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"The Fear" is the penultimate episode of the The Twilight Zone.
"The major ingredient for any recipe for fear is the unknown. And these are two characters about to partake of the meal: Miss Charlotte Scott, a fashion editor, and Mr. Robert Franklin, a state trooper. And the third member of the party: the unknown, that has just landed a few hundred yards away. This person or thing is soon to be met. This is a mountain cabin, but it is also a clearing in the shadows known as the Twilight Zone."
Highway Patrol trooper Robert Franklin and brooding New York socialite Charlotte Scott (recuperating from a nervous breakdown) find themselves trapped in Scott's remote cabin as unexplained occurrences indicate the presence of a mysterious force. Bright flashes of light are seen, strange craters appear, and the trooper's car moves - on its own. Back inside, Charlotte hears strange noises on the roof; when Robert goes outside to investigate, he finds nothing, but notices that his car is back in place-covered in gigantic fingerprints. The two sleep nervously, and go out into the woods the next morning, seeking the giant monster. They find an enormous footprint, leading the socialite to run away. She soon stumbles and falls directly into the path of a 500-foot-tall "Martian" with one eye. Realizing that no one will believe their story, the pair is left to stand against the beast. Robert shoots it...and it deflates, revealing itself to be an enormous balloon. The true source of the problem is a small alien spacecraft, containing two aliens no bigger than a man's thumb. They reveal that all of their trickery has been foiled by "man's inability to be afraid", beg their superiors to allow them to depart (or, in their eyes, face being crushed), and finally flee. Robert grins and wishes them luck- "maybe the next place they land, they can be the giants." Charlotte asks what will happen if future invaders are giants; Robert informs her that "I think you'd spit in their eye." She smiles and the camera tilts to the skyline as Serling's voiceover begins.
"Fear, of course, is extremely relative. It depends on who can look down and who must look up. It depends on other vagaries, like the time, the mood, the darkness. But it's been said before, with great validity, that the worst thing there is to fear is fear itself. Tonight's tale of terror and tiny people on the Twilight Zone."
Preview for Next Week's Story
Next time on The Twilight Zone, "The Bewitchin' Pool". Young children find imaginary playmates when they find their travail too much to bear. Others retire to bedrooms. But the children on next week's Twilight Zone find escape in a most unusual fashion: they disappear in a swimming pool. This one is well worth the watching. Mary Badham stars in Earl Hamner's "The Bewitchin' Pool".
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
Home media release
- Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series