The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 5 – Mute

The episode opens up in Vienna where five married couples who also happen to be scientists studying extra sensory perception are setting up a grand experiment to restore telepathic ability in humanity.  Their plan is for each couple to bring up their children without any use of speech and solely use telepathy for communication.  One couple, the Nielsens would return to their home in Pennsylvania and communicate their progress to the others by monthly letters.

The Nielsens were extraordinarily successful and their daughter Ilsa is a natural telepath who has never learned spoken language at all.  But ten years later when Ilsa is twelve a terrible fire breaks out in the Nielsen home and only Ilsa escapes.  She is physically unharmed but in deep shock from experiencing telepathically the death of her parents.

The town sheriff Harry Wheeler and his wife Cora shelter Ilsa in their home after the fire.  Ilsa can’t speak but Cora comforts her like a mother.  Cora had lost her own daughter to a drowning accident a few years before and is very lonely without her child.

Harry finds out from the postmaster that the Nielsens regularly received letters from Austria and obtaining the address, Harry writes a letter telling these friends about Ilsa’s orphaning.  But unknown to Harry, Cora steals the letter from the mailbox and burns it.  But Ilsa sees it and reads from Cora’s mind what is happening and in despair she runs out into the street and collapses in grief.

Ilsa takes up residence with the Wheelers and Cora heaps great kindness and attention on her.  When the Wheelers send her to school she is taught by Miss Frank, a woman whose father also brought her up mute in order to become a medium to the dead.  And because of this shared background she is able to get through Ilsa’s telepathic behavior and force her to learn to speak and understand human language.  At about the same time, a couple of the Austrian scientists, Karl and Maria Werner, show up to find out why the Nielsens have stopped writing.  They go to see Harry Wheeler and he tells them of the fire and brings them to see Ilsa. Karl talks telepathically with Ilsa and implores her to answer him.  But Miss Frank’s training has changed Ilsa from a telepath to a normal girl and she rejects the telepathic appeal by instead speaking clearly out loud.

The Werners say that they will leave Ilsa to be adopted by the Wheelers.  They pretend that they haven’t a legal right because they see how happy Ilsa is with her new parents.  When Karl is walking away from the house with Maria, he expresses misgivings about allowing the experiment to be lost.  But Maria states that the love that Ilsa has gained is much more important than the telepathic gift she would have possessed or even the benefit to mankind in rediscovering telepathy.  She reminds him that though the Nielsens were kindly people they really treated Ilsa as more of their experiment than their child.

So, this is a morality tale wrapped in a science fiction story.  It’s a minor work but enjoyable.  B.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 4 – He’s Alive

Dennis Hopper plays Peter Vollmer, a sort of street corner neo-Nazi who hasn’t been having much success selling his neighbors on his ideas.  He also has a friend, Ernst Ganz who also happens to be a Holocaust survivor.  He’s known Peter since he was a scared little boy beaten by his father.  Ernst criticizes Peter for adopting the same cause that the Nazis had established back in their time.  But he doesn’t reject Peter because he still thinks of the scared little boy he pitied before.

After Peter suffers a particularly humiliating failure in his street corner proselytizing, a man who stands cloaked in the shadows of the night tells Peter that his technique is all wrong and starts to teach him how to work the crowd and get them to sympathize with his message.  This works remarkably well and Peter’s group starts drawing larger and more enthusiastic crowds.

Next the shadow man tells Peter that he needs a martyr to solidify his cause.  Peter tells his comrades that one of their oldest members is a spy and orders them to murder him but to make it look like their enemies did it.  They kill the man and indeed, the crowds become even bigger.

Finally, Ernst sees how the movement is growing and decides he must stop it.  He goes to the rally and belittles Peter and tells the crowd that Peter is just a cut-rate Hitler and a coward.  Peter implores Ernst to stop but Ernst refuses.  Peter slaps Ernst in the face but as he leaves he tells the crowd that Nazis always handle the truth with violence.

Now the shadow man comes back and tells Peter he must kill Ernst.  Peter complains that he is sick of taking orders from someone hiding in the shadows.  The man steps forward and reveals himself to be Adolph Hitler.  Now Peter is completely overwhelmed and agrees to kill Ernst with the Luger pistol that Hitler gives him.  Hitler’s parting words to Peter is for him to remember that from now on he has no sentiment, and is made of steel.

