The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 1 – In Praise of Pip

Jack Klugman plays Max Philips a small-time bookie who lives in a cheap rooming house and works for a small-time hood named Moran.  The episode opens up with Max’s son Pip being carried into a field hospital in Vietnam.  The young soldier has been shot in the stomach while on patrol and the medic is sending him up the line to a real hospital to attempt to save his life through surgery.  But his prognosis is bleak.

We meet Max in his apartment and even though he is a crook we see the human side of him talking to his old landlady, Mrs. Feeney, and asking if any mail has come from his son Pip.  Next we meet one of his “clients,” a young man named George who stole $300 from his job to bet on a horse that lost.  He tells Max that if he can’t give the money back, he’ll go to jail.  Max seems very cynical and unsympathetic about all this.

In the next scene we are at Moran’s apartment where Max hands over his profits to his boss.  But Moran says that Max has stiffed him the $300 George owed.  Apparently, Max let him off the hook.  But Moran heard about it and sent a thug to beat the money out of George.  Both of them enter the apartment.  Now Max gets a phone call from his landlady telling him a telegram has arrived for him.  Max asks her to read it to him over the phone.  The telegram is from the Army stating that Pip was critically wounded and not expected to live.

Now Max regrets his whole shabby life and all of the times he neglected Pip while he was living his life of crime and drunkenness.  He throws George the $300 and tells him to leave but the thug blocks the door and reaches into his jacket.  Max pulls a knife and warns Moran to call off his goon.  But the gunman fires his gun and Max knifes both him and his boss allowing George to escape.

Max staggers away from the building.  He’s been shot in the gut and he’s reeling from the news that his son is dying.  He pours out his regrets and then begs God for the chance to talk to Pip.

Now we jump to the hospital where Pip is being treated.  After his surgery the surgeon tells the nurse that if Pip can last the next hour he should survive.

Walking into the deserted amusement park Max sees Pip but as the ten-year-old boy (played by Bill Mumy) who idolized him as his best friend.  In this dream vision they relive all the fun they had together riding the rides and playing the carnival games.  But after an hour Pip suddenly looks bleakly at Max and runs away.  Max runs after him and follows him into the House of Mirrors.  After frantically chasing Pip, Max hears Pip telling him the hour’s up and he has to leave because he’s dying.

Max staggers out onto the now deserted midway and begs God for another favor.  He asks Him to take Max’s life and spare Pip.  And then Max crumples to the ground.

In the next scene Private Pip Philips in uniform and walking with a cane is accompanying Mrs. Feeney and a young female relative of hers into the amusement park.  From the conversation we learn that Max died a few months before.  And as Pip relives the amusement park of his youth, he demonstrates the fond memories he has of Max.

This episode is a shameless and transparent attack on the audience’s heartstrings.  The whole setup is meant to elicit an emotional response using several of the oldest tropes in Hollywood; the gangster with a heart of gold, the dying child and the appeal to God.  But it’s also very effective.  I alternate between condemning it for rank sentimentality and praising it for the effectiveness of the melodrama.  Also, Jack Klugman and Bill Mumy?  How can you go wrong with that?  I’ll call this an A-.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 18 – The Bard

Julius Moomer is a struggling tv writer.  He’s awful.  After he’s been rejected for the millionth time he begs his agent for just one more chance.  He goes to a bookstore and a book on black magic flies off the shelf and lands at his feet.  He takes the book home and tries to conjure up William Shakespeare to help him write his script.  After several failures he succeeds and Shakespeare agrees to write a couple of scripts for Julius.

When Moomer brings the script to his agent he actually likes it.  He sells it to a tv show and a committee of producers, directors and the sponsor rewrite it so that Rocky Rhodes (Burt Reynolds doing his best Marlon Brando impression) could play the romantic lead.  But when Will hears what they’ve done to his plot he gets upset.  When Rhodes accuses Shakespeare of being a Tennessee Williams hater Will decks him with one punch.  Then Shakespeare quits and goes home.

Now Moomer is in trouble.  His first play is a hit but how will he do the next one?  The tv station wants an epic on American History.  Of course, he goes back to his book and the next day he shows up at his agent’s office with his writing consultants; Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Pocahontas.

