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Mark Tolch
03-08-2011, 12:31 PM
I know that there's at least one other RSP forum member who will go batshit insane for a thread on the original Twilight Zone series.

My favourite episodes of the Twilight Zone usually have doomed characters from the get-go, even if they don't know it yet. There's some kind of outcome that's on the way, sometimes it's given away in the first couple of minutes, other times it doesn't hit til the end, but nobody has done it better. I know that Stephen King has claimed to have been influenced by them, but that seems like an understatement...King's best work involve short stories where characters are locked into some kind of horrific destiny, even better when nobody else around can see what they can see.

it's like nothing else that's ever been done. I've heard people say that they prefer the Outer Limits, but i have no idea how that's possible. The Twilight Zone had some crappy episodes to be sure, but the best ones are above and beyond. Anyway, i've got a few minutes, i just wanted to talk about some Twilight Zone episodes that are my favourite and that really stand out. I'm leaving them vague for now...if people want to contribute, go nuts.


JUDGEMENT NIGHT- I love this one. Stories where there's this impending sense of doom that you can't do anything about are just amazing. This one has a man onboard a passenger ship, convinced that something bad is going to happen. As the episode moves along, a number of clues are revealed about him, and the ending is a real kicker...what hell may really be like. Great performances all around.

AND WHEN THE SKY WAS OPENED - Another one with that impending doom that can't be avoided. A group of astronauts return to earth from a mission, but one by one begin disappearing...and not just physically disappearing, every piece of evidence that they ever existed is disappearing with them. Only one of the men remembers all of it, and it's cool watching the countdown til only he is left.

THE HITCH-HIKER - Again, that impending doom. On a road-trip, a girl cannot put distance between herself and a hitch-hiker. Leonard Strong is awesome as the ominous hitcher, with his singular line througout the episode.

NIGHTMARE AS A CHILD - This one genuinely creeps me out, the little girl that shows up on the staircase is so eerie. You kinda figure the outcome out in about 4 minutes, but it's still fun to watch.

A STOP AT WILLOUGHBY - This is one of the first ones that I ever saw, and one of the only episodes of Twilight Zone that deal with the recurring theme of nostalgia that I actually enjoy. The "Push Push Push!" dialogue of Misrell is wickedly enhanced by Robert Parrish's closeups.

THE AFTER HOURS - Just creepy all around. I don't like mannequins, and the idea of being trapped in a store with a bunch of them is frightening. I also like the "Nothing on the 9th floor!" premise. Cool concept that doesn't give away the ending right away like most of the episodes.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS - Dick York is awesome in whatever. this is one of those chintyz feel-good episodes of the Twilight Zone that I generally don't like, but the idea of telling your boss off and all of that, just for the day, is pretty nifty.

TWENTY-TWO - One of my favourites of all time. The dream sequences are eerie, and once again, you get that feeling of impending doom and not being able to change it. This was the episode that made my ex call me and tell me that i wasn't allowed to watch TZ with my daughter anymore. If I say "Room for one more, Honey!" to my daughter, it will actually physically startle her.

LONG DISTANCE CALL - Creepy. Just creepy. Toy telephones shouldn't take calls from the dead.

IT'S A GOOD LIFE - I just watched this one again, and it's still pretty awesome. it's the first episode of Twilight Zone i've ever seen, and probably the most well-known. I love Mumy's performance, and the Perry Como rant, that follows up with the jack-in-the-box. Also, the 3-headed gopher that we're only allowed to see via some reptilian looking tail.

LITTLE GIRL LOST - it might just be the dad in me, but there's something very sad about the thought of a lost child, especially if they're lost in another dimension in the bedroom wall. The writers did a great job of keeping this one moving along, despite the one-room setting.

THE DUMMY - Ventriloquists. ugh. But they do make for a creepy story. The only thing creepier than a ventriloquist is a ventriloquist's dummy stalking him.

That's all for now.

Ian Jane
03-08-2011, 01:23 PM
That Dummy episode will probably always have the power to make me poop my pants.

Mark Tolch
03-08-2011, 01:35 PM
It is one of the creepiest things that i've ever seen. What's that movie with the dummies? The Silence? Fucking hell, man.

