The Twilight Zone (1963) – The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms, A Short Drink From a Certain Fountain, and Ninety Years Without Slumbering

It’s that time again!! Paramount Pictures continues to be my guide as I explore the depths of The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series on blu-ray.

This week’s trio of episode begins with The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms, which aired on 6 December, 1963 and was written by series creator, Rod Serling.

It’s 25 June, 1964, and the National Guard is on maneuvers near the location of a famous battle. Three soldiers, Connors (Ron Foster), Langsford (Warren Oates) and McCluskey (Randy Boone) find themselves caught up in a sense of spookiness and a general nervousness flooding the area, as well as strange winds, voices, and sounds of battle!

When they return to base, and try to explain that something strange happened, no one believes them. When they return, however, they find themselves smack dab in the middle of the Twilight Zone, as well as the trail, and subsequent battle that marked the events of Little Big Horn.

Their fellow soldiers are stunned when they arrive on the memorial site, and make a strange discovery.

This one was okay, and definitely not my favourite of the season so far, you never get to see any of the battle, and everything else is just hinted at. On the other hand, Oates is wonderful, but that’s not a surprise, it was always a great actor.

The extras include an isolated score, sponsor billboards and a radio version starring Richard Grieco.

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A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain was written by Serling, based on a story by Lou Holtz. It debuted on 13 December, 1963.

Harmon Gordon (Patrick O’Neal) is an elderly man married to a much younger woman, Flora (Ruta Lee). She’s not much more than a gold digger, having married him only for his money, and is very bored.

Harmon is eager to hold onto his money, and his life, and convinces his brother, Dr. Raymond Gordon (Walter Brooke) to inject him with a serum he has been working on for cellular regeneration.

But, of course, we’re in the Twilight Zone, and things don’t work out exactly as planned, and Harmon becomes a whole new man, in a manner of speaking.

This one, again, is okay, but definitely not the best of the series so far. It ends up being too simple and too predictable. Flora gets a bit of comeuppance for her gold-digging ways, but Harmon’s desire to be young also backfires as he becomes too young to enjoy his life for a few years – and that’s if he has stopped regressing in age.

In fact, this one plays as a little too simple. Oh well.

The extras this time out include an isolated score, billboards, and radio adaptation starring Adam West.

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The final foray this week is Ninety Years Without Slumbering. Ed Wynn stars in this episode that debuted on 20 December, 1983, and was penned by George Clayton Johnson.

Wynn plays Sam Forstmann, an older man, living with his granddaughter, Marnie (Carolyn Kearney) and her family. He’s fairly content with his simple life, and occupies a lot of his time tinkering with an old grandfather clock.

In fact the tinkering verges on the obsessive, and Marnie discovers that Sam believes that if the clock stops, so does his life.

Wynn turns in an nice performance in this rather gentle episode. Sam has been living on borrowed time for so long, tinkering and keeping the clock running, but what happens when he finally passes it on to a neighbour, and is unable to maintain the clock’s upkeep what will happen?

The extras for this episode include an isolated score by Bernard Herrmann, billboards, a radio version starring Bill Erwin, as well as interviews with George Clayton Johnson, and one with Johnson and Carolyn Kearney.

Deeper we travel next week, as The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series on blu-ray from Paramount Pictures continues to give up its secrets.

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