Thursday, April 24, 2014

"The Odyssey of Flight 33"

Clockwise from left: Paul Comi, Harp McGuire, Sandy Kenyon, Wayne Heffley, and John Anderson

"The Odyssey of Flight 33"
Season Two, Episode 54
Original Air Date: February 24, 1961

Cast:
Captain Farver: John Anderson
1st Officer Craig: Paul Comi
Flight Engineer Purcell: Harp McGuire
2nd Officer Wyatt: Wayne Heffley
Navigator Hatch: Sandy Kenyon
Paula: Nancy Rennick
Jane: Beverly Brown
RAF Man: Lester Fletcher
Lady on Plane: Betty Garde
Passenger: Jay Overholts

Crew:
Writer: Rod Serling (original teleplay)
Director: Justus Addiss
Producer: Buck Houghton
Associate Producer: Del Reisman
Director of Photography: George T. Clemens
Art Direction: George W. Davis and Philip Barber
Set Decoration: Henry Grace and H. Web Arrowsmith
Assistant Director: Darrell Hallenbeck
Casting: Ethel Winant
Editor: Bill Mosher
Technical Advisor: Robert Serling
Dinosaur Sequence: Jack Harris & Project Unlimited
Music: Stock

And Now, Mr. Serling:
"Next week you'll find each of your names on the passenger manifest of this jet aircraft that travels from London to New York City. You'll sit in these seats and you'll go through an experience unique beyond words and tense beyond anything I believe you've ever seen. You'll be departing next week at about this time in a vehicle we call 'The Odyssey of Flight 33.' But be prepared for a stop midway. . . in the Twilight Zone."

Rod Serling's Opening Narration:
"You're riding in a jet airliner en route from London to New York. You're at thirty five thousand feet atop an overcast and roughly fifty five minutes from Idlewild Airport. But what you've seen occur inside the cockpit of this plane is no reflection on the aircraft or the crew. It's a safe, well engineered, perfectly designed machine. And the men you've just met are a trained, cool, highly effecient team. The problem is simply that the plane is going too fast and there is nothing within the realm of knowledge, or at least logic, to explain it. Unbeknownst to passengers and crew, this airplane is heading into an uncharted region well off the beaten track of commercial travelers. It's moving into the Twilight Zone. What you're about to see, we call 'The Odyssey of Flight 33.'"

Summary:
            During a routine commerical flight, and only a short distance from arrival at its scheduled destination, Global 33, a jet airliner, catches a sudden and strong tail wind that sends the aircraft careening forward at unsafe speeds. The crew attempts to contact a control tower but is unable to raise anyone on the radio. When a shock wave and blinding flash occur, the crew believe they have broken through the sound barrier. Unable to get their bearings using the instruments on board, Captain Farver decides to descend below the cloud cover in order to establish their location. The crew recognizes Manhattan and the surrounding islands but there is no sign of the city skyline or of human dwellings. As they get lower, the 1st Officer sees something that confirms a horrible suspicion. He sees a dinosaur below, feeding on the leaves of a tree. Global 33 has traveled backwards in time.
            Captain Farver decides that their only option to get back home is to ascend again and pass back through the sound barrier that brought them here. After they pass through, the plane descends and the crew is delighted to see the recognizable buildings of New York below. The Navigation Officer cannot raise Idlewild Airport on the radio and instead manages to contact nearby LaGuardia airfield. There is some confusion as the air traffic controller on the other end has never heard of radar or a jet. Despite the confusion, he clears the plane to land. Upon their further descent, the crew members notice something below, the buildings that comprise the New York World's Fair, an event which happened in 1939, over twenty years previous. They come to the horrible realization that they came forward in time but not forward enough.
            At this point, Captain Farver decides to let the passengers in on the dire situation and makes an announcement on the final course of the aircraft. Dangerously low on fuel, Global 33 ascends a final time to pass back through the sound barrier in the hopes of emerging in its own time.