Mark Tolch
03-08-2011, 02:19 PM
However, episodes I have no time for

THE BIG TALL WISH - The dialogue is annoying as hell. I also generally don't like stuff where little kids are the main actors
THE CHASER - Love potion? Heart-shaped smoke rings? Come on!
A PASSAGE FOR TRUMPET - Jack Klugman bothers the hell out of me in this....and I don't like jazz. :D
THE MIGHTY CASEY - This falls in with the feel-good nostalgia episodes. Annoying. Casey is just grating, and so is the whole concept. He can't play because he doesn't have a heart...they're going to give him a heart....blahblahblah. Waste of time.
A GAME OF POOL - Again with Jack Klugman.
THE PASSERBY - Cheese. Absolute Cheese. it ranks up there with THE HUNT, though that at least had a bit of a dark element to it.
I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC
CAVENDER IS COMING - Both of these are just terrible. that's all i can say about them.


It also seems like everything went horrifically downhill once the nonsense started with the longer running time.

Nolando
03-08-2011, 04:02 PM
I have zero recollection of the names of Zone episodes.

Is there an episode about that?

One of my all-time faves is the like frontier housewife getting attacked by little aliens...

Ian Jane
03-08-2011, 04:11 PM
Any love for the later revamp? Didn't Forest Whitaker host it? I bought the DVD set about three years ago for the wife and I don't think we ever even opened it.

Alison Jane
03-08-2011, 04:56 PM
Oh goodness, please don't make me want to break these out. It'll take forever to get through them.

Horace Cordier
03-08-2011, 10:30 PM
I know that there's at least one other RSP forum member who will go batshit insane for a thread on the original Twilight Zone series.

Does my avatar give it away?

Too tired to really get into this now but JUDGMENT NIGHT was the first episode I ever saw at about 6 years old and it freaked the living shit out of me. I am a sucker for anything set at sea and this one just DRIPS atmosphere.

Mark Tolch
03-09-2011, 09:37 AM
For sure, Horamce! I love that one. Like i said, i love episodes where characters are stuck in a situation that they can't avoid, and nobody can help them. Fantastic. Though the Twilight Zone dealt with the nazi theme a few times, this one is my favourite. I also like the one with Dennis Hopper, but not big on the Dachau one. Mainly because it looks nothing like Dachau, and some basic fact-finding will tell you that while there were a lot of deaths there, the crematorium was never used. Anyway, the intent is nice, but the whole "cottage" look of the camp is offputting.

Noland, you're talking about THE INVADERS. :) And i never got into the later one....just didn't care enough. Still haven't seen the movie, either. The original show had more atmosphere than the new ones, and that's what i like about them...even when the writing was weak, it still had a wicked quality to it.

John Gargo
03-12-2011, 05:13 PM
By the way Horace, the opening narration from the Planet of the Apes fan-edit is from episode Elegy (Season 1), where the three astronauts land on the outer space graveyard planet.

Mark Tolch
03-15-2011, 01:08 PM
Just checked out one this morning that i haven't seen in ages...the opening from Season 5...IN PRAISE OF PIP. And you know what? Maybe i just hate Jack Klugman. Because he's terrible in this.

Mark Tolch
03-16-2011, 09:17 AM
Checked out A KIND OF STOPWATCH and NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET this morning. STOPWATCH was lacking. I can't remember exactly what, but wasn't there a similar themed episode earlier, with time standing still? I don't know, those kinda things just irk me. NIGHTMARE, however, is still fantastic even if you know exactly what's going to happen and the "gremlin" outfit is pretty laughable. Shatner is awesome in all of his TZ roles.

Ian Jane
03-16-2011, 09:48 AM
Dude, the gremlin is creepy.

http://cdn.hometheaterforum.com/7/77/77dfb52f_nightmare-at-20000-feet+a.jpg

Mark Tolch
03-16-2011, 11:20 AM
yeah, we're not going to agree on that. haha.

Ian Jane
03-16-2011, 11:36 AM
You would shit your pants if you saw that thing outside your window and you know it.

