Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Twilight Zone (1959) -- Season 2 Episode 9 (The Trouble with Templeton)

One of the common themes with The Twilight Zone is going back to relive past glories.  Youth seemed great when compared to adulthood.  In the case of Booth Templeton, he longs for his first wife, Laura, who was taken from him after too short a marriage.  Sure, he has a great career.  He even has a second wife, who is younger and more beautiful than he deserves.  It’s not the same, though.

True to Twilight Zone fashion, Booth gets the opportunity to step back to 1927 and have a second chance with Laura.  It dawns on him that maybe his first marriage wasn’t exactly the way he remembered it.  He’s taken back to 1960 to continue with his life in his present.

One of the problems in reviewing episodes of The Twilight Zone is that they’re often basic.  There’s not much to them.  This is the case here.  (It’s what Rod Serling might call a detour into The Twilight Zone.)  It’s just enough time for the main character to get the message.

It is an understandable message.  At some point, you realize that most of your life is behind you.  You would be forgiven for thinking like Booth does.  It would be nice to go back and relive the fun parts.  Unfortunately, it’s not always that fun.

I think this is what made the show so accessible.  It didn’t try for anything fancy.  It told its story plainly and was never insulting or condescending about it.  This may be a byproduct of the half-hour format, but it works.  Don’t live in the past; live in the present.

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