If you’re not living under a rock, you know that the two holidays that the Sci-Fi channel (I won’t call it “SyFy”) does The Twilight Zone marathon are New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. I don’t have cable but I do have a couple of volumes to the show on DVD. I also happen to have an extra day off to watch t.v.
The Twilight Zone isn’t exactly pure horror, it often has elements of sci-fi and fantasy. I blame this show, along with The Outer Limits, The X-Files, and Sightings for giving me a taste for horror. Plus, it exposed me to the writings of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and Rod Serling. So I thought I’d rewatch a few episodes that scared me as a child or scared me now. Beware, spoilers ahead.
Time Enough At Last
Henry Beemis (Burgess Meredith) loves to read. It seems like the whole world hates his love to read. Luckily for him, the H-bomb kills everyone, leaving him with time, time enough at last.
That is, until his coke-bottle glasses break. Oops.
If you need glasses, stay close to a LensCrafter during the apocalypse. Or duct-tape those puppies to your head.
At one point, Henry opens a book of poetry and discovers that his wife has scratched out every single page. Never, ever trust someone who defaces a book (Except for self-help and inspirational books, those need defacing.)
Third From the Sun
America faces war with an unknown enemy and is preparing to preemptively launch an H-bomb. William Sturka (Fritz Weaver) and a friend plan to save their respective families by stealing an experimental space-craft and going to a planet not too different from theirs.
The planet they’re going to is called…earth. Also, their home planet suffers from Cold War paranoia and meddling Neumans.
Why This is Improbable
Or, Why I’m Impossible to Watch Sci-Fi Movies With. Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. But the technology exhibited in this episode is very human and the aliens are humanoid. I find it hard to believe that a species that mastered interstellar travel would be exactly like us, down to having similar languages. I imagine any alien race that we managed to find would look at us the way that we look at ants, they’d have to be that advanced to master space travel from their home to the earth.
Nan is driving cross-country. After one of her tires blows out she starts to see the same hitch-hiker everywhere she goes.
She died in the accident caused by her tire blowing out. I like this episode because it reminds me of Carnival of Souls, even though the tone is quite different. This episode aired in 1960, though, and Carnival of Souls didn’t come out until 1962 so you can say that this episode may have inspired the movie.