January 09, 2024


Twilight Zone | The Night of the Meek

Twilight Zone | The Night of the Meek
Fate's Wide Wheel: A Quantum Leap Podcast
Twilight Zone | The Night of the Meek

Jan 09 2024 | 01:20:38


Show Notes

In this episode, Sam and J.J. discuss their excitement for discussing the Twilight Zone and share their thoughts on the mid-season of Quantum Leap Season 2. They highlight the show's character development and changing dynamics. They also discuss the challenges of balancing mythology episodes and filler episodes, drawing comparisons to The X-Files. The conversation then shifts to the rumors of a potential merger between Warner Discovery and Paramount, raising concerns about the future of beloved franchises and artistic integrity. They also touch on the impact of the merger on physical media and boutique labels. Overall, there is a sense of trepidation and uncertainty about the future. In this conversation, J.J. Lendl and Sam Fain discuss the impact of studio mergers on the film industry and the potential consequences for consumers and employees. They then transition to a discussion about the need for uplifting stories, particularly during challenging times. The conversation shifts to the iconic television series The Twilight Zone and its influence on storytelling. They explore the use of visual storytelling in the show and highlight Art Carney's exceptional performance in the episode 'Night of the Meek.' Other notable performances and the magic of Christmas in the episode are also discussed. The conversation concludes with reflections on the power of storytelling and the legacy of The Twilight Zone.


00:00 Introduction and Holiday Greetings

00:39 Excitement for Discussing Twilight Zone

01:35 Mid-Season Overview and Review

04:09 Impressions of Quantum Leap Season 2

10:09 Mythology Episodes and Audience Expectations

12:05 Filler Episodes and Comparison to The X-Files

19:00 Integration of Project Stories and Leap Stories

23:01 Rumors of Warner Discovery and Paramount Merger

29:31 Concerns about Warner Discovery's Business Practices

35:32 Impact on Physical Media and Boutique Labels

41:00 Trepidation and Uncertainty

41:57 The Impact of Studio Mergers

43:55 The Need for Uplifting Stories

46:07 The Twilight Zone and Its Influence

50:21 Visual Storytelling in The Twilight Zone

54:38 Art Carney's Performance

57:43 Other Notable Performances

01:05:05 The Magic of Christmas

01:09:31 The Power of Storytelling

01:13:47 The Legacy of The Twilight Zone

01:17:28 Closing Thoughts and Merry Christmas

Head over to www.fateswidehweel.com! and be sure to visit jjlendl.com/fwwshop to pick up the "Night of the Meek" poster and much more!

Watch Quantum Leap every Wednesday on NBC at 8/7 central or streaming on Peacock the following day!

Thank you, Patrons! Al’s Place Leap Fan Site, Bourbon and Boardgames, Carolyn, Cosplay Dad, Joanne Bartlett, Dana Bius, Rich Bourque, Kevin, Carol Davis, Deckslower, Dermot Devlin, Barry Donovan, Brian Dreadful, Troy Evers, Larry Ganni, Jason Geis, Sophie Gilbert, Christina Gist, James Gould, Kelly M, Michelle Hoffman, Amy Holtcamp, Laurie Johnson, Bess A Korey, Lady Eternal, Max the Mental Health Warrior from Madison Wisconsin, MercuryBeat, Oddly Specific with Audra, The Quantum Leap Podcast, Christopher Redmon, Adrian Sal, Karyn Saxon, Jerry Seward, Mike Stoufer, Heather Strbiak, Damon Sugameli, Larry Trujillo, Stuart Williams, Jill Wilson, Our Anonymous Patrons

Become a patron or donor yourself: Monthly: Fate’s Wide Wheel on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/fateswidewheel)

Feedback? Send us an email: [email protected]

