The Twilight Zone Hall of Fame

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Season 1 Episode 32: A Passage for Trumpet

This is one I don't remember seeing in my youth and its "message" of accepting what life deals us and embracing life for good and for bad rings rather nicely.
Once more, Jack Klugman returns to play a trumpet player who had let the bottle get the better of him. Selling the one thing that is more a part of him than even himself, he believes he's nothing.

A self-examination story that and its epiphany of discovering all the things that Life brings and we all take for granted. To keep going and to hold on to that special gift that makes us, us is played out in the middle ground between Life and Death, known as the Twilight Zone.
__________________
What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Season 1 Episode 34: The After Hours

Another I didn't quite remember until the "reveal."

Marsha White (Ann Francis) is looking for a gold thimble as a gift for her mother at a Department Store. But when an aloof elevator operator takes her to the ninth floor of a building that only has eight, and an "odd" saleswoman sells her the only item in an empty department, things turn sinister. And all the odder as she tries to complain to the Manager regarding the scratched and dented item.
Speaking of, I LOVED the calm demeanor of Elizabeth Allen playing the "odd" saleswoman. We learn she has been waiting her turn and is one day late due to Marsha forgetting that she is, in actuality, a mannequin who gets to play human for a month.

An additional plus is seeing James Millhollin playing the Floor Manager. I've always enjoyed him.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?




Season 1 Episode 30: A Stop At Willoughby

Willoughby. A Place where a man can live full measure.

Mr. Williams has had with the Push, Push, Push of a TV Executive's life. A demanding cigar-toting boss and a wife with an appetite and blatant disgust for him.

He wants off - literally.

And on his nightly train commute, each cold, snowy, November night he drifts off to another time, the 1880s, a simpler, easy-going kind of life.
He's decided. Next time, he's getting off at Willoughby.

Serling delves into the Rat Race and its callous grinding that wears and tears and the secret yearning to just getaway. In Rod Serling's usual precise fashion, we take a train ride with the frazzled Mr. Williams. Next stop: The Twilight Zone.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?




Season 2 Episode 28: Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

This one always brought a chuckle to me. It is a more light-hearted, whimsical take on the more tense The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.

On a snowy night, two State Troopers investigate the possible sighting of a UFO crashing into a lake with footprints leading off to a Diner with a bus parked outside. Inside, what should be six passengers, the bus driver, and the owner of the Diner seems to have an additional patron that may be a Martian.

Suspicions grow, the exasperated Troopers attempt to figure out who may be the out person out as Jack Elam plays an amused old codger cracking jokes about it all. Lights flicker, the jukebox starts and stops, and sugar containers explode.
And still, unable to find an answer to the puzzle, the Troopers send them on their way on the bus.

One returns. Filling in the Diner's owner who he is and how Martians will colonize Earth.
Of course, they're a bit late for the dance. The owner removes his hat to reveal his third eye and lets him know Venus has beaten them to the punch.

I've often wondered if the folks who came up with MiB were, in part, inspired by this episode.





One for the Angels

I was surprised this one was picked, it's a subject matter that has been done multiple times in the shows history. A guy is confronted by death and he must argue his way to live. For me this was fine it was just kinda dull...the lead actor feels like a Sterling knock off and the dying man is 100% Vaudevillian.

For me this was almost like a waste of a pick because it was just so ordinary and familiar. The season one episodes tend to try and find their footing before they get really good in later years to me this was just a first draft of an episode.




Walking Distance


Now this was very good, this is the story of a guy who goes back home and realizes that he's traveled back in time. Gig Young stars in it and he is fantastic. This is kinda like what a playhouse 90 would look like a great dramatic story that isn't really horror it's more fantasy but it's solid fantasy work.


I love how they don't mess around with space/time continuum stuff...he meets himself and his parents and he talks to them like people. Sterling really wanted to capture nostalgia but he did so with a sense of restraint. Great episode...highly recommend it.



I think everyone really liked Walking Distances (with one exception). I'm guessing it will finish high. I'm so going to do a Playhouse 90 HoF one of these days...some of the best tele-drama ever made.





Wordplay/Dreams For Sale/Chameleon


I'm not sure how to judge an anthology, we've got three stories...one about a man who language changes for everyone around him. To be frank they could have done an hour on that and it would have been better instead they kind of made it sappy and didn't really work for me. The second story is about a woman in a VR experience which is good and brief. And the final story was about an experiment where different people show up in a lab which features Lost's Terry Quinn. That's the best of the story though it's hampered by the FX which look worse in the 80's than the original show had.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?





Season 5 Episode 22: An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

Technically, I should not have nominated this.
This is a Rod Serling HoF, and wonderfully so. This. Is Presented by Rod Serling, something he saw at a French film Festival and he enjoyed it SOOO OH SO very much that he bought the rights to air it one time on his show. Ran back and put it on the very next show.

If I had remembered that when I chose it, as I see it, it wouldn't apply and would have, with regret, moved on to Nothing in the Dark, which @Takoma11 so wonderfully nominated herself. Thank You.

And I gotta be Buhh-lunt. I am giddy as [email protected] -- too giddy to talk and be giddy, so. . . Imaginations: Fly.

It's one of those cinematic "seared into your conscious" things that you vividly remember from your kiddie-hood the very first time I saw this.
I haven't seen it since my late teens. But the impact that had spirited the outer branches of my imaginations, had awoken when I picked my noms became all-consuming.
Lemme tell ya about it

Ala Rod Serling: Picture, if you will, a young pre-adolescent. Cooped up in this brick-encased Institute of Learning, this blond-haired, wide-eyed Puck, accompanying the usual class-filled groan of boredom upon seeing the lumbering, chittering, one-eyed creature known as the Science Class Movie Projector.
This ill-welcomed contraption's appearance meant only one thing: a droning, mindless, soul-invasive textbook lesson courtesy of worn-out and scratched celluloid.
On this bright Spring day, in that shadowed classroom. Little Eddie Arseneault would be transported from the mind-numbing boredom that was his usual interaction into the stuff of fantasy, the thread of imagination, the ingredients of The Twilight Zone.
Um, me gain: his itty bitty widdle mind go boom.
Because you see, there was no Rod Serling Intro. No cigarette, no verbal imaginations for your consideration. Just the short film, itself.
I remember there wasn't even any preamble beyond "Shut up, be quiet, not another sound, and I do NOT want to catch anyone going to sleep. Now, watch this and behave. Mr. Arseneault! Sit down."

The final rapture of this experience was the lifetime since then to appreciate, even more; the simple poetic beauty of Director of Photography Jean Boffety. It was a visual sigh of pleasure.
That whole opening scene from behind trees is stuff I do when I take photos. I just love that sh#t.