The local "classic" television channel has begun to run the Twilight Zone at night. Since I don't find any of the 9pm options to be any good, I usually scan around the local channels to find something interesting. Now that they have replaced Alfred Hitchcock with Rod Serling, I may watch a bit more.
I never really watched any incarnation of the Twilight Zone. So each episode should seem new. Plus what are they, like 40-50 years old by now? The themes and the props in the scenes should be quite interesting.
Let's take an episode from last night. The premise is a convict has been sentenced to solitary confinement. The twist? The episode is situated thousands of years in the future and his prison is an asteroid. He lives in a desert valley on the asteroid, the only man on the rock. He suffers from loneliness that puts him on the brink of suicide on a daily basis.
Sounds bad but I didn't think so. A supply ship lands every 3 months to give him his food and other items. One of these items apparently is beer as he had some saved up. Beer in prison. Not a bad deal to me.
It seems the captain of the supply ship feels sorry for him. The other two "guard" do not as they heckle him when they make their delivery. Each time supplies are delivered they stay for up to 15 minutes otherwise they may miss their laugh window and have to wait a couple weeks before the trajectory back to earth can be made. Though the prisoner begs the captain to stay and play chess (he built one!) they tell him they need to leave soon. However, the captain has brought a big crate with him this time. He asks the prisoner to open it only after they have left as he doesn't want the other guys to know what he brought him.
When their rocket takes off- yes, a rocket that landed on its fins- he opens it up and starts to get angry. I had a guess as to what was in the crate and had to wait until after the commercial to get confirmation. It was a woman. Well, actually a woman robutt. I say robutt instead of robot because that is how they pronounced it. The guy reads the instructions to find out it is made to be just like a lady with feelings and emotions and everything else. But the prisoner is all pissed off because it ain't right. At first he refuses to acknowledge her name (Alesha) or what she is but later laments and falls for the robutt over time (11 months).
At this point I know where this plot is going but am not sure how it is going to get there. One night as they gaze at the stars he notices a ship. Next day the supply ship shows up and they give him the good news: He has been pardoned. He has 10 minutes to gather his stuff- up to 15 pounds- and board the ship. Of course that means he has to leave his robutt behind. But now he doesn't want to and tells the captain she is more than that. So he runs to protect her but he can't.
What does the captain do? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? He shoots the robutt. Pulls out a handgun and blammo! But he just doesn't shoot the robutt, he shoots it the face! Seriously, that was mean!
Guy gets on rocket and it is the end of the story.
I got a chuckle out of this. I still don't see why the guy was so angry that the captain gave him some company. He was ticked off saying it ain't right. It wasn't cuz the guy was gay. He showed himself to be very manly. He was give a great gift and he did not realize it.
Let's face it. If you are so lonely, wouldn't any company be good? Tom Hanks was very happy with Spaulding. Why was this guy mad at the robutt.
Furthermore, when he read the instructions and saw that it was made to be just like a woman, why didn't he take a look. You know. Check under the hood. See if there was a slot A for his tab B. Tune in the radio, make some honking noise. Hell, you ladies would have checked his dipstick to see how the oil was or for a place to blow air into it. How did curiousity not take over.
Another thing. These guys are dropping off supplies every 3 months and interacting with him. That doesn't sound so horrific a sentence to me. Again, he got beer!
I am hoping more episodes of the Twilight Zone amuse me as much as this one did. If this was great science fiction back then, I can't wait for more.