• Category Archives Twilight Zone a day.
  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 72

    Episode 72 – The Grave

    This episode is a retelling of the urban legend wherein a man is dared to visit a grave at night and stab a knife into it as proof. The knife invariably ends up pinning the man to the grave, he thinks it’s the dead man grabbing him and dies of fright.

    This episode followed this formula exactly and was boring as shit. Again, the story may have been more fresh when it aired originally. Bad acting, worse overdubs (especially the woman) and an obvious twist make this one of the worst episodes I’ve watched. Pass.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 71

    Episode 71 – The Mirror

    Revolution leader Ramos Clemente succeeds in his bid for power, and is enjoying the admiration of the public along with his fours friends. Clemente has the previous dictator brought before him, and is informed that the mirror that hangs in Clemente‘s new office will show him those who would assassinate him. Clemente has him taken away to be executed without trial, in fact, he orders the execution of 1,000 prisoners without trial. Over the course of the day, Clemente sees all four of his friends in the mirror, menacing him with weapons and has all of them killed. Eventually, he sees his own reflection, holding his own gun. He throws his gun at the mirror, breaking it, and them shoots himself.

    Really, really weak episode. Everyone is supposed to be a Castro look-alike and their fake beards are ridiculous. Plus, duder goes batshit insane within minutes of acquiring his new position. Really? I mean I know they only have a half hour but man, shit was weak. Pass.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 70

    Episode 70 – A Game of Pool

    Pool shark Jesse Cardiff is complaining to himself in an empty pool hall that he doesn’t have the reputation he deserves. Turns out, the late Fats Brown is remembered as the best pool player that ever lived. Wishing with all his might that he could have just one game against Fats to prove he is the better man, Jesse finds himself presented with a game of pool from beyond the grave.

    Long story short, Jesse defeats Fats and is then known as the best there is. Unfortunately, that means that after his death Jesse now has to obey the summons to challengers to his title until he too is defeated.

    That might be the easiest summary of an episode yet. It hits all the major points though. Kinda fun, but I have a feeling I’ll be forgetting all about this one in a couple of months. Nothing here to really rivet you to your seat.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 69

    Episode 69 – The Passersby

    It’s just after the end of the Civil War, and a line of ex-Confederate soldiers is trudging along a road, heading back to their homes. As the road passes a once stately manor, a wounded Sergeant stops in front of the manor and asks the woman sitting on the porch if he might have some water. She readily agrees and they strike up a conversation. Over the course of the day the two talk of the woman’s dead husband, killed in the war. She is grief-stricken, and says she plans on killing any Union soldier that comes by.

    Sure enough, later that night, a Union lieutenant on horseback approaches the house asking for water. The sergeant recognizes him as the man who stopped his wound from bleeding on the battlefield, saving his life. As the two men are talking, the woman retrieves a shotgun from her house and takes a shot at the Union lieutenant. He is miraculously unharmed and the sergeant realizes that lieutenant was killed right after saving him. At least, he had thought so.

    The next morning, the woman’s dead husband arrives, and sends the sergeant on his way down the road. She asks her husband if in fact, they are all dead, as she has come to expect. He confirms this, him from a bullet, and her from a fever. Her husband heads down the road, much to her dismay, and she collapses in the road. A man helps her back up. She turns to find Abraham Lincoln, the last traveler on the road and the last casualty of the civil war. He tells her not to fear death, and she runs off to catch up with her husband.

    Pretty slow episode all in all. There was really nothing eerie about the discovery that all the travelers were dead, and the ending felt more like a simple stop than a real resolution. Pass.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 68

    Episode 68 – The Shelter

    A group of neighbors are gathered at Dr. Stockton’s house for his birthday party. At the end of the party, the government interrupts the radio broadcast to warm everyone of incoming objects of indeterminate origin. Everyone is advised to retreat to their bomb shelters or basements or whatever and the neighbors scatter.

    As it turns out, only Dr. Stockton has built a bomb shelter in his basement, and just as he and his family are securing themselves inside, the neighbors start showing up. None of them have a shelter, some don’t even have a basement, and they all want inside Dr. Stockton’s shelter. As the shelter was built to hold only three people (Dr. Stockton, his wife and son) Stockton keeps the door locked and remains inside with his family.

