The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 3 – Mr Denton on Doomsday

This is a morality play dressed up in Western trappings.  Denton is a former gun hand turned town drunk.  He turned to drink because he had to shoot a sixteen-year old kid who came gunning for his reputation as the fastest gun.  One day while Denton is lying on the ground after being humiliated by the local bully he finds a Colt pistol and picks it up.  When the bully tries to use the gun as an excuse to murder Denton in a shootout Denton accidentally fires off a few shots that each time hit a target that saves his life.  Inspired by his change of luck, he walks away from the saloon and tries to restart his life.  But his success with the gun reignites his reputation and a gunfighter challenges him to a duel.  While preparing to sneak out of town before the fight Denton runs into a travelling peddler named Henry J. Fate.  We’ve been seeing Mr. Fate in every scene where Denton had his amazing luck with the gun and so we already know he’s the source of the gun and Denton’s success.  He’s peddling a “potion” that makes anyone who takes it a dead shot for exactly ten seconds.  Denton accepts the potion and shows up to the duel.  When his opponent also drinks a potion before the gunfight it is of course not shocking that both shooters end up hitting their opponents in the gun hand.  And a conveniently present doctor informs each man that he will never be fast with a gun again.  Mr. Denton tells his young opponent that they are both blessed with being free of the gunfighter’s fate.  Denton is played by Dan Duryea who was a fairly well-known character actor of the Hollywood golden age and the town bully was played by Martin Landeau who was a well known television actor especially from the long running, Mission Impossible series.  Landau shows up in several other episodes of the Twilight Zone.  I would rate this episode as fair.  The storyline is mildly entertaining but hardly original or surprising.

4 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 3 – Mr Denton on Doomsday

  • January 13, 2019 at 9:42 pm
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    This was lampooned in Blazing Saddles, when the Kid was shot in the tokus by a child, and climbed into a whiskey bottle.

    I liked Landau in the Space 1999 series as well.

    Was Mr Fate an angel or a demon?

    Reply
    • January 14, 2019 at 7:33 am
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      I’m guessing he was a good guy. He was satisfied with both of them ending their gun fighting careers alive.

      Reply

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