The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 2 Episode 4 – A Thing About Machines

Bartlett Finchley is a food critic who detests people almost as much as he does machines.  When we first meet him he is castigating his tv repairman for cheating him and failing to sympathize with his battle against his household machines.  The repairman states that Finchley has thrown his transistor radio down the stairs and kicked his foot through the picture tube of his television.  He considers Finchley a crank.

But once Finchley is alone in his house we see the inexplicable behavior of the machines.  A clock starts ringing endlessly even after it’s been broken in fragments.  His electric razor came alive on his own and struck at him as if it were a cobra.  His automobile escapes his control and crashes into his house and later on releases the emergency brake and rolls into the street barely missing a child.  Later on a typewriter and his tv set both start telling him to leave the house.

When his typist shows up and he insults her she quits.  But before she can leave Finchley begs her to stay because as much as he dislikes her, he fears his machines more.  Before she leaves, she mocks him and tells him he’s paranoid.  After the horrors of his day Finchley gets soused and passes out.  When he wakes up all the appliances attack at once.  All of the speaking devices tell him to get out and the razor slithers down the stairs in pursuit.

As he runs out the door his car chases him around the property until it pushes him in the swimming pool.  The next day the cop and ambulance driver discuss how he could have ended up that way.

Alright, the fussiness of Benchley and some of his diatribes are a little amusing but this is really thin.  C+.

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War Pig
War Pig
2 years ago

I agree. Amusing, but it had already been done to death in cartoons. Especially the electric razor as cobra. About all I really liked was Hadyn as the put-upon Mr. Finchley. He was a favorite comic bit actor of mine.