#quantumleap #scifi #tv #television #twilightzone

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:03] Speaker A: Welcome, fellow travelers, to another episode of Fates Wide Wheel. I'm your host, Sam Feyne, and I am joined once again, thankfully, gratefully, by JJ Lindell. JJ, how are you? [00:00:12] Speaker B: I am well. Happy holidays, my friend. [00:00:14] Speaker A: Happy holidays to you as well. We've got our teas. It is 07:00 on eastern time. It's 08:00 right? On Thursday, December 21. So we're just a few short days away from the Christmas holiday. For those that celebrate, today is winter solstice, the longest night of the year. [00:00:37] Speaker B: Definitely talking about cool stuff. [00:00:41] Speaker A: That's right. Yeah. Magic is in the air, and we have got an episode that I am so incredibly psyched about because we get to talk about the Twilight Zone, and it's something I've wanted to do for a very long time. And we will be getting to that a little bit later. We're going to discuss Night of the meek, which is a classic episode, perfect episode for this time of year. And I cannot wait to share with folks the poster that you've designed because I think it is fantastic. You sent me the picture of it, and that was my response. I just couldn't think of any other response. It's just so perfect. [00:01:20] Speaker B: Thanks. [00:01:21] Speaker A: So I'm really looking forward to doing that. And we also have a couple of other things I think worth talking about. I dropped a midseason overview review kind of episode. Well, pretty much as we record this. So you haven't had a chance to actually see it or hear it yet to me, but I meant to drop it yesterday on Wednesday, like the regular release schedule goes for the episodes following the airing of the show. But I have just been slammed lately. It feels like there's been something going on constantly, and so I didn't get a chance to get it out yesterday, which I think is fine. I don't think viewers or listeners are too upset, and if you are, leave a comment below. Let me know. [00:02:06] Speaker B: I want to hear. [00:02:06] Speaker A: But I would love to take an opportunity, JJ, to hear what your overall impressions were now that we've got the first eight episodes and we're on that midseason break for Quantum Leap season two. [00:02:18] Speaker B: Oh, that's a great question. All right, I have no thoughts prepared, so let's go off here. I feel like the season is flying by is what I'm going to say. We've got eight episodes. And when I say flying by, I mean that as a compliment because it's a show that seems to be chugging at full steam. And it's pretty amazing to think as of this past week with the airing of season two, episode eight, nomad. How far we've come since the end of last season in just those eight episodes where so many characters are in different places, emotionally, relationship wise, and we've fully integrated two new regular characters into the story. So hats off to Dean and Martin and the rest of the Quantum leap team for taking the show and sort of building out the mythology over the course of the last couple of months. And everything that they've added, I think, has been a positive for the show. And it's a show where every week is different, and that's one of my favorite types of shows to watch, and that's sort of built into the dna. But on top of that, as opposed to keeping the formula of the show itself the same, they're switching things up, they're changing the character dynamics. They're messing a little bit, I think, with what the audience expectations are, again, in a good way, and I appreciate that as well. So I just feel like they've upped their game this season. And of the eight episodes that have aired so far, I think probably at least three of them are in my top five for the series overall at this point, which I think just at least for me personally, shows that the production is hitting its stride. [00:04:35] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:04:36] Speaker B: It's peaking and peaking. So what are your thoughts? I mean, since I haven't, if you want to give me the quick pay by play, because I haven't seen the. [00:04:44] Speaker A: Video, genuinely, I echoed a lot of what you said. I think the focus on character, seeing these characters develop and grow in the new relationships form or old relationships get rekindled. Even the stuff that obviously has happened off screen. I think of the relationship between Ian and Rachel, for instance, and obviously so much of that relationship happened off screen. Now, obviously, it doesn't hurt when you have Mason's real life partner playing the role because there's going to be some chemistry there, although that's not always the case. [00:05:20] Speaker B: Yeah, that's true. [00:05:21] Speaker A: Sometimes that happens and you're just sort of like, wow, these people like each other in real life, but with Alice and very. It is palpable. And so I think that that certainly lends itself to imagining what took place off screen. But the overall arc of the relationship that we have seen on screen and the way that it's developed and where it's gone this season, I think, is just a small example. I mean, obviously the bigger examples are, of course, like Ben and Hannah, Ben and Addison, Addison, Tom, even Beth and magic. But the overall nature of this season feeling kind of just like a love story about love, the nature of love, what love means. [00:06:04] Speaker B: A little bit of a triangle, right? [00:06:12] Speaker A: I agree completely. I even agree with your assessment about the three episodes. For me personally, that would be four, six, and lonely Hearts club. Secret history and nomad, I think, are the three episodes that I would point to as being my favorite of the season. I love closure encounters, and I thought this took too long, was incredibly strong. As know. I did mention, because I wanted to try to just be very direct with my assessments, I did mention that I thought that Ben and Teller was probably the weakest episode of the season, although it was responsible for one of the strongest moments of the season, which is when Ben realizes that Addison has moved. You know, I thought one night in Koreatown, while again having some incredibly powerful moments, felt a little uneven to me overall, and then a kind of magic, very similar, had some really great moments. I enjoyed the overall plot and the story. I thought that there was some wonderful acting, but it definitely felt like, compared to the other episodes, certainly one of the weaker episodes. And part of that, I think, is also being sandwiched in between secret history and Nomad. It's like two of the strongest episodes. I would put secret history and Nomad up against a large number of the original series. Episodes even. You know what I mean, to be in between those episodes is kind of an unenviable position in some ways. So, yeah, those are my overall thoughts. And I think the addition, of course, of Eliza Taylor as Hannah has been just brilliant. The three year time jump was a fantastic idea. I was not sold on Tom or Peter, the actor who plays Tom. Initially, it really took some time to start to warm up to him. But by the time we got to secret history and seeing his performance there and seeing the way the character was treated there, it was kind of like, okay, now I'm sold. Which is nice. Yeah. And in a way, one of the things that I remarked on is it's like I'm sitting here kind of thinking, oh, I don't know about this character, but we'd really only seen him twice before secret history. So in the course of three episodes, he went from being a character that I wasn't entirely sold on to being a character that I'm on board with now. And if you kind of contextualize that with some other shows and some other actors that have joined shows or whatever, and how long it takes generally to kind of get in or whatever, it's one of those things where you do have to kind of sit back and when you contextualize it that way, you're just sort of like, wow, he's done a remarkable job. [00:08:47] Speaker B: I'd echo that. And I think a character in a film or a tv show is an amalgamation of a lot of parts. It's part performance, part writing, part direction of the episode and editing and all of those. [00:09:03] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:09:03] Speaker B: But in referring to Tom's as a character, I think that just that phrase itself, it would be very easy for him in the position that he's in, in the story, to not be a character, but simply be an obstacle. And I think you can credit all of those pieces, the writing and the performance, especially in secret history, where he's in this position where he's an obstacle to Ben. He's an obstacle to maybe the audience's desire to have Ben and Addison together. And then you really flesh this character out, and you create depth and you create, you know, after watching that episode, I think a lot of people in the audience were hopefully a little more open to him or confused about what they wanted to see happen. And that's when I was saying, like, they're messing with audience expectations. That's one of the key things that I was thinking about, was Tom. And, yeah, I'm absolutely with you with that. I thought of one other thing while you were talking about sort of what you were thinking were the stronger and then what you thought were maybe the weaker episodes of the season. And it made me think of the fact that some of the stronger episodes, at least nomad and secret history, you could almost think of them as being, to use an X Files term, more mythology