Peter goes to Ernst’s apartment and after Ernst taunts him he pulls out the gun and kills Ernst.  His dying words are that Peter has become steel and has therefore lost his humanity.  Peter goes back to his headquarters and the police have come to arrest him for complicity in the murder of his “martyred” comrade.  Peter runs onto the roof of the building and is shot down by the police.  As he lies dying, he tells the police that something is wrong because even though he’s made of steel, he’ bleeding.  Then we see the shadow of Hitler walking away and Rod Serling gives a speech on how the Nazis still live through the hate and prejudice that still exists.

Whew!  Okay, Rod thinks the Nazis are coming.  Now this is in the 1960s when we’ve been fighting proxy wars against the Russian and Chinese communists for decades and Fidel Castro is emplacing Russian nukes in Cuba.  But Nazis are what’s worrying Rod.  Looking back on what that attitude spawned I guess Rod is why the Social Justice Warriors rule the campuses and infect just about every institution in the United States.  For the fruits of this hysteria I’ll have to flunk Mr. Serling on this overwrought exercise.  F.

 

After you’ve read enough sexbot articles on Drudge maybe switch to something interesting

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 3 – Valley of the Shadow

A man named Philip Redfield is travelling by car with his English Sheepdog Rollie when he pulls in to a small town called Peaceful Valley to refill his nearly empty gas tank.  The attendant doesn’t seem to know much about cars and seems distinctly unfriendly and tries to convince Philip to leave town as soon as possible.  But while the attendant is laboriously counting out change for a ten-dollar bill Rollie catches sight of a little girl holding a cat and leaps out to chase it.

When Philip catches up to the dog and the cat, he’s just in time to see the little girl point a small electronic device at Rollie causing him disappear.  When Philip interrogates her about his dog she rushes into the nearby house and shuts the door.  Philip pounds on the door and the girl’s father (played by James Doohan, Scotty from Star Trek) emerges and refuses to believe his story but maintains that Rollie just ran behind the house.  He tells Philip to head one way around the block and he’ll go the opposite to find the dog.  As soon as the father turns the corner, he takes out a similar device and triggering it causes Rollie to reappear.  The father maintains that Rollie just ran away and Philip goes back to his car very confused but convinced that something strange is going on in Peaceful Valley.

Failing to find a place to eat, Philip decides to drive out of town but as he approaches the town line his car crashes into an invisible barrier and Rollie is killed in the wreck.  Several townsmen appear immediately and insist that they will get him to medical help.  When Philip is escorted away from the scene of the accident one of them who stayed behind uses one of the mysterious devices to resurrect Rollie back to life.

Instead of being brought to a doctor, Philip is escorted to the town hall and there he is introduced to Dorn, the mayor of Peaceful Valley.  Dorn learns that Philip is a reporter but has only come to Peaceful Valley because he ran out of gas.  Now Dorn reveals the town secret.  Peaceful Valley was visited a hundred years previously by a scientist who was either from another planet or because he was unimaginably brilliant made breakthroughs in physical science that allowed him to invent machines that can rearrange and transmute physical things in almost any way imaginable.  Their science allows them to disassemble and reassemble living creatures instantaneously.  They can even run time backward for someone who has been injured or for any other reason.  And Dorn shows him the original scientific papers used to create this miraculous world and puts them in a place where Philip can find them.

Dorn tells Philip that this secret is so important that anyone discovering it must make the choice of either staying thereafter forever in Peaceful Valley or be put to death.  He claims that such incredible power would be used by the outside world to produce weapons unimaginably more powerful than even atom bombs.

Faced with a life or death decision Philip tells Dorn he chooses to stay in Peaceful Valley.  Dorn hands Philip over to a young woman named Ellen Marshall who prepares a house for Philip to live in and tries to orient Philip in his new environment.  But Philip finds out that the house he lives in is surrounded by a force field meant to keep him trapped.  Philip appeals to Ellen to help him steal the scientific secrets and break out of Peaceful Valley and bring these wonders to the outside world.  She agrees and using her own devices she frees Philip and joins him as he heads to the town hall to get the book.  When he reaches the control room, he uses the transmuter to crate a pistol and when Dorn and his men catch him stealing the book Philip shoots them down with the gun.

