Millicent Barnes is waiting in the bus station waiting for her bus to Cortland to arrive. The weather outside is dreadful and the bus is over half an hour late already. When she inquires the station clerk chides her for constantly asking when it will arrive. The only thing is it's the first time he's asked him anything. When she goes to the powder room the cleaning lady suggests she was just in there, she begins to worry that she's going mad. A good Samaritan, Paul Grinstead, tries to help her out but soon realizes there may be an explanation for what is happening after all. Written by
The cities mentioned in this episode (Cortland, Syracuse, Tully, and Binghamton) all lie along Hwy. 11 in central upstate New York. The use of these places is a homage by Rod Serling to his childhood. He was born in Syracuse and lived in Binghamton until he graduated high school. Even when he lived in Hollywood during his heyday, he maintained a home in Binghamton. See more »
Millicent Barnes, age twenty-five, young woman waiting for a bus on a rainy November night. Not a very imaginative type is Miss Barnes, not given to undue anxiety or fears, or, for that matter, even the most temporal flights of fancy. Like most career women, she has a generic classification as a, quote, girl with a head on her shoulders, end of quote. All of which is mentioned now because, in just a moment, the head on Miss Barnes' shoulders will be put to a test. ...
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A woman (Vera Miles) awaits a bus in a deserted station and undergoes a strange experience.
Perhaps the creepiest of all the episodes. The dimly-lit old station presided over by a grouchy ticket seller is the very model of a late night bad dream, the kind of place where sounds echo off the walls and different dimensions come together. Then too, no one in 1959 was better at portraying afflicted women than Vera Miles, which is probably why producer Houghton got her for the show. Watch the subtlety of her expressions as she drifts deeper into emotional torment-- no wonder she was a Hitchcock favorite. The direction by Gothic ace John Brahm is also outstanding. In fact, his movie career specialized in just such psychologically troubled subjects. Also hard to say enough about Bernard Hermann's wonderfully eerie score that blends in with developments at exactly the right moments, leading us ever further into the suspense. Even the cop car abduction adds to the overall effect with an unnerving police-state abruptness about it. Baby-face Martin Milner registers too, as a concerned stranger or is he just "on-the-make"-- certainly the thought must have crossed his mind as he sits down next to her. Perhaps that was his big mistake.
Almost a perfectly wrought little gem from that marvelous first year of the series.
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