Time Enough at Last
"Time Enough at Last" is the eighth episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The episode was adapted from a short story written by Lynn Venable; the short story appeared in the January 1953 edition of the science fiction magazine If: Worlds of Science Fiction about seven years before the television episode first aired. "Time Enough at Last" became one of the most famous episodes of the original Twilight Zone and has been parodied since. It is "the story of a man who seeks salvation in the rubble of a ruined world" and tells of Henry Bemis, played by Burgess Meredith, who loves books, yet is surrounded by those who would prevent him from reading them; the episode follows Bemis through the post-apocalyptic world, touching on such social issues as anti-intellectualism, the dangers of reliance upon technology, the difference between aloneness and loneliness. Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A bookish little man whose passion is the printed page, but, conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of tongue-cluckers and the unrelenting hands of a clock.
But in just a moment, Mr. Bemis will enter a world without bank presidents or wives or clocks or anything else. He'll have a world all to himself... without anyone. Henpecked, far sighted bank teller and avid bookworm Henry Bemis works at his window in a bank, while reading David Copperfield, which causes him to shortchange an annoyed customer. Bemis's angry boss, his nagging wife, both complain to him that he wastes far too much time reading "doggerel"; as a cruel joke, his wife asks him to read poetry from one of his books to her. Seconds she destroys the book by ripping the pages from it, much to Henry's dismay; the next day, as usual, Henry takes his lunch break in the bank's vault, where his reading will not be disturbed. Moments after he sees a newspaper headline, which reads "H-Bomb Capable of Total Destruction", an enormous explosion outside the bank violently shakes the vault, knocking Bemis unconscious. After regaining consciousness and recovering the thick glasses required for him to see, Bemis emerges from the vault to find the bank demolished and everyone in it dead.
Leaving the bank, he sees that the entire city has been destroyed, realizes that a nuclear war has devastated Earth, but that his being in the vault has saved him. Seconds, hours, they crawl by on hands and knees for Mr. Henry Bemis, who looks for a spark in the ashes of a dead world. A telephone connected to nothingness. A neighborhood bar, a movie, a baseball diamond, a hardware store, the mailbox of what was once his house and is now a rubble, they lie at his feet as battered monuments to what is no more. Mr. Henry Bemis on an eight-hour tour of a graveyard. Finding himself alone in a shattered world with canned food to last him a lifetime and no means of leaving to look for other survivors, Bemis succumbs to despair; as he prepares to commit suicide using a revolver he has found, Bemis sees the ruins of the public library in the distance. Investigating, he finds that the books are still legible, his despair gone, Bemis contentedly sorts the books he looks forward to reading for years to come, with no obligations to get in the way.
Just as he bends down to pick up the first book, he stumbles, his glasses fall off and shatter. In shock, he picks up the broken remains of the glasses he is blind without, says, "That's not fair. That's not fair at all. There was time now. There was—was all the time I needed…! It's not fair! It's not fair!" and bursts into tears, surrounded by books he now can never read. The best laid plans of mice and men... and Henry Bemis... the small man in the glasses who wanted nothing but time. Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble, just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself. Mr. Henry Bemis... in the Twilight Zone. "Time Enough at Last" was one of the first episodes written for The Twilight Zone. It introduced Burgess Meredith to the series, he narrated for the 1983 film Twilight Zone: The Movie, which made reference to "Time Enough at Last" during its opening sequence, with the characters discussing the episode in detail. Footage of the exterior steps of the library was filmed several months after production had been completed.
These steps can be seen on the exterior of an Eloi public building in MGM's 1960 version of The Time Machine. John Brahm was nominated for a Directors Guild award for his work on the episode; the book that Bemis was reading in the vault and that flips open when the bomb explodes is A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus by Washington Irving. Although the overriding message may seem to "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it", there are other themes throughout the episode as well. Paramount among these is the question of solitude versus loneliness, as embodied by Bemis' moment of near-suicide. Additionally, the portrayal of societal attitudes towards books speaks to the contemporary decline of traditional literature and how, given enough time, reading may become a relic of the past. At the same time, the ending "punishes Bemis for his antisocial behavior, his greatest desire is thwarted". Rod Serl
One for the Angels
"One for the Angels" is the second episode of the American anthology television series The Twilight Zone. It aired on October 9, 1959 on CBS. Lou Bookman is a kindly sidewalk pitchman who sells and repairs toys and trinkets, is adored by the neighborhood children. One day, Bookman is visited by Mr. Death, who tells him that he is to die at midnight of natural causes. Unable to dissuade Death, Bookman instead convinces him to wait until Bookman has made his greatest sales pitch: "one for the angels". Death agrees, Bookman announces he is retiring, smug that he has cheated Death. Death concedes Bookman has found a loophole in their agreement, but warns Bookman that someone else now has to die in his place. Death chooses Maggie, a little girl who lives in Bookman's apartment building and is a friend of his. Maggie falls into a coma. Bookman begs Death to take him instead. Bookman gets out his wares and begins to eloquently boast one item after or another, making the greatest sales pitch of his life—one so great that he entices Death himself.
