Produced at the same time as the more well-known Twilight Zone, this series fed the nation's growing interest in paranormal suspense in a different way. Rather than creating fictional ... See full summary »
Will J. White
The intolerant Archibald Beechcroft is a misanthropic clerk of the Central Park Insurance Co. that hates everybody. When a colleague gives him a book about the power of the mind, Archibald reads the magic book and decides to wipe out the human race. However, he feels lonely and uses his ability to make the entire population of his city his perfect clone, discovering how hateful the world would be. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Henry accidentally spills presumably hot coffee on Beechcroft, Beechcroft doesn't seem to have been burned. See more »
Mr. Archibald Beechcroft, a child of the twentieth century, who has found out through trial and error - and mostly error - that with all its faults, it may well be that this is the best of all possible worlds. People notwithstanding, it has much to offer. Tonight's case in point - in the Twilight Zone.
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In 1961, Shelley Berman was a hot commercial property. Unknown now, in those days he was hailed as one of the rising wave of new comedians that included the better known Bob Newhart and Bill Cosby, along with other lesser names. Their inventive monologues included clever telephone skits, a shtick totally unlike the generations of comics preceding them, but really very funny. Perhaps the one-way telephone conversation got old, but except for Newhart and Cosby, the 'New Wave' didn't last. Thus, viewers of this episode may be wondering: just who in the heck is Shelley Berman.
The episode seems tailor-made for the average-looking Berman. He's caught up in the rat race of earning a living in a high-pressure urban environment and wants relief. A book teaches him 'mind over matter', so he simply wishes away everyone besides himself. They vanish and now he's alone. Unfortunately, the show is devoid of high points. In short, it's flat and uninspired, leaving a good premise under-explored. The real problem is Berman, who can't really act, thus demonstrating why he belongs in front of a night club audience instead of a dramatic show camera. Too bad.
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