Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Sept. 23
What's Your Favorite Twilight Zone?
It was first announced way back in 2008 that Leonardo DiCaprio's company Appian Way would be bringing us a new Twilight Zone movie. Supposedly, the script is nearly done, and the film WON'T be an episodic anthology like the 1983 TZ film.
Since neither of the latterday Zone TV shows lasted long, I wonder why Hollywood still thinks it can one-up Rod Serling's original masterwork??
We asked 25 local lights about their own fave episodes of the original series --
JON KANIS: "If I had to pick only one of the 156, I'd probably say 'The Dummy' starring San Diegan Cliff Robertson and written by Rod Serling, a contemporary master of the morality play if ever there was one. Honorable mentions to 'Shadow Play,' 'Time Enough At Last,' 'A Game of Pool,' 'To Serve Man,' 'Person or Persons Unknown,' and 'The Masks.'"
STEVEN BRADFORD of Get Back Loretta: “The one with the guy who has the watch that stops time, and then it breaks and he’s all alone.” [A Kind of Stopwatch]
RICHARD VAUGHAN of Astra: “The one where there is a human-looking Martian hiding out in a diner from the police [Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?]. When all of the humans finally leave, the Martian brags to the cook about his species' plans to invade Earth. However, the cook then reveals that HE is in fact from Venus and his species has intercepted the Martian fleet.”
CONOR RILEY of Silver Sunshine: “The episode where a lady is living on Earth and it’s heading towards the sun [The Midnight Sun]. It turns out to be a dream and, when she wakes up, the earth is moving farther away from the sun.”
ADAM GIMBEL of Geezer: “Living Doll. Telly Savalas is great, having such a hard time with the Talking Tina doll. My mom went to Rod Serling's high school in Ohio.”
JD BOUCHARDE: “Living Doll. ‘My name is Talky Tina, and I think I hate you.’ Dolls that kill. Yowch.”
DYLAN MARTINEZ of Rookie Card: “Either the one where the state is going to execute a librarian for being obsolete [The Obsolete Man] or the one where the man opens a jail cell and ends up letting the Devil loose on the world [The Howling Man].”
JASON BANG: "The one where the guy is in charge of keeping the Devil locked up [The Howling Man], but since the Prince of Darkness is such a smooth talker, he's able to convince his captor to release him."
MARK DECERBO of Rockola: "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, The Midnight Sun, The Masks, It’s A Good Life, The Invaders.”
BART MENDOZA of the Shambles: "For me, it was It's a Good Life, with Billy Mumy as the monster - there are scenes in that where nondescript things are happening in the background. I saw the original and that was creepy enough, but when I read the story the show was based on - yikes! The TV show nailed it, yet kept the gore quotient zero. That one and The Howling Man, which not only gave us the devil, but also a Ron Silva fronted band."
PETER BOLLAND: "The one where a very young Robert Redford plays Mr. Death [Nothing in the Dark]. Edgy and sweet at the same time."
MARCIA CLAIRE: " 'The Eye of the Beholder,' a.k.a. the 'Everybody Has a Pig Snout Except Me' episode."
GREG LASWELL: “The one where masked surgeons unwrapped a beautiful woman from her bandages, and they all shrieked at how ugly she was, and then the camera cut to shots of them without their masks on, to reveal that they were the deformed ones.” [Eye of the Beholder]
HANK EASTON: “The episode where everyone has a disgusting pig face and they all feel sorry for the beautiful lady ‘cause they think she’s hideous.” [Eye of the Beholder]
DANNY CRESS: "The baseball one [The Mighty Casey], about this team called the Hoboken Zephyrs with the robot pitcher Casey."
JENN GRINNELS: “Time Enough at Last, the one where some sort of nuclear devastation leaves a lone man on the planet. All he wants to do is read. He finds a library, and he's in heaven! And then he promptly breaks his glasses. Oh, Hell.”
ERIC NIELSEN of High Mountain Tempel: “Time Enough at Last. Burgess Meredith’s wife finds his reading a waste of time. She asks him to read her some poetry, and he finds out she has blacked out all of the pages. He escapes to the bank vault to read a little at work, when he hears atomic bombs falling. He’s the last survivor on earth and is ready to commit suicide, when he stumbles onto a library and realizes he has all the time in the world to read. And, thus, he wants to live.”
JAMIE RENO: “The one in which airline passenger William Shatner is completely freaked out by a gremlin on the wing of the airplane [Nightmare At 20,000 Feet]. This one was remade effectively with John Lithgow in the Twilight Zone movie. This is probably why I still never want a wing seat.”
CASEY GEE: "I love the one with the little gremlin guy who lands on the plane wing, but only one passenger can see him [Nightmare at 20,000 Feet]. Probably because whenever I catch an episode, that's the one that comes on."
BILL FARKAS: “The one about the big-mouthed guy who never stopped talking as a member of that private men’s club, and a seemingly rich dude bets him ten grand that he can’t keep quiet for a year [The Silence]. Then, after the guy did it, you found out the rich dude was really a phony and couldn’t afford to pay the bet. The O-Henry ending was the guy had his vocal chords severed, just to win the bet.”
JOHN MEARS of Crash Carter: "The one with the astronaut who lands on a planet inhabited by tiny people that treat him like a god [The Little People]. He has the ability to leave but stays to rule over the people as he's now drunk with power, only to have another space traveler land moments later. Of course, the new visitor is thousands of feet larger than him."
PETE BAYARD: “A Little Peace And Quiet [1985 series], where some girl can stop time. At the end, she stops it seconds before Russian bombs impact her town and you can see the missiles hovering over the houses. She’s all alone wandering around with everyone else frozen and it’s her task to decide when she’s bored enough to release the missiles and thus kill her entire town.”
GAYLE SKIDMORE: “My favorite is the one where they try to give the guy plastic surgery because he’s so ugly. He ends up being a regular looking bloke while everyone else looks like pigs. Genius.”
JON BISHOP: “When I was a kid, the whole theme song and Rod Serling narration freaked me out too much, so I changed the channel.”
JEFF BOWMAN of Tower 7: "Impossible to answer. I like them all."
JAY ALLEN SANFORD: "I'm really partial to George Clayton Johnson's stories - especially Game of Pool, which can effectively be staged without even needing set walls, just two good actors and a pool table. Both Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters give the best performances of their careers, which is really saying something!"
MOLLY JENSON: “I'm not sure I've ever seen a whole episode all the way through, and if I did, I don't remember it. Ask me which Punky Brewster episode was my favorite and I could answer that in a flash.”
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