The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
8.3/10
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20 user 4 critic

The Changing of the Guard 

After being forced to retire, Professor Fowler contemplates suicide when he doesn't feel he has made a difference in the world. That night he has an experience that shows him that he is wrong.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Philippa Bevans ...
Mrs. Landers - Housekeeper
...
Russell Horton ...
Bartlett
...
Boy (as Buddy Hart)
Robert Biheller ...
Graham (as Bob Biheller)
Kevin O'Neal ...
Butler
Jimmy Baird ...
Boy
Kevin Jones ...
Boy
Darryl Richard ...
Thompson
James Browning ...
Boy
Pat Close ...
Boy
Dennis Kerlee ...
Boy
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 June 1962 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The Horace Mann quote Fowler reads, "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity", is the motto of Rod Serling's college, Antioch, of which Mann was the first president. After writing the script for "The Changing of the Guard", Serling accepted a teaching post at Amish College. See more »

Goofs

Professor Fowler recognizes Dickie Weiss as "the first" one of his former students to die, on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Then he meets former classmate Rice (class of 1917), who had died at Chateau-Thierry in 1918, 23 years earlier. See more »

Quotes

[opening narration]
Narrator: 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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Soundtracks

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Edmund Hamilton Sears
Music by Richard Storrs Willis
Performed by Christmas carolers
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User Reviews

 
A Man Of Consequence
29 October 2014 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Donald Pleasance is outstanding as Literature Professor Ellis Fowler of the Rock Springs School For Boys, who has been teaching there for 51 years, but now, just before Christmas vacation, is informed by his sympathetic headmaster that he faces mandatory retirement. Shocked and disheartened by this news, Fowler goes into a depression, and considers suicide for what he considers a failed life, but the timely intervention of departed but appreciative former students give him a lesson he'll never forget... Wonderfully realized story is both touching and authentic, with a distinctive holiday mood that distinguishes this exquisite episode. Last of the third season would prove to be ironically titled, since series went on hiatus before returning in a new hour-long format.


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