When a 20th-century scientist tests out his time machine he accidentally retrieves a 19th-century murderer - saving him from the hangman's noose. Unaware of the man's history, the two attempt to acclimatize him to his new surroundings.
In the late 19th century, Joe Caswell is about to be hanged for murder, when he vanishes into thin air. He's been snatched by Prof. Manion's time machine and brought 80 years into the future. Caswell was selected at random and Manion can see the rope marks on his neck. Caswell is eager to see his new world but Manion wants to send him back. When Caswell runs off into the night, his new world proves to be too much for him. Justice is served in the end and a murderer hangs. Written by
This episode takes place on November 14, 1880 and in 1960. See more »
Mr. Caswell acts surprised at Professor Manion's voice recording, though gramophones have been around since 1860. See more »
[speaking into a Dictaphone]
At 8:15 the subject appeared desperately tired, so I put him to bed. After two hours, I've discovered the following: His name is Joseph Caswell. He tells me he was a trail boss on a cattle ranch in the territory of Montana. His last moment of recollection was November 14th, 1880. He says he was riding herd when suddenly he blacked out. He awoke to find himself on the cot of my laboratory. He felt no sensations, and only in the last few moments did he seem to have any...
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Time machine transports outlaw Albert Salmi from 1880's hangman's rope to 1960's New York City.
Time travel was of course a series staple, only here it's explored with more humor and insight than most. Two elements stand out for me. Salmi's portrayal of the crudely inarticulate cowboy is stunningly realistic from archaic speech patterns to crackling voice quality to squinty-eyed stare, all of which suggest a hard life on the trail. I doubt any of the many cowboy shows of the time produced quite this level of authenticity. There's also the unexpectedly funny details of transporting a "19th century primitive" into a "20th century urban jungle", as the script puts it. The barroom scene with Salmi and a flummoxed Manhattan bartender is as comically inventive as any in the series. Having the cowboy react frantically to the intolerable noise level of the city is both grimly humorous and tells us a lot about a hundred years of "progress". Too bad the episode is marred by a highly implausible struggle between a scrawny Than Wyenn and the burly Salmi, for which the director should take the blame-- what was he thinking. Anyway, it's a very entertaining and revealing half-hour with the usual TZ dollop of irony thrown in.
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