On a pleasant day, the residents of Maple Street feel something akin to a tremor and hear a loud noise. Steve Brand thinks it's a meteorite though they didn't hear a create. When young Tommy tells them the science fiction story he read about an alien invasion where they were first sent among humans to live with them in disguise, paranoia sets in. They first suspect Les Goodman and loudmouth Charlie Farnsworth then points the finger at Steve and then Tommy. Events turn on Charlie as everyone runs amok. Written by
The street sign in the beginning is all wrong, it faces the camera rather than the street where the story takes places. In a typical American city, street signs are almost always placed in the direction of the street they are indicating, so traffic on the other street in the intersection know what they are turning onto or passing. In other words, the story is not set on Maple Street. Maple Street is the intersecting street at the end of the road the story is set on. See more »
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.
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Another of the truly classic episodes. It is set on an everyman street in an everyman town. This is on purpose because it's made to show how everyone is a friendly neighbor, washing cars, mowing lawns, doing that day to day stuff. All of a sudden, the power goes out. Not the usual transformer malfunction, but power to everything, even gas engines. It makes no sense to them. Then a boy makes a fatal mistake. He relates a science fiction story and gets them all worked up. Soon they are turning on each other. One engine starts and that person is seen as a threat. They think the monsters are within their mini-culture. It then escalates until each of them begins to believe terrible things about their recently loving friends. A shooting occurs and the world turns into chaos.
I guess a criticism of this would be that it is really simplistic and contrived. How would you get people to act predictably. There are way too many variables, way too many possibilities that could go wrong. Of course, we need to suspend the disbelief to allow it to captivate us. It's one of the most famous of the Twilight Zones and is even anthologized in high school textbooks.
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