“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”
#106 – He’s Alive
Season 4 Episode 4
Original Air Date: January 24, 1963
Writer: Rod Serling
Guest Stars: Dennis Hopper, Ludwig Donath, Curt Conway
Synopsis: A figure in the shadows comes to aid Peter Vollmer, a struggling neo-Nazi leader. As the crowds he speaks to grows, so does Vollmer’s ego.
Impressions: We’ve seen how these type of tales can turn out when Mr. Serling writes on morality. This could have turned out to be a horrible episode as so many others have when a moral is forced upon them. Instead, this is a great episode. Its well crafted, well written, and thought out. Dennis Hopper gives a wonderful performance that adds an extra layer of emotion. This one didn’t feel like it lagged at all, an enjoyable episode.
#107 – Mute
Season 4 Episode 5
Original Air Date: January 31, 1963
Writer: Richard Matheson
Guest Stars: Barbara Baxley, Frank Overton (2nd of 2 appearances, 1st was a bit role), Irene Dailey, Ann Jillian, Oscar Beregi Jr. (3rd of 3 appearances)
Synopsis: Ilse, a 12-year-old girl, loses her parents in a fire. She doesn’t speak as she has been trained to use telepathic communication. The couple who take her in and a teacher want to help her speak, regardless of what it takes to do so.
Impressions: I didn’t care for the short story. It went on too long, and I didn’t find it interesting. The same is true for this episode. I’ve said some episodes were difficult to sit through. We can add this one to the list. Since this episode is twice as long, it might be at the top. I didn’t think I’d make it through, but I managed. There isn’t much going on, no classic Twilight Zone elements, no twist. It was boring, with some overly dramatic soap opera acting towards the end. As for the end, there was nothing that could salvage this episode.
#108 – Death Ship
Season 4 Episode 6
Original Air Date: February 7, 1963
Writer: Richard Matheson
Guest Stars: Jack Klugman (3rd of 4 appearances), Ross Martin (2nd of 2 appearances), Fred Beir
Synopsis: Three astronauts land on a strange planet, right next to a crashed ship. The ship is their ship, with their dead bodies inside.
Impressions: Richard Matheson rebounds with a tale of science fiction terror. There’s a touch of psychological thriller added in for good measure. This is the type of story I’ve come to know and love from The Twilight Zone. The original short story was good. Add this to the list of episodes from this season I’ve never seen before. As always, Jack Klugman delivers a stellar performance. There’s a slight twist, but more of a visual on the facial expressions. This is an enjoyable story that makes for an enjoyable episode.
Eighteen discs down, 10 more to go. What did we get? Two out of three ain’t bad. A horrible episode sandwiched between two episodes that will be battling for episode of the season. I’m more than a bit surprised. These hour long episodes are still not my favorite, but I am enjoying more of the stories than I thought. The time length restricts them from the marathon’s, but they shouldn’t be. This disc had star power from Dennis Hopper and Jack Klugman. Those are names you can promote and people will watch. That middle episode might have been the hardest thing for me to sit through so far due to overall story and length. It was rough. The other two were quite good and I recommend them. If it stays like this I might have to do a regular Top 10 instead of Top 5 I was thinking about doing. Of these three episodes, which one is your favorite?
Copyright © Drew Martin 2015