Yikes!  Moomer is played by Jack Weston, a very recognizable character actor.  In addition to Burt Reynolds, John Williams played Shakespeare.  I remember him as the police inspector from the movie Dial M for Murder.  And Howard McNear who played Floyd the Barber on the Andy Griffith Show is one of the tv executives.  This is a goofy episode.  It’s played for laughs from beginning to end so I’ll take it in that spirit.  There are a few good laughs so I’ll just go with a B.

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17JUL2019 – OCF Update

As the days of my vacation dwindle down I am reminded of the importance of prioritizing tasks.  Yesterday I returned the lenses and teleconverters to the rental company, taking a flurry of photos right before packing them up.  Just as a preliminary statement without actually having analyzed any of the files I took with the Mitakon SpeedMaster 50mm f/0.95, I will go out on a limb and guess that I won’t want to own this lens.  First off its a manual lens (which isn’t a deal breaker by itself).  Secondly the aperture is not only manual but it doesn’t register on my Sony A7 III files.  And thirdly, I’m kind of a sharp lens junky.  This lens is not that kind of lens.  At f/0.95, sharpness isn’t even a possibility.  So, I’m guessing I’ll be giving it a pass.  But that’s not to say I might find some applications where it makes sense to use it.

I will also review the Sony 100-400mm GM zoom lens.  This is a very good and useful lens that I’m very interested in.  There will be a lot of comparisons between the 400 with and without the 1.4X and 2X teleconverters attached.I’ll have a lot more to say about these combinations but one thing I will state upfront is that telephoto work is a lot more than a honking big lens.  Technique is everything.  Using monopods, tripods, teleconverters, polarizers and using the correct camera modes for ISO, exposure and focus are every bit as important as the lens.  And hand holding a very heavy lens is an art in and of itself.

The political news cycle is jam packed with important and bizarre occurrences so I actually have to show restraint and concentrate on the most entertaining items.  Otherwise I might overload on SJW outrage and lose my sunny disposition.

On the review front, today I’ll be reviewing the last episode of Twilight Zone, Season Four.  That will be the last of the hour long episodes and back to the half hour format that I think works best for this genera.  So that means we have about ten more weeks of TZ articles.

Last week the first phase of ShatnerKhan began.  And as expected it was cheesy and pathetic.  It exceeded all expectations.  I will write up this first volley soon and all will be amazed at how truly sad an acting career can be.

Stay tuned.

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The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 17 – Passage on the Lady Anne

Alan Ransome is a hard charging business executive who spends all his waking hours pushing to get ahead.  His neglected wife Eileen is ready to give up on their marriage but she decides to try one last idea to see if they can reconnect.  On a trip to London that Alan must make she demands that he bring her along and that they travel by ocean liner.  Because of the season and the short reservation timing the only ship available is a very old one called the Lady Anne.

When they arrive at the dock two fellow passengers question whether the Ransomes have made a mistake.  These two old men McKenzie and Burgess say that a mistake has occurred because the trip on the Lady Anne is an excursion that was privately booked by a group.  They relent when Alan shows them their tickets.  But later, just as the ship is ready to embark McKenzie and Burgess make a last attempt to buy back the tickets from Alan for $10,000.  Alan refuses.

Going over the passenger list Alan discovers that no one on board is under seventy-five years of age.  When Alan and Eileen go into the passenger’s lounge, they discover that this used to be a honeymoon ship and that all the passengers are former honeymooners who wanted to ride on the final voyage of the Lady Anne before it is retired.

Meanwhile Alan and Eileen reflect on the failure of their marriage and Allan admits that his business life is more important to him than his marriage.  They decide to divorce when they return from the trip.  Toby McKenzie, the man that tried to buy their tickets invites Alan and Eileen to a “tea” with him and his wife Millie.  Ian Burgess stops by and the three older people talk affectionately of their memories of the Lady Anne back when they were young married couples.  Ian’s wife was supposed to accompany him on this voyage but she died shortly before.  The talk of love and happiness affect both Alan and Eileen but when they leave the tea they get into an argument.  After speaking angrily to Eileen Alan turns away from her and looks over the ocean but when he looks back, she is gone.  Alan feels panicky and starts searching the ship and alerting the passengers and crew of Eileen’s disappearance.  The McKenzies assure Alan that Eileen will show up soon and not to worry.  That night when Alan returns to his cabin Eileen is waiting for him in bed wearing a nightgown given to her by Millie.  And somehow Alan and Eileen manage to reconnect and Alan realizes how mixed up his priorities have been.  They rekindle their marriage and the next day they are in a celebratory mood when the ship is throwing a party.  At some point Alan notices that the ship engine has been stopped.  But the passengers are in no way alarmed and the party goes on happily.  At one point Captain Prothero joins their table and asks the older passengers if they’ve told the Ransomes about the event coming up but the passengers decline to talk about it.  The party continues happily until Captain Prothero returns and asks the passengers again if they’ve told the Ransomes about what will happen that night.  McKenzie says they decided not to spoil the evening.  Then the Captain tells the Ransomes that he will have their belongings loaded on a lifeboat and they will be set out on the ocean.  He assures them that a beacon will alert the Coast Guard and they will be picked up safely but that they cannot stay on the Lady Anne.  Alan resists but one of the ship’s crew pulls a pistol on them.  As they are being loaded on the lifeboat Alan says that he thought the passengers were his friends.  The passengers lower their eyes in sadness but Eileen tells Alan that she knows that they are their friends.

