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Posts tagged: Twilight Zone

50 years ago tonight on “Twilight Zone”

An episode called “The Bard” first aired on May 23, 1963.

A hack TV writer uses a magic spell to conjure up Shakespeare in the hope that the storied Englishman will help him punch up some lackluster scripts.

You might recall Burt Reynolds playing a poor man's Marlon Brando.

Fifty years ago on “The Twilight Zone”

An episode called “Young Man's Fancy” first aired on May 11, 1962.

Intending to stay for just a minute, a just-married couple stop by the groom's vacant childhood home after the wedding. He discovers that he cannot leave.

Some regarded this as one of the five most annoying TZ episodes.  Here a longtime “perennial bachelor” has a chance to head out on a honeymoon with his attractive bride and he can't cut his ties to the past.

Somebody slap the guy. Or call a lawyer for her.

50 years ago tonight on “Twilight Zone”

“The Dummy.”

Not scary, but high creep-out factor.

First Night vs. “Twilight Zone” marathon

Deborah Chan had some additional observations in the matter of the whole First Night vs. “Twilight Zone” marathon thing. (Saturday's print Slice.)

“When it's cold on First Night, at least you know the Earth isn't moving away from the sun.

“If you wear a mask on First Night, you don't need to worry about your face conforming to it.

“When you take the tram around on First Night, you know you haven't been taken by aliens to circle around a toy town forever (hmmm…or have you?)

“Gabriel isn't going to escort Frist Night trumpet players to Eternity.” 

Next: Annual “Twilight Zone” marathon

It's Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Find details at

Fifty years ago today

In an episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “The Jungle,” dam builder Alan Richards returns to America from Africa unaware of a little surprise a witchdoctor has in store for him.

It first aired on Dec. 1, 1961, and has been seen in reruns 875,432 times.

Chances are, this ending scene isn't what inspired the “Soft Kitty” song on “Big Bang Theory.” 

This date in “Twilight Zone” history

The series began its run on Oct. 2, 1959, with an episode called “Where is Everybody?” It starred Earl Holliman (above) as Mike Ferris (no relation to the Spokane family).

Sort of a cross between a last-man-on-Earth story and a study of the limits of our ability to endure beng alone, it's a bit muddled and not especially satisfying. But, not counting the pilot shown in 1958, it was at least the start of something big.  

Step right up for our nostalgia blowout

Fifty years ago today, a classic episode of “The Twilight Zone” — “The Shelter” — first aired.

Rod Serling loved the “We are our own worst enemy” theme. (See also, “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street.”) And “The Shelter” is a doozy.

A suburban birthday party is interrupted by fears that World War III is about to start. The one family with a bomb shelter retreats to that refuge. And before long, panicked neighbors literally beat the door down. Not, however, before revealing some previously hidden biases and antagonisms.

The danger from above turns out to be harmless satellites. But down in the basement, the damage has already been done.  

I would never say that to a dog

I had started doing this thing where, when I encountered family dogs tied up outside a store or lolling in a front yard alone, I told them “Don't let 'em go to hell.”

This is an allusion to an episode of “The Twilight Zone” in which a man on the road to heaven is saved from taking a wrong turn into perdition by his loyal canine.

“Even the devil can't fool a dog,” says an angel near the end of the episode.

Rod Serling has a concluding voice-over that starts “Travellers to unknown regions would be well-advised to take along the family dog.”

Anyway, I don't think the pooches minded me saying this, even if they haven't seen that episode.

But it has been suggested that someone overhearing me might not catch the first part of the declaration and, as a result, get the wrong idea about my tone.

So, just for the record, let me make one thing clear.

I would never tell a dog to go to blazes.  

Programming alert

Called my friend who lives next to Audubon Park to tell him his “Twilight Zone” is part of the Syfy channel's Sunday/Monday marathon. According a schedule I consulted, “The Hunt” is on at on Monday.

Dex doesn't have a huge role in it, but he's really good as a backwoods angel.

Here he is in a picture that accompanied a nice story Kris Johnson Morehouse wrote about him a few years ago.

SR Photo 

And here's a picture of the late Arthur Hunnicutt from “The Hunt.”

There’s a signpost up ahead

It's a reminder about the Syfy channel's holiday weekend “Twilight Zone” marathon coming up Sunday and Monday.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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