You are watching: No time like the past twilight zone
“Exitone Paul Driscoll, a biology of the 20th century. That puts to a testa complicated theorem the space-time continuum. But he go a step further, ortries to. Shortly, he will look for out three moments that the past in a desperateattempt to transform the current – one of the odd and also fanciful features in ashadowland known as The Twilight Zone.”
PaulDriscoll, a physicist, has grown weary the the war and also aggression whichcharacterize life in the 20th century. His equipment to this modernproblems is to use a time device to avert the disasters which that feels haveshaped the current social and political landscapes. His first journey backwardsinto time is to Hiroshima, August, 1945, in a futile attempt come convinceJapanese authorities to evacuate the city prior to the damage of the atomicbomb. His 2nd stop is in Berlin, August, 1939, in a failed attempt toassassinate Adolph Hitler throughout a Nazi rally. His 3rd stop gradually is to1915 in another failed attempt to avert disaster, this time the torpedoing ofthe RMS Lusitania by a German U-boat.
Defeated,Paul returns to his very own time and tells his colleague Harvey that the past hasproven inviolate and also Paul no longer believes that can readjust the past to alterthe present or the future. He has actually instead made decision to escape right into the past tolive the end his life in Homeville, Indiana in the year 1881.
Paulacclimates easily in Homeville, an idyllic small town in which readjust arrivesslowly. Unfortunately, Paul quickly learns the the hate, prejudice, andaggression he endured in his own time are also present here. The shining spotfor Paul is Abigail Sloan, a quite schoolteacher with whom he begins aromance. Abby deserve to sense a distinction in Paul, however, in the method he knows whatis going to happen prior to it happens, and in the method he appears distracted andout of place.
Pauldoes his ideal to live peacefully in Homeville without making use of his foreknowledgeto avert unpleasant events. That cannot stand up to the impulse, however, once itcomes to conserving Abby’s school youngsters from injuries continual in a fire.Consulting his notes, Paul learns the the schoolhouse fire was resulted in by alantern thrown native a runaway carriage. Top top the work of the fire Paul identifiesthe culprit: a travel salesman. Paul attempts to unhitch the equines from thesalesman’s carriage in the id that it will protect against the tragedy. Ironically,it is Paul’s activity which triggers the runaway carriage and also creates thedisaster.
Paulis devastated. He speak Abby that he now realizes the cannot continue to be in Homeville.The past is not inviolate and also his presence presents a peril to anyone intown. He knows about too many tomorrows and that knowledge avoids him fromfinding the peace he desires. Paul returns to his own time and resolves tochange the sorrows of culture through various other means.
“Incidenton a July afternoon, 1881. A male named Driscoll that came and went and also in theprocess learned a straightforward lesson, perhaps finest said by a poet called Lathbury,who wrote: ‘Children the yesterday, heirs the tomorrow, what room you weaving,labor and also sorrow? look to your looms again, faster and faster fly the greatshuttles prepared by the master. Life’s in the loom, room because that it, room!’Tonight’s story of clocks and calendars in The Twilight Zone.”
Timetravel is among the most typically recurring themes ~ above The Twilight Zone and also “No Time like the Past” functions like acollection of biggest hits from the moment travel illustration on the series. It iscomposed almost entirely of recycled elements, consisting of members of the castrecreating similar roles native previous appearances and a setting, Homeville,which recalls Homewood, from an earlier time travel episode, “WalkingDistance.” Yet, together a testament to the high top quality of the writing, acting, andproduction, “No Time choose the Past” remains an intriguing and enjoyableepisode.
RodSerling essentially produced two episodes and merged them into an hour-longpresentation, not altogether unsuccessfully. The illustration is bolstered bySerling’s obvious talent at developing compelling dialogue and also an engagingatmosphere.
The an initial portion ofthe episode finds Paul Driscoll (Dana Andrews), a physicist frustrated with thehorrors of the late 20th century, travelling backwards gradually in arepeated effort to avert earlier disasters. Paul make the efforts to avoid the lossof resides in the battle of Hiroshima, reduced down the rise of Nazism by assassinatingHitler, and alter the food of the RMS Lusitania to avoid its torpedoing bya German U-boat. In every of this attempts the is unsuccessful. Due to hisrepeated failures, Paul comes to believe that the past is inviolate. Heresolves come escape into the past and live as citizen that a small Midwestern townsome eighty year before. With this we space shepherded into the 2nd portionof the episode.