Death buys item after item and does not remember his appointment with Maggie until it is past midnight, when he has missed it. When Maggie awakens, her doctor leaves the apartment and sees Bookman, assuring him that Maggie will live. Death observes that by making that great sales pitch, Bookman has met the original terms of their deal. Now content and willing to accept his fate, Bookman packs his things and leaves with Death toward Heaven, remarking that "you never know who might need something up there", he looks to Death, adding "Up there?" and Death replies, "Up there, Mr. Bookman. You made it." Ed Wynn as Lewis J. "Lou" Bookman Murray Hamilton as Mr. Death Dana Dillaway as Maggie Polanski Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 DeVoe, Bill.. Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0 Grams, Martin.. The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0 Sander, Gordon F. Serling: the rise and twilight of television's last angry man.
New York: Penguin Books, 1992. ISBN 0-525-93550-9 "One for the Angels" on IMDb "One for the Angels" at TV.com
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created and presented by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. Each episode presents a stand-alone story in which characters find themselves dealing with disturbing or unusual events, an experience described as entering "the Twilight Zone," ending with a surprise ending and a moral. Although predominantly science-fiction, the show's paranormal and Kafkaesque events leaned the show towards fantasy and horror; the phrase “twilight zone,” inspired by the series, is used to describe surreal experiences. The series featured both established stars and younger actors who would become much better known later. Serling served as executive head writer, he was the show's host and narrator, delivering monologues at the beginning and end of each episode. Serling's opening and closing narrations summarize the episode's events encapsulating how and why the main character had entered the Twilight Zone. In 1997, the episodes "To Serve Man" and "It's a Good Life" were ranked at 11 and 31 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.
Serling himself stated that his favorite episodes of the series were "The Invaders" and "Time Enough at Last". In 2016, the series was ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest shows of all time. In 2002, The Twilight Zone was ranked No. 26 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it as the third best-written TV series and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth greatest drama and the fifth greatest show of all time. By the late 1950s, Rod Serling was a prominent name in American television, his successful television plays included Patterns and Requiem for a Heavyweight, but constant changes and edits made by the networks and sponsors frustrated Serling. In Requiem for a Heavyweight, the line "Got a match?" had to be struck because the sponsor sold lighters. But according to comments in his 1957 anthology Patterns, Serling had been trying to delve into material more controversial than his works of the early 1950s; this led to Noon on Doomsday for the United States Steel Hour in 1956, a commentary by Serling on the defensiveness and total lack of repentance he saw in the Mississippi town where the murder of Emmett Till took place.
His original script paralleled the Till case was moved out of the South and the victim changed to a Jewish pawnbroker, watered down to just a foreigner in an unnamed town. Despite bad reviews, activists sent numerous wires protesting the production. Serling thought that a science-fictional setting, with robots and other supernatural occurrences, would give him more freedom and less interference in expressing controversial ideas than more realistic settings. "The Time Element" was Serling's 1957 pilot pitch for his show, a time travel adventure about a man who travels back to Honolulu in 1941 and unsuccessfully tries to warn everyone about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. The script, was rejected and shelved for a year until Bert Granet discovered and produced it as an episode of Desilu Playhouse in 1958; the show was a great success and enabled Serling to begin production on his anthology series, The Twilight Zone. Serling's editorial sense of ironic fate in the writing done for the series was identified as significant to its success by the BFI Film Classics library which stated that for Serling "the cruel indifference and implacability of fate and the irony of poetic justice" were recurrent themes in his plots.