He and Ellen flee but when he reaches the town line, he looks in the book and finds that it is blank.  Ellen was a part of a test that Philip has now failed.  A resurrected Dorn and his men soon return Philip to the town hall where Dorn explains that Philip has proven the point that mankind would use this almost godlike power to wage war on each other.  Philip is defiant and claims that given the chance he would do it all again the same.  And he blames Ellen for her false claims of love for him.  But she claims that she did have feelings for him.  Dorn declares that the death penalty will be needed.  But he makes a vague reference to more than one kind of death.  He puts a helmet on Philip, hits a button and the scene ends.

In the next scene we see Philip reenacting his first scene with the gas station attendant and acting confused when he sees Ellen walk by.  Instead of actual death, Dorn has reversed time for Philip and he has no memories of the events in Peaceful Valley.  He and Rollie leave with Philip feeling only vague misgivings about Peaceful Valley.

This is an actual science fiction story.  Hurrah!  Despite some slightly hackneyed conventions and plot devices it’s nice to get some good old fashioned sci-fi.  The acting is pretty good and even the ending is relatively happy.  Ray guns, time travel, a goofy dog and even Scotty!  B+

 

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 2 – The Thirty-Fathom Grave

In 1963 a US Navy Destroyer is on routine naval maneuvers near Guadalcanal.  Sonar picks up a large metal object on the sea bottom about the size and shape of a submarine.  And their underwater microphone picks up a banging noise coming from the object.  Captain Beecham orders one of his divers, McClure, to go down and look at the object.  Meanwhile the ship’s Chief Petty Officer Bell starts acting strangely and is taken to the sick bay with something like a panic attack.

McClure confirms that it is a submarine and markings identify it as an American submarine that was sunk twenty years earlier by the Japanese in WWII.  And McClure also confirms that the banging noise is coming from the sub and seems to be someone inside trying to communicate with those outside.  Finally, he finds a set of dog tags on the hull and when he returns to the ship, they are found to be Chief Bell’s from his time as a crew member on the sunken submarine.

Captain Beecham questions Bell about the sinking of the sub and Bell relates a story about how as a signalman he was charged with replacing the infrared filter on a signal light and when he dropped the filter the unfiltered light of the signal gave away the submarine’s position to the surrounding Japanese naval forces that attacked and sank the sub.  He was washed off the sub during the attack and was later rescued by a passing American warship.

Now Chief Bell starts hallucinating that he sees his long dead shipmates gesturing to him to join them below.  Captain Beecham tries to convince him that he is suffering from survivor’s guilt and that he should calm himself and wait for the attack to pass.  But Bell works himself up into a frenzy and yelling that his crew is calling him to muster he jumps overboard and disappears under the surface never to be seen again.  And as Master Diver reminded me in the comments, the Corpsman found wet seaweed near the sickbay where Bell saw his dead shipmates.

A diving team is sent down into the submarine and McClure tells the captain that a metal shaft was swinging free inside the sub and could have been responsible for the banging.  But he also adds that one of the dead bodies was holding a hammer in its bony hand.

This is a straight up ghost story.  Chief Bell was a little too crazy for my taste but it wasn’t bad, just a little thin.  It’s right on the cusp of C+/B-.  Alright, for the Navy I’ll go B-.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 1 – In His Image

Alan Talbot is a young man living in New York City who is in love with a girl named Jessica.  When we first meet him, he is waiting on a subway platform.  A religious zealot approaches him and after she harasses him about his religious convictions, he has some kind of mental breakdown and throws her under the train and flees.

Jessica and Alan plan to get married and Alan has invited Jessica to go back to his home town to meet his Aunt Mildred.  But when he gets back there many of the details seem different from his memory.  And when he goes back to his aunt’s house the guy living there denies knowing anything about the Talbots and says he’s been living there for ten years.  Utterly confused, Alan checks the town records and finds out there’s no Talbot family there and the college he thought he went to doesn’t exist.

He heads to the graveyard and instead of the Talbot family he finds the Ryders.  While Jessica is driving him back to his hotel, he has another attack and gets out of the car.  When Jessica follows him, Alan realizes that he is ready to kill her with a rock and he orders her to flee.  Once she runs to her car, he follows her but she drives off in time and he’s left standing in the road.  Suddenly a car narrowly misses running Alan over and when he gets up and examines a wound on his forearm, he sees that under his skin is electronic and mechanical components.