    As more and more people show up, they get more and more hysterical. Eventually, a group of the neighbors get a makeshift battering ram and break down the door to Dr. Stockton’s bomb shelter. Just as they start to pour inside, a new radio update informs everyone that the incoming objects are just satellites. Everyone looks sheepish, and some of them offer to help pay to repair Dr. Stockton’s shelter now that things are back to normal. Stockton tells them he doesn’t know what normal is, and perhaps they all found out what they are really like when they are acting “normal” tonight.

    Obviously, the confrontation and decline of humanity that unfolds during this episode were easy to spot a mile away, but it was a fun ride nonetheless. If anything, it was frustrating watching people all clamor for what they do not deserve and ruining the safety that Dr. Stockton has earned through his own forethought. A solid episode.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 67

    Episode 67 – The Arrival

    A plane lands at an airport without passengers, baggage or crew. The FAA sends Inspector Sheckly to find out what’s going on. Sheckly has never had a case he couldn’t solve, and is confident that he can find the cause of the mysterious arrival.

    After extensive interviews with everyone who was in any way involved with the flight from the ground, Sheckly seems to have hit a dead end. Then  it dawns on him, different people have each described the seats in the plane as different colors. Sheckly has the two men he is with look a the registration numbers on the plane and finds that they all see them differently. Based on this, Sheckly decides that the only answer is that the plane does not exist.

    To test his illusionary plane theory, Sheckly decides to stick his hand in the plane’s propellor, as it should cause him no harm. Sure enough, as he attempts the feat, the plane disappears. Surprisingly, so do Sheckly’s two companions.

    Sheckly finds his two companions back in the operations room, but now they have no memory of the previous events or his visit. As Sheckly rants about “flight 107″ one of the men recalls that was a plane that disappeared years ago. In fact, it was the only case that Sheckly never solved.

    Sheckly cannot believe this fact and wanders off to the runway, eventually breaking down sobbing unable to deal with his one defeat.

    This was a rather dull episode all around. Performances were fine I suppose, but the story lacked any real punch. Even the mystery of what might have happened didn’t really grab me and the final reveal was disappointing. Pass.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 66

    Episode 66 – Two

    Good old Rod Serling informs us in the intro that the deserted and damaged town we are looking at is the state of society 5 years after a calamitous war. Into that town wanders a young woman in a military uniform who wanders about looking into the windows of the shops. After checking out a dress in a department store window, she spies a restaurant. Hurrying across the street, she enters the kitchen and rummages around for food. Before she can finish opening the one remaining can on the shelves a man appears in the doorway wearing a different uniform.

    The two tussle and eventually the man knocks the woman unconscious. He turns back to the food and opens what we learn is a can of chicken. (Side note: I found this to be so distracting I’m still talking about it with people. I mean it’s fucking chicken! In a can!)

    (For those of you who wondered what Charles Bronson looks like eating canned chicken, you’re motherfucking welcome.)

    Anyway, after some thought the man decides he wants companionship more than canned chicken and rouses the woman and declares there is no reason for them to fight any more. She is wary of him, and they don’t speak the same language, but follows him around anyway.

    As they wander the city, they stumble across a movie theater, instead of romance, they end up both diving for guns found on the bodies of long-dead soldiers. After a brief stand-off the man shoulders his weapon and continues on with the woman following.

    As they pass the store with the dress in the window she was admiring earlier, the woman says the word for “pretty” in Russian. Understanding her meaning if not her word, the man removes the dress from the mannequin and gives it to her. The woman follows his exhortations to change in a nearby building while the man waits outside.

    Unfortunately, the building is a recruitment center for the army the man was enlisted in. The woman surveys the propaganda on the walls and finds her anger with her old enemy renewed. She bursts out of the door and fires a couple of shots at the man as he sits unprepared on the curb across the street. His face singed but otherwise unharmed, the man decides to leave rather than engage the woman in combat.

    The next day the man is seen getting dressed in a suit of civilian attire and carrying a couple of jars of preserved peaches. He spies the woman across the street hiding behind a truck and tells her to take her war to someone else. She rounds the truck and is wearing the dress he got for her, he tosses her a jar of peaches and she smiles. They walk off side by side.

    This was a surprisingly straightforward romance episode. Really not much else to say except how surprised I was that Charles Bronson used to be attractive. Definitely worth a watch.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Season 2 Recap

    So, I’ve finished the second season of The Twilight Zone, and I’m not as enthusiastic as I expected to be. Maybe I’m being too harsh on it, or maybe it’s that I’m getting immune to the usual Twilight Zone narrative conceits. Hmmmmm . . . . let’s look at the highlights and lowlights.