There is a fifth dimension, beyond that, known to man. It is a dimension as timeless as infinity, it is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination, it is an area. The Twilight Zone premiered the night of October 1959, to rave reviews. "Twilight Zone is about the only show on the air that I look forward to seeing. It's the one series that I will let interfere with other plans", said Terry Turner for the Chicago Daily News. Others agreed. Daily Variety ranked it with "the best, accomplished in half-hour filmed television" and the New York Herald Tribune found the show to be "certainly the best and most original anthology series of the year"; as the show proved popular to television's critics, it struggled to find a receptive audience of television viewers. CBS was banking on a rating of at least 21 or 22; the series' future was jeopardized when its third episode, "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" earned a 16.3 rating.
Still, the show attracted a large enough audience to survive a brief hiatus in November, after which it surpassed its competition on ABC and NBC and convinced its sponsors to stay on until the end of the season. With one exception, the first season featured scripts written only by Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont or Richard Matheson; these three were responsible for 127 of the 156 episodes in the series. Additionally, with one exception, Serling never appeared on camera during any first-season episode (as he woul
Mirror Image (The Twilight Zone)
"Mirror Image" is episode 21 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It aired on February 26, 1960 on CBS. Millicent Barnes waits in a bus depot in Marathon, New York, for a bus to Cortland, en route to a new job. Looking at a wall clock she notices, she asks the ticket agent when the bus will arrive, he gruffly complains that this is her third time asking. Millicent denies this. While speaking with the ticket agent, she notices a bag just like hers in the luggage pile behind her, she mentions this to the ticket agent. She does not believe this, she washes her hands in the restroom and the cleaning lady there insists this is her second time there. Again, Millicent denies this. Upon leaving the restroom, she glances in the mirror and sees, in addition to her reflection, an exact copy of herself sitting on the bench outside, she meets a young man from Binghamton named Paul Grinstead, waiting for the same bus. Millicent tells Paul about encountering her double. Paul, attempting to calm Millicent, says it is either a joke or a misunderstanding caused by a look-alike.
When the bus arrives and the two of them prepare to board, Millicent looks in the window and sees the copy of herself seated on the bus. In shock, she faints. Millicent lies unconscious on a bench inside the depot while Paul and the cleaning lady attend to her. Paul agrees to wait for the 7:00 bus. While they wait, now coming to, insists the strange events are caused by an evil double from a parallel world - a nearby, yet distant alternative plane of existence that comes into convergence with this world by powerful forces, or unnatural, unknown events; when this happens, the impostors enter this realm. Millicent's doppelgänger can survive in this world only by replacing her. Paul says the explanation is "a little metaphysical" for him, believes that Millicent's sanity is beginning to unravel. Paul tells Millicent he will call a friend in Tully who has a car and may be able to drive them to Syracuse. Instead, he calls the police. After Millicent is taken away by two policemen, Paul begins to settle himself.
After drinking from a water fountain, Paul notices. Looking up towards the doors, Paul notices another man running out the door of the bus depot. Pursuing this individual down the street, Paul discovers that he is chasing his own copy, whose face shows excited delight, his copy disappears as Paul calls out "Where are you?" while looking around in confusion and shock. Vera Miles as Millicent Barnes Martin Milner as Paul Grinstead Joe Hamilton as Ticket agent Naomi Stevens as Washroom Attendant In a short film pitching the Twilight Zone series to a Dutch television station, creator Rod Serling claimed to have gotten the idea for "Mirror Image" following an encounter at an airport. Serling noticed a man at the other side of the terminal who wore the same clothes and carried the same suitcase as himself. However, the man turned out to be younger and "more attractive"; this is one of several episodes from season one with its opening title sequence plastered over with the opening for season two. This was done during the Summer of 1961 as to help the season one shows fit in with the new look the show had taken during the following season.
This episode inspired Jordan Peele's 2019 film Us. DeVoe, Bill.. Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0 Grams, Martin.. The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0 "Mirror Image" on IMDb
And When the Sky Was Opened
"And When the Sky Was Opened" is episode eleven of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It aired on December 11, 1959, it is an adaptation of the Richard Matheson short story "Disappearing Act". United States Air Force Colonel Clegg Forbes arrives at a military hospital to visit his friend and co-pilot Major William Gart; the two had piloted an experimental spaceplane, the X-20 DynaSoar, on a mission that took them 900 miles beyond the confines of the Earth's atmosphere for the first time. During their voyage the men blacked out for four hours and the craft itself disappeared from radar screens for a full day before reappearing and crash landing in the desert leaving Gart with a broken leg. Gart inquires as to the status of the plane, but Forbes is agitated and asks Gart if he remembers how many people were on the mission, producing a newspaper whose front page shows the likenesses of the two men and a headline stating that two astronauts were rescued from the desert crash.
