The Twilight Zone Hall of Fame

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The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street is all too believable and that makes this a great episode.

Sadly it's true, humans are given to believing whatever in the hell they want...and the more paranoid & delusional their beliefs are, the more quickly they turn those beliefs into a conspiracy against 'the other guy'. Democracies are lost that way and so are lives...I'm thinking of recent events in early January. At the heart of these witch hunts gone viral is usually some dumbass loud mouth, who likes to point fingers and make others duck for cover.

...And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone. Rod Sterling
I liked how comic books were mentioned in this episode.

That may seem like a meaningless detail, but the episode was filmed just before comics experienced their Superhero resurgence of the "Silver Age".

So, comics at the time (1960) featured 3 major types that were "on top": Westerns (which were beginning to decrease rapidly in popularity), Romance & Sci-Fi.

(Superheroes were at an all time low from the end of WWII to the early 60's, although the "Silver Age" officially started in 1956 with a new version of The Flash appearing in DC Comics, and the Congressional comic book hearings of 1954 had put a huge damper on most Crime comics, while there were still some Funny Animal & Humor comics around but...)

Sci-Fi comics were the leading type at the time - and most featured alien invasion or infiltration stories (all capitalizing on the UFO craze at the time)!

So this episode holds it's own little spot in comic book history.

Your friendly, neighborhood, comic book historian,
Capt.



The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street is all too believable and that makes this a great episode.
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At the heart of these witch hunts gone viral is usually some dumbass loud mouth, who likes to point fingers and make others duck for cover.
What I think the episode gets really right is the way that the "voice of reason" is only sort of the hero. Yes, he speaks out early on against a mob mentality. But instead of leaving the street or joining with others, he also ends up kind of hunkering down in his own house. I think that it speaks to the way that knowing something is wrong, and even speaking out against it at times, isn't enough to stop violence once the ball gets rolling.

I'm reading a book right now about how people act in situations that require intervention, and some of the results of the studies are really interesting.



All I know is anybody who stands out in their yard in the middle of the night looking up at the stars... must be up to no good!
I also love that the woman accusing him never explains why she's up in the middle of the night.



I also love that the woman accusing him never explains why she's up in the middle of the night.
LOL! Yep.

I never had a "Ham Radio," but I did have a CB Radio... and not in my car either, but in my house... in the basement! (That makes me a REALLY suspicious character! Who knows what I was up to?)



What I think the episode gets really right is the way that the "voice of reason" is only sort of the hero. Yes, he speaks out early on against a mob mentality. But instead of leaving the street or joining with others, he also ends up kind of hunkering down in his own house. I think that it speaks to the way that knowing something is wrong, and even speaking out against it at times, isn't enough to stop violence once the ball gets rolling.

I'm reading a book right now about how people act in situations that require intervention, and some of the results of the studies are really interesting.
Can I ask the name of that book, Takoma?

I'm sorry if I tell too many long stories, but your last paragraph reminded me of a situation many years ago...

I was at the Woodbridge Mall on the second floor (probably there to buy comic books at "Heroes World!") when I noticed a toddler just standing in the middle of a walkway crying his eyes out. He was all alone. I watched for several moments as people just walked by.

As I waited, I was sure someone would appear to find him any second, but no one came. I couldn't take watching his anguish any longer as everyone else ignored him...

So I finally approached him, knelt down and asked the usual questions: Are you lost? Where are your mommy or daddy? etc. He just looked at me with complete despair and cried helplessly. So I finally took him by the hand and told him we'd find a policeman so they could call his mom & I reassured him we'd find his parents soon & he'd be alright.

I kept talking to him and our momentum toward solving his problem seemed to calm him a little. (I assume from his perspective, he'd finally found someone offering help.)

We only took a few steps when a woman came rushing over - his mom obviously. She scooped him up as I started to explain. Her body language was evident as she rapidly turned her body to move the child away from me in a defensive stance (as if to say "Don't come near my child!")

I realized how it might look so I told her what happened - how he cried for several minutes but no one came so I was trying to find a security guard so they could call her.

I thought she might see me as a good Samaritan as her child obviously got away from her at some point, or she lost track of him and he'd been lost and on his own for at least several minutes.

I'll never forget the look of distrust, fear and pure contempt in her eyes toward me.

Instead of realizing I'd come to her lost child's aid, she saw me as a threat. She didn't say thank you, she didn't say anything, rather she BACKED away from me while facing me (like you might do with a wild animal you thought might attack you), all the while holding the child almost behind her. It was very dramatic - almost like a scene in a movie!

The whole incident was very unnerving to me. It made me think twice about intervening, but in the same situation I'd still probably try to help a child rather than just walk on by like others had done who did not want to get involved.

I still feel so bad that the mom thought the worst of me and could not realize that I was trying to help.

