So for the first installment of Twilight Zone a day, I feel I should lay out right now that I am gonna be all spoilerific on your ass. I try to avoid them in my regular movie reviews, but I think it would be a hinderance in this case. Since the Twilight Zone relies heavily on last minute reveals and Oh Henry! endings, it would be damn near impossible to talk about any episode at all without spoilers. That said, here we go.
Episode 1 – Where is everybody?
We fade in after an intro that is not the usual Twilight Zone intro that we all remember. That must have come later. Anyway, we see a jumpsuited man walking along a road, and upon reaching a roadside cafe, entering it. After a few minutes of poking around and shouting for service, it becomes clear that there is no one else on the premises. Cut to Unnamed Protagonist walking into town, which is just as deserted as the cafe. He wanders about talking to himself, clearly getting more and more disturbed as he spends more time in this apparently normal, though deserted, town. After being locked briefly in a telephone booth, he acknowledges a feeling of being watched. As evening falls, the local theatre lights up and he walks over to see what is playing. The movie is called “Battle Hymn” and features Rock Hudson in the airforce. This causes our Unnamed Protagonist to realize that he too is in the airforce, as his jumpsuit matches that of Rock Hudson from the poster. The movie begins playing and our man scrambles up to the projectionist’s booth to try to find out who might be doing it. He eventually cracks and runs out into the night, ending up clutching a crosswalk signal and pushing the button to change the street sign. Cut to a bunch of military types deciding to end the test they were running on out Unnamed Protagonist. He is pulled from a 5’x5′ chamber in a warehouse, which was apparently being used to test his aptitude for space travel. As the commander in charge of the experiment tells reporters, he has been in isolation for about 480 hours, enough time to reach the moon and back. However, though we can take care of his physical needs over such a time span, we cannot yet simulate his need for companionship.
Not a bad start to the series, it plays out well enough. With the benefit of hindsight, I knew there would be some kind of gag involved, but I hadn’t guessed the specifics. I figure this series will take a few episodes to really get on its feet. So far, so good.