Rod Serling's Closing Narration:
"A Global jet airliner, en route from London to New York on an uneventful afternoon in the year 1961, but now reported overdue and missing, and by now searched for on land, sea, and air by anguished human beings fearful of what they'll find. But you and I know where she is. You and I know what's happened. So if some moment, any moment, you hear the sound of jet engines flying atop the overcast, engines that sound searching and lost, engines that sound desperate, shoot up a flare or do something. That would be Global 33 trying to get home, from the Twilight Zone."

Commentary:

"They don't talk about the flight much anymore - at least the pros don't. On occasion a vastly theoretical article will appear in a Sunday supplement or mention will be made in a book on air disasters but, by and large, the world's day-to-day catastrophes are sufficient in scope and number to take even the loss of a giant airliner off the agenda."
           -"The Odyssey of Flight 33," More Stories from the Twilight Zone 

            It is apparent in every aspect of "The Odyssey of Flight 33" that it was a particularly important episode for Rod Serling. He brought his brother, Robert, an aviation writer for the United Press, on as an advisor to assist him with the technical aspects of the show and seems, through his manner and words, to be physically willing the episode to be a success. His preview narration states that the episode is "tense beyond anything I believe you've ever seen" and his script and the delivery of his narration quickly inform us that this isn't going to be the usual Rod Serling effort. There is virtually no trace of humor, no heavy moralizing, and no over-worded script weighed down by dense, time consuming conversations, all unfortunate qualities of Serling's lesser efforts on the show. Serling's script for "The Odyssey of Flight 33" is as lean and mean as anything he wrote for the show. Some of Serling’s weaker scripts seem to be filling in the half hour or hour time slots with superfluous sight gags (“Mr. Dingle, the Strong”, “Hocus Pocus and Frisby”) or with endless talking (“Uncle Simon”, “The Fear”). None of this is found in “The Odyssey of Flight 33.”  If anything, the viewer comes away from the episode wanting more, though some of that feeling is certainly our innate need to have a satisfactory conclusion at the end of a story. Serling doesn’t give it to us. He delivers his tale quickly and accurately and then gets out of the way, letting the setup and the excellent acting carry the episode along. With "The Odyssey of Flight 33," he leaves us up in the air concerning the fate of the aircraft, its crew, and its passengers. It's all left to conjecture and it’s really the perfect ending to one of the very good episodes of the show.
            It may seem contradictory to compliment Serling on his ability to create a fast moving episode void of the usual meandering and moralizing, not to mention the broad humor that hideously cropped up repeatedly on the show, and to also fault it for the same reasons, but if there is one aspect of the episode that prevents it from being in the top tier it is that the episode comes off as too technical, too rigidly plot driven, with no time or effort given to establishing that unique quality of the show's best episodes which uses fantasy or science fiction to illuminate some profouond insight into human nature. The episode can feel too thrift and gimmicky. It is interesting to think of how the episode would have played as an hour-long segment of the fourth season, a season during which Serling struggled to produce an episode of real quality.
That being said, "The Odyssey of Flight 33" works best as a quick moving thriller which was produced with Serling's usual workmanlike efficiency and which exists on a threadbare, and somewhat cliche (even by 1961 standards), plot to show off the realistic settings and technical details of an industry which was, in 1961, endlessly fascinating to the average American, not to mention to Serling himself, who served in the airborne division as a young man, was brother to an award winning aviation writer with an international audience,  and created or approved a slew of aircraft based fantasies for The Twilight Zone, such as "King Nine Will Not Return" or "The Arrival," two episodes also scripted by Serling, both of which bear similarities to "The Odyssey of Flight 33."
Richard Matheson, another core writer on the show, had already produced a time travel episode based around an aircraft with "The Last Flight," for the first season, though Matheson used the idea not for displays of a technical nature but in a more traditional manner of exploring an aspect of the human condition through the lens of a fantasy construct. Matheson would return to the theme later in the fourth season to create one of the finest episodes The Twilight Zone would air, the hour-long "Death Ship," and again, unforgettably, with the fifth season’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” both times using a clever plot device to explore broader, humanistic themes.
        Serling doesn't concern himself with this very much in "The Odyssey of Flight 33." Often, when Serling turned his attentions to matters of a dark nature, he fastened onto a clever idea and rode the plot straight through with none of his usual philosophical explorations. When Serling produced an episode like "Mirror Image," "The After Hours," or "The Odyssey of Flight 33," he was simply trying to scare the audience. That isn't to say these episodes or ones like them aren't complex or that Serling wrote none of his concerns into these scripts. Serling was often successful at finding a middle ground between his plot driven thrillers and his Bradburyesque offerings of introspection and/or whimsical fantasy, which became the foundation of the show. With "The Odyssey of Flight 33," Serling became enamored with portraying the world of air travel in a strictly accurate and technically sound manner. In the time after the episode aired, Robert Serling was to boast that the episode was, and remains, one of the most technically accurate offerings ever filmed on the subject of air travel.
            While compiling The Twilight Zone Companion (Bantam, 1982), author Marc Scott Zicree interviewed Robert Serling and learned the genesis of the episode. Rod Serling had received mail from American Airlines in which the airline company was offering, to any production studio on the west coast, a mock-up of a 707 passenger cabin to be used for filming. American Airlines, which had used the item for training and had built a replacement, was now trying to sell off the first one. Rod Serling became fascinated by the idea of filming an episode within such an enclosed set and lit upon the idea of the aircraft traveling back in time after picking up a strong tail wind and breaking through the sound barrier.
