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Ronin Jackson

The Twilight Zone

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Editor's Note:

Discuss The Twilight Zone here.

 

 

There are some active Twilight Zone communities online, but what television forum would be complete without a place dedicated to discussing what many people consider the greatest television series of all time.  Think of all the big names who have sited the Twilight Zone as an influence or called it the greatest series of all time: Vince Gilligan, J.J. Abrams, Chris Carter just to name a few.

To me of all shows past a certain era, this show stands alone as one that stands the test of time and remains relevant.  It's hard to pick a best episode but one that has always stood out is "Five Characters in Search of an Exit".  Rod Serling was one hell of a genius that he could take a kooky surreal premise like that and find some way for you to feel an emotional connection to unloved toys.

Anyone else have a favorite?

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I put Time Enough At Last up for consideration for the Extra Hot Great Canon (in the first run of the show) and I stand by that as my pick. It's an introvert's made-to-order apocalypse. Until it isn't.

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I like "Time Enough at Last" too as I like to read. "A World of Difference" is another favorite - I haven't seen it much during the Sy-FY marathons through the years. Premise is good however we could do without the screechy ex wife.

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"Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?" has always been a favorite of mine. Funny, spooky and a mystery - everything I loved as a kid watching the re-runs.  I still look for that episode with every Syfy marathon.  "It's a Good Life" is another favorite.

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I can't choose just one! My favorites are To Serve Man and Stopover in a Quiet Town. I saw them both when I was around 10 years old and the endings rocked my world. I had no idea where either story was going.

I love this show.

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My favorite would have to be "Ring-A-Ding Girl", where the actress comes back to her hometown under unusual circumstances.  I think it's one of the lesser-known episodes because I hardly ever see it mentioned.

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Historically my favorite was The After Hours but I feel like every marathon I watch, I catch an episode I've never seen before that's great. 

I know people goof on the country-ish eps sometimes, but I love The Hunt.  Because in my universe, heaven is where my dearly-departed pets will be.

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I ADORE hot weather, so my favorite is The Midnight Sun...until the twist ending, of course!  I always go "ahhhhh" when the announcer on the radio says the weather is 110 degrees with 91% humidity :)

A close second is Twenty-Two.  It looks like a home movie, which makes it look more real and all the more creepy. Room for one more, honey....scares the hell out of me every time!

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Mickey Rooney also did an episode where he was the only character: "Last Night of a Jockey."  

Two of my favorite episodes are "Eye of the Beholder" and "Queen of the Nile."

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ByTor, "Midnight Sun" was the very first episode I saw, ever. I was in high school, they let us go home for lunch and I was late going back to class because I had to see the ending.

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"A Stop at Willoughby" remains my favorite episode of all time.  I thought it was beautifully acted, filmed, and the ending felt just right -- the twist was not too much, if you know what I mean. 

"Five Characters in Search of an Exit" and "The Eye of the Beholder" were equally surprising and have left quite an impression, too.

I totally agree that "Time Enough at Last," "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up," "The Midnight Sun," "The Invaders," and "To Serve Man" are true classics.  If I had to introduce five episodes to a TZ newbie, I will recommend these five!  When is the next big TZ marathon on SyFy???

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When is the next big TZ marathon on SyFy???

 

If they hold true to form, it should be July 4.  They've been doing marathons every Fourth of July and New Year's for years now (with one or two unpopular exceptions).

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(sigh)

The best things about spending a lonely New Year's Eve are a pint of Cherry Garcia, the Twilight Zone marathon. and a whole bottle of champagne all to yourself. 

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Just saw one for the first time (thought I'd seen them all!) : an hour long episode with a very young Dennis Hopper as a neo-Nazi, getting advice from the spectre of Hitler.  It was a little "on the nose" but considering it was written not even 20 years after WWII, that's understandable.

Edited by A Boston Gal
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I have quite a few favourites that include "The After Hours", "The Midnight Sun", "Mirror Image", "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You" and "Eye of the Beholder". It wasn't until I thought about this awhile back that I realized that my all time favourite episodes all had female lead characters. There are other episodes I love too, of course, but these are probably my favourites.

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"Number Twelve Looks Just Like You"

 

Ooh, I forgot about that one.  That would have to go on my list of favorites, too.  Colin Wilcox was fantastic in that, and the concept is one of the most intriguing in the series.

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My top five would be "It's a Good Life," "The After-Hours," "The Midnight Sun," "Living Doll," and "Nick of Time." I'm also fond of a fairly obscure episode called "Steel," with Lee Marvin as the manager of a robot boxer.

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"The Twilight Zone" featured a number of actors & actresses over its 5-year run, many of whom would find fame in the near or long-term future.

 

The long-running CBS sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies" had several TZ alumni, for example.

 

* Buddy Ebsen (Jed Clampett) appeared in season two's "The Prime Mover".