Todd Jordan
03-16-2011, 12:23 PM
I love the Talking Tina one with Telly. I think that's my favorite that I've seen.

Nolando
03-16-2011, 12:23 PM
I shit the bed when I woke up next to that once...

Mark Tolch
03-17-2011, 08:19 AM
haha, awesome, Noland.

This morning, in honour of Todd, I watched two more episodes from Season 5.

LAST NIGHT AS A JOCKEY - I don't really enjoy episodes like this, where the ending is dead obvious and there's no filler to make the wait worthwhile. Didn't do much for me at all. But, since it was sandwiched in between NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET and Living Doll, well, it can't be that good overall.

LIVING DOLL- Another one of my favourites. Telly is such a dick in this, and the idea of a doll that threatens you when you're alone in the dark is unsettling. Great buildup, and I love the fact that this evil killer doll is scary and murderous, but is essentially doing the right thing by the family in the end.

Horace Cordier
03-17-2011, 10:49 PM
haha, awesome, Noland.

This morning, in honour of Todd, I watched two more episodes from Season 5.

LAST NIGHT AS A JOCKEY - I don't really enjoy episodes like this, where the ending is dead obvious and there's no filler to make the wait worthwhile. Didn't do much for me at all. But, since it was sandwiched in between NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET and Living Doll, well, it can't be that good overall.

LIVING DOLL- Another one of my favourites. Telly is such a dick in this, and the idea of a doll that threatens you when you're alone in the dark is unsettling. Great buildup, and I love the fact that this evil killer doll is scary and murderous, but is essentially doing the right thing by the family in the end.

This is probably my favorite one. I was over on the TWILIGHT ZONE CAFE board and the thread on this one is fascinating - there are a bunch of Erich "apologists" over there: "He's not such a bad guy", "Its hard being a stepfather", "That doll was really evil - what are you gonna do?" - too funny!

"I'M NOT YOUR DADDY!!!" - Jesus what an asshole. And I'm gonna have to disagree with you on Tina Tolch - the scariest thing in the episode is Tina's closing line to the nice mother "My name is Talky Tina and you'd better be NICE to me"... meaning that fucking doll is ready for some more killing.

Great stuff.

Mark Tolch
03-18-2011, 09:12 AM
Oh, you're allowed to disagree, Horamce, I actually bank on that. :-P Regardless, LIVING DOLL is a great episode.

this morning i watched THE OLD MAN IN THE CAVE- which was largely uninteresting...I don't think that i'd seen that one before, but figured the ending out, of course. Not too difficult in a lot of these episodes. :-P However, it is nice to see James Coburn as a badass, and he certainly was in this episode. The number of amazing actors that appear on that show blows my mind.

UNCLE SIMON- Uh, yeah. I'm not really a fan of the robot episodes

PROBE 7, OVER AND OUT- Nice touch with the names, but generally a very slow episode.

Todd Jordan
03-18-2011, 09:17 AM
I saw that Tina one on public tv when I was a wee boy and that last line has stuck with me ever since..."and you better be nice to me...." great stuff. Thanks for honouring me, Mark.

Alison Jane
03-18-2011, 09:46 AM
You'd.

Mark Tolch
03-18-2011, 09:52 AM
Don't blame Todd for Tina's bad grammar. You better be nice to him.

Todd Jordan
03-18-2011, 11:04 AM
You'd best watch your tone, girl.

Horace Cordier
03-24-2011, 12:27 AM
Just checked out one this morning that i haven't seen in ages...the opening from Season 5...IN PRAISE OF PIP. And you know what? Maybe i just hate Jack Klugman. Because he's terrible in this.

Wow. Klugman is pure gold on this show and this is one of his best performances! If you start dissing Burgess Meredith next I am going to have to kill you.

Mark Tolch
03-24-2011, 09:33 AM
Dude, I love Burgess Meredith. Figures you'd like Klugman, you stuffy old malcontent. Next you'll tell me that you hate Forrest Gump or something.

Ian Jane
03-24-2011, 09:40 AM
Horace Grump!

Nolando
03-24-2011, 11:45 AM
Ian wins.