            Robert Serling, then a Washington D.C. resident and award-winning aviation writer for the United Press, was visiting his brother Rod on the west coast at the time Rod received the brochure from American Airlines. Though the two briefly discussed Rod's idea at the time, Robert went back to Washington and didn't hear anything more on the subject until about two weeks later when Rod, having moved forward with the idea and now producing it as an episode for the show, called him asking for help in creating authentic dialogue for the cockpit scenes, which would come to dominate the episode. With the help of a pilot for TWA also living in Washington, Robert came up with the technically accurate dialogue heard in the episode. The manner used, according to Robert Serling, was to act out the scenes with the TWA pilot while killing a bottle of bourbon throughout the course of a night. Rod later sent drafts of the script to his brother with Robert sending back corrections and suggestions for additional dialogue. The results were some incredibly tense and accurate cockpit scenes. The surprises and twists in the episode hinged on the dialogue accuracies displaying the changes of a technical nature which the commercial aircraft industry had undergone through its early years.
            The other interesting aspect of the episode's production is the brief dinosaur stop-motion animation sequence which established a visual element for the time travel aspect of the show. Film producer Jack H. Harris was contacted by Cayuga Productions to provide the animation and would return to provide another stop-motion sequence of dinosaur action for the third season episode, "It's a Good Life." Harris scored a huge hit in 1958 with The Blob and, in 1960, financed the dinosaur film Dinosaurus! which featured sequences of stop-motion animation. That film was co-produced and directed by Irvin Yeaworth, Jr., director of The Blob and 1959's 4-D Man, the latter also being a Jack Harris production. Dinosaurus! ultimately inspired the series to contact Harris about providing the needed dinosaur footage.  
           The models created for Dinosaurus! were used to create new footage for "The Odyssey of Flight 33." The animation is the work of an accomplished group of special effects technicians known professionally as Project Unlimited, which was founded in 1957 by artists Wah Chang, Gene Warren, and Tim Baar to provide a multitude of special effects procedures for film and television production. Project Unlimited would produce visual effects, design props and sets, and create makeup effects for some of the most revered properties of mid-20th century science fiction, including George Pal's The Time Machine (1960), the Planet of the Apes film series, and television shows such as The Outer Limits, Star Trek, and Land of the Lost, working alongside such Academy Award winning makeup artists as William Tuttle (who provided much of the makeup effects for George Pal's films and for The Twilight Zone) and John Chambers (makeup artist for The Outer Limits, Star Trek, and Planet of the Apes).
            Producer Buck Houghton recalled the total budget for the animated sequence as $2,500 in an interview with author Marc Scott Zicree, but author and television historian Martin Grams, Jr., in The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic (OTR, 2008), a work largely compiled from office records and other material located in the CBS archives, listed the budget for the sequence even higher at $3,940. Proper individual credits for the sequence are likely lost to time. Though no credits are given in the film, stop-motion animation for Dinosaurus! is believed to have been performed by Tom Holland, Phil Kellison, and Don Sahlin, yet it is just as likely that the work for "The Odyssey of Flight 33" was performed by animator Jim Danforth, who joined Project Unlimited for production on 1960's The Time Machine. Danforth provided stop-motion animation sequences for a number of films in the 1960s, including Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962), Jack the Giant Killer (1962), and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964).
           The sculptors of the tabletop models for Dinosaurus! were the brothers Delgado, Marcel and Victor, who worked on several features in the 1950s and 1960s with Project Unlimited. Their work on "The Odyssey of Flight 33," while fairly accomplished, is not on par with their previous work alongside stop-motion pioneer Willis O'Brien, who hired Marcel Delgado to sculpt the models for the 1925 fantasy film The Lost World, the 1931 experimental film Creation, and, most importantly, the original 1933 King Kong, which remains a triumph of ingenuity, skill, artistry, and imagination. The Delgados would subsequently work on the follow-up films to King Kong, the quickly produced Son of Kong, also released in 1933, and Mighty Joe Young, made some time later in 1949 and which featured early work by O'Brien's talented protégé, Ray Harryhausen, an immensely talented sculptor and animator who would come to define and dominate the stop-motion form in such films as The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953), The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and Clash of the Titans (1981).  Marcel and Victor Delgado also worked on films such as The Wizard of Oz (1939), 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954), Mary Poppins (1964), and Fantastic Voyage (1966). 
            A final note on the production is that Douglas Heyes, the director behind such masterful episodes of Twilight Zone as "The Howling Man" and "Eye of the Beholder," was originally slated to direct "The Odyssey of Flight 33" but was replaced at the last minute with Justus Addiss, presumably for reasons of a scheduling conflict. Though it is interesting to imagine what Heyes would have brought to the production, Addiss does a fine job directing a tense episode on a very claustrophobic set.
            "The Odyssey of Flight 33" remains a technically sound, tense, and thrilling episode which perhaps leaves the viewer with more questions than it does answers but does so fairly by the nature of its plot. The actors and actresses, including Twilight Zone repeat performers, are individually good and collectively great, bringing the fantastical nature of the show off with a cool believability. It deservedly remains a highly regarded and fondly remembered episode of the show.

