Bartlett Finchley is an odd man, a writer who contributes to food magazines and the like. He lives alone and is always it seems in need of a repairman for one piece of household equipment or another. As time has gone by, he seems to be in a constant battle with machines - his typewriter, his television - which all have the same message for him: get out of the house. He has no intention of doing so however and the battle begins. Written by
When Finchley smashes the TV, the screen image stays visible for a short time after the screen is broken, revealing that the screen's image was superimposed. See more »
This is Mr. Bartlett Finchley, age forty-eight, a practicing sophisticate who writes very special and very precious things for gourmet magzines and the like. He's a bachelor and a recluse with few friends, only devotees and adherents to the cause of tart sophistry. He has no interests save whatever current annoyances he can put his mind to. He has no purpose to his life except the formulation of day-to-day opportunities to vent his wrath on mechanical contrivances of an age ...
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This truly not one of the better episodes, but what is of interest is that Bartlett Finchley is almost certainly modeled after the humorist and movie personality Robert Benchley.
Benchley, who died in 1945 or thereabouts, became topical in 1960 as the result of the publication of a collection of his best humor by his son Nathaniel Benchley. Benchley fought an unending war against the inanimate objects around him, which he chronicled in a number of delightful and very funny pieces. Serling, who was hard up for ideas by that point, must have been as impressed as I was.
Or so I do believe. In any case, I have always thought the similarity between the characters name 'Finchley' and 'Benchley' is no coincidence.
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