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Twilight Zone Collector's Edition (The Whole Truth, Death Ship, and Queen of the Nile)

1 rating: -2.0
A Twilight Zone Collector's Edition tape
1 review about Twilight Zone Collector's Edition (The Whole...

"The Whole Truth" is just awful and "Death Ship" has serious logical inconsistencies

  • Feb 22, 2010
Rating:
-2
"The Whole Truth" is the worst Twilight Zone episode that I have ever seen; it is fundamentally a lame example of political propaganda. Harvey Hunnicut is a used-car dealer with a specialty in passing off clunkers as valued transportation devices. He is a slick talker, overwhelming his customers with praise for his junk, confusing them with endless and rapid rhetoric. All of this changes when he buys a very old car from an old man, who tells him in a parting statement that the car is haunted.
From the time of the sale, Hunnicut now cannot keep himself from always uttering the truth, openly telling potential customers the structural flaws in his wares. Given that he sells only junk, his business collapses. Finally, a man speaking with a foreign accent offers to buy the vehicle for his boss. The episode ends with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev the new owner of the haunted car.
The dialog is terrible, lighting is odd, making the scenes appear crude and the political message is so incongruous and poorly executed that I was just glad when the episode ended.
"Death Ship" is another very weak episode; Spaceship E-89 from Earth is searching for new planets to colonize. As the ship orbits the 13th planet of system 51, Lieutenant Mason (Ross Martin) spots what appears to be a reflection from refined metal. Since the planet otherwise appears to have no intelligent life, this is an enormous contradiction. Captain Ross (Jack Klugman) orders the ship landed nearby and when the men look out the porthole, they see what appears to be their crashed ship. Lieutenant Carter (Frederick Beir) is the third member of the crew and together they explore the crashed ship and to their shock, inside they find what appear to be their bodies.
This starts a meltdown of Carter, as he starts exhibiting emotional instability. Mason holds it together more than Carter, but he too starts to unwind. Such actions are examples of what I consider one of the worst traits of some television science fiction, when the astronauts rapidly exhibit emotional or psychological instability. To ever make it into space, one would have to be heavily screened and repeatedly demonstrate the highest level of discipline. In my opinion, that is one reason why Star Trek was so successful, Captain Kirk and the command crew of the Enterprise never panicked or wavered, even when it appeared that their destruction was imminent.
Captain Ross maintains his personal discipline, constantly searching for a rational explanation for an irrational situation. He concludes that there are creatures on the planet that are manipulating their minds, although he is wrong and they all eventually reach the conclusion that they somehow died in a crash that none of them have any memory of.
The idea of being helped to cope with your death by deceased loved ones immediately after you die is a compelling one, but in this case it is oddly presented. In this scenario, the premise is that your memory is blacked out starting right before your death until immediately afterward and it is up to you to reach the conclusion that you have died. The relatives encountered act as if they also know nothing of their deaths as well, it is as if the subsequent deceased are required to inform the previously deceased of their demise.
An essentially immortal creature that gains eternal life by sucking the life force from youth is an old story that is retold in "Queen of the Nile." Jordan Herrick is a journalist covering the society beat and he is astonished when he meets longtime starlet Pamela Morris. Even though she has been making movies for years, Morris appears not to have aged at all. After a date, a warning from Morris' "mother" and further research, Herrick concludes that there is something inaccurate about Morris' stated age. He has learned that she was playing in a theater that was torn down decades before.
Even though he is warned, Herrick's curiosity is overpowering and he returns to question Morris about the inconsistencies in her story. That proves to be his undoing, as Morris is far, far older and more resourceful than he could have imagined.
My favorite performance in this episode is by Celia Lovsky as Morris' "mother." From it, you can see why she was cast as the dour T' Pau in the original Star Trek episode "Amok Time." While this episode is good, it is also somewhat predictable in sequence; it was clear very early what kind of creature Morris was.

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