In a world that is getting ever nearer to the sun, people are trying to find ways to deal with the extreme heat. Most people have gone north with Norma and Mrs. Bronson the only two people left in their apartment building. There is little or no infrastructure remaining and water is one commodity that is very much in demand. They panic when an intruder breaks into Norma's apartment and holds them, at least for a few moments, at gunpoint. All is not as it seems however. Written by
Rod Serling's original script featured two characters who did not appear in the finished episode, a police officer and a refrigerator repairman. These roles are significant not only because Serling wrote them, but because he went so far as to cast them before he cut them from the script (Ned Glass was slated to be the repairman and John McLiam the police officer). Why they were cut probably traces back to Twilight Zone's budget problems, which had been growing significantly since James T. Aubrey, Jr. became chief executive of CBS in the show's second season. Similar problems occurred during the shooting of Twilight Zone: The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross (1964). See more »
The basic premise is a major flaw: the only things that could shift the Earth's orbit significantly are a near passage of or a collision with an astronomical body of sufficient size to alter the course of a body weighing 6.6 sextillion tons - the mass of the Earth. Either event would cause sufficient disturbances that there would mostly likely be no cities left standing, nor any people left in them to debate staying or fleeing - ergo, no story. (Of course, this is the Twilight Zone, where physics are not the same as in our world.) See more »
[Feeling a moment of morbid honesty while reporting the current worldwide situation]
Ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow you can fry eggs on sidewalks, heat up soup in the ocean and get help from wandering maniacs, if you choose.
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The Midnight Sun isn't one of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone for me, but even lesser entries in Rod Serling's excellent Sci-Fi mystery series show great invention and imagination, and this is no exception to that rule. The plot follows the nightmarish idea of the Earth gravitating so far towards the sun that the water is evaporating and the climate has risen heavily. Typically, we focus on just one house, in which two women are the inhabitants. The attention to detail in this story is great, and director Anton Leader does a great job of ensuring that the situation is always present. Things such as the fact that the characters find themselves caked in sweat ensure this. This episode carries with it a real nightmarish feel, which is well placed in a tale that sees the world's life blood taken away. The Midnight Sun isn't as surreal or trippy as some of the other episodes in the series, and on the whole it actually feels quite down to Earth; but the image of the sun burning in the sky is certainly indelible, and the way that the characters break down increases the potency of the world that they have found themselves in. The fact that each entry in The Twilight Zone is just twenty five minutes long and yet manages to set out a story that has more substance than a lot of feature length films is stunning, and I've got to say that I've been impressed with every episode that I've seen.
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