* Donna Douglas (Elly May Clampett) was the woman under the mask in season two's "Eye of the Beholder"

* Nancy Kulp (Miss Hathaway) was Jenny's disgruntled Aunt Agnes in season three's "The Fugitive"

* Raymond Bailey (Mr. Drysdale) showed up three times!  He was Walter Bedeker's doctor in season one's "Escape Clause", season two's "Back There" and a factory supervisor in season five's "From Agnes-With Love"

 

 

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Bewitched had at least four, as well:

 

Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha) was in "Two".
Agnes Moorehead (Endora) was in "The Invaders".

Dick York (Darren) was in "Penny for Your Thoughts".

David White (Larry) was in "I Sing the Body Electric".

(sorry - I'm not good at remembering what seasons the episodes are in.)

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Jean Marsh of "Upstairs Downstairs" fame played the robot in "The Lonely."

Robert Duvall in "The Miniature" 

Telly Savalas in "Living Doll."

George Lindsey in "I Am the Night - Color Me Black"

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Do y'all get a channel called "MeTV"? They show an episode every night. I've really enjoyed recording it.

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Agnes Moorehead was part of Orson Wells Mercury Theater troupe and acted in several of their early films including Citizen Kane so you could say she was somewhat famous by the time TZ rolled around.  Some others:

 

Charles Bronson was also in "Two"

Dennis Hopper in "He's Alive"

Ron Howard in "Walking Distance"

Jack Klugman was probably well known when he did several TZ episodes but he certainly became more famous afterward.

 

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John Astin from "The Addams Family" was in season two's "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim".  So was Ed Platt who played The Chief on "Get Smart".

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And early TZ appearances from three men who became much better known some years after Star Trek went into syndication:

 

James Doohan - "Valley of the Shadow"
Leonard Nimoy - "A Quality of Mercy"
William Shatner - "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Nick of Time"

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I'd never seen it before, but George Takei was also in an episode. It's one of the later ones and it's just him and another actor in it.  

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Good catch, Badger.  I'd never heard of that episode.  I just looked it up.  It's called "The Encounter", and it was apparently pulled from syndication in the US. Wikipedia has an article about it here.

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I watched it online which is the only reason I knew it existed.  I imagine it's considered too politically incorrect now.

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I have seen it on the SyFy marathons, though, and it is also on the DVD collection.

 

James Doohan who played Scotty on "Star Trek" appeared in season four's "Valley of the Shadow", William Shatner appeared in season two's "Nick of Time" and the legendary "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" from season five, while Leonard Nimoy was seen in season three's "A Quality of Mercy".

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Yep, Wordsworth, those were the three I listed.  Mr. Takei's episode was the only one I missed, but it's interesting to know it's been in the marathons.  I'll have to watch for it in July.  

 

 

Three who would go on to work together on one of my favorite shows, "Ellery Queen":

Jim Hutton - "And When the Sky Was Opened"

David Wayne - "Escape Clause"

Tom Reese - "The Midnight Sun"

(I guess it's debatable how famous this actually makes them since the show only had one season, but I think at least Jim Hutton was famous from movies, as well.)

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  • David Wayne also played one of Batman's villains in the TV series.  He was The Mad Hatter.  Also, he won the first Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for "Finian's Rainbow" where he played the leprechaun.

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He also played Digger Barnes on "Dallas".

 

Speaking of Batman villains:  Burgess Meredith appeared four times on "The Twilight Zone": season one's "Time Enough at Last", season two's "Mr. Dingle the Strong" and "The Obsolete Man" and season four's "Printer's Devil" before he played the Penguin.

 

Julie Newmar appeared in season four's "Of Late I Think of Cliiffordville".

 

Roddy McDowell (The Bookworm) showed up in season one's "People Are Alike All Over".

 

H.M. Wynant played David Ellington in season three's "The Howling Man".  He later turned up as a minion of Mr. Freeze.  (yeah, we're stretching the future star aspect here)

 

And, not a villain, but Stafford Repp (Chief O'Hara) showed up in the season two "Nick of Time" with William Shatner.

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Alan Sues from "Laugh In" was in "The Masks."  The actor who played the dying old man was Robert Keith, Brian Keith's father.

 

Jonathan Harris who played "Dr. Smith" in "Lost in Space" was in "The Silence."

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While we're on the subject of Batman, there was Alan Napier (Alfred) in "Passage on the Lady Anne."

 

And I can't think of Lost in Space without thinking of Billy Mumy, who was also creepy little Anthony in one of my favorite TZ episodes, "It's a Good Life."  He was also in "Long Distance Call", and maybe in one other ep?  I'm drawing a blank.

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Yes, I'd forgotten completely about Alan Napier in "Passage on the Lady Anne"!  Thanks!

 

But Cloris Leachman played Anthony's mother in "It's a Good Life", not Billy's mother in "Long Distance Call".