Grade: B

Notes:
-Justus Addiss also directed the second season episode "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" and the fourth season episode "No Time Like the Past."
-John Anderson appears in three additional episodes of Twilight Zone, season one's "A Passage for Trumpet," season four's "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville," and season five's "The Old Man in the Cave."
-Paul Comi also appears in the first season episode "People Are Alike All Over" and in the fourth season episode, "The Parallel."
-Sandy Kenyon also appears in the third season episode, "The Shelter" and the fourth season episode, "Valley of the Shadow."
-Wayne Heffley also appears in the fifth season episode, "Black Leather Jackets."
-Nancy Rennick also appears in the first season episode, "The After Hours."
-Betty Garde also appears in the third season episode, "The Midnight Sun."
-"The Odyssey of Flight 33" was adapted as a Twilight Zone Radio Drama starring Daniel J. Travanti.
-Stephen King lifted elements of the plot of "The Odyssey of Flight 33" for his novella "The Langoliers," first published in September 1990 in the author's collection, Four Past Midnight. "The Langoliers" concerns a group of airplane passengers that are left in the past where they must find a way back to the present or face the terror of the title creatures, who literally eat past time and space. A character in the novella recalls the plot of "The Odyssey of Flight 33” during the course of the action.
-Rod Serling adapted his teleplay into prose for More Stories from the Twilight Zone (Bantam, 1961).The Bantam Pathfinder edition of More Stories From the Twilight Zone (1966) features imaginative cover art which takes its inspiration from "The Odyssey of Flight 33." It features an aircraft caught within a mass of gears above a primordial jungle in which a Tyrannosaurus can be seen. See cover below.

