|Where Is Everybody? Episode 1 Season 1 of The Twilight Zone|
In this episode a man finds himself alone in an empty town. He has a lot of dialogue, and yet he isn’t talking to anyone. He keeps looking for people and eventually gives up. When a phone rings, he figures he has found someone and can call for help. It’s to no avail. As he goes through the empty city, there are signs of life, but he starts to panic. As panic keeps setting in he eventually realizes that he’s alone, and perhaps he may be the last one. The direct symbolism that is shown with the books “The Last Man On Earth” really comes through as our hero runs into mirrors, tries to figure out what is going on, and just can’t seem to figure out what is going on and why he is stuck.
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Earl Holliman here does a great job. He plays it straight before going into a deep madness. When he thinks it’s all over, we see a group of men sitting in a room watching. They are from the Air Force, and it’s revealed that our hero was stuck in a sensory deprivation, virtual reality room. It took him 484 hours and 36 minutes to finally panic from the isolation. As the press rushes in they question the Air Force, and it is revealed that they were testing to see how long a person can last alone, traveling in space, and that Mike Ferris was able to go 484 hours, ample time to get to the moon and back without going insane.
With the Twilight Zone’s first season, you really got a sense for the series. Earl Holliman should be praised for his acting skills in this one. He plays it well and then goes insane over the course of a half an hour. The writing is crisp, even though it was originally aired in 1959. Rod Serling has a way of writing very well, with good overall music by Bernard Hermann, and cinematography by Joseph La Shelle.
This episode made me question isolation myself. How long could you go without human interaction? I work solo, as a writer. I haven’t had a coworker since 2009. I wonder how long it will take me to crack? Until then, this is a great episode of this classic series.
The Twilight Zone Complete Season 1 is available here on Blu Ray. You can also see it via streaming media, but if you want to collect this, go for it, and get the box set by clicking here. It’s well worth your time, if I do say so myself.