After the Zone-a-thon III
Ring in the new year without The Twilight Zone? Most fans of the fifth dimension would sooner think a bad thought around Anthony Fremont.
No, we were all there, and fortunately, the Syfy channel didn’t disappoint. They ran a terrific slate of episodes this time. Sure, Season 4 was largely neglected, but the 87 episodes that DID make it were well-chosen. (Of course, it helps that TZ has so few duds.)
But even so, there were some solid episodes that didn’t make this year’s marathon. I’ve highlighted a few of them below. You can click on any of the titles to watch the episode in question on free Hulu.
Season 1, Episode 20 – February 19, 1960
If you were an astronaut who discovered people frozen like statues on some far-flung planet, how would you explain it? The trio of explorers who star in Charles Beaumont’s “Elegy” come up with quite a few theories, but it takes the only person who does move around — a 200-year-old robot caretaker, to be precise — to reveal the startling truth.
Season 1, Episode 32 – May 20, 1960
I’m a sucker for redemption stories, and the first of Jack Klugman’s four TZs is a sweet one. A down-and-out musician decides to end it all, only to discover (with a little celestial assistance) that maybe life isn’t quite so bad. It would be a forgettable movie-of-the-week in less-talented hands, but Serling infuses it with the ideal amount of heart and charm.
Season 4, Episode 8 – February 21, 1963
I could name several Season 4 episodes that were neglected this time around, but I’ll go with the one where Robert Duvall (fresh off his film debut in “To Kill a Mockingbird”) plays a gentle soul who frequently visits the museum near his house. He’s especially drawn to an over-sized Victorian dollhouse, where he sees the tiny figure of a lovely young woman … moving around? A beautifully written tale of the pain of trying to fit in when you feel like a square peg.
Season 5, Episode 23 – March 6, 1964
The desire to live forever is universal, but there’s no way to actually achieve that feat, right? Unless you’re Pamela Martin, and you’ve been around since the days of the pharaohs and you have a scarab beetle imbued with special powers. A reporter is determined to uncover the secret behind her endlessly youthful appearance, but it isn’t long before he’s wishing he’d settled for a simple “no comment.”
Season 5, Episode 32 – May 8, 1964
It was clear from the earliest days of The Twilight Zone that Serling had a penchant for stories about pitchmen (“One For The Angels“, “Mr. Denton on Doomsday“), and this tale about a man in Old West times who claims he can raise the dead is both clever and humorous. You’ll never look at a reference to Boot Hill quite the same again.
And there you have it, a sampling of TZs that I wish had made the list. Let’s face it, though: The best marathon would feature all 156 episodes — more than four days’ worth of top-notch entertainment. A man can dream, right?
Easy, Edward. I didn’t mean you.
There are other ways besides Hulu to watch TZ. Everything but Season 4 is streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime (where you can also stream S4 for a little extra $). The entire series is also available on iTunes, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray.
Photos courtesy of Wendy Brydge. For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. You can also get email notifications of future posts by entering your address under “Follow S&S Via Email” on the upper left-hand side of this post. WordPress members can also hit “follow” at the top of this page.
Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!
Posted on 01/26/2015, in Twilight Zone and tagged A Passage For Trumpet, Charles Beaumont, Elegy, Miniature, Mr. Garrity and the Graves, Queen of the Nile, Rod Serling, SyFy, Twilight Zone. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.