The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 2 Episode 7 – Nick of Time

This is a very special episode.  The usual criteria for judging the quality of these episodes cannot be used here.  One fact overrules all other considerations.  William Shatner.

Don Carter and his newlywed wife Pat are travelling from Ohio to New York City on their honeymoon when their car broke down in a small town called Ridgeview, Ohio.  Don is a salesman who is hoping to be selected as the manager back at his office.  He is also extremely superstitious.  While waiting for their car to be repaired they went into a small restaurant and ordered lunch.  On the table was a napkin holder with a novelty devil’s head fortune teller.  For one penny the devil would answer any yes or no question.  Don, of course, wanted to know if he had gotten the job.  He asked the devil and he was told it had been decided in his favor.  He called up his office and the devil’s answer were confirmed.

After this he asked a string of questions of the devil and all of them seemed to be true.  Pat became concerned that Don was becoming obsessed with the machine.  She asked him to leave.  But the devil warned him not to.  While trying to cross the road Don and Pat were almost struck by a car.

Now Don was convinced that the devil could predict the future.  The answers that the machine continued to give him were correct.  But finally, Pat gave an impassioned speech telling Don that he must break free of this fear of the future and walk away from the devil.

As Don and Pat leave the restaurant to continue their trip to New York another couple enters and begin questioning the devil.  Finally, after hearing that they could not leave Ridgeview that day the man asks, “is there any way out, any way at all?”

So, this is a pretty standard Twilight Zone story but what distinguishes it is the Shatner factor.  The overacting, the hyper-emotionalism, the spastic facial expressions.  All of the abundant skills of the famous thespian are there to see.  This is ham acting beyond dispute.  I must give it an A.

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War Pig
War Pig
1 year ago

Yep. But he outdid himself in his most famous episode about the gremlin. As a lad, the gremlin didn’t scare me, but Shatner’s fear did.

War Pig
War Pig
1 year ago

When I think back (my memory of the episode is a bit misty with years), how could a man, just out of hospital for a supposed nervous breakdown, bring a loaded pistol onto an airplane, even in the 50s and in the USA?

War Pig
War Pig
1 year ago

That’s right. I had forgotten. Thanks. Been a while since I’ve seen the episodes. Good thing he wasn’t on a jet, opening the door at altitude would have ended their little play then and there.