Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why You Can’t Sleep

Yesterday, I noticed #10ReasonsWhyYouCantSleep was trending on Twitter — and inspiration struck. Why not do a Twilight Zone edition?

No reason at all. So here are the top 10 reasons you might be tossing and turning in the fifth dimension:

10) Talky Tina’s been giggling more than usual lately.

9) Hard to think good thoughts about little Anthony when you dream about throttling the little SOB.

8) Damn slot machine won’t stop croaking “Fraaaaanklin!” Read the rest of this entry

Spotlight on Season 4: “Miniature”

Because many of the hour-long Twilight Zone episodes lack the snap of their half-hour counterparts, they’re often unfairly dismissed. As I’ve pointed out before, though, several of them are quite entertaining. And a few contain some of the finest writing in the series.

One particularly touching moment occurs at the end of Charles Beaumont’s “Miniature.” (As usual: spoilers ahead). Charley Parkes, played by a young Robert Duvall, is convinced that the characters he glimpses inside a large, ornate dollhouse at a local museum are real. He is particularly drawn to Alice, a beautiful woman in Victorian attire.

At one point, he’s arrested for trying to break into the dollhouse after witnessing Alice fend off the advances of an unwanted suitor. In an effort to cure Charley, his family has him committed to a rest home. A psychiatrist named Dr. Wallman patiently tries to persuade him that it’s all in his head.

Charley improves — or so it seems — and is released. But it turns out he was faking. He returns to the dollhouse, sees Alice in tears, and says: Read the rest of this entry

The Plane Truth: Twilight Zone’s High-Flying “King Nine Will Not Return”

The Twilight Zone launched its second season on Sept. 30, 1960, with an episode that — thematically, at least — echoed the Season 1 opener: “Where Is Everybody?”

In “King Nine Will Not Return,” we meet Capt. James Embry, a World War II pilot who awakens to find himself in a desert. Beside him lies the wrecked fuselage of the King Nine, a bomber that shows no sign of its crew anywhere.

Embry seems to recall that he crashed while on a mission with his men, only … where are they? (If you haven’t seen the episode, check it out via DVD/Blu-ray, Netflix streaming, Hulu (embedded below), iTunes or Amazon Video before I divulge the ending here.)

King Nine10

“King Nine” is largely a one-man show, and Bob Cummings carries it admirably. As Embry, we see him go from surprise, to bewilderment, to giddiness, to anger — and back again. It’s easy to believe that we are, in fact, watching a man slowly losing his mind as he struggles to understand what’s happening.

A radio crackles to life, then falls dead. His men appear and disappear. At one point, he sees jet aircraft flying overhead. He realizes that, although jets didn’t exist during World War II, he knows what they are. How can that be? Read the rest of this entry