Returning to his hotel he tells Jessica over the phone that he will meet up with her the next morning and straighten things out.  He looks up a Mr. Ryder in the phone book and goes to his house.  There he meets Walter Ryder.  And Ryder is the spitting image of Alan.  Walter explains that he created Alan as part of his childhood dream of creating a perfect version of himself.  He shows him the two earlier protypes.  Then he explains that some fault in his design renders Alan violently insane which explains the earlier homicidal actions.  Alan tells Walter about his engagement to Jessica and tells Walter to build an improved version of himself and send it to Jessica.  But suddenly Alan has another mental breakdown and attacks Walter.  The scene ends with the two of them locked in a life and death struggle.

In the next scene we see Alan show up at Jessica’s apartment and tell her that he’s now okay and that they can be happy together from then on.  She hesitantly listens to him and then accepts his word that his crazy actions are behind him.

A final scene shows the inanimate body of Alan lying dead on the basement floor of Walter’s laboratory.  Walter has replaced his robot in a real relationship that he always wished he could have.

Wow!  Well, you know photog’s rule against robots or mannequins that think they’re humans.  There’s one strike right there.  But let’s move on.

Putting aside the mistaken identity and the modern setting this is the story of Frankenstein.  The monster seeks revenge on his creator for making him an outcast in the world of men.  The ending is a bit talkative and Jessica ending up with Walter is a little trite but I’ll give the story some credit for interaction between Alan and Walter.  That portion is at least well written.  Well, all things considered I’ll go with a B-.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – The Killer Shrews – A Science Fiction Movie Review

Killer Shrews: Schlock at its finest. Poor special effects, hackneyed plot and ham acting. They used hand puppets of the giant killer shrews for up-close shots. They looked like an oversize stuffed mouse with chopstick fangs glued in and black ping pong balls for eyes. For action sequences, they used coon hounds with carpet and fur attached to them and never shot them close up. The coon hound shrews supposedly ate the token Black man in the movie, which would be protested today.

 

The premise is that a Swedish scientist was working on the then threatened coming food apocalypse. He had a Hispanic servant (Alfredo de Soto; more racist tokenism), a cowardly assistant (played by Gunsmoke’s Festus, Ken Curtis, who was an investor in the film and also a fine western actor and amazingly good singer), a beautiful Swedish daughter (played by the attractive Swedish actress Ingrid Goude) and an American assistant scientist played by Gordon McLendon. They are on an isolated island somewhere in the Atlantic hurricane zone so they can be left alone, especially by federal inspectors. James Best (most famous for playing Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrain on Dukes of Hazzard) plays the captain of the small motor ship bringing them supplies. With him is the faithful Black actor Judge Henry Dupree who is his first mate and apparently engineer, playing the character Rook.

 

A hurricane is approaching, so they have to anchor in the protected harbor and wait it out before unloading. The captain goes ashore to meet with the scientists while Rook runs extra anchors and has to tie the boat to a tree ashore. The captain is met by Ken Curtis’ character who is armed and takes him to the residence. There he is told what all is happening, that the experiment went astray and they accidentally created giant killer shrews who must eat their body weight daily to survive, that other animal food is running out, that the shrews are mostly nocturnal and that they will eat humans with gusto.

 

Poor Rook is chased and run up a tree by the coon hound shrews and the effects are so poor you can see the lines pulling the tree down supposedly under Rook’s impressive weight to his doom of being eaten alive. The shrews then surround the residence like the Little Big Horn and try to get in to eat the humans. They dig through the adobe walls and have to be shot or burned. One grazes the assistant scientist’s leg and they therefore find out that the shrews are also deadly venomous, as he dies shortly thereafter. The Hispanic servant also dies from a shrew bite. The shrews make a very distinctive noise that sounds something like “aaawk-ch-ch-ch!”. The shrews are also enthusiastically cannibalistic and will eat any form of meat, including each other, to quell their ravenous appetites.

 

The surviving humans decide they must escape and create a human-powered tank made of barrels roped together. Ken Curtis refuses as he is deathly afraid of the shrews and stays behind. Creeping in the tank the Captain, the Scientist and his lovely daughter make it, barely, to the water where the shrews, who cannot swim, leave them and go back to eat Ken Curtis who, instead of camping out on the roof and safe for a couple of days until the shrews turn on each other, stupidly tried to run off through the woods and he suffers Rook’s fate. As the shrews take him down he screams like a 12 year old girl with a spider on her face. The survivors swim to the motor launch and the Scientist declares; “In twenty-four hours there will be only one shrew left on the island, and he will die of starvation.”

