The Twilight Zone Hall of Fame

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I also have a memory from childhood where my mom and I ended up in a department store after it had closed. I remember how eerie it was walking through the darkened store and just no one being in there. We had to go out through these big doors to get to our car, and I remember being really upset that an alarm might go off and my mom was like "If it goes off, that's their problem."



I also have a memory from childhood where my mom and I ended up in a department store after it had closed. I remember how eerie it was walking through the darkened store and just no one being in there. We had to go out through these big doors to get to our car, and I remember being really upset that an alarm might go off and my mom was like "If it goes off, that's their problem."
Ha, I suppose it's easier to get stuck in departments stores than I thought. I never worked in retail, so I'm guessing some department stores assume that everyone leaves the store at a certain time and don't manually check each aisle to confirm.

WARNING: spoilers below
Also, hopefully you didn't run into any living mannequins while there.



Ha, I suppose it's easier to get stuck in departments stores than I thought. I never worked in retail, so I'm guessing some department stores assume that everyone leaves the store at a certain time and don't manually check each aisle to confirm.

WARNING: spoilers below
Also, hopefully you didn't run into any living mannequins while there.
Nope. And they were disappointingly short on gold thimbles!!

My memory is that we had gone to a returns section in the deep bowels of the department store and we were there for a long time (my childhood brain says HOURS, but it was probably 1-2 hours). We were the last to be helped and then the people there left through an employee exit and we had to go back up the stairs to the main floor of the department store, which had closed while we were in the basement.



That would then mean that PHOENIX would have four nominations in this Hall, while the rest of us would have only two. I'm not sure if that's fair, unless everyone else is cool with it.

I watched them as three separate episodes, but I was planning to rank them as one episode, but only because it was nominated as one episode. It's okay with me if you want them ranked as one episode or as three separate episodes. Just let us know how to rank them.

It's not about who wins, or who has more nominations. It's just about enjoying the HoF that matters to me.
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"One for the Angels" CONTAINS SPOILERS

This is a touching episode that asks a question I've always found compelling: can you make a deal with death? First of all, the episode is a gift for Ed Wynn for how the part of kindly pitchman Bookman is ideal for his talents. Speaking of the character, despite Serling's somewhat belittling introduction of him, I like that the episode doesn't portray him as pitiable. I expected it to since he's shown as lonely and not great at his job, which makes his kind-hearted and generous nature as well as his status as the most beloved adult of the children in his neighborhood refreshing. There's also Murray Hamilton's portrayal of an angel of death, which I love because instead of making him a force of evil, he comes across as sympathetic for how he's simply a guy who's just doing his job. Continuing with the trend of defying expectations: some dilemma poor Bookman has on his hands, huh? At first, I scoffed at the gall Serling had to kill off a child, but like the rest of the episode, it's a bit more complex than that. Besides, it's well in line with this franchise's recurring theme that every benefit has a price. So, what did I take away from all of this? This quote from The Wizard of Oz came to mind: "a heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." Consider the children in the neighborhood, each of whom love Bookman and for whom he'd make his ultimate pitch, thus illuminating the importance of having something or someone to make a pitch for when death comes knocking. That the episode proves that if it's a someone, that it can be a neighbor and of a much different age is a nice touch. While there's not much to be done for it since the series was brand new at the time, the episode is not as Twilight Zone-y as I would have liked, if you will. It's still one of the best second episodes of a season I can remember watching, which is another nice change of pace since I've found that the second episode tends to be the weakest.



Season 3 Episode 5: A Game of Pool
(spoilers)

I don't think I had seen this episode before, but I really liked it. Jack Klugman does a great job as the pool shark desperate to prove he's the best. He really want a shot at beating the late pool legend Fats Brown (a wonderful Jonathan Winters). He gets the opportunity to play him, with life and death stakes, only to discover becoming the best has a downside. He had become so focused on being the best that he missed out on other parts of life. I think there is quite a bit of wisdom in this episode. You can excel and do your best, inspiring others, but don't sacrifice everything else in the process. At least that's my take on it. This was a very well written episode with some really good dialogue.



