The Twilight Zone (1962) – One More Pallbearer, Dead Man’s Shoes, and The Hunt

My journey through the depths of The Twilight Zone continue this week, as I continue my way through Paramount Pictures’ complete series collection on blu-ray.

First up is One More Pallbearer. Written by series creator and showrunner Rod Serling, this story first aired on 12 January, 1962.

Dr. No himself, Joseph Wiseman plays Paul Radin, a wealthy man who through a conniving bit of fakery tries to get three people from his past to apologise for wrongs he believes they committed against him.

He says that if they apologise he will let them into his bunker to survive a nuclear attack (the bit of fakery he has created).

Of course, things aren’t going to go as smoothly as they all hope, this is the Twilight Zone after all.

Radin is a proud man and takes slights, even from his youth, as personal affronts, whether he was in the wrong or not (and he was). He was court martialed, accused of cheating as boy, and caused the suicide of a young woman. But he’s the one who wants apologies from those who held him accountable for his actions.

He can’t make them apologise, and then things unravel drastically for Radin. Wiseman is good, but I don’t think the way things play out for the character doesn’t seem to work quite right.

The extras include an isolated score, sponsor billboards, and a radio adaptation starring Chelcie Ross.

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Dead Man’s Shoes was written by Charles Beaumont, and aired on 19 January, 1962.

Nate Bledsoe (Warren Stevens) is a homeless man, who takes the shoes of a dead gangster, but then finds himself living the man’s life.

The story is a bit of a riff on the saying ‘clothes make the man.’ In this case it is the literal truth, as soon as he slips on the dead man’s shoes he assumes the gangster’s personality, and even seems to know all manner of things that he didn’t when he was just a derelict. In fact the moment he takes the shoes off, his old personality reasserts itself.

He goes after the men who killed him the first time around, and is determined to succeed in his revenge, no matter how many deaths it takes to pull it off.

This one ends up being a fairly solid, if predictable episode.

The extras on this episode include a clip from the 1985 remake episode, an isolated score, billboards and a radio version starring Bill Smitrovich.

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The final episode this week is The Hunt. Written by Earl Hamner Jr. it first aired on 26 January, 1962.

Hyder Simpson (Arthur Hunnicut) is returning from a hunting trip. He’s rather troubled upon arriving back at home that no one can see or hear him.

There’s no real surprise to this episode. We know what has happened to the character before he does, and he and his dog wander trying to put things together. It is, however, a nice, gentle episode.

I do like the story, and in the end, it’s all about a man and his best friend.

The extras include a commentary by Hamner and Zone historian Marc Scott Zircee, a 1978 interview with Hamner, sponsor billboards, and an isolated score by Robert Drasnin.

Next week, I continue my journey through the uncharted depths of the Zone. I am loving this trip and The Complete Series from Paramount Pictures is a fantastic ride and well worth taking.

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