Mind Your Business

Mind Your Business

The power of the human mind is perhaps often underestimated, but it’s certainly capable of much more once it enters the Twilight Zone. Season 2 of Rod Serling’s masterpiece gave us two excellent examples. Episode 16 features Dick York in, “A Penny for Your Thoughts” and episode 27 showcases Shelley Berman in, “The Mind and the Matter.” Both of these light-hearted episodes had us cracking up and enjoying our trip to the Twilight Zone!

For the Love of Machines

For the Love of Machines

Are machines capable of love? Can they learn, adapt, conspire, or feel emotions? They definitely can in the Twilight Zone! In season 3, Ray Bradbury contributed the episode, “I Sing the Body Electric,” inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name. After losing their mother, a grieving father acquired a robot to help love, care, and raise his children.  In season 5, Bernard C. Schoenfeld contributed the episode, From Agnes, With Love” in which a computer programmer is tormented by the jealous computer he works with at his office.

I See Dead People

I See Dead People

Whether it’s on the train to Willoughby or coming home from a ‘coon hunt, you never know when you might find yourself on a journey to the after life.  You might discover that you’re seeing dead people and don’t know it, or even that you yourself have passed into the afterlife.  At least, that’s the case with Mr. Williams and the Old Man in “A Stop at Willoughby” and “The Hunt.”

Elderly Exploits

Elderly Exploits

Stories that focus on the young or the elderly tend to bring us as viewers into an introspective frame of mind. Season 3 of The Twilight Zone gives us two such examples of this. “Kick the Can” blends both the elderly and the young into the storyline, giving us a double punch to ponder the innocence and wonder of childhood in a way that makes us never to grow old in our spirit. “The Trade-Ins” helps us appreciate the ones we cherish most and the life we’ve build together.

Single Actor Episodes

Single Actor Episodes

It takes a gifted actor to be able to pull off a single-actor episode.  When executed well – such as Agnes Moorehead’s “The Invaders,” the episode can become legendary.  Since we’ve already covered that episode, this month we look at two other single-actor episodes.  First up is Robert Cummings’ season 2 premiere, “King Nine Will Not Return.” Cummings portrays a US Air Force pilot who was unable to pilot what ended up being a fateful flight that took the lives of his entire crew.  Next up we look at Mickey Rooney’s season 5 episode, “The Last Night of a Jockey.” Rooney plays Grady, a jockey who wishes he were big after being suspended for fixing races and doping.

Jack Klugman Part 2

Jack Klugman Part 2

Jack Klugman, along with Bergiss Meredith, has the esteemed honor of being one of only two actors to be featured in the lead role of four Twilight Zone episodes.  We previously covered, “In Praise of Pip” and “A Passage For Trumpet,” and this month we’re taking a look at “A Game of Pool” and “Death Ship.”  In “A Game of Pool,” Klugman stars alongside Jonathan Winters in what was Winters’ first dramatic role.  Both men provided stellar performances that make “Pool” a fan favorite to this day.  “Death Ship” tells the story of a space flight crew caught in an unfortunate and eerie Flying Dutchman scenario.

Transportation Tragedies

Transportation Tragedies

Whether driving or flying across the country, tragedy can strike at any moment, especially in the Twilight Zone.  This month we take a look at two episodes that capitalize on this true, yet unsettling reality. Season 1 of the Zone gave us “The Hitch-Hiker,” a story of Nan Adams who is driving her way from New York to Los Angeles.  Unfortunately for Nan, much like Malcolm Crowe in “The Sixth Sense,” she doesn’t realize that her fate for quite some time.  As a result, we’re treated with a story with lots of drama and a great twist ending.

I am the Night – Color Me Black

I am the Night – Color Me Black

Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s Rod Serling wrote several stories aimed at shedding light on racial issues with blacks in America. His stories were often watered down or changed to other racial groups by network executives or sponsors, leaving Rod in a state of frustration. When JFK was gunned down in Dallas on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, Rod was inspired to write “I am the Night – Color Me Black,” an episode which not only addresses racism and bigotry head on, but it also addressed hate all over the world.

Before the Bat Twilight Zone

Before the Bat Twilight Zone

Beloved as Catwoman from the 1960’s Batman series, Julie Newmar first appeared as Miss Devlin on the season 4 Twilight Zone episode, “Of Late I think of Cliffordville.” Pat Hingle, who played the role of Commissioner Gordon in the 1980’s and 90’s Batman films, made his Twilight Zone appearance in the season 4 episode, “The Incredible World of Horace Ford.”

Stranded in Space

Stranded in Space

If there’s one thing The Twilight Zone loves, it’s exploring humanity through the lens of space travel. This month we take a look at two episodes where the lead characters find themselves stranded in space, albeit for entirely different reasons. In season 1 episode 7 entitled, “The Lonely,” we encounter the story of a man named Corry who has been sentenced to solitary confinement on an asteroid millions of miles from earth. He’s given a human-looking robot to ease his loneliness, but what happens if he’s eventually forced to choose between the robot and returning to earth? Read More…

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