episode #123 - Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

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episode #123 - Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

Post  BoG on Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:04 am

Air Date: 10/11/63  Arrow  written by Richard Matheson  Arrow   Directed by Richard Donner

One of the most famous TZ episodes, in which William Shatner plays a passenger aboard an airliner during a stormy night flight. He soon sees what he determines to be a gremlin on the airplane's wing, fiddling with one of the plate covers. Of course, only he sees the creature; everyone else, including his wife, thinks that he's indulging in some wild imagination.  It doesn't help that  Shatner's character suffered a nervous breakdown recently.  

After all this time, the gremlin suit looks pathetically bad to me. Even back then, they could have come up with something better > the creature looks like a guy dressed in a whacky bear/sheep outfit, with a Halloween mask added on. Overall though, the episode is intense - Shatner is on the edge in this one, always on the verge of hysteria or outright insanity. One line of dialog I always found mystifying - at one point, Shatner tells one of the crew that there's a man on the wing. Now, it looks silly maybe but certainly not like a man. I suppose even in his near-hysterics, Shatner felt that saying something other than "a man" would sound foolish.  BoG's Score: 8 out of 10

TZ Trivia:
one of the 3 original episodes which were remade for the Twillight Zone Movie in 1983. In the remake, John Lithgow played the main character.

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