10 Nearly Unknown Episodes of The Twilight Zone

10 Nearly Unknown Episodes of The Twilight Zone

Way back, The Twilight Zone grew to become a cultural establishment. Rod Serling’s authentic sequence, which ran from 1959 to 1964, nonetheless ranks extremely on lists of the best TV reveals of all time, even in at this time’s period of peak status TV. Serling oversaw 156 episodes over 5 seasons, writing a whopping 92 of them himself. However should you tune in to an episode at this time, it looks as if it’s considered one of a handful of outdated standbys: Burgess Meredith breaking his glasses in “Time Sufficient at Final,” a ravishing younger girl being handled by pig-faced medical doctors in “Eye of the Beholder,” or an overworked businessman making “A Cease at Willoughby.”

Nevertheless, numerous worthy episodes are all however unknown, besides to essentially the most devoted of followers. Whether or not these episodes had been withheld from syndication, hidden away as a result of controversy, or just misplaced to time, they’ve been unjustly forgotten. In the present day, we check out ten of one of the best Twilight Zone episodes which can be practically unknown.

Associated: Prime 10 Actually Horrible Tv Sequence

10 Episode Hidden Away for 52 Years

Earlier than he grew to become Sulu on Star Trek, George Takei starred in what is maybe essentially the most controversial episode of The Twilight Zone. “The Encounter” first aired on Could 1, 1964, after which promptly disappeared till the SyFy channel included it as a part of a Twilight Zone marathon on January 3, 2016. Though the episode has at all times been included on DVD and Blu-ray releases of Season 5, its absence from broadcast TV lasted for 52 years. And that’s as a result of it was a really controversial episode from the beginning.

Takei performs Arthur, a younger Japanese-American man sharing a beer with World Warfare II veteran Fenton (Neville Model). Fenton needs to indicate Arthur the samurai sword he took from a Japanese soldier he killed within the conflict. Sadly, this results in some uncomfortably racist dialog, Fenton’s PTSD performed for laughs, and the sword supernaturally influencing Arthur to kill Fenton. In the long run, Arthur performs into Japanese stereotypes and commits suicide by leaping out a window.

Even in a time earlier than America had handed civil rights laws, viewers discovered the episode insensitive and deeply offensive. CBS responded by pulling the episode from summer time re-runs and later from the syndication package deal. Seen by way of trendy eyes, it’s clear “The Encounter” was making an attempt to make a press release concerning the horrors of conflict and racism however indulged in too many stereotypes as a substitute. Nonetheless, it’s fascinating to see a long-hidden episode of an iconic sequence make a return to TVs.[1]

9 Winner on the Cannes Movie Competition and the Oscars

Like “The Encounter,” the episode “An Prevalence at Owl Creek Bridge” was from the tail-end of the unique Twilight Zone’s run, coming late within the last season. Even essentially the most devoted followers are inclined to agree that Serling and firm had been working out of gasoline a bit at this level. However who might blame them? The present averaged over 30 episodes per season, which is sort of unprecedented at this time. Serling not solely wrote so lots of the episodes but additionally acted as producer, showrunner, and the present’s solely recurring star because the on-screen narrator. So it’s not stunning that close to the top, Serling regarded to outsource an episode.

This was completed by shopping for the rights to An Prevalence at Owl Creek Bridge, a 1961 French brief movie primarily based on the traditional brief story by Ambrose Bierce. Set in the course of the American Civil Warfare, it’s a surreal story concerning the final moments of a civilian who’s to be hanged by Union troops. The movie is silent, apart from background chicken noises and the occasional navy order. The haunting movie gained the Greatest Brief Topic award on the 1962 Cannes Movie Competition and the Oscar for Greatest Dwell Motion Brief Movie on the 1963 Academy Awards.

At a time when the typical Twilight Zone episode value $65,000 to make, the producers of the present had been in a position to safe the rights for An Prevalence at Owl Creek Bridge for $20,000. A further $5,000 was spent taking pictures Serling’s introduction and modifying him in. This turned a effective movie into an economical episode. However when it got here time for syndication, the episode was withheld, presumably as a result of the unique buy didn’t cowl limitless rights. It’s now obtainable on dwelling video field units and sometimes airs on TV as a part of marathons, however largely it’s develop into one other not often seen episode of The Twilight Zone.[2]

8 The Pre-Twilight Zone Pilot Episode

In 1955, Rod Serling shot to fame along with his teleplay for Patterns. An episode of NBC’s reside Kraft Tv Theatre, Patterns was a right away important and industrial hit. Basically a boardroom drama, Serling’s script for Patterns examined the plight of the working man in company America. It struck a chord with audiences, and all of the sudden Serling was a star. With the networks prepared to offer him his personal present, Serling got here up with the concept for an anthology present that may take care of the controversial problems with our time—however accomplish that within the sci-fi style within the hopes of avoiding community censors.

