. Regarding the rationale for the disappearances in the original, Serling said, "I felt there was no rationale there. At least if I'm dealing in outer space, I can say Something, Someone. In the original short story, there was nothing..."
"And When the Sky Was Opened" boasts a first-rate cast: Rod Taylor (The Time Machine), James Hutton (father of Timothy Hutton) and Charles Aidman (who would later take over Serling's chores as narrator on the 1985 revival of Twilight Zone). Says Aidman, "Just a few days ago, my wife and I are driving down Santa Monica Boulevard and a cab driver pulls up alongside. He looks over and says, 'Where is Colonel Harrington?!' Over the years, at least 50 people have recognized me from this particular show."
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0326 "On Thursday We Leave for Home / Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room / A Passage for Trumpet" ; UPC: 003261001991, EAN: ?, ASIN: B000BUIVPK; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0327 "Mr. Dingle, The Strong /Of Late I Think of Cliffordville /The Four of Us Are Dying" ; UPC: 000327060008, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007LHTZ6; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #5874 "Big Tall Wish / I Shot an Arrow Into the Air / Printer's Devil" ; UPC: 005874060006, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007KS2VW; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #5873 "Dust / The Bard / Rip Van Winkle Caper" ; UPC: 005873060007, EAN: 0005873060007, ASIN: B0007P96CG; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0587 "Little People/One More Pallbearer/A Thing About Machines/A Penny For Your Thoughts" ; UPC: 005879060001, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0587 "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You/Mr. Garrity and the Graves/Once Upon a Time/The Fugitive" ; UPC: 058730111008, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0587 "The Mind and the Matter/Back There/Spur of the Moment/The Old Man in the Cave" ; UPC: 005876060004, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #5877 "The Mirror / In His Image / Nightmare as a Child" ; UPC: 005877060003, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007LHU3W; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0587 "The Trade-Ins/Third From The Sun/The Fever/Prime Mover" ; UPC: 005870060000, EAN: 0005870060000, ASIN: B0007LHUMI; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0587 "The Whole Truth/Death Ship/Queen of the Nile" ; UPC: 005875060005, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #08085 "Cavender is Coming / He's Alive / Uncle Simon" ; UPC: 008085060001, EAN: 0008085060001, ASIN: B0007LHRYO; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1992)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0808 "Sounds and Silences/Mr. Bevis/Mute" ; UPC: 008083060003, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0815 "Static/The Gift/The Brain Center at Whipple's/The Fear" ; UPC: 008152060002, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0815 "The Passerby/The 7th is Made up of Phantoms/An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge/I Am the Night-Color Me Black" ; UPC: 008153060001, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #10667 "Four O'Clock / Young Man's Fancy / Valley of the Shadow /A Kind of Stopwatch" ; UPC: 010667060002, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007LLX1C; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1993)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #10669 "I Dream of Genie / Ninety Years Without Slumbering / Ring-A-Ding Girl" ; UPC: 010669060000, EAN: 0010669060000, ASIN: B0007LHS4I; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1993)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #10665 "Man in the Bottle / Passage on the Lady Anne / Probe 7 - Over and Out" ; UPC: 010665060004, EAN: 0010665060004, ASIN: B0009AFF1U; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1993)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #1067 "What's in the Box /Caesar and Me /Stopover in a Quiet Town /Come Wander With Me" ; UPC: 010671060005, EAN: 0010671060005, ASIN: B0007LHUN2; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #1067 "You Drive /The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross /Black Leather Jackets/From Agnes--With Love" ; UPC: 010670060006, EAN: 0010670060006, ASIN: B0007LHUOG; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #6987 "The Odyssey of Flight 33/The Hitch-Hiker/Steel/Two" ; UPC: 698795483629, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #11196 "The Thirty-Fathom Grave / The Parallel" ; UPC: 011196060006, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007LHUM8; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1993)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0321 "Person or Persons Unknown/Miniature/King Nine Will Not Return/" ; UPC: ?, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007LHU6E; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #08082 "The Mighty Casey / A Most Unusual Camera / Twenty-Two / The Encounter" ; UPC: ?, EAN: ?, ASIN: B000Q3E1EW; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1992)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #5871 "I Sing The Body Electric / The New Exhibit / The Chaser" ; UPC: ?, EAN: ?, ASIN: B0007LHS4S; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1989)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone # "///" ; UPC: ?, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone # "///" ; UPC: ?, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|
|CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone # "///" ; UPC: ?, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)|