Moving Away From “The Midnight Sun”
If you’re reading this from anywhere in North America, I don’t have to tell you it’s beyond cold right now.
We’re talking ARCTIC. Record low temperatures are being broken all over. It makes me think of The Twilight Zone‘s “The Midnight Sun.”
Oh, no — not the main story. That’s something to quote in July or August. I’m talking about the ending — one of the most legendary twists in TZ history.
Well, no point just sitting here being cold. Why pass up an ideal moment to quote the perfect scene for an insanely chilly day?
Try this link if you’ve never seen the episode, but otherwise join me as we look in on Norma, Mrs. Bronson (her landlady), and a doctor on a very cold and snowy night …
Doctor: “She’s coming out of it now. Norma? Norma?”
Doctor: “You were running a high fever, but it’s broken now.”
Mrs. Bronson: “You gave us a start, child. You were so ill, but you’re going to be all right now. Isn’t she, doctor? Isn’t she going to be all right?”
Doctor: “Of course.” (quietly to Mrs. Bronson) “I wish I had something left to give her but the medicine’s pretty much all gone now. I won’t be able to come back. I’m going to move my family south tomorrow. My friend has a private plane.”
Mrs. Bronson: “Well, they say on the radio Miami is warmer.”
Doctor: “So they say. But we’re only prolonging it.”
Mrs. Bronson: “There was a scientist on the radio this morning. He was trying to explain what happened. How the earth had changed its orbit and was starting to move away from the sun, and that within one, two, or maybe three weeks at the most, there wouldn’t be any more sun. We’d all freeze.”
Norma: “Oh, Mrs. Bronson. I had such a terrible dream. It was so hot. It was daylight all the time. There was a midnight sun. There wasn’t any night at all. No night at all. Isn’t it wonderful to have darkness? And coolness?”
Mrs. Bronson (warily): “Yes, my dear. It’s wonderful.”
Serling: “The poles of fear, the extremes of how the earth might conceivably be doomed. Minor exercise in the care and feeding of a nightmare, respectfully submitted by all the thermometer-watchers … in the Twilight Zone.”
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!