“You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop…the Twilight Zone.”
#82 – One More Pallbearer
Season 3 Episode 17
Original Air Date: January 12, 1962
Writer: Rod Serling
Guest Star: Joseph Wiseman
Synopsis: Paul Radin, an eccentric millionaire, offers his bomb shelter to three individuals of his choice. First, they must pay his unconventional price.
Impressions: I’ve never seen this episode before. I enjoyed it, and throughout the episode I was debating on what rating to give it. The ending in a way was a double twist, neither of which I saw coming. That kicked this up from a three to a four. The story was good, but the ending made the episode.
#83 – Dead Man’s Shoes
Season 3 Episode 18
Original Air Date: January 19, 1962
Writer: Charles Beaumont
Guest Star: Warren Stevens
Synopsis: A murdered gangster’s ghost haunts his expensive shoes in an attempt to get revenge on his killers. His agent is a homeless man who pulls the shoes off of the corpse.
Impressions: Another episode I’ve never seen before. I think this story might work better in print, but even then I’m not sure. It seems to me as I’ve sen this idea a few times before. I don’t know if this was the first time for it or not. Not a good story, or episode. This one was difficult to sit through.
#84 – The Hunt
Season 3 Episode 19
Original Air Date: January 26, 1962
Writer: Earl Hamner
Guest Stars: Arthur Hunnicutt, Jeanette Nolan (1st of 2 appearances)
Synopsis: Hyder Simpson and his hound dog are lost in the woods. They find a gate that leads to Heaven, but the dog acts in a strange way and the gatekeeper won’t allow the dog to enter.
Impressions: A man dies and doesn’t he’s dead. I believe I’ve seen this basis of a story a time or two before, perhaps even in previous episodes. This story would be better in print, and might work as a radio drama. This isn’t easy to watch as there isn’t a lot going on.
#85 – Showdown with Rance McGrew
Season 3 Episode 20
Original Air Date: February 2, 1962
Writer: Rod Serling, based on an idea by Frederic L. Fox
Guest Stars: Larry Blyden (2nd of 2 appearances), Arch Johnson (3rd of 3 appearances, one support and one uncredited)
Synopsis: Television cowboy hero Rance McGrew goes back in time to an Old West saloon. He encounters Jesse James, who challenges McGrew over the way he defeats the outlaws. McGrew can live if he agrees to certain conditions.
Impressions: Another episode I’ve never seen before. I love Westerns, but something about them in a Twilight Zone setting don’t do it for me. This story doesn’t work for me, and wouldn’t in any medium. It lacks all the classic elements of the series, and there isn’t a twist, or anything resembling one at the end.
#86 – Kick the Can
Season 3 Episode 21
Original Air Date: February 9, 1962
Writer: George Clayton Johnson
Guest Stars: Ernest Truex (2nd of 2 appearances), Russell Collins, John Marley (1st of 2 appearances)
Synopsis: An old man at Sunnyvale Rest Home discovers the fountain of youth in a child’s game.
Impressions: I’ve seen this episode a few times, and it never really does anything for me. I don’t know what kick the can is. I’ve never played it, don’t know how to, and never seen anyone else play it. This isn’t a bad story, it just isn’t a good story to watch. The ending is decent, and works for television more than it would another medium.
#87 – A Piano in the House
Season 3 Episode 22
Original Air Date: February 16, 1962
Writer: Earl Hamner
Guest Star: Barry Morse
Synopsis: Theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune buys his wife a player piano for her birthday. The music it plays has the ability to uncover a person hidden self.
Impressions: This might be good in theory, but was poor in execution. The main character has a sinister, devilish appearance. This lacks the qualities, elements, and trademarks of a classic Twilight Zone episode. Even those of an average episode. There is no twist ending, not even a decent ending. It just ends, and I was relieved when it did. This one was a chore to sit through.
#88 – The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank
Season 3 Episode 23
Original Air Date: February 23, 1962
Writer: Montgomery Pittman
Guest Stars: James Best (2nd of 2 appearances), Sherry Jackson, Edgar Buchanan
Synopsis: Jeff Myrtlebank climbed out of the coffin during his funeral. His parents notice he isn’t the same. The gossip spreads among the townspeople. Their fear grows. They want him to leave.
Impressions: A Twilight Zone love story. This is one I can handle. I enjoyed this episode. There is an element of the supernatural floating throughout the story. There is a subtle visual twist at the end on the episode. It doesn’t set up the ending, but enhances it. A good actor makes an episode better, and James Best does that in this episode. He was a perfect fit for the role.
#89 – To Serve Man
Season 3 Episode 24
Original Air Date: March 2, 1962
Writer: Teleplay by Rod Serling, based on a story by Damon Knight
Guest Stars: Lloyd Bochner, Susan Cummings, Richard Kiel
Synopsis: The Kanamits have come to Earth. The end famine, war, and a host of other problems. They want nothing more than to serve man, in more ways than one.
Impressions: This might be the most iconic, legendary, and well known of all Twilight Zone episodes. The original short story is really good with a slightly similar, but different ending. I’ve seen this episode several times, and each time I enjoy it. This episode has influenced a few of my short stories. I love how they use the same UFO, both outside shot and flying through the sky. The ending is great, talk about foreshadowing. The ending is fantastic. In 1997 this episode was voted #11 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of ALL Time list.
Fourteen discs down, 14 more to go. We’re half-way through this set. What did we get? As far as the third season, this is the weakest disc so far. It started off strong with an episode that had an unpredictable ending. Then it went downhill. Fast. The next five episodes were not very good offerings. Nothing above a 2/5 on those. The disc ending on a high note with two enjoyable episodes featuring strong, well written stories. The final episode as a said is a true television classic, regardless of day or age. The final two episodes give me hope that this season will pick back up with the next disc, and I’m looking forward to diving into it. Of these eight episodes, which one is your favorite?
Copyright © Drew Martin 2015