Professor Ellis Fowler has been teaching at the Rock Spring School for Boys for a great many years. In fact, he taught the grandfather of one of his current students. Just before Christmas however, he's told by the headmaster that his contract will not be renewed for the new year. Despondent, he returns home convinced that his life has been wasted and decides to end it all. Before he can do so however, his is visited by some very special students from the past who give him cause to reconsider. Written by
Although set at Christmas, the show was aired in June. See more »
When Professor Fowler brushes the snow from the tombstone, you can hear a hollow sound, indicating that the tombstone is made of plastic. See more »
Professor Ellis Fowler, a gentle, bookish guide to the young, who is about to discover that life still has certain surprises, and that the campus of the Rock Springs School for Boys lies on a direct path to another institution, commonly referred to as the Twilight Zone.
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Donald Pleasence who mostly has played some of the worst villains on screen gets to play an aging English teacher in a prep school who is told that he has to retire after about 50 years on the job. This episode is so good I would never say it was ripped off, but it certainly was a gentle homage to James Hilton's Goodbye Mr. Chips.
I can only think of one other good guy that Pleasence ever did in his career and it was one of the escapees in The Great Escape. Here he's been told by headmaster Liam Sullivan that it's time to retire, but he will be on half pay for the rest of his life. Pleasence takes it as a reflection on himself as a teacher and concludes he's not really accomplished much of anything.
But as he's about to commit suicide he gets a visit from some of his pupils in the past and realizes just what influence and for the good he's had on the young men he's taught.
This episode is Donald Pleasence's and being cast against his normal type shows what a fine actor that man was. This episode will move the lions at the 5th Avenue library to tears.
Pleasence's performance and a fine story and script make this one of the best Twilight Zone episodes ever.
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