 

This movie and it’s double feature The Giant Gila Monster made a surprising amount of money on the drive-in circuit. Although they were both low budget and schlocky even for 1959, I enjoyed the two movies at the drive-in. An amazing fact is that James Best reprises his role as the captain in the remake “Return of the Killer Shrews” in 2012, which was mostly a mockumentary of the original with even worse special effects and played for laughs. I am probably one of the very few people who have seen both movies. It is also a break of 53 years between the original and the sequel. Has to be some kind of record.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 37 – The Changing of the Guard

Donald Pleasence plays Professor Ellis Fowler, an elderly literature teacher who has served over fifty years at the same prep school in Vermont.  We meet up with him at the last class before the Christmas vacation.  He chides his students for their lack of scholarly interest in his curriculum but he finishes by wishing them warm good wishes for their vacation.

But when the headmaster calls him into his office he finds out that he has been forced into retirement.  Going home Fowler reflects on the generations of boys he has taught but to his mind, he hasn’t accomplished anything.  He believes that the lessons he taught were of no value to the boys in his classes.  Reflecting on the end of his career to his housekeeper, Fowler considers himself a failure.  Afterward he decides to commit suicide with a revolver he takes from his desk.

He walks over to a statue on campus of Horace Mann that has the motto, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”  He says to the statue that he has won no victory and is ashamed but he will die.  But suddenly the class bell inexplicably starts tolling and Fowler follows the bell to his classroom.

As he stands in front of the empty classroom suddenly spectral forms solidify into young men at the desks.  One by one they walk up to Fowler and he recognizes them as the grown forms of some of his students.  Each of them tells the heroic circumstances of his death (in war or in the interests of humanity) and tells Fowler what lesson he learned from his Literature teacher that inspired him to the courageous actions he took.

Finally Mr. Fowler returns home and his students serenade him with Christmas carols outside his window.  Now Mr. Fowler tells his housekeeper that he is very satisfied to retire, the changing of the guard of the title.

This is a sort of a Twilight Zone version of Goodbye Mr. Chips.  Donald Pleasance does a good job and projects the emotions needed for the transition from despair to happiness.  This is another sentimental story drawing on the traditional values of the old pre-war world surviving into the present.  It’s slightly derivative but I’ll be a little generous and give it a B.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 36 – Cavender Is Coming

This is a minor effort.  In fact, it’s kind of a reprise of another guardian angel episode called Mr. Bevis that featured Orson Bean as a daydreaming goofball that all the kids on the block palled around with.

Harmon Cavender (played by the immediately recognizable character actor Jesse White) is an angel who hasn’t earned his wings.  In fact, if he botches his next assignment he will probably be demoted (whatever that means).  He is assigned to help Agnes Grep (played Carol Burnett).  Grep is the clumsy kind young woman that all the kids in the rooming house come to for cookies and other treats.  Everyone likes her and she likes them.  But she can’t hold onto a job and so is always broke.  We meet her as she is losing a job as a ticket taker at a fancy movie theater.

Cavender’s job is to make her happy.  He shows up on the bus she is riding and tries to convince her of his angelic identity by means of small miracles.  He turns the bus into a horse drawn carriage and then a convertible.  He decides to make Agnes rich and famous.  He fills her bank account with cash moves her into Sutton Place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and throws her a party filled up with the crème de la crème of posh New York Society.  Agnes is confused and ultimately bored and exhausted.  But when she tries to return to her rooming house apartment no one knows her and her apartment is occupied by someone else.  Cavender has cancelled out her old identity.  Now Agnes is sad and she begs Cavender to let her go back to her old life.  Reluctantly he agrees.  Now Agnes is deliriously happy but Cavender is in despair.  He has failed to change Agnes’ life and is sure to be demoted.

And sure enough, his heavenly superior officer is sadly disappointed in Cavender’s failure and is about to demote him when he looks down and sees how happy Agnes is.  And since Cavender’s job was to make her happy, then by definition he had succeeded.  Cavender’s boss praises him and says that Cavender will get more cases like Agnes.  As Cavender heads off he clandestinely smokes a forbidden cigar in Heaven.

This is one of those overly sentimental episodes that tugs on the heart strings.  But it’s also a comedy and it also has a good cast and the location is old New York of which I am a native and for the demise of which I mourn.  I’ll say I’m a sap for liking this episode but I do.  B.

