Lying in her hospital bed, professional dancer Liz Powell has a recurring nightmare where she takes the elevator down to the morgue and is invited in by a severe looking nurse. Her doctor assures her there is nothing wrong with her physically and that she's just overworked and a little tired. The nightmare is very real to her and the doctor suggests that she try to break the pattern to see if she can them to stop. The next time she has the dream, she travels down to the morgue but the dream goes off as before. She's eventually released from hospital but it's only when she gets to the airport that it all starts to make sense. Written by
Arlene Martel (credited here as Arlene Sax) plays the nurse in the morgue who taunts Liz Powell with the "room for one more," line. In order to make her look more sinister, they used makeup to give her a somewhat demonic look, complete with arched eyebrows. She would later land her most famous role, that of T'Pring, the woman betrothed to Spock in Star Trek: Amok Time (1967). The interesting thing is that a picture of her as the nurse in "Twenty-Two" is almost identical to her appearance in "Amok Time." See more »
In trying to follow the doctor's suggestion to break the pattern, Liz Powell takes 2 puffs on a cigarette instead, yet still manages to shatter the glass of water when reaching to put back the lighter. The cigarette suddenly disappears when she gets out of bed to go down the hallway. See more »
Miss Elizabeth Powell, professional dancer. Hospital diagnosis: acute anxiety brought on by overwork and fatigue. Prognosis: with rest and care, she'll probably recover. But the cure to some nightmares is not to be found in known medical journals. You look for it under 'potions for bad dreams' - to be found in the Twilight Zone.
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As one of the six videotaped TWZ episodes, "Twenty-two" certainly has a different look from the filmed versions--a definite retro feel. It is worth remembering that Sterling cut his teeth in early fifties TV (the "Golden Age") with its multi-camera staging and primitive kine-scope recording, as did director Jack Smight.
TV production of that era had a certain necessary art to it, created on- the-fly and halfway between filmed stage drama and true cinema, an acquired taste, to be sure. This episode had many lovely two-shots and a few absolutely gorgeous three-shots that are under-appreciated today. I have much the same feeling about the durable Marilyn Monroe lookalike Barbara Nicols, who starred in the episode. And then there was morgue nurse Arlene Martel...
The choice of videotape and other production shortcuts were almost certainly dictated by financial constraints, but I prefer to consider this episode a case of making lemonade.
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