Her distrust and fear of me reminded me a lot of the reactions in this TZ episode (and what might have happened if her distrust had been taken any further).



"Nothing in the Dark" CONTAINS SPOILERS

I happened to watch this episode after watching "One For The Angels" not knowing anything about it. Besides the nice surprise of it being very good, there's the other one of it being a worthy companion piece to that season one standout. Angels of death apparently go about their business in different ways, don't they? I'm not surprised Redford's "cop" took the approach he did. In addition to being justifiably suspicious of everyone, Wanda, unlike Bookman in "One For The Angels," has nothing for which she can make a great pitch. She's dwelling in a waiting room that's literally going to be torn down. It is a good story about "knowing when to fold them" ($1 to Kenny Rogers' estate), but it works even better for me as one about coping with endings and not just the final one on this planet (if you're lucky to go out as peacefully as Wanda did, that is). After all, when I look back at endings I've experienced such as breakups, layoffs, having to move to another city, etc. they are not only more like whimpers now than the bangs they seemed at the time, but they were also for the best. It ends up being a warm hug and a cup of tea of an episode, which seems unlikely given its weighty subject. I just hope that if this is what death is like that someone as endearing as Robert Redford leads me through the door rather than someone like Steve Bannon.

Why do you think the cop called Wanda "mother,'" by the way? Is that just something gentlemen said to elderly women in the late '50s and early '60s?
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"Nothing in the Dark" CONTAINS SPOILERS

Why do you think the cop called Wanda "mother,'" by the way? Is that just something gentlemen said to elderly women in the late '50s and early '60s?
I see it as both a polite term of endearment, but also maybe further manipulation as he continues to work every non-threatening angle.

Can I ask the name of that book, Takoma?
It's called Why We Act and some of the results from the different experiments are really interesting.



A Stop At Willoughby Season 1 Episode 30

Wow, I had forgotten just how well made this was. I know it gets compared to Walking Distance, but I can also see similarities with Time Enough At Last.

Like Burgess Meredith's character in Time Enough at Last, 'Gart' James Daly's character is brow beaten by his boss, henpecked by his wife and beaten down by the world. The difference is Daly's character is realistically rooted and so the tone plays out like a last gasp for help from a man sinking fast. As a result I cared about his character's plight and apparently so do most of you as you've wrote that you choose to believe he made it to Willougbhy after all. I'd like to think he's there too. Though I can't shake that ending....Damn what an ending!




The After Hours Season 1 Episode 34

I'm not quite clear on why there was a 'sales lady' on the empty 9th floor who's sole merchandise for sale was a gold thimble that Marcia (Anne Francis) wished to purchase. I'm not even sure who built the 9th floor or where it's at, please don't say it's at the Twilight Zone I'd get it if the manikins came alive at night in the store's other floors, but how is it they live on this invisible 9th floor and how do they then end up on display on the main sales floors? Oh well, I'm just pondering A fun episode and I like it that it wasn't about anything horrific, in fact the manikins seem to be happy in their world. Major bonus points for Anne Francis.




Season 5 Episode 22 An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

This is my second time watching this episode and, though it's not among my favorites, I do enjoy a couple things about it, mainly several standout scenes. For example, the shot of Peyton imagining his wife in slow motion as he awaits execution has a dream-like quality to it, the underwater photography is excellent, the drum soundtrack which plays over Peyton running through the woods is excellent, and the ending is, of course, great. Some viewers may be distracted by the stylistic differences between this episode and the rest of the show, but once you adjust to these differences, you're in for a real treat. With that being said though, I think this is the kind of episode where I prefer to watch specific scenes rather than watch the whole episode again. Most of the scenes in between the ones I listed up above haven't connected with me yet, nor do they mean much to me. I attribute some of this to the film's style of pacing. So much of the episode is drawn out and, after I finished it, I wondered whether I would've liked the episode more had it been shorter. Regardless, I still think this is a good episode. Just not a great one.

Next Up: And When the Sky Was Opened



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I love this idea!! It looks like my favorite episodes have already been nominated, but I will go through the list and see if there is a hidden gem I can pick



I thought of another one I just don't like. "The Jungle."
After returning home from a trip to Africa and apparently due to a curse by a witch doctor, a guy spends a half hour hearing animal noises wherever he goes. He's finally attacked by a lion in his hotel room.

I find this episode not only boring, but down right annoying.



Season 1 Episode 30: A Stop At Willoughby
(spoilers)

Gart Williams, played by James Daly, is unhappy at work and at home. His only refuge comes when he sleeps on the train and dreams of a peaceful small town in the 1880s called Willoughby. Is Willoughby really real and can he find a way to get there? I enjoyed this episode. It was an interesting premise with a good twist. The ending is somewhat ambiguous. Did he intentionally commit suicide? Was he delusional? Was there a supernatural element? I don't think he intended to commit suicide and I like to imagine that after his death, he was able to stay in Willoughby forever. However you interpret it, this is a really good episode.

