The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 26 – Execution

Serling mixed a western story with time travel.  The episode opens with a hanging in the Old West (circa 1880 Montana).  Joe Caswell is being hanged for shooting a man in the back.  The sheriff slaps the horse on the rump and Joe is dangling from the rope.  We see the shadow on the ground of a man in a noose and suddenly the man is gone and only the noose is left.  The hanging party is dumbfounded.

The next scene we see Joe in a modern building.  A man dressed in 1960 attire is explaining to Joe that he was transported from 1880 Montana to 1960 New York City by him, “Professor Manion,” in his time machine.  Joe is suffering from his hanging and the professor lets him rest.  While Joe is sleeping Manion dictates his notes and states that he now realizes that Joe was being hanged when he transported him.  When Joe returns, Manion tells him that he realizes Joe was being hanged and that he must return him to his punishment.  They get into an altercation and Joe kills the Professor with a desk lamp.

Joe runs out into the night of midtown Manhattan and is panicked by cars, theater lights, a television at a bar and a jukebox.  He runs back to the professor’s office and is in time to confront a burglar who is looking for cash.  They get into a fight and the burglar strangles Joe with a window curtain cord.  The burglar fumbles around the laboratory and manages to be transported back in time and ends up at the end of the hanging noose.  The hanging party don’t know whether the devil is responsible but they are frightened that an innocent man may have been killed.

Point of interest, the professor was played by Russell Johnson who was the “Professor” on Gilligan’s Island.

It was kind of fun let’s go with a B-.

2 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 26 – Execution

  • February 8, 2019 at 2:46 am
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    Russell Johnson was in one of my favorite, B-grade monster films. Attack of the Crab Monsters. It’s so campy and I love ridiculous monster movies. The cheaper and the more zany the better. I’ll watch them just to catch errors and laugh. Of course Russell did a lot of mainstream Sci-Fi and westerns as well. Always second banana. The epitome of a supporting actor.

    I liked this episode because in the end, everyone got their comeuppance. The scientist for monkeying about with time, the “hanging man” for killing the doctor (and maybe back-shooting as well) and the burglar. Seldom did Serling wrap up his stories so neatly.

    Reply
    • February 8, 2019 at 7:04 am
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      You know I gave Attack of the Crab Monsters honorable mention in an earlier post http://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2018/10/25/scientists-real-and-imagined-part-1/

      I even own a copy I’m ashamed to say. I remember Russell was, as you say, second banana in the sci-fi movie “This Island Earth.”

      The thing I liked about this episode was that Joe was completely reflexive. If he couldn’t figure out the door to the phone booth he would just explode out the side like shrapnel. How did he let that burglar do him in?

      Reply

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