Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 10

Judgement Night

originally aired: December 4, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Nehemiah Persoff, Ben Wright

"Her name is the SS Queen of Glasgow, her registry, British. Gross tonnage: 5000. Age; indeterminate. At this moment she's one day out of Liverpool, her destination: New York. Duelly recorded on this ship's log is the sailing time, course destination, weather conditions, temperature, longitude, and latitude. But what is never recorded in a log is the fear that washes over a deck like fog and ocean spray, fear like the throbbing strokes of engine pistons, each like a heartbeat parcelling out every hour into breathless minutes of watching, waiting, and regretting. For the year is 1942 and this particular ship has lost its convoy. It travels alone like an aged, blind thing groping through the unfriendly dark stalked by unseen periscopes of steel killers. Yes, the Queen of Glasgow is a frightened ship. And she carries with her the premonition of death."

classification: drama

story: A passenger on the Queen of Glasgow cannot remember how he came to be on board, but is certain that the ship will be torpedoed at 1:15am. He is, in fact, the U-boat captain condemned to eternally relive his victim's fate.

summary: very slow-moving and uninteresting. I think this is the first time I've ever watched this all the way through. I've tried numerous times to get into it but always ended up turning it off. I guess I really like the idea of how this all is supposed to take place, the "Death's Head Revisted" episode is similar, having Gunther Lutze live out the torture and pain that he himself ordered at Dachau....this for some reason just doesn't have the pull that "Death's Head" does. I remember the line from the opening clips on the CBS videos Dewey had...."I KNOW we're being stalked!" I guess the best part would have to be the dude seeing himself through the binoculars....getting ready to bomb.....himself. Blah. I do kind of enjoy Serling's intro and wrap-up here....he really busts out the fancy prose.

"The SS Queen of Glasgow, heading for New York, 1942. For one man, it is always 1942. And this man will ride the ghost of that ship every night for eternity. THis is what is meant by paying the fiddler. This is the come-uppance awaiting every man when the ledger of his life is opened and examined. The tally made and then the reward or penalty paid. To Carl Lanser, this is the penalty, this is judgement night in The Twilight Zone.