If you’re a Twilight Zone fan, you’re used to having the rug pulled out from under you when an episode concludes. Where would the fifth dimension be without irony-laden endings?
Case in point: Season 1’s “People are Alike All Over”. Who can forget the stunned look on Sam Conrad’s face when he discovers where he’s at in the end?
(If you haven’t seen this episode before, you may want to check it out before proceeding any further. It’s on disc, as well as streaming on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.)
The story concerns two astronauts — Sam Conrad (played by Roddy McDowell), and Warren Marcusson (Paul Comi, in the first of three Zone roles). We meet them on the eve of their flight to Mars. No one has ever been there, of course, so they wonder what they’ll find. Will there be people? And if there are, what will they be like?
Conrad is a worrier, but the positive-thinking Marcusson reassures him. He’s convinced there’s a fixed formula for humanity that holds true throughout the galaxy. So if there are people on Mars, they must be like people on Earth. Conrad, he thinks, shouldn’t fret. Read the rest of this entry