Alan and Eileen are lowered down in the lifeboat and drift away.  They are picked up in a few hours by the Coast Guard.  When they returned to shore, they looked for news of the Lady Anne.  But no news of the ship or its crew and passengers was ever heard of.

This is a very odd story.  Obviously, the Lady Anne is transporting these old couples to a heavenly hereafter and the Ransomes are being let off to allow them to continue their young lives.  There isn’t any way of explaining how exactly the Ransomes were able to get tickets to a ghost ship but this is the Twilight Zone.  I thought I’d b a little harsher with this episode but McKenzie and Burgess are played by two actors that I enjoy watching quite a bit.  McKenzie is played by Wilfrid Hyde-White who has a small but memorable part in the movie “The Third Man” and Burgess is played by Cecil Kellaway who was the murdered husband in “The Postman Always Rings Twice.”  Both of them are great fun in this teleplay along with a few other fine character actors.  Let’s say B.

 

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The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 16 – On Thursday We Leave for Home

A colony has been trapped for thirty years on a marginally habitable planet.  The planet has two suns and never has night and the temperature is always well over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit.  The machinery that refrigerates the below ground dwellings of the colonists has finally completely given out and the drinking water is always hot.

The colony is at the brink of despair and all that keeps them from giving up is their leader Captain Benteen.  Whenever they despair, he preaches to them about the rescue ship that will arrive any day.  His assistant Al Baines, has lost hope and when they find that one of the women has committed suicide Al says that she has done the wise thing and none of them should have to go on enduring the hell they live in.  But Benteen tells them a comforting story about the beauty of Earth with its fall foliage, white clouds and cool black nights.  They hypnotically repeat his words like cult followers and calm down.

And then the ship arrives and Colonel Sloane announces that he’ll be able to bring the whole colony home in a few days and they’ll head to Earth where they’ll leave behind the misery and despair of their hell world and join the human race on green Earth.  Everyone is ecstatic except Benteen.  He’s anxious because he’s losing the control over his flock.  When the Colonel describes how the colonists will be treated like heroes back on Earth Benteen tells him that his people won’t be able to understand that experience.  Benteen tells Sloane that the colonists are like children that he has led through their lives telling them whatever they needed to know.  He assures the Colonel that even after they return to Earth, he will continue to control their lives as head of the group and that they will not separate after reaching Earth.  Colonel Sloane listens to Benteen’s speech but at the end he replies that he wants Benteen to allow the colonists to vote on whether they want to stay together or go their own ways.

Benteen calls a meeting with the colonists and tells them that when they get ack to Earth he will arrange for Earth to give them a place where they can continue to live together under his leadership.  But they all want to go to different places that they have heard about from their older relatives.  Benteen is upset by this lack of loyalty.  The next day he tells the colonists and Colonel Sloane that the colony won’t leave on the ship but will stay on the planet.

Colonel Sloane demands that the colonists have the chance to vote on returning to Earth by a show of hands.  Eventually all of them vote to leave.  Benteen, feeling betrayed, runs off.  The next day when the ship is ready to leave Colonel Sloane and Al Baines go searching in the underground caves calling for Benteen to leave with them.  But he ignores their calls and stays hidden until they leave.  Once they are gone Benteen comes out and starts talking to an imaginary gathering of his colonists.  He starts describing the beauty of Earth but when he hears the sound of the space ship leaving the planet he runs out and cries out “don’t leave me here, don’t leave me here, please, I want to go home.”

