Tales of Tomorrow (1951–1953)
4 user

What You Need 

An unscrupulous free-lance writer extorts the elderly owner of a seedy second-hand shop who is prescient about the future.



(teleplay), (story) (as Lewis Padgett)




Episode cast overview:
... Tom Carmichael
Edgar Stehli ... Peter Talley


An unethical free-lance writer, desperate for money, has noticed that many well-to-do businessmen frequent Peter Talley's seedy second-hand shop, where they buy seemingly mundane items for large sums of money. He browbeats mild-mannered Talley into giving him "what he needs," an ordinary pair of shears, and is cautioned to always carry them on his person. The greedy writer, anxious to obtain money to marry his slatternly girl friend, finds the shears to be a life saver. When his scarf is caught in machinery and threatens to strangle him, the scissors literally save his life. Sensing there is money to be made, he extorts the store owner into revealing himself as a scientist whose back room machine gives him a window into a man's future. Written by (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated




Release Date:

8 February 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Peter Talley: I didn't ask for this terrible power. Oh, God, why was it granted me? It's not for man on Earth!
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Version of The Twilight Zone: What You Need (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Thumbs up for "What You Need".
1 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

Tales of Tomorrow offers this nice little gem in the realm of science fiction. Drama, intrigue, and insights into human behavior highlight this episode from early television. The DVD I saw had 6 other episodes on it. I liked this episode the best. It contained good acting, plausible reactions from the characters, an interesting sci-fi plot. All the episodes on this disc come complete with the original commercials. Masland Sportswear sponsored this episode. Both the show and the commercial are interesting if for no other reason but to view an early part of television history. "What you Need" though is more than just a part of history. It can still hold your interest today and it makes an enjoyable story. Well worth the short amount of time it takes to watch it. Thumbs up for "What You Need".

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