episodes. With the introduction of Hannah, we're sort of being introduced to this new element of the mythology of the show, this overarching idea. It has to do with why is he traveling in time? Why is he putting things right? What power is controlling it? The idea that he's being brought together with this other kindred spirit. And I think it is hard for when you introduce that kind of concept into a weekly series, when you are sort of taking a break from it during a week, sometimes that can feel like there's a little bit of idling happening. And that's unfortunate, because I think episodes know. I think that the Koreatown episode is a perfect example. It's sort of sandwiched between these ideas, and I think that that episode is great, but you're sort of focusing on these other aspects of the show at that point as well. And I think that's in X File circles, there are, like, mythology fans, and there are monster of the week fans. And there's a little bit of that happening, I think, in the show really centered around Hannah's character, because when she's in play, it changes the tone of the story that we're at least. At least for me, it sort of gets your attention. And I'm wondering the second half of this season how that's going to play out. [00:12:13] Speaker A: No, I would completely agree with that. And I would even go on to add that I think it's funny because I was literally thinking about the X Files specifically when it comes to this earlier because I saw a couple of social media threads about filler episodes. And I think it all started with a comment that was thrown out about with a negative perspective on filler episodes. And just the term in general, using that term. And then some of the responses to it were very much in defense of the notion of, one, I wouldn't even necessarily call them filler episodes, and two, whatever you call them, they're just as viable as the rest of the series. And the funny thing is, one of the people that was kind of defending this idea was J. Michael Strasinski, which arguably Babylon five did not really have a lot of what you would call Filler episodes. That narrative arc was really a testament to a continuing serialized storyline in many ways. And you look at the X Files, and the funny thing about the X Files is that in the first three or four seasons, a lot of those mythology episodes are fantastic. Undeniably, they grabbed you, they drew you in, they were creating this world, and you wanted to know what was going to happen next. However, I would certainly argue, and I would guess a majority of X Files fans might agree with this, that the monster of the week episodes are often stronger episodes top to bottom, than a lot. Especially a lot of the latter half of the series is mythology episodes. The episode itself is like a stronger episode. So I think finding that balance is obviously very difficult. And I think in the context of Quantum Leap, going back to one night in Koreatown, for instance, I go back and forth in my head. There are times when I'm just sort of like, man, that was a great episode. Top to bottom, no quibbles. And then there are other times I'm just sort of like, maybe it was uneven in certain instances or whatever, and I mean, who am I to really critique it? But I do think that there's a difficulty in telling a story like that to begin with, but also even devoid of any kind of social commentary, I think know these individual leap stories that get to focus more on the leap. You look back at like, this took too long, for instance, and I feel like this took too long is an excellent template. And one night in Koreatown didn't necessarily get that because there was a lot of project stuff, a lot of stuff with magic going on. [00:14:51] Speaker B: Right. [00:14:52] Speaker A: So one night in Koreatown didn't necessarily get the benefit of having the bulk of this 42 minutes to focus on the leap. And maybe when you're going to do episodes like that, maybe taking the time to just stick with the leap story a little bit more, I don't know. It's difficult. Again, overall, the season is incredibly strong, and I would rewatch any one of these episodes with Joy, except for maybe Ben and. [00:15:25] Speaker B: Dicken it to Ben and Teller. [00:15:28] Speaker A: But even a kind of magic, again, I think that the reason why that phrase comparison is the death of joy comes back to me again and again because the truth of the matter is in a vacuum. I would absolutely enjoy a kind of magic. I would absolutely enjoy one night in Koreatown when stacked up against the rest of the season, which is a testament to how strong the rest of the season is. I feel like they don't necessarily measure up know secret history, lonely Hearts Club or Nomad. You know what I mean? [00:15:55] Speaker B: Yeah, I totally get what you're. Yeah, I would agree. To a large extent. I think that Quantum Leap is got to be such a challenging show to write because even in its original iteration, because you're introducing the entire world every week, and not every show is like that. You're introducing new characters and you're introducing new situations, but you're literally introducing an entirely new world every week, and you have to create the beginning, the middle, and the end of a story. And talking about the monster of the week episodes and the X Files, that was their strength. They told a complete story and then they walked away to the next one. Whereas the mythology episodes, yes, it kept people coming back to the show because they wanted to see how this strange conspiracy was going to unwind over years. But that was sort of its undoing as well, because that story ended up not being as cohesive toward the mean. [00:16:53] Speaker A: Especially when know left. I think it was really difficult to kind of continue that story because so much of that story was focused on Fox Mulder and his past and his. [00:17:05] Speaker B: And if you want to get into it for the X Files, I mean, after the 7th season, which was the last season of the original run where Dukovny was a regular, they tied up a lot of loose ends with the mythology, but the show continued because for a number of reasons in that it was know the people who made it wanted to continue making it, but they were forced to sort of pivot into some new territory, and they had to pivot understanding that David Duchovny would not be a regular anymore. So it sort of really started the beginning of a new story. And then the question is, is the audience going to come with us as we pivot to sort of a new premise for the show? And the answer ended up being sort of the dream, I think, of Chris Carter and the team at that point. And then later, even when the show came back in 2016, was that they could not only pivot to a new story, but to pivot to new protagonists. But I think the thing that they didn't understand at that point, and maybe even more recently, is that for a large majority of the fan base, the X Files isn't just paranormal investigations. It is the story of Boxmalder. And that relationship was. Yeah. Which, of course, is the dilemma that the quantum leap revival encountered as well, because for a lot of people, Quantum Leap was the story of Sam Beckett and Al Kalavichi. And so is there a way that you can continue to tell these stories without these beloved characters? And I think Quantum Leap is a great example of a show that has figured out how to do that. And part of what they've done is tried to change the formula a bit. And in introducing more stuff happening in the present and in this season particularly, I mean, you're talking about a lot of instances where I think the makers of the show are trying to create a stronger connection between project stories and leap. You know, one night in Koreatown is a great example of that. You have something that's happening, Ben, in the past that shakes and affects one of the project members in the future. And you have these two stories sort of happening parallel hand in hand. And I think ideally, if you're writing a script like that, whatever the de nou ma is, it sort of addresses both of those stories. And I think that's what that episode was trying to do and did. But as you pointed out, it's tough when you have to put that much into 41 minutes. [00:20:02] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:20:03] Speaker B: And that really is a challenge. So I give the writers a lot of credit for. [00:20:08] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:20:10] Speaker B: For all that. And you're doing it on network television. You're doing it with time restraints that you wouldn't have if you were on streaming or if you were on premium cable. And you're also talking about issues. It's a lot. [00:20:28] Speaker A: Yeah, it is. I think that one of the things that strikes me about the show in general, that episode specifically the writing overall, is that there is a bravery to the work that they're doing, especially given the constraints that they have. And arguably, I look at the Hollywood Critics association nominations that they've gotten for best show, best writing for let them play, which Shakina wonderfully penned, and then best actor for Raymond Lee of, you know, you look at some of the folks that share those categories, for instance, and you realize that in a category like that, it's network or cable, right? So quantum leap is up against like the bear and the restrictions, the confines, whatever we want to say that quantum Leap has to operate within compared to a show like the bear. It's a completely different know, and it's the same thing. When you look at some of the actors that Raymond Lee