Blade Runner 2049 – A Science Fiction Movie Review

I saw Blade Runner in 1982.  It was a dystopic sci-fi story based on a Philip K Dick story, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”  Harrison Ford is a cop named Rick Deckard whose job is to terminate runaway androids (replicants), he’s called a blade runner.  The movie was constructed as a film noir with Deckard in love with a woman that he knows to be a replicant.  The movie is full of dark violent imagery.  And the story has at its core the concept of the inherent dignity of all human life and the injustice of denying anyone freedom.  And Rutger Hauer was a lot of fun running amok as a brilliant homicidal replicant named Roy Batty.

Since this is Orion’s Cold Fire, I feel it is necessary to record here Roy’s final speech before dying:

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears…in…rain. Time to die.”  It’s effective, both dramatically and emotionally.  In point of fact it’s the best thing in the movie.

Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to this movie.  It’s about thirty years after the first movie and K (played by Ryan Gosling) is a replicant who works for the Los Angeles police department as a blade runner.  While terminating a rogue replicant he detects a body buried under a tree on the replicant’s farm.  Forensic evidence points to the body belonging to the replicant that Deckard ran away with at the end of the first movie.  And the forensics shows that she gave birth to a child.  This is supposed to be impossible and so frightens the law enforcement establishment that they order K to find the child and terminate it and destroy all evidence of its existence.

But based on evidence associated with the child in K’s search he begins to believe that he is that child.  Because of the usefulness and efficiency of having replicants fertile, Niander Wallace, the wealthy, brilliant and evil CEO of the replicant manufacturing corporation wants to find the child in order to learn the secret of its ability.

This scenario sparks all manner of fights and chases and clues are found and people are hunted down.  Eventually K finds the woman who delivers the child and learns he is not the child.  He finds Deckard (reprised by Ford) and reunites him with his daughter.

I thought it was an awful movie.  It was full of off-putting action, boring and confusing dialog and unsympathetic characters.  Even as science fiction it didn’t make any sense.  We can currently read the entire genome of any human being.  How could it be possible for a future world that could produce synthetic humans not be able to make them fertile.  Also, since as we learned in the first movie, these replicants were born adult and only lived a few short years, how could having them gestate other replicants make any sense?  They would be born infants and take twenty years to mature.  Or even if in the meantime replicants now lived longer why were humanoid slaves needed at all?  The advances in artificial intelligence showcased in the movie made the need for android slaves nonsensical.

But honestly, all that is beside the point.  The movie was terrible.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 35 – I Sing the Body Electric

Mr. Rogers is a recently widowed man with three lonely young children, Tom, Anne and Karen.  The children’s aunt tells Rogers that they need a mother not a babysitter but he doesn’t have an answer for that.  Tom shows his father an advertisement in a science magazine that announces robot grandmothers.  The family goes to the factory and learn that they can design a grandmother to look and sound exactly as they want her.  All are excited by the idea except for Anne who is angry at her mother for abandoning her (by dying).  Their electronic grandma proves to be lovable, wise and fun.  Everybody in the house is charmed by her except Anne who runs angrily out the door to escape.

When Grandma catches up to Anne, she tells her that she doesn’t want to have anyone else leave her.  Grandma tells Anne that she’ll never leave but the girl doesn’t believe her and runs into the street.  A speeding truck is on a collision course for Anne when Grandma shoves her out of the way and is struck instead.  Mr. Rogers is there to carry his daughter out of the street where she cries hysterically.  The truck driver is panicked when he sees Grandma sprawled in front of his truck but suddenly her programming resets and she gets up none the worse for her collision.

When Anne sees that her Grandma is indestructible a great fear leaves her and she embraces the robot.  Then we see the life of the children and their robot grandma and all the happiness she shares with them.  When finally, all three children have reached college age Grandma tells them she is returning to the factory to receive a new assignment or maybe e disassembled for parts.  She tells them that at some point she would be in a room with the other grandmas sharing wisdom.  And finally, she said that maybe in a few hundred years of service she would be granted the dream of becoming really alive.  Then the children tell her that she already is really alive now.  Then she tells them to go upstairs so she can leave without any sad goodbyes.

Serling got Ray Bradbury to adapt his short story for television.  But both versions are very strange.  It is a very original concept but it’s odd.  For originality I’ll give it a B+ but it won’t click for all tastes.