The emphasis on the drama of the situation allows these episodes to wear well over time
Jul 19, 2007
The first of these two episodes is by far the best. In it, William Shatner plays a man just released from an institution where he was recovering from a nervous breakdown that occurred on a plane. His wife is with him and they are now on board a plane back home. Shatner has a window seat and the plane is flying through a powerful storm. He looks out and sees a creature on the wing. However, no one else can see it so in desperation he steals a gun from a police officer and shoots the creature. In this episode we see vintage Shatner, the facial expressions and the push towards overacting. From this episode, it is clear that he did not develop that style just for Star Trek, it was a part of his acting persona well before he became Captain Kirk. The second episode is weaker. A jet flight due to land in New York suddenly experiences a dramatic tail wind that causes their speed to exceed all normal barriers. After a flash of light and some turbulence, they find themselves unable to contact any airports on the radio. Having no other choice, they descend to a level where they can make visual contact with landmarks. While they can identify the geographical structure of New York City, they see only dense foliage and dinosaurs. The captain then makes the decision to fly back up into the tail wind and try to go forward in time. This maneuver succeeds, but they arrive back approximately 30 years too early. The episode closes with the plane low on fuel and the pilot making one last attempt to get back into their normal time. While the technology of special effects has improved dramatically since "The Twilight Zone" aired, the episodes have held up well. That is due to the fact that the emphasis was always on the drama of the situation rather than the appearance of the situation. This is evident in these two classic episodes of a classic series.
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