is up against, you're just sort of like, I mean, we're talking know, like Kieran Culkin on succession, and it's like, that's a completely, like the victory. As cliche as it might sound, the victory is really being nominated here because they're up against pay cable and cable television programs that do not operate in the same manner as a network show. Right. So, yeah, I think overall, the running theme ultimately has to be that for season two, it's a huge victory that the writers, the producers, everyone involved, the directors, the actors, have stepped it up. The show has just leveled up overall. And I'm so excited and so looking forward to the last five of the season and what's next, because I just think that everyone is more than up to the task and most importantly is up to the task of going even further and pushing it even more. I think that season two is kind of where the show became what this show is and can be and the possibilities it represents and creating those worlds from week to week in a way that they certainly did that in the first season, but now there's just something about it that feels more and you look at Nomad and you look at shooting in Egypt, for instance, and how that's such a huge step forward for the show. Know, speaking of networks and cable and streaming and all the things something else know you had brought up as a subject to talk about, which I thought was a great idea. So I'll let you kind of go first, is that there are these rumors, I don't even know if you can call them rumors at this point because it just seems to be that people are taking it as fact. I mean, you read even the articles and the trades and it's just sort of, this is, this is definitely a possibility that Warner Discovery and Paramount may end up merging. Now, I've heard it two ways. I've heard the word merger used, and then I've heard it just framed as discovery is just going to buy Paramount and absorb Paramount into the whole Warner Discovery thing. It's obviously a very interesting situation for a multitude of, you know, network, but streaming and physical media, there's a lot of implications. So, jj, what do you think? [00:24:09] Speaker B: Well, yeah, when that news came out, and if you're following along sort of with studio news, it wasn't necessarily a surprise. Paramount Global has sort of, there's been talk over the last couple of weeks that the owner is looking at options to possibly sell either Paramount Global itself or the parent company. And it's something that I think, unfortunately, we're sort of used to at this point, especially in the entertainment industry. I mean, we've had so many buyouts and mergers over the last five years. And even before that, you had Disney, who was just picking up, they, they buy Marvel Studios, they buy Lucasfilm. Now they have bought out the controlling stock in Hulu. So now when I log into my Disney plus at the top, it says, you want to watch Hulu? It's like, wait, which one did I open? And to say nothing of the Warner brothers discovery merger, when I heard the news that it was Warner Brothers who was interested in a merger, and you mentioned, like, is it a merger? Is it a buyout? If it is a merger, it's not a merger of equals. [00:25:52] Speaker A: Right. [00:25:52] Speaker B: Because Warner Brothers is over twice as. [00:25:57] Speaker A: Value, like three times the size. Yeah. [00:25:59] Speaker B: As Paramount Global. So they would definitely be in a position to dictate terms for that. I saw reports know, and again, a lot of this is speculation at this point, especially how something like this would go about. But they would likely handle it similar to the way that Disney handled their acquisition of 20th Century Fox. And in terms of, would this be something that would be stopped by antitrust laws? And a lot of people feel like it might not, just because the world we're living in, it just feels like those antitrust laws aren't really being enforced, to say the least, which is strange. But I don't know. Paramount Global, and the reason why I was immediately like, whoa. Is because they own a number of intellectual properties that I'm personally have a stake in, like Star Trek. We're going to talk about the Twilight Zone. They own the twilight zone. They own, you know, consists of a ton of ip, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the thing for me that is a little concerning the fact that Warner Brother Discovery is interested in this is that they have been very willing over the last year to do what I see as some pretty non creator and non artist friendly moves in order to save some money. There are a number of projects that were either completed or very close to completion which they shelved in order to use as a tax write off. This includes the DC movie Batgirl. There was a Scooby Doo film that was supposed to come out. Most recently, there was a Looney Tunes movie, Wiley Coyote versus Acme, which they've decided to scrap even though it was completed, literally, because they can basically say, hey, we spent money on this thing, but we're not going to make any profit from it because we are going to destroy it. And so any money that we spent we can now claim as a tax write off, which, again, is sort of like, how can I do that? Can I do that in my life? Is that something that I can get away with on my taxes? No, of course, possibly shady business practices aside, which all the studios engage in, but Warner has sort of upped the ante by literally burying completed projects, taking projects off streaming in order to limit the amount of profits they could make from them and use that as a tax write off. It's scary to me that a lot of this know, at least personally valuable intellectual property, all these franchises might fall under that kind of jurisdiction because I would hate to see Star Trek projects canceled mid production. I would hate to see any archival episodes or anything like that taken off of streaming because they don't want to pay royalties out to people. So when you have a company that has shown sort of what business practices they're willing to engage in over the last year, interested in so many really beloved film and television productions, it's a little scary from my perspective. So I guess we have to see if this is a real thing, if these discussions move forward and if the government has anything to say about these two large studios coming together. From what I was reading, it seemed like the reason why this might move forward as opposed to another deal would be that Paramount Global has a television network attached to it, which is, you know, Warner does not because, and this is connected to quantum leap. There was rumors that NBC Universal was perhaps interested in Paramount as well, but that might be a harder sell in terms of the antitrust laws because universal owns NBC Paramount and CBS, two of the three major networks would be under the same umbrella, and that's sort of a red flag. But with a Warner deal that wouldn't be the case. So maybe that would be enough to get it past the regulators. I don't know. Paramount is going to change. Somebody is going to buy Paramount in the next couple of years. They've taken on a lot of debt. It's not just going to be business as usual. And if you're not Disney plus and if you're not Netflix, then you're trying to survive right now in the streaming world. And so I think regardless, we are going to see some of these streamers merge or fall to the wayside or both. So it's just a matter of where Paramount Global ends up. And I'm just hoping that it ends up under a studio head that values the art of it and not just the bottom line. Obviously, that's a huge concern because you want to keep making stuff. But I don't think that taking the work that hundreds of professionals have worked years on and burying it for a tax write off, I don't think that in the long run that's going to benefit your company. But I feel like it's all just short term actions right now with these. [00:32:18] Speaker A: You know, I think the thing that is probably the most concerning to know, as you mentioned, is know Warner Discovery and David Zaslov in particular, have had absolutely no know, axing stuff that's already been finished. It's already been made. Yeah. And I think that the thing that's most disconcerting is that if Warner Discovery had already been responsible for Paramount in any way over the past six or seven years, let's say Star Trek, Discovery probably doesn't make it past season two. And if Discovery doesn't make it past season two or even make it to season two, do we even get strange new worlds? [00:33:11] Speaker B: Well, if it doesn't make it to season two, we absolutely don't because of Discovery. [00:33:19] Speaker A: I just think that to speak specifically to the Star Trek franchise for a moment, I think that it is absolutely concerning. And sure, we can talk about the fact that prodigy, for instance, already has suffered due to the machinations of the studio, et cetera. But ultimately, I think that what Paramount has done and the investment Paramount has in the franchise overall has benefited Star Trek and Star Trek fans. And I wonder if that would be the same case once Warner Discovery takes over. The interesting thing is that there are some properties that Warner Discovery has rights to, but they don't actually own. And so it makes me wonder if perhaps this is a way for them to actually own more properties, because technically, they don't own transformers, for instance. Technically they don't own the Harry Potter franchise. You know what I mean? Technically, they don't even own Lord of the Rings. So