CBS bought Serling’s first script for his new concept, known as “The Time Ingredient,” and promptly shelved the undertaking. The community execs simply didn’t see the potential within the concept. “The Time Ingredient” might need gone nowhere if it weren’t for Desi Arnaz. He was trying so as to add some status to his anthology sequence, the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. When he came upon CBS had an unused Serling script sitting within the vaults, he put it into manufacturing, and “The Time Ingredient” debuted on the Playhouse on November 24, 1958.

The overwhelmingly optimistic response to “The Time Ingredient” persuaded CBS to purchase Serling’s present concept, and The Twilight Zone premiered within the fall of 1959. “The Time Ingredient” was largely forgotten, however with its sci-fi/fantasy theme, opening and shutting narration, and a twist ending, it’s primarily an early pilot for The Twilight Zone. It went unseen for years till TV Land included it amongst its first broadcasts in 1996. In 2010, “The Time Ingredient” was lastly included on the Blu-ray version of Season 1 of The Twilight Zone.[3]

7 Early Starring Position for Robert Duvall

In the case of long-unseen episodes of The Twilight Zone that languished within the vaults for years, the dialogue will inevitably result in Season 4. This season was an experiment designed to breathe new life into the sequence. Regardless of robust important notices and a rabidly devoted fanbase, CBS was sad with the present’s scores and put manufacturing on an indefinite hiatus on the finish of Season 3. When the TV season began within the fall of 1962, The Twilight Zone was nowhere to be discovered. Serling efficiently pitched increasing the present from 30 minutes to an hour as a approach to revive curiosity. The re-tooled Twilight Zone premiered as a mid-season alternative on January 3, 1963.

In the long run, the hour-long episodes didn’t carry out any higher within the scores, and Season Four was written off as a failed experiment. When the present returned for Season 5 within the fall of 1963, the working time was again to 30 minutes. On condition that the 18 episodes of Season Four all run twice so long as the remainder of the present, they weren’t included in syndication. It wouldn’t be till DVD releases of the present that Season Four was lastly made broadly obtainable. In the present day, most streaming providers that carry the present don’t have Season Four as a result of this historical past of it being excluded from syndication.

So whereas practically all of Season Four might be highlighted on a listing of uncommon episodes, among the best is “Miniature,” the eighth episode of the season. Appearing legend Robert Duvall offers a terrific early efficiency as a person who sees a determine come to life in a museum dollhouse. As he falls in love with the determine, Duvall’s household naturally thinks he’s loopy and has him dedicated to a psychiatric hospital. However real love in The Twilight Zone will certainly result in a twist ending that gained’t be spoiled right here.

Duvall’s efficiency is harking back to his then-recent flip as Boo Radley within the movie model of To Kill a Mockingbird. He’s quiet and sullen however nonetheless evokes nice empathy, making “Miniature” a standout within the hour-long episodes of The Twilight Zone.[4]

6 Bizarre Finish of The Twilight Zone

Talking of To Kill a Mockingbird, Duvall’s co-star within the movie, Mary Badham, appeared within the last episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Bewitchin’ Pool.” Within the movie, Badham performed Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, and in “The Bewitchin’ Pool,” she performs a personality named Sport. Within the movie, Scout’s brother is known as Jem, and on this episode, Scout’s brother is known as Jeb. It appears extremely unlikely that author Earl Hamner Jr. (later the creator of The Waltons) wasn’t referencing the To Kill a Mockingbird characters on this episode, but it surely’s secure to say the tone is completely totally different.

Hamner’s script was impressed by what he noticed as an increase in divorce charges and its impact on youngsters. Sport and Jeb’s dad and mom are preventing their approach by way of an unsightly divorce, and the youngsters reply by spending plenty of time of their swimming pool. At some point, the pair discover a secret portal within the pool that takes them to the house of a kindly girl often known as Aunt T.

By the top, the message of the story appears to be that youngsters ought to simply run away if their dad and mom can’t behave themselves. It’s a really unsettling episode and a bizarre approach for the present to exit. Like plenty of Season 5 episodes, “The Bewitchin’ Pool” is seen as proof of the present dropping its contact on the finish. It’s amongst a handful of Season 5 episodes not often seen in syndication.[5]

5 Litigation Retains an Episode out of Circulation

Yet one more Season 5 episode oddity, “Sounds and Silences,” issues Roswell G. Flemington, a person who prefers his surroundings to be as noisy as potential. After his spouse has had sufficient, he begins to listen to every part as crushingly loud… then he can hear nothing. Missing a transparent ethical or message, it’s a bizarre one, however nonetheless worthy of the brand new issues Serling was making an attempt with the present close to the top of its run.