James Whitmore plays Captain Benteen and he is a very capable actor.  He gives the script a very good rendition.  He portrays a man who considers himself the present-day Moses of a lost tribe.  And he also portrays his jealous possessiveness for his prerogatives over his people.  He allows his desire for power to overrule his judgement as to what is good for his people.  So, Whitmore does a good job with the story line.  And the cast is also pretty good.  Their misery and desperate trust in Benteen are fairly compelling.  The crisis over leaving is handled fairly well and Benteen’s final plea to go home is affecting.

I’ll give this a solid B+.

 

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The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 15 – The Incredible World of Horace Ford

Horace Ford is a toy designer.  He’s thirty-eight years old but acts like he’s ten.  At the office he’s preoccupied with a cap gun that he shoots at his office mates.  When his friend Leonard tries to talk to him about a problem with one of his designs, he gets off on a tangent about the games he used to play as a kid.  His boss Mr. Judson tells him that a toy he designed is much too expensive but when Judson tells Horace to remove the lights on the eyes, he pitches a tantrum like a kid.

When Horace goes home, he continues his childish conversations with his wife Laura and mother.  They try to get him to grow up and see reality but he goes into a childish rage.  While talking about his childhood on Randolph Street he gets the idea to go back there and see it today.  But when he goes there, he seems to have gone back in time to the 1930s where a hot dog is three cents and clothes are very old fashioned.  And when some kids rush past him and knock his watch out of his hands, he sees that they are the kids he played with when he was ten.  They haven’t grown old at all.

Late he goes home and tells Laura about it and she doubts his sanity and asks him to see a psychiatrist.  Later, one of the boys shows up at her door and returns Horace’s watch to her.  Horace goes back to Randolph street several times more and each time he relives the exact same sequence of events including the loss of his watch.  And each night he comes home more agitated and confused.

Finally, his boss tells him to take a leave of absence and get psychiatric help.  When Horace angrily refuses Judson fires him.  Horace goes home and tells his family that he’s been fired and when his wife asks him to get help, he storms out.  After he leaves all of the people who were arriving for Horace’s surprise birthday party show up at the apartment and Laura becomes desperate.  She goes out looking for him.

Meanwhile Horace goes back to Randolph Street and relives the same scene but this time when he follows the boys, he becomes his ten-year-old self and relives the terrible beating that his “friends” gave him for not inviting them to his birthday party.

When Laura shows up on Randolph Street, she finds the ten-year-old Horace unconscious on the street and turns away and sobs.  But when she turns around again Horace is his normal age again and she helps him come to and get up.  Now Horace tells her that he finally realizes that his childhood wasn’t a shiny dream world but actually contained much unhappiness.  Laura tells him that everyone tries to remember the good and forget the bad.  The show ends with us assuming that Horace will be sadder but wiser and won’t have as much trouble fitting into the adult world.

This was a slightly disturbing episode.  The character Horace Ford was more than a little unhinged.  Today I think he would be described as on the spectrum.  But the saving grace of the episode (for me) was the fact that he mentioned one of my favorite childhood games ringalevio.  Basically, it was a tag game with two teams, each with a jail.  It was a game that we probably spent more waking hours playing than anything else when we were ten.  For reminding me of ringalevio I’ll have to forgive the off-putting behavior of Horace and give the show a B.

 

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The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 14 – Of Late I Think of Cliffordville

William Feathersmith is an evil man who uses the huge fortune he has amassed to crush his competitors and then grind them down by heaping insult onto injury.  Several of his business victims have committed suicide after suffering bankruptcy and humiliation at his hands.  But now he’s bored.  Feathersmith has reached the summit of his success and there’s nothing left to challenge him.  He talks to the building janitor, Mr.Hecate, one night and discovers that they both came from the same town Cliffordville.  Feathersmith mocks Hecate for his lowly status and leaves his office and takes the elevator down.  But instead of reaching the lobby he finds himself in front of the Devlin Travel Agency.

Enter Miss Devlin (Julie Newmar with devil’s horns).  She offers Featherstone a deal.  She will send him back to his hometown Cliffordville in 1910 and he’ll be able to conquer the financial world all over again only this time he knows about all the inventions and history ahead of time and can capitalize on that knowledge.  Feathersmith agrees to sell his soul but stipulates in the bargain that he will appear as the young man he was in 1910 and everything will be as it was when he lived there last.  Devlin agrees but reveals that Feathersmith’s soul has already been damned to hell for his evil deeds and what she will require for payment is the bulk of Feathersmith’s worldly wealth leaving him only $1,400.  But she reminds him that in 1910 that was a sizable stake to invest.  He agrees and soon finds himself in Cliffordville.