the idea is it's like now they can have these intellectual properties that they can actually own in the same way that Disney owns Star wars or, you know, whatever. And so I think maybe, I wonder how much that might have to do with it. And so you might look at Star Trek as being a big selling point for Paramount and a reason why Warner's interested. So maybe there isn't a concern there. But I think overall, what they've done over the past year or so has been very concerning and has reinforced that idea. And something that I've mentioned before on the show is that you don't have creative types, you don't have artists specifically calling these shots. You have business people. That's fine, because it is a business and you need to have business people and you need to have that know how. But coming from a world where at one time creative types and artists were studio heads and studio executives and had say in these decisions and the accountants and such were under them in some way providing advice, sometimes good advice, sometimes bad advice, it's just a stark contrast to what we used to see. And that's not to say that projects weren't canceled or that projects weren't shot direct to video or projects weren't only opened in ten theaters instead of 150 or whatever, but ultimately there was a little bit more artistic integrity than we see now. And that is certainly concerning. I want to pivot for a moment to physical media. I think one of the things that's kind of interesting here is that Paramount has been pretty friendly to boutique labels as far as licensing out their films. Criterion, Lorber. There's been a number of boutique labels that have produced beautiful Blu rays of paramount films. Warner Brothers, not so much. And Warner Brothers has absolutely produced a. They used to produce a large quantity of quality releases, especially like on their Warner Archive label. [00:36:25] Speaker B: This is another dimension of exactly what you're talking about. Warner Archives was sort of a jewel in the crown of studio physical media for years. But with the merger with discovery, it has completely changed. They shut down their website. You have them available through Amazon now. They've slowed their production. They've really curtailed special features and a lot of the things that you used to find on these releases. And again, it's because of this sort of new corporate culture and you see it with Turner classic movies as well, which is under the Warner brothers umbrella. And they've cut staff there. They've cut value the history of the studio. And if they don't value the present of the studio by canceling these projects for tax write offs, do they value the studio at all? Or is the studio, is it just a pawn in a larger corporate game? That's a problem? [00:37:46] Speaker A: Well, and it's interesting because, speaking strictly to, again, the physical media side of things, one of the things that I found fascinating is that when Warner has wanted to release quality stuff, they can do that, obviously, especially with, like the maltese Falcon and Casablanca being two great examples in 4K Ultra HD releases that are among the best of any black and white films that you're going to see in the format and loaded with special features. Incredible special features. However, more than likely those were in production and being done prior to discovery's takeover. [00:38:27] Speaker B: Yes, very likely. But again, listen to the films that you're talking about. These are some of the most famous films in history. [00:38:37] Speaker A: But here's where it gets interesting, though, because then you look at the more recent releases of Rio Bravo and the Exorcist, which look really good, sound really good, completely devoid of the extra special features and materials that their Blu ray and even dvd releases before them had. And that is definitely a concern because it's one thing to press a 4K Ultra HD disc with a great print because you're Warner Brothers and you can obviously justify that print because you're going to make money off of it. But to put the extra care and effort to create something that is going to feel archival to a consumer and to not be able to do that, and to also be stingy with licensing out your titles to boutique labels that are willing to go through that, I think it is a concern for physical media collectors and knowing that the format, in spite of people trying to shake the death Ratle at physical media at every turn, we're seeing that that is absolutely not the case. I mean, you just look at the Oppenheimer release, for instance. But to me, I think it's all so connected, whether we're talking about streaming the intellectual properties, what's going to happen with CBS and the type of programming CBS is going to produce. And I cannot help but be concerned, as someone who enjoys the properties that Paramount has. They've done some really wonderful releases as well. They've had their Paramount presents label of Blu ray. I don't know. I definitely think that there's a lot of trepidation as someone, as a viewer, as a consumer, if you will. But I also don't know, kind of like what you were saying that there's much that can stop something like this, even on a government level. [00:40:41] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, Paramount Global is going to be, there's going to be a merger or an acquisition in the next couple of years, no matter what. That seems to be the case. I mean, they're shopping it around. And so it's just a matter of where the studio and where the network and all of these films and television shows and ongoing productions where they land. And it's just given Warner's track record since the acquisition by Discovery and that merger, it's just like, I think best case scenario for me is like, maybe there's another buyer out there, right? [00:41:25] Speaker A: I don't know. Time, at one time I thought that wasn't Amazon interested. Wasn't that one of the rumors going around? [00:41:35] Speaker B: The most recent rumor was there was an Amazon rumor and then there was an NBC universal rumor, and it seemed like the NBC Universal rumor was the one that sort of woke Warner discovery up. Oh, they're thinking about, oh, no, we can't have that because again, you've got the leaders of streaming right now, which know, arguably, it's Netflix and it's Disney plus, and then you've got everybody, you know, Warner hears that, oh, two of our major competitors are thinking about merging. That's bad news for, again, these are all just known facts for the last months. Warner is looking to expand because they have to, and Paramount is looking to be sold. And so you're just going to see a lot of this happening. And the question is, when all the dust settles with these streaming wars, are we going to have more than two or three studios left? I don't know. [00:42:51] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:42:51] Speaker B: And that's not good for anyone. It's not good for consumers. It's not good for the folks who work at these studios, because the less options out there for jobs, you're going to have less bargaining power. There's so many problems inherent to this. And ultimately, I think in the long run, it's not going to be good for the studios or the corporations themselves, who are, they're all trying to get a piece of this pie and they're using such short sighted methods to do so. And it reminds me what the analogy is. It's like the pharaohs, like burying their riches with them. It's like if I can just be profitable every quarter until I pull my golden parachute, then I'm good and I can just watch the city burn around me because I'm getting out of there. It's sort of what it feels like to me absolutely. Again, that's scary. I feel like we need a palate cleanser after talking about. [00:44:01] Speaker A: I think so, too. [00:44:03] Speaker B: If only there was like a timely seasonal story that would bring an uplifting feeling to our souls right now. Can you think of anything? [00:44:18] Speaker A: If only. Well, George Bailey. No, wrong. Look, I think this is kind of a perfect segue in many ways, because here sitting next to me, I have this beautiful piece of physical media produced by Paramount of the Twilight Zone on Blu ray, all 156 episodes. This is the kind of treatment, especially, that a show like the Twilight Zone deserves. All these episodes are remastered. Incredible video, incredible audio. Special features. Commentaries. [00:44:55] Speaker B: Too many special features. [00:44:57] Speaker A: Yeah, it's true. The original pilot version with Rod Sterling's sponsor pitch. You've got interviews and just some wonderful radio dramas and lots of really wonderful stuff. Wonderful content. So we are indeed going to talk about the Twilight Zone. It's funny because I mentioned George Bailey, and one of the things, of course, that has been said about it's a wonderful life is how it is somewhat of a dry run for Twilight Zone. In many ways, it feels that way. Obviously, Rod Sterling had nothing to do with it. But I also mentioned it because it's one of my favorite films ever and I adore it. And I think that there are a couple of other films that came out around the same time, also holiday films. There's one repeat performance which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, which is currently streaming on the Criterion channel. And it is a fascinating film in many ways. Also feels kind of like a holiday Twilight zone with a character having to repeat an entire year. And it's focused around stuff that happens and occurs at a Christmas party and a New Year's Eve party. And then of