    Highlights

    1. Eye of the Beholder. This episode is totally deserving of its rank as one of the best two or three episodes ever and certainly one of the most famous.
    2. Burgess Meredith. Burgess returns for two more episodes this season and goddammit he’s fun to watch. I’m actually gonna look for other movies he’s in based on his performances here.
    3. William Shatner. Shatner shows up this season looking young and trim and he made me love the already good episode he was in even more.

    Lowlights

    1. Dust. An episode centered around a character so annoying I was only able to finish it due to my commitment to watching every episode. Like Juno in black and white.
    2. Tedium. There were a few episodes this season that just seemed to want to spend most of their runtime watching people sit in inner turmoil which is not that fun to watch. For example: Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room and The Lateness of the Hour.
    3. Video. A few episodes of this season were shot on video (which was even worse in 1960) as a cost saving measure. The result is a very BBC looking teleplay thing that draws you out of whatever story is being shown.

    Overall, there are definitely some gems here, but I had higher hopes for the second season. I assumed that in season two, they would have hit the ground running. Everyone should know what they are doing, they have the formula down, etc. I can’t help but feel like they were floundering around a bit here though, struggling to make it to the next solid show. We’ll see if things look better after season three.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 65

    Episode 65 – The Obsolete Man

    In a totalitarian state, Romney Wordsworth is brought before a government tribunal to determine if he is obsolete and therefore worthy of liquidation. Romney is a librarian, a skill that is considered unnecessary in the state’s illiterate society. Romney also believes in God, which is a capital offense as the state has conclusively disproven the existence of God. A short time later the Chancellor pronounces Romney guilty and sentences him to death, leaving the method up to Romney.

    Romney chooses to keep the method of his death a secret, asking it to be entrusted to a state assassin. He also requests that his death be televised, both of his terms are agreed to by the Chancellor.

    Later that night, the Chancellor arrives in Romney‘s room, as per Romney‘s summons. After some banter, Romney reveals that his chosen method of death is through an explosive hidden in his room. Romney also reveals that the Chancellor is locked in this room with him with only about 40 minutes left before detonation.

    Romney indicates his intention to sit and read his banned Bible for the remainder of his life, while chiding the Chancellor for his behavior as a representative of the state during his own remaining minutes.

    As the clock ticks down, the Chancellor cracks and begs to be released, “In the name of God.” Romney lets him escape the room just before the room blows up. The next day, upon returning to work, the Chancellor finds himself declared obsolete. Despite his protests he is torn apart by the assembled crowd.

    This episode was pretty heavy handed in it’s moral. Burgess Meredith makes a much appreciated return here again. This makes him the most often seen star of any Twilight Zone cast member yet. As an atheist, I found the idea that religion trumps over everything else a bit annoying, I think this one just came off as too “message-y” I couldn’t get into it. A bummer of a season ender.



  • Twilight Zone A Day – Episode 64

    Episode 64 – Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

    Two state troopers follow a set of tracks through the snow from a crashed UFO site to a small diner. Inside they question the patrons and find that they all arrived on a bus together. The busdriver asserts that he had 6 people on his bus, but there are 7 in the diner. The group spends their time trying to figure out who might be an alien in disguise while the county engineer checks out the bridge up ahead. After receiving the all-clear for the old bridge, the trooper reluctantly let everyone continue on their journey, as there is no law allowing for holding people on suspicion of being a monster.

    A short time later, one of the passengers returns to the diner alone and orders a cup of coffee. The cook looks a bit nervous and questions the traveler. The passenger tells him that the bridge collapsed and killed the troopers and all the passengers except him. When the cook asks why he isn’t wet after a fall into the river, the passenger reveals he doesn’t know what the word “wet” means. More importantly, he reveals a third arm and the fact that he’s from Mars as a scout for a planned colony. Rather than being scared the cook smiles and removes his hat revealing a third eye and that he is from Venus. Turns out the Venusians had the colonization idea a few years earlier and have intercepted the Martian colonists. The Martian is left dejected and the Venusian laughs until the credits roll.

    Anyone who has seen John Carpenter’s The Thing will find some obvious similarities in tone if not in execution. As a fan of that movie and the paranoia it portrays, I really liked this episode. I also didn’t see the ending coming, not that it was mind-blowing, but it’s always nice when it isn’t telegraphed. Worth a watch, definitely.