The Twilight Zone – Season 5 Disc 2 Review

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The Twilight Zone

The Complete Definitive Collection

Season 5

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.”

Disc 1 Link

Disc 2

#128Uncle Simon

Season 5 Episode 8

Original Air Date: November 15, 1963

Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Star: Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Ford

Synopsis: For 25 years Barbara Polk has cared for her Uncle Simon, awaiting his death to inherit his fortune. After his death, Barbara learns she is responsible for taking care of his last experiment. It is a task she knows all too well.

Impressions: I think this episode would work better in print or as a radio drama. There isn’t a lot of action, or visuals that add to the mood. The story has an interesting twist in the middle that matures to completion at the end. This is well thought out story, but not the most exciting episode to watch.

Rating: 3/5

 

#129Probe 7, Over and Out

Season 5 Episode 9

Original Air Date: November 29, 1963

Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Stars: Richard Baseheart, Antoinette Bower

Synopsis: Two planets are destroyed, yet a single survivor escapes from each one. A man and a woman must start a new life on a new planet.

Impressions: Vintage Rod Serling at his best. This is a retelling of a biblical story through the lens of science fiction. It can only happen in The Twilight Zone, and that’s the only place it can work. Many biblical stories can pass through the science fiction lens and work well if done correctly. This episode is a fine example. This isn’t an episode preaching religious beliefs. Instead, the main thing to take away is an anti-war message from Mr. Serling.

Rating: 4/5

 

#130The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms

Season 5 Episode 10

Original Air Date: December 6, 1963

Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Stars: Ron Foster, Warren Oates, Randy Boone

Synopsis: Three national guardsmen in 1964 find evidence of a battle from 1876 while on a training exercise near the Little Big Horn.

Impressions: I like American history, but this felt forced and far-fetched. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. Also, I couldn’t figure out the point of this story. The ending had a slight twist, but the overall story didn’t connect with me. This one was hard to follow and didn’t make the clearest sense. That said, I’ve seen way worse.

Rating: 2/5

 

#131A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain

Season 5 Episode 11

Original Air Date: December 13, 1963

Writer: Teleplay by Rod Serling, based on a story by Lou Holtz.

Guest Stars: Patrick O’Neal, Ruth Lee, Walter Brooke

Synopsis: An old man is married to a young woman full of life. To keep her happy, he tries a youth serum. It works, but works too well.

Impressions: This theme has played out many times before in The Twilight Zone. People wanting to escape their fate by changing heir fortune or themselves. They’ll do anything, take any shortcut to accomplish this. In the end, it always backfires. The twist is how it backfires. Sometimes the story is good, like when pacts with the Devil are involved. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those.

Rating: 1/5

 

#132Ninety Years without Slumbering

Season 5 Episode 12

Original Air Date: December 20, 1963

Writer: Teleplay by Richard De Roy. Story by Johnson Smith.

Guest Stars: Ed Wynn, Carolyn Kearney

Synopsis: Sam Frostmann’s deepest fear is when his grandfather clock stops he will die.

Impressions: An odd story, and for this series that’s saying something. I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t expect much. This is another example of a guest actor making an episode better than it should have been because the story was weak. Ed Wynn was in the second episode from 1959 and 130 episodes later he looks like he’s aged more than five years.

Rating: 2/5

 

#133Ring-a-Ding Girl

Season 5 Episode 13

Original Air Date: December 27, 1963

Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr.

Guest Stars: Maggie McNamara

Synopsis: Actress Bunny Blake collects rings and gets one from her home-town fan club. In it she sees familiar faces telling her to come home.

Impressions: This one started out slow, stayed slow, and had a twist that made no sense. I’ve never seen this episode before, and it would have been fine with me had it stayed that way.

Rating: 0.5/5

 

#134You Drive

Season 5 Episode 14

Original Air Date: January 3, 1964

Writer: Earl Hamner, Jr.

Guest Stars: Edward Andrews, Hellena Westcott, Kevin Hagen

Synopsis: Coming home from work, Oliver Pope isn’t paying attention and hits a boy riding a bike with his car. Pope drives away, the boy dies, and the car haunts Pope.

Impressions: If I didn’t know better I’d think Rod Serling wrote this story atop his morale high horse. This episode reminds me a lot of “The Fever” from season one. In a way the recipe is the same, but the ingredients are different. This is another episode I’ve never seen and wish it had stayed that way.

Rating: 0.5/5

Twenty four discs down, four more to go. What did we get? Not too much with this disc. It started out fine, got better and then went down hill from there. I hope this is the worst disc of the season so I’ve gotten it out of the way. This is one of the worst discs I’ve reviewed, and might contend for the worst. I’d have to go back and check. The final two episodes from Earl Hamner, Jr. don’t belong in the series. I think perhaps Rod Serling was low on material and grasping at anything. Like I said, the last episode reminds me of Rod Serling at his preaching worst. Of these seven episodes, which one was your favorite?

Copyright © Drew Martin 2016

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