“The Mind and the Matter”, written by Rod Serling and directed by Buzz Kulik is episode 63 of the American television anthology series, The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on May 12, 1961 on CBS. That’s from the Wikipedia. The subject matter is prescient; being what our society, in this modern age, has had to endure over the past 16 years, since the year 2000, but it also ushers in the era of the “Me” Generation, starting with the baby boomer generation and the self-involved qualities that some people associated with it. The baby boomers (Americans born during the 1946 to 1964 baby boom) were dubbed the “Me” generation by writer Tom Wolfe during the 1970s – again, the Wikipedia, sorry.
You have this self-involved “turd”, Archibald Beechcroft, which is such a fake-sounding name, it seems like Serling just belched out this idea onto fresh typing paper, it’s not inspiring, in any sense of the word. He works in an office situation. This is New York City, I’m assuming. He lives in a tiny apartment. He’s sick of people. He’s a misanthrope. What he wants is peace and quiet. This guy gives him a book – “The Mind and the Matter”, which is a self-help book.
In “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?”, we have a couple of cops in the snowy woods, great photography here, especially if I suspect it was shot on a soundstage, it’s absolutely amazing if you take that into consideration. It would make very little sense to go on location since the majority of the action occurs in a small diner; location work being extremely expensive. The bridge is out, and the cops hear strange sounds, which they immediately surmise is some kind of an unidentified flying object passing overhead, perhaps crashing.
A bus carrying a bunch of passengers has to make an unscheduled stop, everybody files out and goes to the diner. Slow night, and you have to wonder – based on what we eventually discover – if it isn’t possible that the owner of the diner orchestrated the crash at the bridge just so he could drum up some business? Even if he didn’t, it’s still a great set-up. The episode turns into a mood piece about paranoia. John Hoyt is a businessman. The great character actor Jack Elam plays a nutty old man. I watched Cannonball Run recently for Vintage Cable Box, and I absolutely love him. He plays a drugged-up doctor that Burt Reynolds and Dom De Luise abduct so nobody will question them driving an ambulance. He shoots up Farrah Fawcett with sedatives and keeps giving everybody the finger. He’s hilarious.
Don’t forget to visit Craig’s sites, My Life In The Shadow Of The Twilight Zone and My Life In The Glow Of The Outer Limits and check out Craig’s Twilight Zone podcast, “Between Light and Shadow” – very entertaining.
Written by David Lawler
Additional Commentary by Craig Beam
Original Music by Alex Saltz, APS Mastering
Introduction Music: “Rose Tint My World” (Richard O’Brien) by Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, and Jonathan Adams (from the 1975 film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show directed by Jim Sharman).
Audio Clips: Complaints and Grievances (a 2001 stand-up comedy special starring George Carlin), “Bart’s Inner Child” (a 1993 episode of The Simpsons written by George Meyer), “The Mind and the Matter”, “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?”
Recorded September 28, 2016
© BlissVille, David Lawler copyright 2016 for all original vocal and audio content featuring David Lawler and selected guests each episode. Original Music © Alex Saltz copyright 2015. This podcast, “That Twilighty Show About That Zone” is not affiliated with CBS Entertainment, the CBS Television Network, or The Rod Serling Estate. Any and all images, audio clips, and dialogue extracts are the property of their respective copyright owners. This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended. All music clips appear under Fair Use as well. If you’re thinking of suing because you want a piece of the pie, please remember, there is no actual pie. We at BlissVille have no money, and as such, cannot compensate you. If anything, we’re doing you a favor, so please be kind. I do this ’cause it’s fun, and nothing else.
Running Time: 37:34