The episode is maybe higher remembered as the topic of a lawsuit. In 1961, a screenwriter submitted a script known as “The Sound of Silence,” which was rejected. After “Sounds and Silence” aired in 1964, the creator felt like his work had been plagiarized. Because the lawsuit was ongoing on the time the syndication package deal was put collectively, “Sounds and Silence” went unseen for many years. Though it’s available now, it nonetheless not often pops up on TV.[6]

4 Nationwide Tragedy Bumps an Episode

November 22, 1963, is taken into account one of the tragic days in American historical past, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. As one would count on, common tv programming was interrupted that day—and for a number of days afterward, as Kennedy’s alleged murderer Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested after which assassinated himself days later. The Twilight Zone has been scheduled to air an episode known as “Evening Name” on November 22, however unsurprisingly the present didn’t air that night time.

“Evening Name” was finally broadcast on February 7, 1964. Contemplating the episode’s content material—an aged girl will get nameless cellphone calls which can be finally traced to a ghost calling from a cemetery—it will have been completely inappropriate if it had aired anyplace close to the Kennedy assassination. Since 1964, “Evening Name” hasn’t precisely been uncommon, but it surely’s nonetheless broadcast much less usually than different episodes from the preliminary three seasons.[7]

7 Lacking Due to Music Rights or As a result of It’s Dangerous?

Returning to the curios that hang-out the ultimate days of The Twilight Zone, we come to “Come Wander With Me,” the Season 5 episode that has the excellence of being the final episode produced for the present. Though “The Bewitchin’ Pool” was the final to air (as a result of voice dubbing work delaying its premiere), “Come Wander With Me” was the final to be filmed. The story issues a Bob Dylan-esque folks singer named Floyd, who writes a brand new tune throughout a fateful go to to a small city. The tune displays the plot and finally finally ends up predicting Floyd’s destiny.

The tune “Come Wander With Me” was written for the episode and was later utilized in a few motion pictures. Maybe music rights points would possibly clarify why this episode has not often been since its 1964 debut. Whereas there’s nothing that claims it was ever withheld from syndication, it’s additionally an episode that you just simply don’t see pop up on TV. Alternatively, it has a popularity as a not-very-good episode. Creator Marc Scott Zicree’s e book The Twilight Zone Companion known as it “nearly incoherent.” Contemplating that Zicree’s e book is seen because the bible for Twilight Zone followers, that’s not precisely a ringing endorsement.[8]

2 One other One in Authorized Limbo

The episode “A Brief Drink From a Sure Fountain” first aired on December 13, 1963, after which disappeared. Together with “The Encounter,” “Miniature,” and “Sounds and Silences,” it was considered one of 4 “misplaced episodes” that had been formally withdrawn from circulation till the DVD launch of the complete sequence. It’s assumed that this was additionally as a result of plagiarism claims. But when a lawsuit was filed over this explicit episode, the small print have been misplaced to time.

Because it stands, “A Brief Drink From a Sure Fountain” is a effective episode. It issues a Could-December marriage, with the older man resorting to determined measures to maintain up along with his a lot youthful spouse. He will get his brother, a analysis scientist, to develop a youth serum. As anticipated in The Twilight Zone, there’s an ironic twist to getting what you need.[9]

1 One That Maybe Didn’t Age Too Properly

“Black Leather-based Jackets” first aired in early 1964. Aliens from one other planet invade Earth, disguised as human bikers in leather-based jackets. Calling themselves Fred, Steve, and Scott, they transfer into the suburbs to review common People.

The youngest alien, Scott, falls in love with the teenage lady subsequent door, Ellen. As soon as he reveals the reality to Ellen, she naturally thinks he’s insane, and Ellen’s father tries to have him dedicated. Scott tries to cease an interplanetary conflict by convincing his world’s chief that total, people are a peaceable race.

Whereas The Twilight Zone was normally in a position to spin a very good metaphor for large points, “Black Leather-based Jackets” ham-fistedly addresses the technology hole by making the alien invaders swoon-worthy guys in leather-based jackets. And identical to the rising 1960s counterculture they’re meant to signify, the youth amongst these aliens are all about peace and love, man!

Whereas “Black Leather-based Jackets” has by no means been thought of misplaced or withheld, it’s nonetheless one you not often see broadcast. And maybe that’s as a result of the worry of leather-clad bikers that the episode performs off of is a long-ago concern, making it appear dated, in contrast to most traditional Twilight Zone episodes. Regardless of the cause for its obscurity, it’s nonetheless a enjoyable and charming episode value searching for out.[10]

Initially Printed by – Jamie Frater

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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