course, the Twilight Zone itself, once it did premiere and changed the game in many, many ways. They did a Christmas episode in the second season, and that episode is night of the meek. It's a brilliant episode. It's a beautiful episode. It's a classic episode of the series amidst a run of classic episodes. I mean, it aired in close proximation to a number of just eye of the beholder amongst them. There were some excellent episodes at that time in kind of the sweet spot of the show. So we're going to talk about night of the meek. And JJ, you have worked up a poster for this with some incredible art. Would you like to share that? [00:46:59] Speaker B: Yeah, I'll bring that. Know, Sam, you had mentioned about maybe wanting to cover this episode when I had some time. I rewatched. It's been a long time since I'd seen it. It's been a long time since I pulled out my Twilight Zone Blu ray, so it's always a nice use to do. And so I went through a couple iterations of here, but this is where we ended up. There she is. [00:47:32] Speaker A: So lovely, so perfect. I mean, it's obviously. [00:47:39] Speaker B: You know, specifically it's inspired by the old Saturday Evening Post, the weekly magazine, which, for know, when I think of it, I think of Rockwell, who did a ton of COVID art for it, and he did such beautiful Christmas cover art. Absolutely a number of issues. And not just him. Other really great artists of the time in the really thirty s, forty s and fifty s. And so I wanted to sort of emulate that and sort of bring a Santa to a cover that you hadn't seen before. And that's sort of a big part of the night of the meek. We have a very unconventional Santa at the center of this story, but no less heartfelt. So this is available as a print. It is currently up in the fateswide wheel shop. If you're interested, you can find it there. [00:48:40] Speaker A: I'm interested. Yeah. I love know the wonderful depiction of Art Carney as the character of Corwin, Henry Corwin, who, of course, is Santa Claus in the episode and written by Rod Sterling, directed by Jack Smite. And I think this episode, it's funny know one of the pieces of trivia about the episode. If you're watching it, you'll notice pretty much right away it was shot on videotape. It was not done on film as the rest of the series. There were about six episodes in season two that were shot on videotape and then kinescoped into film to be aired. And you can tell, obviously, it's got that sort of that live television, that soap opera esque kind of feel because. [00:49:28] Speaker B: They thought it was going to be cheaper. [00:49:30] Speaker A: Right. And the funny thing is that after doing this, they found that they only saved about $30,000, which does obviously sound like a lot of money. It is a lot of money, even today. But it was not enough to justify the change in the quality. Exactly. [00:49:49] Speaker B: You have folks that are thinking about the future. [00:49:52] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:49:53] Speaker B: That are thinking about the future of the show, and they don't want to sacrifice that visual quality for that kind of savings per episode. So they went back and they started filming directly on 35 millimeter again. But that being said, you might turn on this episode, and if you're not used to seeing a kinescope film, you might sort of be like, oh, what is this? But you know what? This episode is so engaging that you completely forget about it within a few. [00:50:26] Speaker A: Minutes, actually, in a weird way, especially compared to the other episodes that were filmed this way. It works. There's something about the look of it that feels right. And so it's a funny kind of bit of happenstance because clearly it was not intended that way, but it just does. There's something about it that really works. The other thing that was fascinating about the way that it ended up being shot is that they filmed it basically in like ten minute chunks live, basically. And that was not always the way that they did the episodes, obviously. And the fun thing about that is that you had actors like Jay Feedler and Art Carney, obviously, especially, who were used to that process, who had done a lot of live stuff. I mean, art Carney, obviously, with the honeymooners and had done plenty of other television and had done vaudeville and stage. And so he obviously had a background in kind of just doing that kind of thing. And so it's fascinating the way that it all comes together. The story itself is so lovely. And even from the opening shot where we're in kind of the department store, we see the kids faces pressed up against the glass, we see the empty chair of Santa Claus. Everything is done so well. The storytelling without a line uttered, without anything too overt. We're just told so much of the story until we, of course, come to rest on the sign saying that Santa will be back at 06:00 and then, of course, we get to the bar, right? And we see Santa in the Santa suit with the beard. Mr. Art Carney, drinking, drinking, drinking, the bartender. And he certainly have a bit of an antagonistic relationship here. Yes. And again, so much of the story is told before a line is ever uttered. And it's one of the things that I love so much about film and television, that visual medium, is that you can tell a story without saying a word. And especially in a story like this, where you're going to say words, the story that's told before you say those words loads. Everything that comes after with so much more, right? [00:52:47] Speaker B: Yes, absolutely. [00:52:48] Speaker A: And the atmosphere is just beautiful because of it. [00:52:50] Speaker B: Yes, I agree. I love that you brought that up, because something I particularly love about watching film and television from generally this era and earlier than this is that filmmakers were so aware that what they were working in was primarily a visual medium. And part of that is because this was shot in 1960, and that's only 30 years removed from the advent of sound film. And so you have a lot of professionals still working in the industry that remember what it's like to tell a story without dialogue. How do you visualize a film if there are no words? Well, people did it for a long time before the advent of sound in film, and you've got wonderful filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, who started their careers making silent films and then worked through the transition to talkies, but they never forget that, hey, film is visual. And so if I can tell the audience something without words, then I should. Absolutely. And I think this episode in particular, the entire opening, the camera movements, seeing that empty chair, seeing the we'll be back at 06:00 sign and then transitioning to the bar, that's all visual storytelling at its finest. And especially on a tv show that clearly is trying to save some money because it has sort of this hair brain scheme right now to shoot on video. They're not letting that get in the way of their visual presentation. And I think that that's great. And yeah, I think the episode charms right from the offset with the way that it handles the introduction of our. [00:54:54] Speaker A: Know. And again, all credit due to Jack Smite, the director of this episode, because there is an incredible amount of visual storytelling and he's very good at, you know, it's funny because he got his start in television, but he did move on to film and was responsible for a number of really wonderful films, including the Paul Newman film Harper, which I'm a big fan of. And I really enjoy a lot of that film because of its visual storytelling and the way that he is able to do that. He also, of course, is responsible for Airport 1975 and Midway, which were big box office hits in the mid seventy s. Right? But, yeah, just kudos to him because, again, I think that he does an incredible job with this specific episode, and he would direct a few other episodes as well, of the Twilight Zone. But even after the bar, when we go out onto the street and the kids see Santa Claus, for instance, that is all wonderfully done. And then we get this beautiful scene with Santa and the kids. And Art Carney is so superb throughout this entire episode. And Jackie Gleason was on the record as saying, like Art Carney did 90% of the heavy lifting in the honeymooners. And you get such a sense of what he is capable of as an actor throughout the course of this episode because there are moments of comedy, there are moments of kind of light heartedness, but it's all grounded, it all feels real. And there are these incredibly heavy, dark, dramatic moments as well. And yet he never lets it slide into melodrama he never pushes too hard. He never goes over the top with any of it. And it's just such a beautiful performance from top to bottom. And there's no wonder that years later he would win an Academy Award for best actor in a year that included Al Pacino for Godfather to Dustin Hoffman as fellow nominees. Now, arguably, you could argue all day long about Pacino maybe deserving for Godfather two or whatever, but the fact is, it's a testament to the quality of actor that Art Carney was, not only this episode, but just the career that he would have in general. [00:57:16] Speaker B: And in this episode, he's doing all that behind this big mustache and mean think about from an acting perspective, what a challenge that is because you have to find ways to emote in a different way. And he does so much acting with his eyes in this role. [00:57:34] Speaker A: His voice and his eyes are. I mean, the way that he uses that instrument is