Successful businessman Paul Radin invites three people from his past to join him in the underground bunker he's built under his commercial office building. All three have had major influence on him though not the kind that made him what he is today. His former military commander had him court-martialed; his former teacher ridiculed and humiliated him in class after she caught him cheating; and his church Minister who ruined his reputation after he drove a girl to suicide. All he wants from them is one thing: a brief apology. The impact of what they've done is far greater than it appears. Written by
Mr. Paul Radin, a dealer in fantasy, who sits in the rubble of his own making and imagines that he's the last man on Earth, doomed to a perdition of unutterable loneliness because a practical joke has turned into a nightmare. Mr. Paul Radin, pallbearer at a funeral that he manufactured himself in the Twilight Zone.
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Joseph Wiseman creates his own hell in this Twilight Zone story. A fabulously wealthy multi-millionaire he has a bunker 300 feet below on Manhattan island. One night he invites three people from his past, a former school teacher Kathleen Squire, his former commanding officer from the North African Theater Trevor Bardette, and a minister Gage Clarke. These people are not there for the happy memories they bring.
Squire made a comment that really resonated with me; what a petty little ego this man has. She caught him cheating on a test and humiliated him before the class, but the reason she did was that he tried to foist his crib sheet on another kid. Gage Clarke counseled a girl whom he disgraced who later committed suicide. And Bardette ordered a court martial after he disobeyed an order in combat. Somehow he thinks they owe him an apology.
Wiseman is willing to let them stay in his bomb shelter and survive the nuclear holocaust he tells them is coming. But they're not willing to do even a bit of groveling to him.
And as this is the Twilight Zone Wiseman creates a peculiar kind of hell for himself. For which you have to see the episode.
Interesting idea, but should have been better developed, the half hour was too brief a time to do it.
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