For some reason I haven't gotten back to The Twilight Zone too quickly. There's been a good lot of stuff coming in from NetFlix and the Library which ate up a lot of time. Add discovering how to record from YouTube on top of that and I've been busy burning Qi and all sorts of Stephen Fry stuff to my hard drive. I thought I would try to catch up on TTZ and watch a disc each sunday. We'll see how I get on with that. I had gotten through the first three discs in the first season set and that's where I picked up again. All the titles have links to the episodes so you can watch them too.
A World of Difference March 11 1960
Richard Matheson penned this episode which I hadn't remembered at all. It was directed by Ted Post who directed a couple of films for Clint Eastwood and Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Howard Duff stars as a guy who is getting ready to leave work for a vacation. He walks into his office where he's surprised to find he's an actor on a movie set. He thinks he's flipped out and no wonder. The actor's a boozer with a bad work rep and his wife is an angry woman who's leaving him. She demands a pile of cash. The world of the movie sure seems much better to him. David White, who some people will remember as Darrin's boss on Bewitched, plays Howard's agent. I'd peg it about average and Howard faired better than some of the people who encounter the Twilight Zone.
Long Live Walter Jameson March 18 1960
Charles Beaumont wrote the episode and Tony Leader directed. Kevin McCarthy stars as a college professor who's planning to marry the daughter of another professor. That professor finds something interesting in a book about the Civil War. Estelle Winwood turns up as Kevin's previous bride and things just go downhill from there. This is another episode that I hadn't remembered. It was an ok story and I enjoyed it.
People Are Alike All Over March 25 1960
Rod Serling adapted a story by Paul W Fairman and Mitchell Leisen directed. Roddy McDowall plays an astronaut piloting a ship to Mars. His fellow spaceman is killed when the ship crashes. Roddy is scared to go out as he doesn't know what the locals will be like. He finds they're human looking and sadly much like humans. They lock him up in a zoo and put him on display. I did remember the story idea of getting locked up in a zoo though I didn't remember Roddy being in it. Susan Oliver plays one of the Martians. The Wikipedia tells me that they recycled some movie stuff for the tv show: The Martian exteriors are taken from the oversize painted background dioramas seen in the 1956 MGM film Forbidden Planet. Additionally, a set of four lights on the wall of the inside of the space ship are reuses of the Krell power gauges from the same film.
Execution April 1 1960
The episode was adapted from a George Clayton Johnson story by Rod Serling and directed by David Orrick McDearmon. Albert Salmi is a bad guy in the old west. He's being hung from a tree. The men hanging him see his body disappear from the noose. Russell Johnson, the Professor on Gilligan's Island, is a scientist who has created a time machine. His encounter with Albert ends poorly for him but it's the TZ and Albert gets his in the end. I remembered the idea in this episode but not the people in it.
The Big Tall Wish April 8 1960
Rod wrote the episode and Ron Winston directed. Ivan Dixon plays an older boxer who is going off to a fight. He gets good luck wishes from the little kid in his building. The kid's mom tells Ivan that the kid's wish came true when he wished she'd have some monetary help with the rent. At the arena Ivan argues with a man and breaks his knuckles just before the fight. He goes out anyway. He loses and the little kid makes a wish to change everything. Ivan changes places with the other boxer and wins. He ruins the magic by not believing the kid when he tells him he wished Ivan would win. It's all for the best in the end. Not one I remember. I enjoyed it. It would have been unusual to have a black cast on a tv show at that time and you have to applaud Rod for his forward thinking. The only fault I have is the make-up job on Ivan to make him look beat up from his many fights. It's not the greatest make-up but it's a minor fault.
A Nice Place to Visit April 15 1960
Charles Beaumont wrote one of the more iconic episodes and John Brahm directed. Larry Blyden is Rocky Valentine, a small time crook who gets shot escaping from a robbery. He wakes up in a fancy place with Sebastian Cabot in a white suit offering all the best luxuries. Rocky thinks it's heaven but soon it becomes apparent that it's not. This is one I remember seeing. It's still fairly entertaining to see again. Glad I'm not that guy.
Nightmare as a Child April 29 1960
Rod Serling wrote the episode and Alvin Ganzer directed. Janice Rule is a woman living in an apartment. She finds a little girl sitting on the stairs by her door. Janice has memory problems from her past. Her mother was murdered and no one was ever caught. The little girl turns out to be the key to unlocking Janice's past. TZ brings some justice to Janice and her life is better. I didn't remember this one but I enjoyed it.
All in all a good batch of episodes. I enjoy them while I'm watching them but I don't find that they lend themselves to binge watching. I've had the set for months before I started watching the first season about 6 months ago. I'd watch a disc, enjoy most of the episode while they play out, then ignore it for weeks. Hopefully I can tackle the next disc next week. Get on a schedule. I used the time watching the disc to blog and sort a few tiles. It's good to be productive.