In a small farming community in Ohio, a young boy by the name of Anthony Fremont terrorizes those around him. Anthony has the ability to command anything he wants simply by thought. The community is cut off from the outside world and the boy insists that those around him think only pleasant thoughts, and if they don't, he eliminates them. Everyone walks in fear of the lad who ably demonstrates what he's prepared to do at a small party in his home. Written by
Contains the longest opening narration of any segment of any Twilight Zone series. See more »
Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there's a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken ...
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No need to recap the plot. As I recall, this oddball episode created a stir from the outset. It's a tricky premise, making a kid the demonic villain. I'm guessing that had not The Bad Seed (1956) been a movie success with its wicked little girl, this premise would never have flown. Credit the cast for making it fly despite the questionable material. Little Mumy is perfect with his impish face and searing glare. I expect the role has followed him for a lifetime. Then too, there's the bevy of adults cowering in his presence, where everything evil he does is "good". Seeing the brawny John Larch quaking in his son's presence is especially unnerving. On the other hand, I wish they had held the Jack-in-the-Box frame a little longer so it could soak in. Still, having it flit by has its own brand of nightmarish impact. Anyway, the premise was a daring one for its time, as Serling's extended prolog suggests. Nonetheless, as the half-hour's lasting reputation shows, the effort succeeded, and in spades.
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