Mark Tolch
03-24-2011, 12:55 PM
Catching up on some more, the memorable ones are definitely

A SHORT DRINK FROM A CERTAIN FOUNTAIN- You kinda know how it's going to end, but there are some great performances in here. Which means that Jack Klugman doesn't make an appearance. I love the bitchy wife. Fantastic.

RING-A-DING GIRL- Haven't seen this one in awhile, but I did remember it. Not creepy, but the appearance of the movie star in town all day, being seen by so many people when she's actually not there is super-awesome.

BLACK LEATHER JACKETS - The Wild One with an extraterrestrial twist. Kinda lame in the plot area, but the bikes and leather jackets make it. Probably a half-assed effort to be hip at the time, it works for me. That on-screen eyeball is pretty rad.

FROM AGNES WITH LOVE- Stupid. Probably the dumbest episode out of the series. Way too long dealing with that stupid computer firing up cards with ideas....just dumb. I hated it and couldn't wait for it to end.

SPUR OF THE MOMENT- The idea of trying to catch the ghost of the past is a cool one. The figure of Anne screaming her own name terrifying the younger Anne is very effective.

AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE - I thought that on the whole, this not specifically written for the Twilight Zone had some good ideas and imagery. But in the end, it was way too damn French artfilm for me. The music had to be the worst part about it, but the buildup to the hanging was very suspenseful and well-done.

Mark Tolch
03-24-2011, 12:55 PM
Catching up on some more, the memorable ones are definitely

A SHORT DRINK FROM A CERTAIN FOUNTAIN- You kinda know how it's going to end, but there are some great performances in here. Which means that Jack Klugman doesn't make an appearance. I love the bitchy wife. Fantastic.

RING-A-DING GIRL- Haven't seen this one in awhile, but I did remember it. Not creepy, but the appearance of the movie star in town all day, being seen by so many people when she's actually not there is super-awesome.

BLACK LEATHER JACKETS - The Wild One with an extraterrestrial twist. Kinda lame in the plot area, but the bikes and leather jackets make it. Probably a half-assed effort to be hip at the time, it works for me. That on-screen eyeball is pretty rad.

FROM AGNES WITH LOVE- Stupid. Probably the dumbest episode out of the series. Way too long dealing with that stupid computer firing up cards with ideas....just dumb. I hated it and couldn't wait for it to end.

SPUR OF THE MOMENT- The idea of trying to catch the ghost of the past is a cool one. The figure of Anne screaming her own name terrifying the younger Anne is very effective.

AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE - I thought that on the whole, this not specifically written for the Twilight Zone had some good ideas and imagery. But in the end, it was way too damn French artfilm for me. The music had to be the worst part about it, but the buildup to the hanging was very suspenseful and well-done.

Nolando
03-24-2011, 01:28 PM
An Occurrence was a Zone episode? Huh - thought it was a stand-alone. My mom used to read it to her 5th-graders, up until the point at the end where it all changes, and have them finish the story their own way (before, then, reading the ending to them). Kinda neat. I always thought that should've been the ending to that crappile that was "Dances With Wolves," that, at the very end, he's shot off his horse from an earlier scene in the movie, during the Civil War. Would've at least made that movie sort of tolerable.

Ian Jane
03-24-2011, 08:36 PM
I'm such a Twilight Zone poser. I only know a handful of episodes. I've watched (and enjoyed) a whole lot of them over the years but they all sorted of started blending together at some point.

Horace Cordier
03-24-2011, 10:41 PM
Catching up on some more, the memorable ones are definitely

A SHORT DRINK FROM A CERTAIN FOUNTAIN- You kinda know how it's going to end, but there are some great performances in here. Which means that Jack Klugman doesn't make an appearance. I love the bitchy wife. Fantastic.

RING-A-DING GIRL- Haven't seen this one in awhile, but I did remember it. Not creepy, but the appearance of the movie star in town all day, being seen by so many people when she's actually not there is super-awesome.

BLACK LEATHER JACKETS - The Wild One with an extraterrestrial twist. Kinda lame in the plot area, but the bikes and leather jackets make it. Probably a half-assed effort to be hip at the time, it works for me. That on-screen eyeball is pretty rad.

