episode #22 - The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

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episode #22 - The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

Post  BoG on Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:32 pm

Air Date: 3/4/60  Arrow  written by Rod Serling  Arrow  Directed by Ronald Winston
PLOT: a typical day in suburbia is disturbed by, first, a strange noise of something flying overhead and, second, by inexplicable occurances like the power going out and cars starting by themselves.

This was Serling's first and perhaps ultimate take on the suburban lifestyle being invaded and even destroyed. The enemy appears to be from somewhere without but, as in a few such stories, may be from within. It's a study in paranoia, first and foremost, projected to the audience through the interaction of a larger-than-usual number of various characters, all supposedly typical of what we see as fifties-sixties Americana. The subversive message is that our stronghold of American values and beliefs may not be as invulnerable as we think... we may have stark weaknesses which an enemy might exploit...

This episode is strengthened by some fine acting, notably Claude Akins as the most level-headed neighbor, Jack Weston as the sneakiest and Barry Atwater as the more mysterious one. There's also this weird kid character who puts the notion of invading aliens into everyone else's head (his source are comic books - EC used to have a lot of this stuff). When I first watched this many years ago, I thought that the kid might be an alien in disguise. I think what disturbed me more by the conclusion was that I thought Akins, representing order, would be able to keep things civil, but the ending is pretty pessimistic. BoG's Score: 9 out of 10
RADIO VERSION:__________________________________________

Trivia From the Zone: this was remade for the 3rd TZ series in 2002, but updated for the terrorist threat and making the U.S. government the enemy, a complete 180-turn to the premise here. There was also a film in 1996, The Trigger Effect, which had a similar premise.
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