--Jordan Prejean



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Twenty Two"

Barbara Nichols as the tormented Liz Powell
“Twenty Two”
Season Two, Episode 53
Original Air Date: February 10, 1961

Cast:
Liz Powell: Barbara Nichols
Doctor: Jonathan Harris
Barney: Fredd Wayne
Nurse/Stewardess: Arline Sax
Night Duty Nurse: Norma Connolly
Day Duty Nurse: Mary Adams
Airline Agent: Wesley Lau
Ticket Clerk: Angus Duncan

Crew:
Writer: Rod Serling (teleplay based on an anecdote in Famous Ghost Stories, edited by Bennett Cerf. ("The Bus-Conductor" by E.F. Benson))
Director: Jack Smight
Producer: Buck Houghton
Associate Producer: Del Reisman
Art Direction: Craig Smith
Set Decoration: Arthur Jeph Parker
Technical Director: Jim Brady
Associate Director: James Clark
Casting: Ethel Winant
Music: Stock

And Now, Mr. Serling:
“This is room 22 and on the other side of its doors lies an adventure that is as fascinating as it is inexplicable.  It’s a story that comes to us from Mr. Bennett Cerf, who describes it as an age-old horror tale whose origin is unknown.  We have dressed it up in some hospital wrappings and enlisted the performance of Miss Barbara Nichols.  Next on the Twilight Zone, ‘Twenty Two.’  Be prepared to be spooked.  It’s that kind of story.”

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
“This is Miss Liz Powell.  She’s a professional dancer and she’s in the hospital as a result of overwork and nervous fatigue.  And at this moment we have just finished walking with her in a nightmare.  In a moment she’ll wake up and we’ll remain at her side.  The problem here is that both Miss Powell and you will reach a point where it might be difficult to decide which is reality and which is nightmare.  A problem uncommon perhaps…but rather peculiar…to the Twilight Zone.”

Summary:
               It is the middle of the night.  Liz Powell, a professional dancer, lies awake in a hospital room, her nerves preventing any sort of sleep.  She reaches over towards the nightstand for a glass of water but it slips from her trembling hand, shattering on the floor.  She gets out of bed, walks down the hallway and into the elevator.  When she reaches the basement, she steps off.  Slowly, she walks down the hallway and stops in front of a double door marked MORGUE.  Above the door is the number 22.  Suddenly, the door is thrown open and a woman dressed in a nurse’s uniform appears and says: “Room for one more, honey.”
Powell screams and races back down the hallway to the elevator.
                The next day Powell is visited by her agent, Barney.  After a conversation about why Barney hasn’t called or come to visit her until now Powell’s doctor enters the room.  Powell insists that her experience walking down to the basement is real.  The doctor, however, believes that Powell is simply having an elaborate dream.  To prove it he brings in the night nurse for the basement floor.  Powell takes one look at her and admits that it is not the woman that she seen in room 22 every night.  To help her break the repetitive dream cycle the doctor suggests to Powell that she change part of the dream.  He suggests that she not reach for the glass of water this time.
                That night as she lies awake in her bed listening to the clock tick, instead of reaching for the glass of water she lights a cigarette but she drops her lighter on the floor.  She reaches down to pick it up, bracing herself on the nightstand and ends up knocking the glass of water to the floor anyway.  The rest of the dream plays out the same way it has every night, with the woman in room 22 telling her that there is “room for one more.”  Back in her room, Powell has to be sedated.
                The next day Powell is being released from the hospital.  The doctor meets her on her way out and insists once more that her experiences were simply elaborate dreams that felt real.  She thanks him and leaves.  In the airport, Powell begins to get the same feeling that she did when she was having her “dreams.”  She learns that she is scheduled for Flight 22.  She buys her ticket and begins to board the plane, feeling in her bones that something is wrong.  Slowly, she walks to the plane as it is beginning to board up for takeoff.  When she gets there the stewardess greets her.  It’s the same woman from her dreams.  “Room for one more, honey,” she says.  Powell screams and runs back inside the airport terminal.  She watches from window as Flight 22 begins to ascend from the runway.  As it takes off the plane bursts into flames.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
“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.”