FROM AGNES WITH LOVE- Stupid. Probably the dumbest episode out of the series. Way too long dealing with that stupid computer firing up cards with ideas....just dumb. I hated it and couldn't wait for it to end.

SPUR OF THE MOMENT- The idea of trying to catch the ghost of the past is a cool one. The figure of Anne screaming her own name terrifying the younger Anne is very effective.

AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE - I thought that on the whole, this not specifically written for the Twilight Zone had some good ideas and imagery. But in the end, it was way too damn French artfilm for me. The music had to be the worst part about it, but the buildup to the hanging was very suspenseful and well-done.

We heard you the first time dude.

Horace Cordier
03-24-2011, 10:44 PM
An Occurrence was a Zone episode? Huh - thought it was a stand-alone. My mom used to read it to her 5th-graders, up until the point at the end where it all changes, and have them finish the story their own way (before, then, reading the ending to them). Kinda neat. I always thought that should've been the ending to that crappile that was "Dances With Wolves," that, at the very end, he's shot off his horse from an earlier scene in the movie, during the Civil War. Would've at least made that movie sort of tolerable.

It was a French movie, based on the Ambose Bierce story that TZ picked up so they could finish the season under budget. Serling, CBS and the gang actually had nothing to do with the making of the show.

Unlike Mr. Jane I know my shit: I'm a ZONE expert, 1st class.

Mark Tolch
03-25-2011, 07:59 AM
Well then, Mr. Expert, comment more.

QUEEN OF THE NILE - A great episode, one of my favourites. A movie star who's been around for about 2000 years? sign me up.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX - Mediocre, but well acted. A rehash on A MOST UNUSUAL CAMERA.

Mark Tolch
03-25-2011, 08:01 AM
I'm such a Twilight Zone poser. I only know a handful of episodes. I've watched (and enjoyed) a whole lot of them over the years but they all sorted of started blending together at some point.

I think that part of it is that the original TWILIGHT ZONE series can be broken down into episode categories....episodes with ironic endings, threats that only certain people can see, dream episodes, and sentimental schmaltz to name a few. Although there are very few bad episodes of the show, there are a number of mediocre episodes that share a lot of characteristics with the others.

John Gargo
03-26-2011, 07:16 AM
The sentimental schmaltz seems to have influenced Spielberg's entire career, and he fucked over the TWILIGHT ZONE MOVIE by adapting "Kick the Boredom."

I just finished watching Season 1 so I'm going to rank the top 10 episodes...

1. The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
2. The Lonely
3. Time Enough at Last
4. People Are Alike All Over
5. The Hitch-Hiker
6. Mirror Image <- Does this get mentioned at all? It's a creepy little yarn.
7. A World of His Own
8. A World of Difference <- These two "World" episodes by Matheson are almost companion pieces.
9. Judgment Night
10. Long Live Walter Jameson

Mark Tolch
03-26-2011, 08:28 AM
True story, John. Last night, I attempted to watch the TZ Movie for the first time ever. I can't believe that Spielberg would adapt that. As an episode, it was meh, but the film version is so bad, it boggles the mind. TZ's sentimental stuff definitely influenced (heavily) Spielberg.

John Gargo
03-26-2011, 09:59 AM
Yeah, with the Twilight Zone movie the quality shifts wildly...

Great - George Miller's Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Good - Joe Dante's It's a Good Life
OK - John Landis's Segment (although Landis redeems himself with the prologue)
Crap - Spielberg's Kick the Can

Mark Tolch
03-26-2011, 12:40 PM
I know it's been mentioned a ton of times, but I had a weird feeling watching landis' segment with Morrow, knowing what had happened. Old news, for sure, but still very strange that you're watching an actor film his last scenes ever.

Mark Tolch
04-04-2011, 09:16 AM
SOUNDS AND SILENCES- More schmaltz. Since we had the conversation about Spielberg being influenced by the schmaltzy episodes, I picture him directing every crappy sentimental episode.

