The Twilight Zone - Vol. 21
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Episodes: "Mirror Image" (Ep. 21, February 26, 1960) - When Millicent Barnes (Vera Miles) spies her exact double at a bus station, she becomes convinced that the double is trying to take her place. Fellow passenger Paul Grinstead (Martin Milner) thinks she's crazy--at first. "Dust" (Ep. 48, January 6, 1961) - A man is about to be hanged for drunkenly running over a little girl in a decaying town. But when the girl's anguished father (Vladimir Sokoloff) flings "magic dust" into the air, a change comes over the squalid village. "Five Characters in Search of an Exit" (Ep. 79, December 22, 1961) - A clown, a hobo, a ballet dancer, a bagpipe player and an army major are trapped together in an enormous cylinder. They don't know who they are or how they got there. But when the major tries to escape, they finally learn the truth. "Ninety Years Without Slumbering" (Ep. 132, December 20, 1963) - Sam Forstmann (Ed Wynn) believes that he will die if his grandfather clock stops. When the clock does begin to wind down, Sam must face his deepest fear.
Volume 21 of The Twilight Zone DVD collection is a real keeper, beginning with "Mirror Image," a classic first-season episode starring Vera Miles as a woman whose sense of reality is shattered when she encounters her exact double in a bus station. Her fear of being "replaced" reaches a fever pitch, despite the efforts of a fellow passenger (Martin Milner) to calm her frenzied nerves. As the woman is taken away for psychiatric examination, her terror turns out to be entirely justified--emphasizing paranoia as one of Rod Serling's favored themes. The second-season entry "Dust" is pale by comparison--a lethargic tale of magic in the Old West that redeems a man about to be hanged for drunkenly running over a little girl with his wagon. He's saved from the noose by a bit of "magic dust," but the true pardon has come, of course, from the Twilight Zone.
"Five Characters in Search of an Exit," scripted by Serling, is a third-season highlight in which the titular characters--clown, hobo, ballet dancer, bagpiper, and army major--are trapped in a giant cylinder, with no understanding of how they got there. The truth provides the kind of O. Henry twist that was Serling's specialty, and the performances by William Windom and Murray Matheson (as the belligerent major and carefree clown, respectively) offer a delightful study in dramatic contrast. Finally, "Ninety Years Without Slumbering" is a casualty from TZ's fifth season--a badly rewritten story (originally scripted by acclaimed series contributor George Clayton Johnson) starring veteran screen comedian Ed Wynn as an old man who's convinced he will die if his treasured grandfather clock ceases to tick. Robbed of its dramatic impact by a soft ending that compromises Clayton's original idea, the episode remains entertaining on the strength of Wynn's endearing performance. --Jeff Shannon
- Episodes: "Mirror Image" (February 26, 1960, Episode 21), "Dust" (January 6, 1961, Episode 48), "Five Characters in Search of an Exit" (December 22, 1961, Episode 79), "Ninety Years Without Slumbering" (December 20, 1963, Episode 132)
- Special Inside the Twilight Zone Section: Includes bio material on Rod Serling, history of The Twilight Zone, reviews of each episode, cast info & a season-by-season commentary!
- Animated Menus
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A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS written by George Clayton Johnson and directed by James Sheldon features Dick York as a man who tosses a coin buying a newspaper that lands on edge and he soon finds that one in a million chance has given him the ability to hear other peoples thoughts. Dick York is very good and very memorable in this episode.
A NICE PLACE TO VISIT written by Charles Beaumont and directed by John Brahm is from the first season with Larry Blyden, Sebastion Cabot and Sandra Warner. Larry Blyden is over the top as a gangster after being shot and killed finds himself in a world where he gets everything he wants. Sebastion Cabot is his would be mentor and he introduces him to the opulence of his new life with interesting repercussions.
I AM THE NIGHT - COLOR ME BLACK written by Rod Serling and directed by Abner Biberman features Michael Constatine, Paul Fix, George Lindsay, Terry Becker, Ivan Dixon in this tale where the sun fails to come up in a town out west where a man is going to be executed for killing a bigot. Paul Fix is very good as the local newspaperman who is convinced that man to be executed is innocent. Ivan Dixon, the black preacher, delivers words in a sermon on this day. The statement on bigotry and racism is quite clear in this episode.