Theepisode i beg your pardon springs instantly to mind as soon as one see the initial section of“No Time prefer the Past” is “The Time Element,” pole Serling’s early fantasy televisionscript which aired on The WestinghouseDesilu Playhouse in 1958. Thought about by numerous to it is in the unofficialize pilotepisode of The Twilight Zone, “TheTime Element” find involuntary time traveler Peter Jenson (William Bendix)sent backwards to the moment of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prefer Paul Driscoll,Jenson unsuccessfully attempts to convince authorities the the impending dangerand pays for the failure through his life. Stick Serling approached the template againin the 2nd season Twilight region episode“Back There,” in i m sorry Pete Corrigan (Russell Johnson), an pundit whodoes not believe the past have the right to be altered, is transported to the moment of theassassination that Abraham Lincoln. Again, Corrigan is can not to avert thetragedy but, favor Paul Driscoll, comes to believe in the mutable nature the thepast when he return to his very own time and finds the delicately altered. Thistheme of being unable come avert catastrophe through means of time take trip (or timeslippage) shows up again in Richard Matheson’s 5th season illustration “Spur of theMoment.”
“NoTime like the Past” is also marginally concerned such episodes as “Nightmareas a Child,” “King Nine will certainly Not Return,” and also “The Arrival,” which also concerna tragedy from the past but invert the template to present the past intruding uponthe current as a warning or a means of closure. Serling to be still exploringthis theme throughout his time on NightGallery, notably in the illustration “Lone Survivor,” in which a time-hoppingportent that doom, play by john Colicos, bring misfortune top top the RMSLusitania. Top top The Twilight ar acharacter regularly involuntarily slips through the cracks of time and isoccasionally successful in effecting change for the better, such as in RichardMatheson’s “The critical Flight” or Serling’s “In worship of Pip,” episodes in whichevents are changed though an action of self-sacrifice.
Althougha semblance of a time device does appear in part episodes, consisting of “No TimeLike the Past,” the series was normally content to just send a character backwardsinto time through such simple way as falling sleep or walking out of a building.Even when a time maker is used it is an ext often an creative thantheoretical choice. In “No Time choose the Past” the production team determined uponan expressionistic construction of a raised platform bordered by rising rows ofstringed globes inserted in a cavernous interior. The platform is then envelopedin phase fog and filmed in a way which says strangeness and also dislocation.Rod Serling clearly cared little about the method of the mechanism yet wasrather interested in making use of time travel to explore other themes.
The viewer is offered noindication of just how Driscoll controls his travels through time. Exactly how long deserve to hestay in one place and also by what way of control? just how does he leave as soon as he isready to depart? walk he merely disappear or should he it is in in a specific locationor position? does Driscoll control his travel with time or is the somehowcontrolled in Driscoll’s own time by Harvey? These concerns are leftunanswered but are fairly unimportant to what Serling is attempting withthe episode. Still, there are facets of time take trip in the episode which willlikely irk some viewers. Why, for instance, does Driscoll reduced it therefore close onhis visits to Hiroshima and also aboard the Lusitania? Why not shot and protect against theLusitania from ever leaving port? Why not destroy Hitler the kid or Hitlerthe young male rather 보다 attempt an assassination when Hitler is at the heightof his power? although irksome, these troubles do little to detract indigenous thesecond section of the episode, i beg your pardon is whereby Serling is obviously eager toarrive.
The story of thecharacter who attempts come escape come the nostalgic haven of the previous was afamiliar one ~ above the collection by the time “No Time choose the Past” aired throughout thefourth season. The series displayed both sides of the equation. Paul Driscolldiscovers that his presence in the past is the disruptive force which erodesthe fabric of occasions as they are intended to unfold, much like boy name Sloan in“Walking Distance” and also Booth Templeton in E. Jack Neuman’s “The problem withTempleton.” Conversely, illustration such as “The 16 Millimeter Shrine,” “AStop in ~ Willoughby,” “Static,” and also “Kick the Can” present the previous as a refuge forthose disenchanted v their own time and also age, although over there is regularly a priceto pay for such an escape. In the situation of both therapies of the layout theshow’s writers clearly paint the past as a fault place, wherein one’s memory isfilled v gaps into which have actually fallen the unattractive and also less desirableaspects the the time. In “No Time choose the Past,” Paul Driscoll is gift withan completely new, however frustratingly familiar, collection of challenges when that arrivesin Homeville, Indiana in 1881. There may be no atomic bombs but there is stillunbridled hatred, prejudice, oppression, ignorance, and also the misguided attemptsto equate violence with courage and also war through patriotism.
Paul Driscoll’srepeated referrals to bombs also groups “No Time favor the Past” through otherepisodes the the series which play the end under the zero of the hazard of atomicannihilation. The assumed of instant and total obliteration was certainly onthe psychic of Americans throughout the tense years of the Cold war in i m sorry The Twilight Zone very first aired. The showrepeatedly went back to the theme of manmade devastation in episodes such as“Time enough at Last,” “Third indigenous the Sun,” “The Shelter,” “Two,” “One MorePallbearer,” and also “The Old guy in the Cave.”
