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"The Twilight Zone: The Lonely (#1.7)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Twilight Zone" The Lonely (1959)

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36 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

She Doesn't Even Need a Wedding Ring

Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
30 June 2006

One of the very best of the series. Convicted criminal Jack Warden is banished to outlying asteroid, where he lives alone on barren plain (Death Valley) in a rickety corrugated shack (not a wise choice of hot weather building materials). Needless to say, he's going slowly nutzoid. Supply ship commander (Dehner) takes pity and smuggles a female android to him for company.

Outstanding script treats Warden's predicament in unusually intelligent, thoughtful manner, providing at the same time some insight into ordinary human frailties. Android gimmick supplements theme rather than defining it. Solid performances, especially Warden's depiction of a man at the end of his rope, (note presence of uncredited Ted Cassidy as crewman, practicing the obnoxious personality that would later flower as Ted Baxter on "Mary Tyler Moore Show"). Good location sites help create sense of desperate isolation. The shot of the shack pictured against the infernally barren landscape is enough to send you running for the nearest city. Ending is powerfully done with an emotional impact that will likely stay with you.

In my book, this is one of the entries that established the series' reputation and its now classic status.

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28 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A curiously romantic Episode

Author: Brandon-161 from United States
2 June 2006

Many TZ episodes rely on a twist in the end to provide the entertainment. Many of the best know do this - "5 Characters', 'To Serve Man', 'Time Enough At Last' all come to mind.

The kind of thing that allows a 1 sentence total spoiler.

But there is another substantial body of episodes that do not have a twist at the end. Most have a cataclysmic event (I do not do spoilers) but they seem to be juggernauts, proceeding to their doom as surely as anything can.

This one is like that. Jean Marsh is wonderful in her earlier roles, as the robot companion smuggled to the intergalactic exile's bare asteroid/prison.

Typical of the Fatalist Serling's stories, this one will satisfy you if you are a Twilight Zone fan, but the ambush comes from the cold slap of reality.

That is what Romantic Tragedy is all about.

I think this is one of the best.

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23 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Compelling Story Of A Man And His Robot

Author: Skeeter700 from British Columbia
6 February 2006

"The Lonely" tells the futuristic story of a man found guilty of murder. His sentence is to serve 50 years on a small asteroid alone. This episode starts with the convict looking forward to a supply ship arriving with provisions for him. This ship visits every 3 months and provide the convict with a brief break from the tedious boredom of his daily life. The captain of the supply ship feels sorry for the convict and believes his story of self-defense. We are told he often prolongs his stay on the asteroid to visit, play cards, and entertain this prisoner. But, on this visit, the captain leaves the convict with a present: a robot companion. The rest of the episode deals with the prisoners relationship with the robot. This is a well-written episode of "The Twilight Zone". We feel for the prisoner and understand his loneliness as well as the many emotions he feels after meeting the robot. This episode is well worth watching. It earns 9.3 out of 10.

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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Serling does Asimov

Author: davemci from Edinburgh, Scotland
7 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an excellent TV rendition of what could be an early Isaac Asimov short story.

It has one main plot idea - man and machine and how the differences can blur.

There is no time to develop the plot to any great extent, Serling simply raises the idea of how man and machine can interact and the consequences that might follow. Never the less it's a thought provoking episode as most TZ episodes are.

I am working my way through Twighlight Zone episodes (series 1) and this episode (#7) is remarkable for an impressive new opening montage sequence that stands up to anything you could expect to see today. Maybe not so much in the technical sense but certainly in style and impact.

Oh, and Jean Marsh is gorgeous!

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding Episode about the complexity of the human condition

Author: Scottygirl Scottigirl from Canada
7 June 2011

A lot of what is in the Twilight Zone episodes lived inside of Mr Serling himself. In a short twenty odd minutes he paints a complex picture of the emotional human condition in general. I have read where he had a lot of insecurities about himself and I think he tried to make sense of this universe and his place in it through his writing. He first establishes the anguish of Corey's loneliness and his sense of desolation. I thought Jack warden was really outstanding in this episode. His narration of Serling's monologue about loneliness near the beginning of the show was heart felt and I thought really communicated what Serling was trying to say.

The innocence and emotional vulnerability of Alicia pulls you into the story of two beings that feel and need each other. When she said she could feel loneliness too, Serling was again saying something deeper.

The brief scenes where they play chess and watch the night sky together are very poignant. Two beings sharing each each other making themselves feel complete.

The stark ending leaves the viewer filled with sorrow and raises complex philosophical questions. Corey's sad resignation in his last few words make this episode more than just the sum of it's parts. Rod Serling was a man who had something to say about ourselves and our place in the universe. What a wonderful thing to be able to create something for others to contemplate on after you are gone.

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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Very good episode...though a tad creepy

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
9 September 2007

This is a science fiction episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and is set some time in the future. In this future, space travel is more routine and the government back on Earth is rather despotic--sentencing prisoners so live out long sentences on barren planets or asteroids as punishment. This story is about one of these prisoners.

