My theme – This month I am blogging about a classic television series, the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense, often concluding with an unexpected twist.
V is for Valley of the Shadow
Off the beaten path, reporter Philip Redfield (Ed Nelson) stops in a small town, Peaceful Valley, to gas up and perhaps get a bite to eat. When his dog Rollie runs off after a cat, a young girl, Cissy, points a device at the animal and makes it disappear. After he witnesses the secret mechanical device which can control and rearrange atoms, making things appear and disappear, he soon finds himself forbidden to leave the small town. The town's mayor, Dorn, reveals their secret to him. The town refuses to share this and other amazing technology that had been given to them by a "great man of science" from an unknown land and planet (implying super intelligence from an alien world) until men learn the ways of peace. Philip is given the choice to join them or die - and chooses the former, though human instincts soon take hold forcing a confrontation. Watch the full episode HERE.
- The title comes from the King James Version of the 23rd Psalm in the Hebrew Bible.
- Sissy Johnson's dad is played by James Doohan, who also plays Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, the engineer of Star Trek (1966)'s Starship Enterprise.
- The technology displayed at Peaceful Valley has its equivalent in the Federation universe: the device that breaks atomic structure and puts it together again (transporters), the one that creates objects from "statements" about atomic structure (replicators) and the invisible walls (force fields).
Musings: I prefer to get my T.Z. in half-hour doses, but this is one of the rare one hour episodes that's worth sixty minutes of your time. Peaceful Valley is similar to the Eagles Hotel California in that if you discover the town's secret, you can never leave. As I watched Philip Redfeild yearn for the freedom of his old life and the glory of curing all sickness, ending hunger, and essentially saving the world, I wonder what I would do in his place. Would I live my life in comfort or want the same for the world? I think this episode not only takes its title from the Hebrew Bible, but its theme from John 15:13: There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.
How about you? Would you seek to save yourself or save the world?