pretty incredible. And it is a wonderful portrayal of intoxication as well, which Art Carney was no stranger to. [00:57:49] Speaker B: He struggled with, struggling with at that time, from what I understand. I don't think he got sober until the 70s till the. That's really well put. And I think that he really ties this entire episode together with his performance. But there's some other really great performances peppered throughout as well. [00:58:19] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:58:20] Speaker B: The actor who plays his boss at the department store, for me, he's one of those that guys from era of film and television. And I remember the first time I saw this Twilight Zone, I went, hey, I know him from, of course, an episode of Star Trek, which he would do, I think, seven or eight years later, called Wolf in the Fold, in which he actually ended up playing a manifestation of Jack the Ripper on an alien planet. Do you know the actor's name? [00:58:58] Speaker A: John Fiedler. I think I said Jay earlier. I meant John Fiedler. [00:59:03] Speaker B: Yeah, he's, again, he's one of these wonderful character actors that he has such, especially early on in this episode, he has this great sense of menace, this little middling menace. But again, I think what I really love about his performance here in particular is there's a turn in that performance and there's a turn in the character. And he's able to sort of pivot this character from somebody that you really don't like to somebody who's sort of charming by the end of it. And, yeah, I really enjoyed that aspect of the performances, too. [00:59:48] Speaker A: Yeah. And he is. He's remarkable. And someone else who had a long career in Hollywood beginning in the going all the way up until 2005 with a posthumous release in Cronk's new groove. One of the other things that he's well known for, however, is he did a lot of work with Disney, a lot of voice work, and he's probably most famously known as the voice of Piglet in Winnie the Pooh starting in 1974. He voiced Piglet all the way up until 2005. And he did another episode of the Twilight Zone as well. Cavender is coming, which is another brilliant episode of the show. From what season? Season three. And, yeah, he's fantastic in this episode. He feels so right for that, kind of just drunk on his own power and really just giving it to Henry. And he does it in this way. It's so funny in the scene where he kind know kicks him to the curb because he's drunk while he's being Santa. One of the kids that visits Santa has this great line, mom, Santa's loaded. Which, again, the episode does have these moments of kind of dark humor and comedy, and he berates Henry in front of everyone. But when Henry kind of tries to turn it around and have his very. He's very adamant about, know, not in front of the kids, don't say anything in front of the kids. And it's just the hypocrisy that he gets to be mean to this person in front of others, but this person doesn't get to stand up for himself. It's really lovely. And it's a reminder of the way that Rod Sterling was so wonderful at being able to, sometimes with a great deal of subtlety, sometimes maybe less so. But inject within these episodes, these moments that felt very real and were very relatable for anyone that has ever been talked down to by a boss in front of others and not had the opportunity to respond. [01:02:01] Speaker B: Yeah, I really like the dialogue in that scene. And I like particularly know Carney's character. He sort of draws a line where he's like, I understand that I'm out of line here. And what I want to be clear about is that I wasn't rude to that. That's. I didn't do that. And then he launches into his sort of soapbox about like, this should be a time of patience and of kindness towards people. And again, love, charity and compassion. Right. He's not saying, like, I didn't do anything wrong. He's like, I'm here and I'm drunk. And I apologize for that, but I can't apologize for being rude because I was not. She's being rude, actually. [01:02:50] Speaker A: Yeah. And another striking piece of kind of visual storytelling is that during this know, I think that it would be very easy to just leave the camera on art Carney, but that's not what Smite does. Smite, actually, he pans out to the faces of these children watching him. And there's one child in particular who, when Corwin returns to the department store drunk before he gets kind of fired, he plays with the model train set. And standing next to him is a young child of color and 1960 America television, that wasn't something that you saw very often. And during this monologue, when he gives the famous line, the meek shall inherit the earth, or, excuse me, what he actually says is, just on one Christmas, I'd like to see the meek inherit the earth. Smite, again, doesn't keep the camera on Carney. He pans to that child of color, and it's a striking moment, and it's a very clear message, again, the way the twilight zone could be so subversive for its time and yet do it in ways that would not seem too heavy handed or too overt so that the sponsors wouldn't get too pissed off, so that John Smith in Atlanta wouldn't write a letter to CBS saying, like, how dare you? And it's a really lovely moment. [01:04:13] Speaker B: Yeah. And that moment that was not lost upon me. And if I'm watching this in 2023 and I get the metaphor that's being woven into that scene. Yeah, I can imagine folks in 1960 watching it live on television would be picking that up, too. [01:04:36] Speaker A: Yeah. [01:04:37] Speaker B: Really well done. Yeah. The episode starts in a really dark place and to the point where if you're watching this for the first time, you're not quite sure if this is going to be one of those episodes where things get darker and darker, because there are a number of episodes that are like that. But almost as a Christmas miracle, this incredible thing happens to this guy, and he finds this magic, seemingly magic sack where he can produce whatever presents folks around him want. And he basically gets to act as a real Santa Claus for the night. And those scenes were so wonderful because, again, art Carney, he just personifies joy. And it's joy simply from the act of being able to give and specifically to connect with the monologue that he gave. Talking about, I see such need and such desperation and the people who live in my neighborhood this time of year, he's able to give a little something back to those folks, the meek, as he puts it. And R. Carney just plays those moments with his heart on his sleeve. And it's really incredible to witness. [01:06:08] Speaker A: Yeah. And I want to quote that line because you brought it up, and it is such a beautiful line. He says, all I know is that I'm an aging, purposeless relic of another time, and I live in a dirty rooming house on a street filled with hungry kids and shabby people where the only thing that comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve is more poverty. [01:06:28] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:06:29] Speaker A: 63 years later, everything's better. Yeah. [01:06:34] Speaker B: Right. [01:06:37] Speaker A: But I think that, yeah, there's something about the way that this character and the way that Rod Sterling has written it and, of course, the way that art Carney portrays it is that he connects it to, there's a sense of community, that it is not about one man's journey. He ends up becoming this vessel of the Christmas spirit of magic, of charity, compassion, and love. And it's fascinating because he's able to spread that outwards, and that's kind of what it's always about for him. He even blames his drunkenness and his sadness and his depression on what he sees around him. It's not something necessarily from within. And like you said earlier, he calls his drinking indefensible. [01:07:30] Speaker B: I can either drink or I can weep and talk about a line like, wow. Yeah. So much of that dialogue hits, and again, I think sort of what's incredible and sort of the tragedy of an episode like this, as you were alluding to. Yeah. 63 years later, and the social commentary that exists is still very poignant today. Rod Serling and his team, they're writing these episodes. Same with a television show like Star Trek, which also aired in the mean, these tumultuous times. And you're on network television, and you're trying to find ways to tell stories to elevate these ideas, these virtues, these morals. And you're hoping that you're going to make a change. In a lot of ways, they did, but we're still experiencing a lot of these same overarching societal issues today that we were back in the. Some might argue that they feel a bit more amplified now than they have in a long time. And for me, like connecting to our discussion earlier when talking about the studio system and corporations taking the reins of these artistic ventures, there are a lot of storytellers that are needed today to be telling these kind of stories, and we can only hope that the platforms still exist where this kind of storytelling can take place. Thankfully, it is. But if it becomes less about the work and more about the bottom line, then these kind of stories and the storytellers that make them possible, they're in danger. [01:09:37] Speaker A: Yeah, no, that is absolutely true. And I think that one of the things that is so clear about watching a show like the Twilight Zone in general, but an episode like this specifically, is that the need for this kind of storytelling arises when we find ourselves in situations as we are now. One could argue that the need always