Musings in the Dark: March 2021


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S5E30

"Stopover in a Quiet Town"

Bob and Millie Frazier wake up in an unfamiliar bed.  Millie recalls that Bob drank too much the previous evening, but could not remember anything that happened after that.  They wake up, still dressed in their evening wear and begin to search the house.  To their surprise, the house is filled with nothing but props.  The food in the fridge is fake, the telephone isn’t connected to anything, and the cabinets don’t open.  Every now and then, they hear the laughter of a child.


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S4E16

 "On Thursday We Leave For Home"

William Benteen is the head of a settlement on the remote planet V9-Gamma.  The settlement was set up in 1991, but after 30 long, hard years under a double sun system, the members of the settlement are ready to go back to Earth.  Benteen, who is referred to as Captain Benteen, has kept the settlement together through sheer will and faith, and he rules with an iron fist in a velvet glove.  Benteen, who was 15 when the settlement was established, is often asked to tell stories about the Earth as he remembered it.  His stories are idyllic and paint Earth as perfect.


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S4E14

 "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville"

William Feathersmith is the 75-year old head of a powerful conglomerate.  One evening, he is sitting in his office when Mr. Hecate, the janitor, comes in to clean his office.  Feathersmith laments that he has achieved the pinnacle of success and now has nothing else to conquer or prove.  He wants to go back to his hometown of Cliffordville and start over.  Mr. Hecate informs Feathersmith that he is also from Cliffordville.  Feathersmith insults Mr. Hecate for achieving nothing more than being a janitor for 40+ years.


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S4E13

 "The New Exhibit"

Martin Lombard Senescu is the loving curator of Murder’s Row at a wax museum.  He has spent the bulk of his working life caring for five serial killers: Jack the Ripper, Henri Landru, William Burke and William Hare, and Albert Hicks.  Martin’s (I’m not calling him Senescu; I just can’t) boss, Mr. Ferguson, tells him that he’s selling the museum so he can retire.  Martin can’t handle the loss of Murderer’s Row and offers to keep the figures in his basement until someone can purchase them.

Martin’s wife Emma is stressed at having five enormous wax figures filling up her basement and keeping her from being able to do laundry.  She’s even more pressed to learn that Martin has purchased an air conditioning unit for the window to keep the figures from melting.  She’s even even more pressed that there’s no money coming in and Martin, despite his claims to the contrary, isn’t in a hurry to get rid of the figures.  He spends every waking hour in the basement, maintaining the figures and talking to them.  She goes to get money from her brother Dave, who suggests that she sabotage the air conditioner.  Emma sneaks down to the basement to do just that and is attacked by Jack the Ripper.  


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S4E9

 "Printer’s Devil"

This season of Twilight Zone (the “The” was dropped) featured hour-long episodes because it was a mid-season replacement for a show that replaced it.  Rod Serling wasn’t happy with this change because it meant padding the runtime of a show he thought was the perfect length at 30 minutes.

Honestly, I thought that some of the hour-long episodes were the best of the entire show.  Yeah, there may have been some padding, but overall I enjoyed them.  So let’s get to it with “Printer’s Devil.”


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S3E17

 "One More Pallbearer"

Paul Radin, a millionaire, has just put the finishing touches on his luxurious bomb shelter.  He has invited three people from his past: a teacher, a pastor, and a military officer to visit him in his bomb shelter.  Radin has beef with each one of his visitors.  The teacher, Ms. Langsford, caught him cheating and failed him.  The pastor, Rev. Hughes, made it known that a woman killed herself over something Radin did to her, and the military commander, Colonel Hawthorne, had him court-martialed for failing to follow instructions.   


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S3E9

"Deaths-Head Revisited"

The episode opens with Gunther Lutze checking into a hotel in Bavaria.  Lutze is a former SS captain.  The receptionist thinks she recognizes him but he deflects her inquiry by saying he served on the Eastern front and makes her tell him why the Nazis were in Dachau.  After checking in, he goes to the Dachau concentration camp to relive his days when he commanded the camp and tortured the inmates.  


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S3E5

 "A Game of Pool"

Jesse Cardiff is a hard-core pool player who spends every waking moment bettering his game.  Alone at a pool hall one evening, he laments that he can’t ever truly be known as the best pool player of all time because of the legendary Fats Brown.  Jesse wishes aloud that he would give anything to play Fats one time.  Fats Brown materializes in the pool hall.  He has returned from the afterlife to grant Jesse his wish.  Fats says that if Jesse wins, he will be known as the greatest pool player ever, but if he loses, he loses his life.  Jesse accepts the wager.


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S2E29

"The Obsolete Man"

Romney Wordsworth is a Christian librarian in a totalitarian state that has decreed books and God as obsolete.  This, of course, makes Wordsworth obsolete as well.  He is brought before the Chancellor where, after a feisty exchange, he is sentenced to death.  Wordsworth accepts his fate and is allowed to select the manner in which he will die.   Wordsworth chooses to have a bomb planted in his room, but no one--not even the Chancellor--knows about it.  The execution will be televised, as all executions are in the State.  


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S2E25

"The Silence"

Colonel Archie Taylor is an asshole with a gentleman’s club membership who is irritated by the ongoing chatter of another member, Jamie Tennyson.  Colonel Taylor is so frustrated by Tennyson’s constant jabbering that he proposes a wager.  If Tennyson can go one year without talking, the Colonel will give him $500,000 (which is $4,374,280.94 in 2021 money).  If Tennyson accepts the wager, he has to move into a small, glass-walled apartment replete with speakers so that he can be monitored by the members of the club.  His only means of communication would be note-writing.

Tennyson, a would-be hustler who was trying to hit up club members to invest in one of his crackpot ideas, is a man with a wife who loves nice things.  While he is offended at the Colonel’s wager, the reality is that his wife is a spendthrift and he needs the money to pay off her debts.  So Tennyson tells the Colonel that he will do it if the Colonel deposits a check in a bank in his name.  The Colonel is offended by this because he has an honorable reputation and excellent credit.  Tennyson says, “My courage against your credit,” and accepts the wager.


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S1E28

 “A Nice Place to Visit” 

Henry “Rocky” Valentine is a two-bit criminal who is shot by police after robbing a pawn shop.  When he wakes up, he is greeted by Pip, an older man dressed in white.  Pip tells Rocky that he is there to grant all of his wishes and desires.  Rocky doesn’t believe Pip and demands some cash up front, which Pip produces immediately.  Then Pip leads Rocky to a lavish apartment filled with all of the things Rocky likes.