I didn't think he intended to commit suicide either. I interpreted it as some type of strange daydream where his mind kind of forced him to go to an afterlife dimension, so his body died, but Willoughby was his afterlife, (or his version of Heaven). So yes, I believe that he got to stay in Willoughby forever.
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Can I ask the name of that book, Takoma?

I'm sorry if I tell too many long stories, but your last paragraph reminded me of a situation many years ago...

I was at the Woodbridge Mall on the second floor (probably there to buy comic books at "Heroes World!") when I noticed a toddler just standing in the middle of a walkway crying his eyes out. He was all alone. I watched for several moments as people just walked by.

As I waited, I was sure someone would appear to find him any second, but no one came. I couldn't take watching his anguish any longer as everyone else ignored him...

So I finally approached him, knelt down and asked the usual questions: Are you lost? Where are your mommy or daddy? etc. He just looked at me with complete despair and cried helplessly. So I finally took him by the hand and told him we'd find a policeman so they could call his mom & I reassured him we'd find his parents soon & he'd be alright.

I kept talking to him and our momentum toward solving his problem seemed to calm him a little. (I assume from his perspective, he'd finally found someone offering help.)

We only took a few steps when a woman came rushing over - his mom obviously. She scooped him up as I started to explain. Her body language was evident as she rapidly turned her body to move the child away from me in a defensive stance (as if to say "Don't come near my child!")

I realized how it might look so I told her what happened - how he cried for several minutes but no one came so I was trying to find a security guard so they could call her.

I thought she might see me as a good Samaritan as her child obviously got away from her at some point, or she lost track of him and he'd been lost and on his own for at least several minutes.

I'll never forget the look of distrust, fear and pure contempt in her eyes toward me.

Instead of realizing I'd come to her lost child's aid, she saw me as a threat. She didn't say thank you, she didn't say anything, rather she BACKED away from me while facing me (like you might do with a wild animal you thought might attack you), all the while holding the child almost behind her. It was very dramatic - almost like a scene in a movie!

The whole incident was very unnerving to me. It made me think twice about intervening, but in the same situation I'd still probably try to help a child rather than just walk on by like others had done who did not want to get involved.

I still feel so bad that the mom thought the worst of me and could not realize that I was trying to help.

Her distrust and fear of me reminded me a lot of the reactions in this TZ episode (and what might have happened if her distrust had been taken any further).

It's people like that who make you not want to be nice and help people anymore.

I had a similar issue recently when Hubby and I tried returning someone's lost purse with all of her cash, credit cards, etc. in it. She called the police and they told us that she didn't want to press charges against us.

Hubby has already said that if he ever finds a lost item again, he's just going to leave it there so the next person can have it.



I love this idea!! It looks like my favorite episodes have already been nominated, but I will go through the list and see if there is a hidden gem I can pick

Unfortunately the deadline for joining this HoF has already passed. You'll have to ask @SpelingError if you can still join.

If not, you are still welcome to watch the nominated episodes and participate in the chat about the episodes, and even recommend ones that weren't nominated if you'd like to, (but they wouldn't be required watching). You just wouldn't be able to submit a ranked list after watching the episodes.



I thought of another one I just don't like. "The Jungle."
After returning home from a trip to Africa and apparently due to a curse by a witch doctor, a guy spends a half hour hearing animal noises wherever he goes. He's finally attacked by a lion in his hotel room.

I find this episode not only boring, but down right annoying.

I haven't seen this episode in many years, but it sounds vaguely familiar. But it doesn't sound like it's worth rewatching unless I decide to marathon watch the series at some point.



Now that I finished watching movies and submitted my list for the 2000s Countdown, I should be able to catch up on this HoF within a week or so.

I've already watched (or rewatched) all of the episodes. I just have to write up my thoughts on each episode, (and that's the hard part).



I haven't seen this episode in many years, but it sounds vaguely familiar. But it doesn't sound like it's worth rewatching unless I decide to marathon watch the series at some point.
The backstory of The Jungle isn't so bad: the guy works for a company that is building a dam in Africa and thereby hurting the wildlife, the ecology and negatively effecting the natives (probably for money, of course) - thus he is cursed (or told of a curse, I don't remember which) by a witch doctor.

It's the old "man vs. nature" theme. So he pays for his sins against nature TZ style. But the backstory is covered in the first 5 minutes and the rest of it is him running around and hearing noises: he picks up a pay phone and hears the jungle! Or he starts hearing native drums in the distance. It's supposed to be tense, but it's just kind of boring. The ending always struck me as rather silly (almost funny). Unlike most episodes it doesn't leave you thinking because it doesn't make sense = a lion appears in a hotel room.

I know a lot of them don't necessarily make sense, but this one just rubs me the wrong way for some reason.