Commentary:
“Twenty Two” is an episode that seems, accordingly to most internet message boards and accompanying rating systems, to have strongly resonated with Twilight Zone viewers over the years. It is usually rated very high (the episode currently holds an impressive 8.0 rating on the Internet Movie Database). This is likely due to the both the familiarity of the story and its inherent cleverness. Though the true origin of the "room for one more" story archetype is likely lost to time, "Twenty Two" is based on the most popular piece of fiction to use that story construct, the Edwardian ghost story, "The Bus-Conductor," by E.F. Benson. The story was first published in the December 1906 issue of Pall Mall Magazine and was reprinted in Benson’s collection The Room in the Tower and Other Stories in 1912. It has since been reprinted dozens of time, often in uncredited form, in numerous anthologies and studies of the supernatural story.
Benson’s story concerns a man who, while visiting a friend in the countryside, dreams of seeing a hearse in the street below his bedroom window. From the hearse emerges an undertaker who makes a beckoning gesture to the man with the uninviting call of “just room for one inside, sir.” Upon leaving the friend's home the following day, the man attempts to board a bus on a street corner. As the doors to the bus open, the bus conductor (who looks exactly like the undertaker from the man's dream) says to him, “just room for one inside, sir.” The man, remembering his encounter the night before, decides against boarding the bus and watches as the bus crashes soon after its departure, killing all on board.
            Benson’s story is a tale that has been told and retold so often and in so many variations that it has virtually entered the cultural consciousness as a piece of folklore rather than a story sprung from the imagination of one writer. Another story with which it shares this similarity is W.W. Jacobs's “The Monkey’s Paw” (1902). These two writers, both of the Edwardian period, are similar in more than one way since both were known in their own time for their humorous fictions and are now remembered as authors of the some of the most startling supernatural fiction of the early 20th century. Besides "The Monkey's Paw," Jacobs wrote a handful of ghost and horror stories, some of which, "The Toll-House" and "The Well," still retain their power to shock and unsettle. Benson wrote several well-regarded horror stories, including “The Room in the Tower,” “Ms. Amsworth,” “Caterpillars,” "The Face," and “The Horror-Horn,” among many more. His fiction is highly recommendable and is available in a collected edition.
It is safe to say that the average viewer of “Twenty Two” or “The Man in the Bottle” (The Twilight Zone’s version of Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw”) would be unable to attribute the source of the fiction, yet the stories are instantly recognizable to almost every adult in the English speaking world. The allure of adapting “The Bus-Conductor” is its simplicity, as it reads like a fable and, because of this simplicity, can be reformatted to fit nearly any time period with only slight variation. This is the quality which undoubtedly drew Rod Serling to add an adaptation of the story to his showcase for the uncanny. The most famous adaptation of the story outside this episode of The Twilight Zone is the first segment of the exceptional 1945 Ealing Studios anthology film Dead of Night, an unusual film in that it was a British production of a horror film during a time when that country disdained the form and strongly discouraged the import of Hollywood horror films; not to mention the fact that Ealing was so well known for comedy films (further drawing a parallel between the two genres) that a certain style of film became known as an "Ealing comedy." Dead of Night remains fondly remembered, mostly upon the strength of the final segment of the film, which is a frightening tale of a malevolent ventriloquist dummy (a segment which seemingly takes it material from a number of sources). For more on the film Dead of Night head on over to our discussion of the film. 
        Many young readers were introduced to the story which formed the basis for “Twenty Two” via folklorist Alvin Schwarz, who included it in his 1981 collection Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, under the simple title "Room for One More." Schwarz attributes the story to a folkloric tradition far older than the Benson story but it remains that Benson was the first writer that penned the fiction for a popular outlet.