Gart confirms that only he and Forbes piloted the plane but Forbes insists that a third man – Colonel Ed Harrington, his best friend for 15 years – accompanied them. In the flashback, the previous morning and Forbes are shown joking with Gart as they are discharged from the hospital after passing their physical exams, leaving the Major to recuperate alone; the same newspaper that Forbes would show Gart is present but instead asserts three astronauts were recovered from the crash of the X-20 with a photo depicting a crew of three. The two men visit a bar downtown. While there, Harrington is overcome by a feeling that he no longer "belongs" in the world. Disturbed, he phones his parents who tell him they have no son named Ed Harrington and believe the person calling them to be a prankster. Harrington mysteriously vanishes from the phone booth and no one in the bar but Forbes remembers his existence. Desperate, Forbes searches for any trace of his friend but can find nothing in the bar, his girlfriend, does not remember Harrington, neither does his commanding officer.
Returning to the closed bar, he breaks in calling his name repeatedly. He returns to the hospital the next morning to talk with Gart. Back in the present, Forbes is dismayed by Gart's claim that he doesn't know anyone named Harrington. Forbes glances at a mirror and discovers he casts no reflection, causing him to flee the room in terror. Gart tries to hobble. Calling the duty nurse to ask if she saw where Forbes went, Gart is stunned at the nurse's claim that nobody named Forbes has been in the building and that Gart was the only man, aboard his plane. After getting back into bed, he notices, it now says that Gart was the sole pilot of the X-20 – all mention of Forbes, including his photo, is gone. Horrified, Gart disappears. An officer enters the building and asks the duty nurse if there are any unused rooms available to accommodate new patients; the nurse takes him to the now empty room which hosted the three astronauts, stating that it has been unoccupied. In the hangar which housed the X-20, the sheet that covered the craft is shown lying on the ground.
There is no trace of the plane. Rod Taylor as Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes Charles Aidman as Colonel Ed Harrington Jim Hutton as Major William Gart Maxine Cooper as Amy Sue Randall as Nurse Paul Bryar as Bartender Joe Bassett as Medical officer Gloria Pall as Girl in bar Elizabeth Fielding as Blond Nurse This episode is loosely based on the short story "Disappearing Act" by Richard Matheson; the story was first published in The Magazine of Science Fiction. Rod Taylor and director Douglas Heyes worked together on the TV series Bearcats!. "Remember Me", an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which ship's doctor Beverly Crusher undergoes a comparable experience. "Revisions", a Stargate SG-1 episode with a similar plot. "Games People Play", a Eureka episode with a similar plot. DeVoe, Bill. Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0. Grams, Martin; the Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0.
"And When the Sky Was Opened" on IMDb "And When the Sky Was Opened" at TV.com And When The Sky Was Opened | John's Twilight Zone Page
The Last Flight (The Twilight Zone)
"The Last Flight" is episode 18 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. Part of the production was filmed on location at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California; the vintage 1918 Nieuport 28 biplane was both owned and flown by Frank Gifford Tallman, had appeared in many World War I motion pictures. Flight Lieutenant William Terrance "Terry" Decker of 56 Squadron Royal Flying Corps lands his Nieuport biplane on an American airbase in France, after flying through a strange cloud, he is taken into custody and questioned by the American base commander, Major General Harper, his provost marshal, Major Wilson. Decker identifies himself and his squadron and claims that the date is March 5, 1917, he is informed that it is March 5, 1959. Decker tells the officers that he and his comrade Alexander "Old Leadbottom" Mackaye were fighting seven German aircraft; the Americans tell him that Mackaye is alive and is an Air Vice Marshal in the Royal Air Force, a war hero from World War II who saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives by shooting down German bombers over London.