Using his knowledge of the future Feathersmith uses his $1,400 to buy land that he knows will be found to have millions of dollars of oil in 1936.  He assumes he can pump the oil out in 1910 but he discovers that the oil is many thousands of feet below the depth that can be exploited using the oil recovery technology available in 1910.  And now he realizes that even though he looks young his body is still seventy-five years old and he will not live to 1936 to capitalize on the oil under his property.

Desperate to escape his fate he begs Devlin to send him back to 1963.  She agrees in exchange for forty dollars.  In order to get the forty dollars, he is forced to sell his oil field to a young version of Mr. Hecate.  Now back in 1963, Feathersmith is the janitor in the building where Mr. Hecate is the tycoon.  They have a conversation which is the inverse of the earlier one.

What can I say?  This is pretty much by the numbers.  The Devil tricks a bad man.  C.

 

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The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 12 – The New Exhibit

Martin Senescu is an employee at a wax museum.  His job is to care for the five wax figures of mass murderers (Jack the Ripper, Albert W. Hicks, Henri Désiré Landru, William Burke and William Hare) that are under his care.  But one day the museum owner, Mr. Ferguson, tells Martin that he’s closing the museum.  Rather than see his five exhibits destroyed Martin begs Mr. Ferguson to allow him to take them to his basement and preserve them until a museum wants them.    He installs air conditioning to keep them melting in the summer heat and hovers over them while trying to find them a new home.

But his wife Emma is very upset.  Her husband is unemployed but instead of finding a job he spends the little money they have left to buy air conditioning for the basement and pay the enormous electric bill caused by running the air conditioning day and night.  Also, she can’t use the washing machine and dryer any longer.  And finally, she’s frightened to death by the look of these grim wax figures.  She goes to speak to her brother Dave and he tells her she should give Martin an ultimatum; either he gets rid of the wax figures or she’ll leave.  When she hesitates at the severity of this tactic Dave mentions that maybe instead, the air conditioner could break down and ruin the figures.

That night Emma gives Martin the ultimatum but he assures her that he’ll find a solution if she’ll just have a little patience.  After Martin and Emma go to bed, she sneaks down to the basement to shut off the air conditioning but as she passes Jack the Ripper, we seem to see Jack’s knife hand move and Emma screams in terror.

Next morning Martin heads down to the basement looking for Emma and finds her dead at the foot of Jack the Ripper.  He sees blood on Jack’s knife and upbraids him for the murder.  But you can tell he’s doing it as a friend.  Martin buries Emma in the basement and covers her over with fresh cement.

Later on, Emma’s brother Dave shows up and wants to know where Emma is and what has happened to the wax figures.  Martin tells her that she’s gone on a trip to visit Martin’s sister and that he has gotten rid of the figures.  But Dave hears the air conditioning still running in the basement and doesn’t believe Martin.  Dave breaks into the basement from outside and while he’s investigating the fresh cement the figure of Albert W. Hicks appears to attack him with an ax.

The next day Martin finds Dave’s body and once again chastises the other figure for this serious lack of restraint.  Martin must then have buried Dave as he did Emma.

At some later date, Mr. Ferguson visits Martin at his home with the amazing news that a famous wax museum in Belgium wants to but the wax figures.  But it is obvious from his demeanor that Martin is sad that the figures will be leaving his life.  Martin agrees to the idea sadly and while he goes to the kitchen to make tea for them, Mr. Ferguson goes into the basement to measure the figures for shipping arrangements.  But when he turns his back, he is garroted by the figure of Henri Désiré Landru.

When Martin comes downstairs to the basement carrying the tea service he is outraged.  It’s one thing for wax figures to murder his wife and brother-in-law.  It’s a completely different thing to murder a fellow fan of wax museums who was going to find them a good home in Belgium.  Martin picks up a crow bar and threatens to destroy all of them for their ingratitude.

But now the figures seem to move toward him and they accuse him of being the actual murderer of all three victims.  And the scene ends with Martin cringing at the onslaught of the five figures.

In the next scene we are in Marchand’s Wax Museum in Belgium and we see the five figures on display but then we see a new figure.  It is Martin Lombard Senescu, an infamous modern-day addition to the mass murder club.

