The Twilight Zone (Episode #1): "Where Is Everybody?" (10/02/59)
The Plot: A mysterious man (Earl Holliman) has amnesia, and if that's not bad enough ... he seems to be the last living person on Earth.
The Goods: I'm all for giving old-fasioned stories their fair chance at kicking into second gear, but the debut episode of The Twilight Zone is a little dry and uneventful, although the admirably weird ending does salvage some of the fun. Sort of an ancestor of the first act of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, "Where Is Everybody?" poses a slightly outdated question, but follows it through with some cool possibilities, and closes with sort of a cool kicker. The script does make some cool points about a certain branch of the American government, but to divulge much more would spoil the ending.
It's probably way too early to start rolling out the letter grades -- it is episode one, after all -- but I'd reward this episode with a solid B minus.
The Trivia: Lead actor Earl Holliman had a rather impressive career as a character actor, but sci-fi fans may remember him best as Cook from Forbidden Planet.
On the Next Episode: An actor with a voice you love gets visited by a stranger you'll hate.
We'll be running through all
138 156 * of the original Twilight Zone episodes over the next several weeks, and we won't be doing it alone! Our friends at Film School Rejects will be entering the Zone as well, only on alternating weeks. So definitely tune in over at FSR and feel free to also follow along on twitter accounts @ScreenAnarhcy and @rejectnation.
* Corrected. Thanks to commenter Craig Beam.