Friday, July 4, 2014

The Twilight Zone Marathon July 4th 2014

Hello TWZ fans! How are you guys doing? I'm doing alright.

SyFy will be marathoning The Twilight Zone on July 4th again this year!

The marathon will start at 8am EST on July 4th with Five Characters in Search of an Exit. There will be a break at 8pm to 12:10am for WWE Smackdown from 8pm to 10pm. At 10pm to 12:05am two episodes of Spartacus will be showing. The marathon finally continues at 12:05am with The Midnight Sun. It will conclude with Long Distance Call on July 5th at 3:40am. Below is a link to the TWZ Marathon's schedule on the SyFy Channel.

The Twilight Zone Marathon July 4th 2013 schedule on SyFy: schedule July 4, 2014

It is a much shorter marathon this year. If you can call it a marathon with a four hour break in between. The SyFy Channel just down right sucks. If you can I recommend getting the Twilight Zone on DVD or Blu Ray. I highly recommend Blu Ray. You might think, "it's just a black and white show. How much clearer can it get?" My friend, I thought the same too but, the blacks are true blacks on Blu Ray with many shades in between which makes the dimension of sight, the dimension of sound and the dimension of mind much more clearer and crisper. Once you experience it in true high def, you'll understand. Plus, there's a bunch of cool extras that comes with the Blu Ray set. If you're not able to get the set shipped to your place of residence by tomorrow, you can find some of the Twilight Zone episodes on Youtube.

Now, for approval, I submitted a bit of trivia on one of my favorite TWZ episode after the "JUMP!"
Anthony Wilson's Come Wander With Me

Come Wander With Me

Original air date May 22, 1964
Season 5
Episode 154
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Anthony Wilson
Music by Jeff Alexander

  • Gary Crosby - Floyd Burney
  • Bonnie Beecher - Mary Rachel
  • John Bolt - Billy Rayford
  • Hank Patterson - Old Man

Come Wander With Me is directed by Richard Donner. You might know him the director of Superman, the Goonies and Lethal Weapon. The episode stars Bing Crosby's son, Gary Crosby. He plays a pop singer named Floyd Burney who is also known as "the Rockabilly Kid." Floyd shows up in a backwoods town looking for folk songs that he can exploit. This might be a last ditch effort to stay relevant with his career. He first meets an old man in an instrument shop who seems to appear out of no where. Why would there be an instrument shop in such a secluded area? Why not a convenience store which would make much more sense. While asking the old man if he knows any folk songs that he can buy, Floyd hears a haunting tune. Some woman is singing the title song, "Come Wander With Me." The song is integral to the plot as it tells the plot. Floyd finds Mary Rachel (Bonnie Beacher), the young woman who has been singing the song. Mary Rachel is enamored by Floyd right away but, all Floyd cares about is to cash in on her folk music. When he tells Mary Rachel that he wants to take away from her town, he is confronted by Billy Rayford (John Bolt). Billy Rayford seems to be holding Mary Rachel prisoner or, is he guarding Mary Rachel? Out of rage of not getting what he wants Floyd strikes Billy Rayford with his guitar and kills him with a rock. The song Floyd recorded on tape with Mary Rachel plays back the incident right after it happens. Which is impossible. When he asks Mary Rachel what's going on, she tells him that this has always happened. The story seems to be cyclical. Is Floyd in some sort of hell? He then hears dogs and was told that the Rayford brothers are after him for killing Billy. Floyd runs and finds the instrument shop. He asks the old man to hide him but the old man refuses. Floyd smashes a guitar on the old man and I assume he kills him. As he tries to hide the instruments in the shop goes off alerting the remaining three Rayford Brothers where he is and the episode fades to black.

Come Wander With Me is known as one of the most incoherent Twilight Zone episodes and is unpopular. Floyd Burney's tombstone is shown in the beginning of the episode hinting that he is already dead but how is that possible? How did Mary Rachel know what is going to happen? Here's my interpretation. The episode is representation of pop music and how it is exploited and milked for money. If the art is not from your heart it is not going to last. This has happened before as Mary Rachel had said. But if you hide it, it might be different? Mary Rachel is Floyd's muse. She loves him unconditionally and absolutely. He might have had the same feelings before but once money and fame came into the picture his feelings had changed. Billy Rayford might be a representation of Floyd's naivety wanting to protect the art. Floyd killed that part of himself. Symbolically, he strikes down both Billy Rayford and the old man with a guitar. He killed his art with the tool/instrument that channels it, a guitar. The old man to me represents Floyd's wisdom. The remaining three Rayford Brothers are only represented by their shadows, as wraiths. They end up killing Floyd/Floyd's career. What do the brothers represent? Power, money and fame? Did selling out kill Floyd/Floyd's career? The Coen Brother's Inside Llewyn Davis reminds me a lot this episode.

The producer of the episode, William Froug chose Bonnie Beecher over Liza Minnelli for the part of Mary Rachel. He thought Liza Minnelli was too nervous to play the role:

"I'll never forget Liza Minnelli sitting there and her agent saying, 'this girl can really sing,' I said, 'I'm sure she can,' but I thought, Oh, she is so nervous! She's scared out of her mind. To picture her as a hillbilly singer: no way. And I must tell you-and this is the truth-at the time, I sat there thinking, Well, I'll probably kick myself for this but I can't see this girl playing the part-but she'll probably be a big star: I still don't regret it, but it was really scary stupidity."

Bonnie Beecher was Boby Dylan's girl friend for a short while. Supposedly, she recorded some Dylan's performances in her apartment. Bonnie Beecher later appeared in a couple of TV Shows including Star Trek and Gun Smoke. Her acting career was short lived as she retired young, still in her twenties.

Come Wander With Me is not in this year's July 4th Marathon and SyFy. It is on Youtube:

Come Wander With Me is one of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone mainly because of the song.

Which episodes are your favorite? These are some of mine:

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