Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Twilight Zone Season 1 Episode 7 The Lonely

A Prisoner Falls In Love With A Realistic Robot? What is Love? 
One of my favorite movies from the past few years was “Ex Machina”. But did you know that the Twilight Zone explored this notion long ago? Seriously. On November 13, 1959 the notion of loving machine came into play, and it really shook things up. Rod Serling once again tapped into a very unique circumstance, and gets you thinking about the “What if” factors of what love is. Long before movies started to come into play with this, you are going to think about sex, love, and loneliness when it comes to robots, artificial intelligence, and the realities of loneliness in the seventh episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone.

The plot of this one is simple, as many are. A prisoner is cast off to a planet, alone. He wants to go back to Earth, but the powers that be won’t let him. The same time warp that was in “Interstellar” is described here, as a crew comes to the planet to check in on the prisoner. They say that there is no hope and he is going to stay put. He is given food, and supplies, and the crew leaves. Later a box arrives and in that box is a woman. A woman that is in fact a robot, but has all the elements of humanity, including synthetic skin, and anatomical elements, with an artificial intelligence that feels, cries, and more. It’s essentially a sex robot, come on. The prisoner doesn’t want her at first, but over time, learns to love this robot woman.

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The crew comes back. And our prisoner named Corry is allowed to go back to earth! However, they have to leave in 20 minutes, and that’s it. The crew that is there to pick him up only has room for him and a few of his things, and not the robot, whom is named Alicia. Corry screams and runs after the robot, and swears that he loves her, and that she loves him, only to find out that the world is a cold, cold place, with Alicia taking a gunshot to the face and dying.

What is love? Can you love a robot? The story here is fascinating, and it truly is epic in light of “Ex Machina” and the themes presented in that movie. There are only 5 people in this cast, and yet you get full emotion. Jack Warden and Jean Marsh put on a good performance, and you really start to feel for the lonely. But reality sets in and shakes you up. What is love? You’re left thinking as Rod Serling’s narration gives you a jolt.

“On a microscopic piece of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man's life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used. Without use, they will disintegrate from the wind and the sand and the years that act upon them. All of Mr. Corry's machines, including the one made in his image, kept alive by love, but now obsolete.”

And that my friends, makes for one of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone yet. It’s beyond good, seek it out. Buy the box set, holy crap. It’s an intellectual proponent that you can easily study as an academic, or at least enjoy as entertainment.

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