The American officers add that Air Vice Marshal Mackaye, in addition to being alive and well, is coming to the base that day for an inspection. Major Wilson tries to help Decker remember. Decker confesses that he has avoided combat throughout his service, that he deliberately abandoned the outnumbered Mackaye when the two were attacked by the German fighters, he refuses to believe. When Wilson suggests that someone else helped Mackaye, Decker realizes that he has been given a second chance, he tells the American officer that there was no one within fifty miles who could have come to Mackaye's aid, so if Mackaye survived, it had to be because Decker went back himself. Knowing he cannot have much time to go back to 1917, Decker pleads with Wilson to release him from custody; when Wilson refuses, Decker escapes. Running outside, he locates his plane, punches a mechanic who tries to get in his way, starts the plane's engine, he is about to take off when Wilson puts a pistol to his head. Decker tells Wilson he will have to shoot him to stop him, as he would rather die than remain a coward.
After hesitating, Wilson allows him to escape and Decker flies his plane into white clouds and vanishes. Major Wilson is rebuked by Major General Harper for believing such a fantastic story and for allowing Decker to escape; when Mackaye arrives, Wilson asks he. Mackaye, says Decker saved his life. In March 1917, Mackaye and Decker were attacked. Decker flew off into a cloud, Mackaye believed at first that Decker had abandoned him. Decker came diving out of the cloud, proceeded to shoot down three of the German planes before being shot down himself. General Harper shows Mackaye Decker's badge and personal effects, startling Mackaye, who remarks that those items had never been returned by the Germans. Major Wilson suggests that "Old Leadbottom"—a nickname known only by Mackaye's comrades back in World War I—sit down while it is explained how these items came into the Americans' possession; this was the first episode of The Twilight Zone scripted by Richard Matheson. Rod Serling had adapted the episode "And When the Sky Was Opened" from a short story of Matheson's.
The United States Air Force major general refers to Mackaye as "sir", suggests that he is a superior officer inspecting the air base. However, Mackaye is ranked as an air vice marshal, a Royal Air Force rank equivalent to major general, thereby making the two officers equals – unless the American general was junior in rank by date of commission; the Royal Flying Corps never flew the Nieuport 28, which did not enter service until 1918. The death of Georges Guynemer is mentioned by Decker but Guynemer died in September 1917, six months after Decker's last flight. 56 Squadron was not deployed until April 1917, at which point it flew the S. E.5 aircraft. The rank of flight lieutenant existed in the Royal Naval Air Service and in the RAF but it never was used in the Royal Flying Corps. However, the only reference to "flight lieutenant" is during Mr. Serling's introduction. However, "Second lieutenant" the most junior commissioned officer rank is equal to a "Pilot Officer" in the RAF. Flight Lieutenant is equal to the Army rank of Captain.
DeVoe, Bill.. Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0 Grams, Martin.. The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0 "The Last Flight" on IMDb
"Mr. Bevis" is episode thirty-three of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone, it aired on June 3, 1960 on CBS. This episode is notable for being one of only four episodes to feature the "blinking eye" opening sequence, the first to feature the opening narration which would be used for every episode throughout season 2 and 3. A kindly fellow's life is turned topsy-turvy. Mr. Bevis loses his job, gets tickets on his car and gets evicted from his apartment, all in one day. Bevis meets and gets assistance from his guardian angel, one J. Hardy Hempstead. Bevis gets to start the day over again, except now he is a success at work, his rent is paid and his personal transportation is now a sportscar instead of Bevis's previous jalopy, a soot-spewing 1924 Rickenbacker, but there is a catch: In order to continue in his new life, Bevis must make some changes: no strange clothes, no loud zither music, no longer can he be the well-liked neighborhood goofball. Realizing all these things are what makes him happy, Bevis asks that things be returned to the way they were.
Hempstead obliges warning him that he will still have no job, car, or apartment—but moved by his kindness and the warmth people have for him, arranges for Bevis to get his old jalopy back. In the final scene of the episode, Mr. Bevis is shown finishing his fifth shot of whiskey, he pays his total tab of $5.00 with one bill. He leaves the bar, where his Rickenbacker was parked in front of a fire hydrant; when Bevis is about to be ticketed for this infraction, the hydrant disappears and reappears next to the officer's motorcycle.'J. Hardy Hempstead' is still watching over him after all. Orson Bean as James B. W. Bevis Henry Jones as J. Hardy Hempstead Charles Lane as Mr. Peckinpaugh Florence MacMichael as Margaret William Schallert as Policeman Vito Scotti as Tony, the Fruit Peddler Horace McMahon as Bartender DeVoe, Bill.. Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0 Grams, Martin.. The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing.
ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0 "Mr. Bevis" on IMDb "Mr. Bevis" at TV.com