exists for storytelling of this kind. 63 years ago. It's funny. I'll be dropping this episode if you're watching it or listening to it. The day that it drops on December 23, which is indeed the day that this episode aired, it was shot very quickly, and it was edited and ready to go very quickly. In fact, I believe it was filmed only a few weeks before it aired. A little bit about the genesis of the episode that I find very funny is that Rod Serling, of course, was jewish. His wife was a Unitarian. And Serlene always enjoyed celebrating Christmas with the family. With his family. He was always fascinated by the holiday. He even admitted to having a little bit of Christmas envy because growing up jewish, they weren't celebrating Christmas. But apparently Buck Houghton, who was the producer for Twilight Zone, said that the episode came about because Rod Serling wanted to see art Carney play Santa Claus, and that was the inspiration that led to the writing of this episode. I love stuff like that. Yeah. [01:11:17] Speaker B: And if you're Rod Sterling, you can make that. [01:11:22] Speaker A: You know, it's worth noting. Just real quick. I don't want to go into too much detail. That'll be for a later episode. But, yeah, I mean, at this point in time, Rod Sterling did have a lot of power and a lot of creative control in television. Twilight Zone was a very popular show. He had already written a number of incredible pieces for Playhouse 90 and that sort of stuff, and he had generated a lot of acclaim, got to the point where he could kind of just write his own ticket in television and in Hollywood, and Twilight Zone was what he wanted to do. And at this point, he certainly always framed it as there were constant battles with sponsors and networks and that sort of stuff. But you get the genuine sense from those that were around him that ultimately he was able to do just about anything he wanted, that there weren't that many times when anything came down on him and said, you can't do this. We're not going to allow you to do this. And it just shows that he did. He commanded a lot of power and respect at that specific point in time, especially as it pertains to this show. His bumpers are fantastic, and I love the fact that, of course, in the opening narration. We see him walking up behind Art Carney and the children and sterling standing there on the sidewalk in the snow in his coat. And it's just a lovely image. And there's something about it that, especially for fans of the Twilight Zone, you just look at that and it's like it's Christmas, which might sound silly, but it just feels that way. [01:12:57] Speaker B: Yes. And this episode does exude that spirit, which I think is one of the best things about it. And it's just so charming, and it's charming to the end. And the twist is wonderful. This man, all he wants to do is get the chance to be generous the way that he has just experienced. And then he suddenly finds himself in the actual role of Santa Claus. And I think it's an episode that I think about this a lot. Like we have such a treasure trove of past media that a lot of folks just aren't familiar with. And we air it's a wonderful life every year we air some films, like Christmas story will air for 24 hours. [01:13:57] Speaker A: I love story. [01:13:59] Speaker B: There you go. Right. We do a special presentation of this episode on its anniversary. I think people are going to connect to it. I think a new generation is going to connect to it. Because even if it's in black and white, and even if we are used to maybe different pacing and different sort of visual storytelling cues, I think that a night of television featuring this episode, I think, is as impacting for audiences now as it was in 1960. So I'd love to see the network sort of leverage some of this wonderful media that they have under their umbrella and introduce it on television to a new audience and give it that spotlight. I think that that would be cool. [01:14:47] Speaker A: Yeah, I completely agree. And I think one of the things about the Twilight Zone in general, in an episode like this, you mentioned pacing. The format of the Twilight Zone allowed the pace to always be pretty. There was an alacrity to it. Certainly you could level the argument towards other shows of the times, in particular, hour long dramas and that sort of stuff, that maybe it wasn't as swift with this episode. It does. It flies by. And a couple of quick things that I wanted to mention before we get out of here is that there's another character named Bert, played by Bert Musten, actually only credited as old man, but Henry refers to him as Bert when he sees him. And we see him earlier in know, what would you call that? The mission house, the shelter with the derelicts. And he comes in and he kind of tells you that Santa Claus is coming. And he comes in and distributes the gift. Well, later on, after Henry has finally emptied the bag, all the gifts have been given, everyone's gotten what they wanted. Burt comes out and has this beautiful line about how Henry hasn't gotten a gift himself. And Henry's response is, if he had his choice of any gift at all, he thinks that he wished he could do this every year. And that's when, of course, he goes and he finds the elf and the reindeer and the sleigh and it's just so know. And now his wishes come true. He's the real Santa Claus. He gets in the sleigh, he sets off the cop, Flaherty and Dundee, his boss. See the sleigh? [01:16:26] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:16:26] Speaker A: It's this beautiful moment. And of course they're questioning should we tell anybody if Flaherty, of course, is just sort of like I get fired for being drunk on the job. As a know, it's wonderful because Dundee ends up know even kind of giving himself over to the Christmas spirit and says that they're going to go home, have some hot coffee with a little brandy in it and they'll thank God for miracles. And it's just so lovely. [01:16:53] Speaker B: Note to end. [01:16:56] Speaker A: What I, what I want to end on is actually hopefully not get any copyright violations or anything. I'm not going to use the actual narration, but I do want to just quote Rod Sterling's closing narration here. A word to the wise. To all the children of the 20th century or 21st, whether their concern be pediatrics or geriatrics, whether they crawl on hands and knees and wear diapers or walk with a cane and comb their beards, there's a wondrous magic to Christmas. And there's a special power reserved for little people. In short, there's nothing mightier than the meek. And a merry Christmas to each and all. A merry Christmas to you. A merry Christmas to you last piece of trivia that was cut, actually, that a merry Christmas line was cut in the excluded from reruns, VHS releases and the original Twilight Zone definitive edition dvd set. It was restored for the Blu ray and for the Netflix. And you can tell the sound quality is a little bit different. But I'm so glad that it's back because it's wonderful to hear Rod say, and a merry Christmas to each and all. But yes, merry Christmas to you, JJ. I don't know. No idea, really. [01:18:09] Speaker B: Christmas episode, you can't get past suit the whole time. Yeah, sorry, folks. [01:18:15] Speaker A: It's Christmas. [01:18:16] Speaker B: It's out. [01:18:18] Speaker A: But yeah. Thank you so much, JJ. Thank you for the brilliant print. I'm going to get that one. I cannot wait to have that. And I hope everyone else rushes out and orders it as well. You can find that over at FWW shop along with all of the other merch if you're watching this video on YouTube. I'm wearing the hat right now and I'm actually wearing the secret history shirt. It's not just a shill, it's because I'm having a bad hair day and because this shirt is actually really comfortable. I'm serious. Yeah, they are quality. They're very nice. So you can go over there and you can find that if you want to support the show, that's great. But before you do that, take a look around your community. See if there's something you can do, especially this time of year. Donate some time. Donate a toy to a toy. Drive some canned goods to a food bank. Whatever you can do. If you have money to spare, please do that. Let's right some wrongs and make the world a better place. I think that we can do that all year round and spread a little joy and love and compassion wherever we go. If after all that, you would love to support the show, I would love to have your support. It allows to pay for hosting services and all the things that we use to create the show. So you can head over to fateswidewheel. You can sign up at any dollar amount. You'll get access to the behind the scenes videos and the creation of the prints that JJ has been doing for not only for Quantum leap, but also the doctor who print, this twilight zone print, and more to come, as well as some other goodies that will certainly be along the way. In closing, I just want to say happy holidays, merry Christmas to those that celebrate. Thank you so, so much for listening, for watching, for liking, for subscribing, for being a part of this community, this fandom. And as fateswide wheel continues to explore more avenues for sticking around, joining and being a part of all of this. Thank you to everyone who has made the Eliza Taylor interview the most popular of all videos this year, the second one even more so than her first one. So I appreciate that. I know she appreciates that as well. And take care of yourselves. Take care of one another. Stay safe out there, and always remember to leap responsibly. Bye.

Other Episodes