The film begins with a space ship landing to bring supplies to the prisoner. It seems that they arrive every few years to bring supplies to this desert prison. Some of the crew members are very hostile towards the prisoner, but the commander feels sorry for the man and brings him a present which is ONLY to be opened after the ship departs. It turns out this present is a robotic lady who loves the prisoner and wants to be his wife, though naturally the prisoner is creeped out by the prospect of making love to a machine! How this all is resolved is both oddly sad yet romantic. I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil it. See this one--it's a keeper.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:


Author: besthire2008 from United States
29 June 2009

Actually, it was Ted KNIGHT, not Ted CASSIDY, who played the uncredited obnoxious crew member. The very tall (6'9") Mr. Cassidy is probably best remembered for playing butler Lurch on 'The Addams Family.' Ted Knight, of course, is the actor who played anchorman Ted Baxter on 'Mary Tyler Moore.'

Having said that, there is no disputing that this was one of the very best episodes (tied with 'Midnight Sun' as my personal favorite) of the Twilight Zone series. No small achievement, considering the number of gems presented. Unfortunately, in order to make room for more commercials than when it was originally presented on CBS, Sci-Fi Channel has cut one crucial scene. In it, one night Corry and Alicia are gazing at the stars, with Corry explaining which star is which, etc., and, well, 'cuddling.' Not just romantic, but touching, the scene adds even more emotional power to this compelling episode. You MAY have a chance to see the uncut version when Sci-Fi Channel has one of its Twilight Zone Marathons. Look for it again at 4:00 a.m. EDT, Sunday July 5, 2009.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Unusual love story is beautiful and unforgettable

Author: mlraymond from Durham NC
9 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jack Warden is perfectly cast as the man condemned to live on an isolated planet alone. The range of emotions he goes through in this episode is amazing, from eagerness to have even a brief visit with anyone from Earth, to bitterness at his living death sentence, to wonder and fear when he meets Alicia for the first time, to real affection and devotion over time.

SPOILERS AHEAD: When he unpacks the mysterious crate, and reads the instruction manual, and looks in amazement at the beautiful woman standing a short distance away, the entire scene is so utterly real. When she introduces herself and he nervously tells her to go away, and she looks hurt, but tries again, his angry denunciation of her for not being real, but a thing that mocks his loneliness by her very presence, and his shame and contrition when he shoves her away and she falls down. The moment when she looks up at him with tears in her eyes and says, "You hurt me, Corry", his sudden overwhelming awareness that she really is a woman, as the instruction manual stated, with emotions just like his. The humble way that he apologizes and helps her to her feet, and gently leads her into his shack, and the scenes that follow, of Corry slowly establishing a real relationship with her, are tenderly moving.

This very early Twilight Zone episode stands as one of the all time best of the series, both in writing and acting. I just wish it had a happy ending.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

My favorite episode

Author: jbbc72 from United States
6 January 2008

With so many great episodes, it's hard to pick a favorite. But over the years, I liked the Lonely the best. Serling's narration was among his finest which adds to the great story of a man who killed in self defense having to live in solitary confinement on an asteroid 9 million miles from Earth. You can feel the silence he has to face each moment as well as the time that can't go fast enough. When one of his quarterly supply ships lands, Allenby(the captain) who has known Corry(the lonely man) from previous supply stops secretly brings him "salvation" in the form of a robot built in the form of a woman. The first time I saw this episode, I was shocked when he opens the crate and it was this lifelike robot. Anyway, Corry rejects this robot until he finds out "she" has feelings and can even cry. He falls in love with her and each day can now be tolerated. Allenby comes back to inform Corry that he's been given a pardon. He is ecstatic. But there's a big problem. Watch and find out. One very nice scene that is cut out in syndication(but is shown on DVD) is when Corry is sitting with Alicia(robot) under a pitch black starry night and he is explaining the stars to her. You can feel his contentedness, peace and at least an artificial escape from loneliness.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Superbly involving

Author: ( from Lincoln, England
21 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After a minor hiccup with 'Escape Clause', 'The Twilight Zone' got back on track with another classic episode. By this time the series had really hit its stride and 'The Lonely' began a run of brilliance that would last for several weeks.

Focusing again on loneliness and isolation, one of the shows' most frequent themes, 'The Lonely' tells the story of a convict sentenced to fifty years of solitary confinement on a distant planet. It is a thoroughly compelling episode due to a great Serling script and some wonderful locations. The episode was filmed in the scorching hot Death Valley but it really does look like a deserted asteroid. The performances of the cast are generally decent but not particularly remarkable, save for Jean Marsh in the role of the robot woman Alicia. When she first emerges from her box she speaks a little too robotically, probably to emphasise the fact that she is a machine and create a dramatic end to the first act. However, after this initial moment, Marsh turns in a performance far more complex than a simple Robo-lady act. Hers is a performance of wide eyed innocence and intense lovability. When she is pushed to the floor by Jack Warden and lays facing the camera with her face twisted in emotional and physical pain, only the most cold hearted viewer could fail to surrender their heart. And so begins the main thrust of the story. The viewer is tricked into falling for Alicia even before Warden does so by the episode's end we are just as desperate as he is for her not to be left behind. When Allenby shoots her in the face we flinch and it is not until we see the exposed wires and circuitry that we fully realise, as Warden finally does, that Alicia is just an illusion. All this is testament to what an involving episode 'The Lonely' really is.

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