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Twilight Zone (spoilers)

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  • Twilight Zone (spoilers)

    So I saw Joe mention that his episodes were going to run on Chiller, so I set up my DVR to catch a bunch of them. I don't think I recorded all of them, but I have a few.

    "The Mind of Simon Foster" (by J. Michael Straczynski)

    I like this episode - the "future" in 1999 when a depression has brought unemployment to larger than 30% - our nominal "hero" in this story has no job and needs money. Going to the pawn shop he finds a guy willing to buy his memories - they literally remove them from his brain and he gets the cash. His landlord is kind of an ass to him and asks for more rent (apparently no housing department in the future) so he needs even more money and gets more memories. In the end he goes for a job interview and can't remember enough to get through, so he demands memories from the pawn shop owner - and gets so many that they are all contradictory. When he has another job interview, none of it makes sense, except to him.

    It's an interesting analysis in what makes a person themselves - is it something core, or just a sum of their experiences? I like the line in there how the pawn shop owner says people are willing to pay a lot because of their voyeuristic instinct, saying that's why soap operas do so well - and he says people don't want to watch "sagas or aliens" (!). The major events in Simon Foster's life, like graduation, his birthday, and the first time he had sex are all things that create his self, as it were, and I find it realistic that he finally blows up at the pawn shop owner at the end when he realizes it was all much more important than he was led to believe.

    I'll give it a B (on a ABCD scale)

  • #2
    More of JMS' Twilight Zone episodes coming up:

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    Just saw: on July 5 my other five Twilight Zone eps air on Chiller: 9:30 a.m., 10:30, 12, 4:30 and 5:30 all times EDT.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    This includes Our Selena is Dying, my episode based on Rod Serling's outline, and Acts of Terror, which for some time after its initial broadcast was shown at many battered women's shelters.

    The Mind of Simon Foster is also pretty decent...The Wall and the Call are simple but fun (and there's a bonus episode where I share credit for The Trance, airing at 11:30 a.m.).
    I know I've got the DVDs but I may watch these that day. Both "Acts of Terror" and "The Mind of Simon Foster are thought-provoking episodes and I don't recall "The Trance".

    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization we're seeing now.


    • #3
      I'll try and set my DVR to record those. I have about 9 episodes recorded, mostly Joe's episodes but a couple of others as well. Haven't watched any in a bit because I'm catching up on a lot of other stuff at once!


      • #4
        Yes I finally watched another one. These have been sitting on my DVR awhile.

        Something in the Walls (by J. Michael Straczynski)

        This episode was quite creepy even with the low-res quality video of the time. A doctor starts his job at a new psych hospital and is intrigued by a patient that checked herself into the hospital voluntarily. The patient only drops hints to what is bothering her, but she needs to stay in a completely white room with nothing in it because...the Shadows in patterns will get her. Interesting that JMS has always been fascinated by that kind of imagery. The doctor tries to work on her and after a flashback to her encounter that caused herself to check in, the patient decides it's time to tell the doctor that she thinks she knows what they are...

        However when the doctor gets in the next day she says she's fine and is checking out and the others at the hospital were right that she was being silly. She is no longer bothered by patterns and seems fine.

        The question is, is she who she says he is? Or is she now permanently a part of the pattern...

        I give this one an A for almost giving us answers and leaving us questions at the end of the episode. The doctor character is played very well and I like how he ends up believing the patient but being powerless in the end when she leaves. Very creepy and well done.


        • #5
          Happy Twilight Zone Day, celebrated every May 11.

          JMS was Story Editor for 30 episodes in 1988-1989. He wrote 11 episodes, including a posthumous collaboration with Rod Serling titled "Our Selena is Dying" based on an outline by Rod that was found after his death.
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization we're seeing now.