Zone, Zone, and more Zone! Welcome to Part V of this year's whopping seven-part Guide to the Zone.
As mentioned in prior Parts I, II, III, and IV, the SyFy channel is airing the whole series -- all 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone in order, twice as many as the usual 80-90 that they show
|Cliff Robertson in "The Dummy", airing 1/1 9:30pm|
Over the past two days, we've gotten through Seasons One and Two (36 and 29 episodes, respectively), and 27 of Season Three's whopping 37 episodes.
Now we enter Season Four, which contains the series' rarely-seen hourlong episodes. Since this season has only 18 episodes, I am extending this entry to noon on January 2nd.
I would strongly recommend setting your recorder for this one since it may be a while before these episodes are broadcast again.
As always, at the top is a short list including the current Time Top 10, my personal favorites, other noteworthy episodes, and the episodes which have not been aired recently – which are the bulk of Season Four's episodes.
Since there are no episodes on the Time Top 10 List this Part's categories are:
(1) My Personal Favorite Episodes – These are underrated gems with strong scripts and beautiful performances – in green.
(2) Episodes Worth Watching – These have flawed scripts or execution, but often have compelling performances and/or ideas – in blue.
(3) Episodes That Haven't Been Aired Recently – These may or may not be good, but they are worth watching just because they have been off the air for so long – in purple.
My Favorites – Short List
(Click the time to jump to the episode description.)
7:30 PM – Four O'Clock
8:30 PM – The Trade-Ins
9:30 PM – The Dummy
10:00 PM – Young Man's Fancy
11:00 PM – Cavender is Coming
11:30 PM – The Changing of the Guard
12:00 AM – In His Image
Full List – With Descriptions
7:00 PM – The Little People – S3.E28 | Ego and physical relativity clash in this memorable (though mediocre) episode, which has been lampooned in The Simpsons, South Park, and Futurama. Good performance by Claude Akins.
7:30 PM – Four O'Clock – S3.E29 | A McCarthyesque fanatic (entertainingly portrayed by the excellent Theodore Bikel) has kept detailed lists and files on all the "evil people" in the world, and will shrink them all to two feet tall at 4 o'clock. Unfortunately, Bikel (who passed in 2015) can't save the overwrought caricatured script.
8:00 PM – Hocus-Pocus and Frisby – S3.E30 | A braggart gas station attendant's tales of prowess are believed by some seriously gullible aliens who want to take him home as a specimen of Earth's finest. Meh.
8:30 PM – The Trade-Ins – S3.E31 | An old, ailing couple go to New Life Corporation to transplant themselves into young, artificial bodies – but they only have enough money for one body. A good script and excellent performances serve the high themes of love, compassion, and courage well. Try to catch this one.
9:00 PM – The Gift – S3.E32 | Mexicans fear an (ahem) illegal alien. Too bad, cuz he could have really helped you guys... Crappy script, wooden performances. Skip it.
9:30 PM – The Dummy – S3.E33 | The terrific Cliff Robertson as a troubled ventriloquist whose creepy dummy will simply not stay in the box.
10:00 PM – Young Man's Fancy – S3.E34 | A man and his wife prepare to sell the house of his boyhood shortly after his mother's passing. Aided by the spooky house, he is overcome with nostalgia for his youth and begins to have a change of heart... Mediocre script and acting, and a twist ending we've seen before.
10:30 PM – I Sing The Body Electric – S3.E35 | Sweet story about a robot nanny lovingly bonding with motherless tots.
11:00 PM – Cavender is Coming – S3.E36 | Carol Burnett is a down-on-her-luck newly unemployed usherette (an employment experience taken directly from Burnett's own life, in particular her manager's absurd hand signals) who gains the services of bumbling angel Cavender (Jesse White) trying to earn his wings. Similar to "Mr. Bevis" (12/31 11am) she is given riches and luxuries ... and has a similar reaction to them. A lousy script unworthy of Ms. Burnett, but it's fun to watch her in one of her first television performances.
11:30PM – The Changing Of The Guard – S3.E37 | It's A Wonderful Life meets Goodbye, Mr. Chips, TZ-style. Sweet, sentimental, with beautiful acting by Donald Pleasence.
12:00 AM – In His Image – S4.E1 | Bitter, lonely robotics genius Walter Ryder (portrayed by the superb George Grizzard) creates an artificial duplicate of himself, who is charming, content, and loved – a "perfect" version of Ryder, except for one small problem.... Another exploration of identity and what makes us human. Insightful and thoughtfully written, with a tour-de-force by Grizzard. One of my favorites.
Descriptions are Being Updated; Please Check Back Later
(for now, the notable episodes are marked with asterisks)
100a S4.E2 The 30-Fathom Grave
200a S4.E3 Valley of the Shadow
300a S4.E4 He's Alive
400a S4.E5 Mute
500a S4.E6 Death Ship
600a S4.E7 Jess-Belle
700a S4.E8 Miniature
800a S4.E9 Printer's Devil
900a S4.E10 No Time like the Past
1000a S4.E11 The Parallel
1100a S4.E12 I Dream of Genie