 

 

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A place to discuss particular episodes (that do not have specific episode threads), arcs and moments from Season 1. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

 

  1. Where is Everybody?
  2. One for the Angels
  3. Mr. Denton on Doomsday
  4. The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine
  5. Walking Distance
  6. Escape Clause
  7. The Lonely
  8. Time Enough at Last
  9. Perchance to Dream
  10. Judgment Night
  11. And When the Sky Was Opened
  12. What You Need
  13. The Four of Us are Dying
  14. Third From the Sun
  15. I Shot an Arrow into the Air
  16. The Hitch-Hiker
  17. The Fever
  18. The Last Flight
  19. The Purple Testament
  20. Elegy
  21. Mirror Image
  22. The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
  23. A World of Difference
  24. Long Live Walter Jameson
  25. People Are Alike All Over
  26. Execution
  27. The Big Tall Wish
  28. A Nice Place to Visit
  29. Nightmare as a Child
  30. A Stop at Willoughby
  31. The Chaser
  32. A Passage for Trumpet
  33. Mr. Bevis
  34. The After Hours
  35. The Mighty Casey
  36. A World of His Own

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A place to discuss particular episodes (that do not have specific episode threads), arcs and moments from Season 2. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

 

  1. King Nine Will Not Return
  2. The Man in the Bottle
  3. Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room
  4. A Thing About Machines
  5. The Howling Man
  6. The Eye of the Beholder
  7. Nick of Time
  8. The Lateness of the Hour
  9. The Trouble with Templeton
  10. A Most Unusual Camera
  11. Night of the Meek
  12. Dust
  13. Back There
  14. The Whole Truth
  15. The Invaders
  16. A Penny For Your Thoughts
  17. Twenty-Two
  18. The Odyssey of Flight 33
  19. Mr. Dingle, the Strong
  20. Static
  21. The Prime Mover
  22. Long Distance Call
  23. A Hundred Yards over the Rim
  24. The Rip Van Winkle Caper
  25. The Silence
  26. Shadow Play
  27. The Mind and the Matter
  28. Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up
  29. The Obsolete Man

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A place to discuss particular episodes (that do not have specific episode threads), arcs and moments from Season 3. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

 

  1. Two
  2. The Arrival
  3. The Shelter
  4. The Passersby
  5. A Game of Pool
  6. The Mirror
  7. The Grave
  8. It's a Good Life
  9. Deaths-Head Revisited
  10. The Midnight Sun
  11. Still Valley
  12. The Jungle
  13. Once Upon a Time
  14. Five Characters in Search of an Exit
  15. A Quality of Mercy
  16. Nothing in the Dark
  17. One More Pallbearer
  18. Dead Man's Shoes
  19. The Hunt
  20. Showdown with Rance McGrew
  21. Kick the Can
  22. A Piano in the House
  23. The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank
  24. To Serve Man
  25. The Fugitive
  26. Little Girl Lost
  27. Person or Persons Unknown
  28. The Little People
  29. Four O'Clock
  30. Hocus-Pocus and Frisby
  31. The Trade-Ins
  32. The Gift
  33. The Dummy
  34. Young Man's Fancy
  35. I Sing the Body Electric
  36. Cavender is Coming
  37. The Changing of the Guard

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A place to discuss particular episodes (that do not have specific episode threads), arcs and moments from Season 4. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

 

  1. In His Image
  2. The Thirty-Fathom Grave
  3. Valley of the Shadow
  4. He's Alive
  5. Mute
  6. Death Ship
  7. Jess-Belle
  8. Miniature
  9. Printer's Devil
  10. No Time Like the Past
  11. The Parallel
  12. I Dream of Genie
  13. The New Exhibit
  14. Of Late I Think of Cliffordville
  15. The Incredible World of Horace Ford
  16. On Thursday We Leave For Home
  17. Passage on the Lady Anne

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A place to discuss particular episodes (that do not have specific episode threads), arcs and moments from Season 5. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

 

  1. In Praise of Pip
  2. Steel
  3. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
  4. A Kind of a Stopwatch
  5. The Last Night of a Jockey
  6. Living Doll
  7. The Old Man in the Cave
  8. Uncle Simon
  9. Probe 7 - Over and Out
  10. The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms
  11. A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain
  12. Ninety Years Without Slumbering
  13. Ring-A-Ding Girl
  14. You Drive
  15. The Long Morrow
  16. The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross
  17. Number 12 Looks Just Like You
  18. Black Leather Jackets
  19. Night Call
  20. From Agnes - With Love
  21. Spur of the Moment
  22. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
  23. Queen of the Nile
  24. What's in the Box
  25. The Masks
  26. I Am the Night - Color Me Black
  27. Sounds and Silences
  28. Caesar and Me
  29. The Jeopardy Room
  30. Stopover in a Quiet Town
  31. The Encounter
  32. Mr. Garrity and the Graves
  33. The Brain Center at Whipple's
  34. Come Wander with Me
  35. The Fear
  36. The Bewitchin' Pool

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Sorry, I meant Cloris Leachman played his mother in "It's A Good Life."  

 

ETA: According to Wikipedia, and IMDB, the other episode he was in was "In Praise of Pip;" he played Young Pip.  That was one that starred Jack Klugman.

Edited by Badger

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Nightmare as a Child is one of my favorite episodes. A repressed memory manifested into the person at the age the trauma occurred, demanding to be brought to the surface and remembered in order to finally be resolved and given peace.

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