Season 1 Episode 28: A Nice Place to Visit
(spoilers)

Criminal Rocky Valentine gets shot and killed by the police, only to wake up in a place where he can get whatever he wants. He finds getting everything you wish for isn't as satisfying as it sounds. As a matter of fact, it's Hell. It's a good episode, but I feel like they probably could have done a little more with the concept. I thought the story was somewhat predictable, but still enjoyable. Larry Blyden is fine in the lead role, although it felt like a bit of a caricature to me. The lesson to me is that getting everything you wish for me isn't always for the best.



Season 1 Episode 28: A Nice Place to Visit
(spoilers)

The lesson to me is that getting everything you wish for me isn't always for the best.
It's funny that you watched two episodes back to back where people get what they want, only to realize there's a higher price than they expected or that it's not all it's cracked up to be.



It's funny that you watched two episodes back to back where people get what they want, only to realize there's a higher price than they expected or that it's not all it's cracked up to be.
Interesting. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something…



Interesting. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something…
Clearly if someone offers you something you've wanted for a long time RUN! It's a trap!!



"One for the Angels" CONTAINS SPOILERS

thus illuminating the importance of having something or someone to make a pitch for when death comes knocking.
What I especially like about this is that the thing that Bookman claimed to need to have as a satisfying end to his life (the big pitch) as almost a throwaway to buy time ultimately becomes an actual act of good. In Bookman's original concept, the pitch would just be a really successful sale. But through his experience, he manages to do something much more meaningful than just selling some gadgets---that final big pitch ends up benefiting someone else, not just Bookman's pride or sales record.



Season 1 Episode 32: A Passage for Trumpet
(spoilers)

This was a really nice episode. Jack Klugman is wonderful as Joey Crown, a struggling, alcoholic trumpet player who after an accidents appears to be invisible to everyone around him. A mysterious stranger, presumably an angel, shows him the choice is up to him and help him to see the beauty in the world. I liked this one a lot. This is one of the more positive and uplifting episodes of the ones I have seen. This was lovely and satisfying.



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.



What I especially like about this is that the thing that Bookman claimed to need to have as a satisfying end to his life (the big pitch) as almost a throwaway to buy time ultimately becomes an actual act of good. In Bookman's original concept, the pitch would just be a really successful sale. But through his experience, he manages to do something much more meaningful than just selling some gadgets---that final big pitch ends up benefiting someone else, not just Bookman's pride or sales record.
Good point, and it seems like that's a recurring theme in this series: the tendency of people to lose sight of what's really important in life over time. You also have to give credit to Wynn, Serling, etc. for making Bookman loved by children and make it 100% wholesome.



You also have to give credit to Wynn, Serling, etc. for making Bookman loved by children and make it 100% wholesome.
Yep.

--"I'm very fond of children."
--"Yes, we've noted that in your file."

Could have a very different reading.

I think that it all goes back to the fact that the children are his most enthusiastic audience, but probably his worst customers as he seems to give things away to them. It's a very sweet dynamic.



And When the Sky Was Opened Season 1 Episode 11

"I got a very funny feeling...phew I never felt like this before. Like I didn't belong here...Like if I let myself go, I'd disappear."
Colonel Ed Harrington

In that moment at the bar when Colonel Ed Harrington describes the changes he's going through, it piqued my imagination. I could almost know what he was feeling...that's powerful film making.

Not much happens and yet so much happens...the script says so much without doing anything really big...and the acting, superb. I believed these men were going to disappear. I believed their sheer terror of the prospect. I understood their desperation and panic.



And When the Sky Was Opened Season 1 Episode 11

I believed these men were going to disappear. I believed their sheer terror of the prospect. I understood their desperation and panic.
Like a lot of the best episodes, it captures the feeling of being desperate and afraid in a way that is totally isolating. No one understands what they are going through and trying to find help only makes them feel crazier.



Like a lot of the best episodes, it captures the feeling of being desperate and afraid in a way that is totally isolating. No one understands what they are going through and trying to find help only makes them feel crazier.
It did. For me it was the moment with the Colonel at the bar. I expected him and the other astronaut to have a drink and a nice time but what he said and how he said it really made me believe. I seldom 'get into' the story, if you know what I mean. Rod Taylor was real good too in this.



That would then mean that PHOENIX would have four nominations in this Hall, while the rest of us would have only two. I'm not sure if that's fair, unless everyone else is cool with it.
Yeah, I'm thinking as long as the three are counted as one in the voting process it should be okay regardless how they're reviewed (I'm planning on reviewing them all as one.)
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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