The episode itself is an enjoyable, streamlined effort from Serling and company but it hardly feels like an enduring episode for reasons other than its gimmick which, to those well read in supernatural literature, was passé even by the time The Twilight Zone put its inimitable stamp on it. The story, which runs seven pages in the collected edition of Benson’s supernatural stories, hardly seems to contain enough to base a twenty five minute episode of the show upon (The Dead of Night version runs a scant 12 minutes). Still, the production crew does a relatively admirable job considering the constraints of the videotape format and the brief material they had to work with. The pleasure of the episode lies in the production design. The hospital, even during the daylight hours when it should be a busy, crowded place, seems somehow vacant and unsettling, giving the episode that indescribable Twilight Zone feel. The production shines in the dream sequences and in the design of the lower level of the hospital. The design is heavily industrial and quite frightening and the effect of the endless corridor beyond the swinging doors to the morgue was a masterstroke. The failure of the design and of the videotape format is when the setting moves out of the hospital. Here the backlot set is unconvincing. Adding to the mess is the fact that the acoustics ring out hollowly in the enclosed environment, betraying the set.
The casting in the episode is fine. Though Serling’s script does not demand much of the actors all perform admirably.  The most inspired bit of casting, of course, is for the night nurse at the morgue in the dream sequences. This was played by actress Arlene Martel (billed as Arlene Sax) and her unique appearance and foreboding manner are unforgettable and lend the episode much of its creepiness.
            Barbara Nichols is probably best remembered for this episode of The Twilight Zone but is also remembered for a number of small roles, mostly on television, essentially playing the same character, the Brooklyn-voiced blonde bombshell. Nichols began her career on stage in the early ‘50s, became a favorite pin-up girl of the GIs, and had her best year in film in 1957 with roles in Pal Joey, Sweet Smell of Success, and The Pajama Game. She landed a regular role in the situation comedy Love That Jill the following year but the show lasted only 13 episodes. In the late 1950s and into the 1960s she found herself taking guest roles on television and in C-grade movies. Her last crowning achievement was on Broadway in Let it Ride in 1961. Complications from two car accidents resulted in liver disease and she passed away on October 5, 1976 at the young age of 47.
Jonathan Harris is deservedly famous for his role as Dr. Zachary Smith on Irwin Allen’s Lost in Space (1965-1968) but managed to amass dozens of credits, mostly in television, from the early 1950s until the early 2000s just before his death in 2002. He has several genre credits including episodes of Lights Out, Land of the Giants, Bewitched, Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, Space Academy, and Battlestar Galactica. Beginning in the 1980s, Harris became an accomplished voice actor working prolifically in children’s programming. He also featured in a supporting role in the second season episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Silence.”
Fredd Wayne was also a fixture on television going back to the early ‘50s. He featured in the third season episode of The Twilight Zone “The Arrival” and has genre credits in episodes of Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, and Wonder Woman, but his forte was certainly in comedy and light drama. He is probably best remembered for his turns as Benjamin Franklin on talk shows and in his one man show Benjamin Franklin, Citizen. Wayne, no longer active in the entertainment industry, was born on October 17, 1924.
         "Twenty Two" is a slight, if memorable, accomplishment for the show and, like most of the videotaped episodes, suffers somewhat from the formatting. It is a simple, derivative episode which sticks in the mind of the viewer and has a suitably creepy atmosphere enhanced by memorable production design. If anything, "Twenty Two" signaled the near-end of the disastrous cost cutting measure that was the use of videotape on the series.

Grade: C

Notes:
-- Jonathan Harris also appeared in the later Season Two episode, "The Silence." He also appeared in an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery titled "Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay."
-- Fredd Wayne also appeared in the later Season Two episode, "The Arrival."
--Arline Sax also appeared in the Season One episode "What You Need."
-- "Twenty Two" was adapted into a Twilight Zone Radio Drama starring Andrea Evans.

-- Jordan Prejean and Brian Durant