Tom Brody | 08/09/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In "A World of Difference", Howard Duff plays Arthur Curtis, A man who is living his normal life, and then someone says, "Cut!" and he finds out he's an actor on a set, and Arthur Curtis is the character he plays in the movie! It's the best of the lot, so get it to see this episode. In "Back There", Russel Johnson is Peter Corrigan"
Somewhat better than average in the Twilight Zone series.
Tom Brody | Berkeley, CA | 01/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 22 contains four stories.
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE features a handsome businessman, by the name of Arthur Curtis. He engages in business-like banter with his business-like secretary. He says things like, "Are the Manson contracts ready yet." He refers to his upcoming vacation with his wife, "It's the first vacation that Maryanne and I have had in years . . ."
But while dialing his office phone, the man is suddenly confronted with the fact that one wall of his office has been replaced with accoutrements of a movie set--movie camera, director, stage hands. The businessman retreats to his secretary's office, but she's changed. "Where ya goin'?" she asks, her feet propped on top of her desk. The businessman is confused, and exclaims, "I don't know you! I don't know any of you!" At this point, the music features violins playing theremin-like sounds, accompanied by scary deep-throated bassoon sounds. Early in the story, we learn that "Arthur Curtis" is merely a character in the script of the T.V. show being filmed.
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE contains plenty of eye-candy for automobile enthusiasts. We see early model Ford Thunderbirds, Chryslers with big fins, a Corvette Sting Ray, a Studebaker, etc. Pure eye-candy.
The plot of A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE is basically the same, but not quite as good, as that in PERSONS OR PERSONS UNKNOWN (vol. 32). FOUR STARS.
BACK THERE is a history time-travel story, just like those in the 1960s television series, TIME TUNNEL. In BACK THERE, the protagonist goes back in time to the evening of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. BACK THERE starts out in an exclusive men's club, called The Potomac Club.
The opening words are as follows. One man says, "What's your point?" Another man replies, "That if it were possible to go back in time, there'd be nothing in the world to prevent you from altering the course of history."
The main character, actor Russell Johnson, leaves the club, but as soon as he shuts the door, has a dizzy spell and finds himself at the same location, but about 100 years earlier, on the eve of Lincoln's assassination in the year 1865. Russell Johnson tries to warn the townspeople of what will happen. He even encounters John Wilkes Booth, and tries to warn him. Eventually, Russell Johnson returns to the present time. He finds some differences, but not the differences he was hoping for. For example, the man originally the butler in The Potomac Club has turned into one of the business executives (one of the members of the club). BACK THERE has an excellent ironic ending. FIVE STARS.
ONE MORE PALLBEARER deals with nuclear war. The main character wants to get even with three people who were mean to him when he was a younger. For example, he wants to get even with a high school teacher. The plot in ONE MORE PALLBEARER is forced, things don't really click well, and it is hard to have any feelings (e.g., sympathy, dislike) of any kind for the main character. TWO STARS.
RING-A-DING GIRL is a typical, average Twilight Zone episode. The story begins at a resort, where an actress is on the phone, arranging a jet plane trip to Rome. A violin makes a scary theremin-sound, as the actress looks at her ring. In looking at her ring, a face materializes. It is the actress' sister. The sister begs the actress to come home. In the next scene, at the sister's home, the actress and the sister have a joyous reunion, and talk merrily about life in general. They comment about the forecast for a storm. There is discussion about the town picnic, set for later on in the day.
The actress looks again at her ring, and another face materializes and asks her to come home (actually, at this point, she is already at home). The actress faints, and when she revives, she looks in the ring once more, and the school janitor materializes in the ring and begs her, "Help us, help us." Much of the story is spent discussing whether the actress will go to the town picnic, or if she will give a 1-person show in the school auditorium. Eventually, the storm arrives. The story has a nice ironic ending. (The story could have been written to be more convincing or more forceful. I would recommend, for example, increasing images of the jet plane approaching storm clouds. This would result in a better build-up, in a better conveyance of feelings of impending doom.) THREE STARS.
Overall, volume 22 is a very good disc. But there are better volumes of the Twilight Zone. I recommend volume 2 (Time Enough at Last; Nightmare at 20,000 Feet), volume 3 (Kick the Can; Steel), volume 8 (To Serve Man), volume 9 (Nick of Time), volume 32 (Printer's Devil), volume 29 (Penny for Your Thoughts), and volume 39 (Mister Bevis; The Silence). Volumes 2, 3, and 32, might be the greatest of them all.