CAESAR AND ME- More ventriloquism dummies, which automatically makes it cool and creepy. I'd never seen this one before, and quite liked it.

Horace Cordier
04-04-2011, 07:17 PM
The sentimental schmaltz seems to have influenced Spielberg's entire career, and he fucked over the TWILIGHT ZONE MOVIE by adapting "Kick the Boredom."

I just finished watching Season 1 so I'm going to rank the top 10 episodes...

1. The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
2. The Lonely
3. Time Enough at Last
4. People Are Alike All Over
5. The Hitch-Hiker
6. Mirror Image <- Does this get mentioned at all? It's a creepy little yarn.
7. A World of His Own
8. A World of Difference <- These two "World" episodes by Matheson are almost companion pieces.
9. Judgment Night
10. Long Live Walter Jameson

Interesting list.

Funny thing, I'm not a huge fan of MAPLE STREET. I think its really obvious and poorly acted in parts. I also love how everyone just flips out in about 3 seconds after the kid gives one paranoid speech. This one really needed an hour to at least ATTEMPT to build up the necessary meltdown from the neighbors.

Mark Tolch
04-04-2011, 08:04 PM
MONSTERS isn't high on my list either, Horamce. Cool premise, but meh.

Horace Cordier
04-04-2011, 08:48 PM
COME WANDER WITH ME.

This one is just a hoot. I love it! Anyone else think Crosby, "The-Rock-A-Billy Kid" kinda reminds them of Mark Tolch?:pistols:

And thank God for Bonnie Beecher - she's a heckuva lot easier on the eyes than Liza Minelli (as talented as she is).

Does it make sense? Hell no. Can Gary Crosby act to save his life? Not at all. But listening to Crosby say "Dad" 50 times in 30 seconds, his ridiculous car (with the "The- Rock-A-Billy Kid painted on it), his goofy monogrammed gas station attendant shirt and gratuitous bird-abuse (just what did that cackling crow do to him anyway?) just kill me every time.

And I defy ANYONE not to start rolling around on the floor when Floyd starts playing "Honey Tree" for the old man at the end. Eyes bugging out, sweating like a pig and totally over the top - great stuff.

Aside from Beecher, everyone is pretty bad in this one - the zombie like old man and the hick brothers out of central casting... but Beecher is really quite attractive - in a woodsy and creepy way. And I love the song and she sings it beautifully.

This one belongs on a double bill with "The Hunt" for some backwoods TZ fun.

Ian Jane
11-12-2013, 12:16 PM
From DVD News Flash:

Image Entertainment will be putting all “Definitive Editions” of The Twilight Zone on moratorium effective 12/1/13.

This affects the following skus:

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Definitive Collection Box Set

The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition: Season 1

The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition: Season 2

The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition: Season 3

The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition: Season 4

The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition: Season 5

All other Twilight Zone box sets and individual season releases in the Image Entertainment library will still be available, including:

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series (Episodes Only DVD Collection)

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

Mark Tolch
11-12-2013, 03:01 PM
Shit. Guess I better get Seasons 4 and 5 while I can.

Horace Cordier
11-12-2013, 05:44 PM
Shit. Guess I better get Seasons 4 and 5 while I can.

These are DVD sets. Why would you need them?

Get the Blu rays.

Mark Tolch
11-12-2013, 09:27 PM
Oh. Nevermind, then.

Alison Jane
06-10-2016, 06:32 PM
Enjoying the accessibility of these on Netflix. Makes it so easy to pick up exactly where you left off. My son's been enjoying them too.

Mark Tolch
06-10-2016, 06:36 PM
I still haven't picked up Season 5, so I agree. And those transfers are aces.

Alison Jane
06-10-2016, 06:38 PM
Currently on season three. Just got through episode four. Good stuff coming up.

Mark Tolch
06-10-2016, 06:46 PM
Season Four wasn't as flawed as I remembered when I revisited it, but the show definitely works better in a 30 minute spot.

Alison Jane
06-10-2016, 06:48 PM
Season four episodes weren't 30 minutes?

Mark Tolch
06-10-2016, 06:59 PM
No, they went to an hour slot.