A details trendamongst fourth season episodes is the anchoring effort of a single dynamicperformance. Think that George Grizzard in “In His Image,” Dennis Hopper in “He’sAlive,” ann Francis in “Jess-Belle,” Robert Duvall in “Miniature,” or MartinBalsam in “The brand-new Exhibit.” “No Time favor the Past” is graced v such aperformance indigenous Dana Andrews as Paul Driscoll. Although andrew is capablyassisted by supporting performers, specifically the presence of Patricia Breslin,he mainly carries an episode which can have come off fully flat through aless talented show in the command role.
Andrews (1909-1992) wasa prolific film and also television show who discovered his best success in the1940s and also 1950s as a leading man in the classic American mold. Born nearCollins, Mississippi, andrews left a audit job in the oil organization andhitchhiked to Los Angeles in 1931 with dreams of gift an actor. After year oftoiling in constant jobs and performing in smaller functions under studio contract,Andrews showed up in two films which coagulation his bankable, leading rolestatus. The an initial was the 1944 suspense melodrama Laura, based on Vera Caspary’s 1942 novel, in which Andrewsappeared alongside Gene Tierney, Vincent Price, and also Clifton Webb. Andrew alsofeatured in the all-star drama The BestYears the Our lives (1946), a movie which took home seven Academy Awardsincluding ideal Picture. The 1940s and also 1950s were largely filled out v rolesin melodramas, film noirs, and also psychological suspense films, working with suchdirectors together Elia Kazan, otto Preminger, and Fritz Lang. A notable genre effortduring this time was a leading role in the 1957 movie Night the the Demon (aka Curseof the Demon), a moody chiller directed by Jacques Tourneur (Twilight Zone’s “Night Call”) andadapted native M.R. James’ 1911 story “Casting the Runes.”
Andrews’ sturdypresence transitioned onto television displays in the so late 1950s wherein he foundwork among the countless dramatic anthology program of the time, consisting of turns onPlayhouse 90, Alcoa Premier, and also Kraft secret Theater. Andrews returnedto continual film work-related in the 1960s and also appeared in a number of doomsday genrefilms that varying top quality such together TheSatan an insect (1965), crack in the civilization (1965),and The Frozen Dead (1966). Arecurring duty on the dramatic television collection Bright Promise (1969-1970) led to an ext television work-related in the1970s, including appearances ~ above ElleryQueen and also Rod Serling’s NightGallery, where he appeared in Serling’s “The various Ones.”
By the beforehand 1980sAndrews quiet retired indigenous acting as soon as he started suffering the beforehand effectsof Alzheimer’s. Andrews suffered a well-documented difficulty with alcohol duringhis prime years which part speculate added to the diminishing returns ofhis career. That later became a sober and also outspoken advocate for theacknowledgment and also treatment that alcoholism in America. The passed far onDecember 17, 1992 at age 83.
The standout supportingperformance in the episode is Patricia Breslin together Abigail Sloan. Breslin(1931-2011), much like her function in Richard Matheson’s 2nd season episode“Nick that Time,” offers a sorry female influence to an obsessive maleprotagonist. ~ above a collection which as well often illustrated wives and also love interests aseither villainous or indifferent, Breslin is a breath of new air in “No TimeLike the Past.” Breslin portrays Abby Sloan as sensitive, intelligent, andindependent if performing in a realistic layout which renders Rod Serling’srich conversation sound naturalistic. A prolific television performer, Breslinappeared in such genre programs together Suspense,The Web, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, and five appearances ~ above AlfredHitchcock’s programs, 3 for AlfredHitchcock Presents and also two an ext on TheAlfred Hitchcock Hour. Breslin likewise appeared in two of producer/directorWilliam Castle’s suspense films: Homicidal(1961) and also I saw What friend Did (1964).Breslin retired from acting as soon as she married the American entrepreneur art Modellin 1969, after which she became a renowned philanthropist. She passed away onOctober 12, 2011 at age 80.
The cast is rounded outwith several repeat Twilight region performers,notable among which is Malcolm Atterbury as the traveling salesman ProfessorEliot. If Atterbury’s character strikes friend as acquainted it is as result of the factthat Atterbury illustrated a very comparable character called Henry J. Fate in RodSerling’s very first season episode “Mr. Denton on Doomsday.”
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“No Time favor the Past”is i can not qualify to be all over near the peak of anyone"s favorite episode list nor perhaps one i beg your pardon willremain in the viewer’s mind lengthy after watching. This is perhaps because of itsfamiliar, recycled elements and also the general disdain among viewers because that thehour-long offerings the the 4th season. To mine mind it stays the epitome ofthe median episode, neither great nor poor, but one which features a wistfullymelancholy atmosphere along with solid performances from Dana andrews andPatricia Breslin.