Now animate wax figures would seem to violate photog’s prime directive against living mannequins, robots, ventriloquist’s dummies and dolls.  But a more careful analysis would reveal that this is actually a psychological drama.  Martin has allowed his empathy for the figures to allow him to assign his crimes to them.  And it’s interesting that Martin is played by Martin Balsam, the actor who played the private detective Milton Arbogast who is killed by Norman Bates, a character who attributes his own murders to an equally inanimate object, namely, his mother’s poorly taxidermized corpse.

Anyway, assuming that Martin is the murderer would seem to remove this episode from the purview of a Twilight Zone episode and therefore force me to give it a failing grade but I am going to make an exception.  Martin truly should belong in the Twilight Zone and I’m giving him a B.  He’s earned it.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 11 – I Dream of Genie

George P. Hanley is a sort of sad sack.  He is overlooked by the boss and by the girls he likes.  When the girl in his office that he is sweet on, May is going to have a birthday he goes to an antique shop and is convinced by the salesman to buy an antique lamp (as in Aladdin’s lamp).  But his work neighbor Roger steals his thunder by giving May a fancy negligee.  Also, Roger is up for the same promotion as George and looks to have the inside track on that too.

George goes home and, of course, tries rubbing the tarnish off the lamp and out comes Jack Albertson complete with his New York City accent claiming to be the genie of the lamp.  He offers one wish to George (he’s downgraded it from three due to bad behavior by earlier masters of the lamp).  But tells George to think carefully before choosing a wish.  He also explicitly warns him against asking for money or love.

George spends the next day or so daydreaming about what would happen if he chose this or that wish.  On love, he fantasizes what would happen if he married May and she was a famous movie star.  In the dream she ends up cheating on him with Roger, so that’s out.  Then he imagines if he were a wealthy businessman but the money doesn’t make him happy so he rejects that also.  Finally, he wonders what power would be like.  He dreams he is the President of the United States and uses his power to pardon a soldier sentenced to death for falling asleep at his post.  But when his cabinet runs to him informing him that a fleet of flying saucers are coming and he has to choose between trusting that the aliens are friendly or shooting them out of the air to be safe, he panics and wakes up realizing that he doesn’t want the responsibility that comes with power.

Finally, while he is walking with his dog, he realizes what he wants with his wish.

In the last scene we see a hobo in an alley rubbing the lamp and George appearing out of it as the genie (along with his dog Attila).  George now grants wishes to the destitute and is happy.

This is a pretty weak episode.  Even a wise cracking Jack Albertson can’t add much life to this one.  It’s just sub-par.  C-.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 4 Episode 10 – The Parallel

Astronaut Robert Gaines is in an orbiting space capsule when communication is lost with the ground.  He blacks out and when he comes to, he’s in a hospital bed.  His superior officers and comrades tell him that somehow, inexplicably his capsule was found landed not far from the launch site.  Gaines can’t explain how he got back to Earth and his team is mystified about the whole thing.  But Gaines is allowed to go home to his wife and daughter for the weekend.

When he arrives home the first thing, he notices is that the house is surrounded by a fence that wasn’t there when he left.  But his wife Helen assures him the fence was there when they bought the house years ago.  Later he sees that he has on the insignia of a colonel whereas he knows he is a major.  And finally, when his wife kisses him and his daughter hugs him, they each feel that he is not the man they know.

Now Gaines talks to his NASA colleagues and he tells them that he has gone through his encyclopedia at home and finds that many of the things he knows about the world are changed.  Even the President of the United States is someone different than John Kennedy.  And the builder of the space capsule tells Gaines that it isn’t the same one that he built.  He asks Gaines to examine the ship and say whether it was the one he remembered.  But when he goes near the ship, he starts hearing the voices of mission control and suddenly Gaines finds himself back in the capsule during the mission.

Gaines lands normally and this time John Kennedy is the president and there is no fence around Gaines’ house.  Later when Gaines talks to mission control they tell him that they picked up a second capsule on telemetry and they received a radio message from a Colonel Gaines.

So, this is an inexplicable parallel universe switcheroo with the happy ending unswitcheroo.  Now this could have gone very wrong with Gaines running around yelling at the sky, ground and bystanders.  Luckily it didn’t.  I’m so grateful that I’m going to give it a B+.

 

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