Many might argue that The Twilight Zone was the best science fiction show of all time. I think it would be hard to disagree.
The show introduced many up and coming actors such as William Shatner and Robert Redford, and it actually made people think. In one of the very first episodes, a salesman makes a deal with death. He isn't to die until he makes one last great sale. He feels his life, as a salesman isn't complete just yet.
The toy salesman tries to trick death by quitting his sales job, but death isn't fooled. He is to take a life at midnight, whether it is the salesman's life or that of a little girl. Since the deal had been made with the salesman, death had arranged for the little girl to be hit by a truck at midnight. Before death is able to take her away with him, the salesman persuades death into purchasing the goods he has been selling. By the time it's all over, the salesman had saved the little girl's life, and given his own to death, therefore making it into heaven.
Each of the episodes ended in a closing narration and a preview of the next week. For this particular episode, it was read in that deep, dark tone of voice that we all remember so clearly…
"Lewis J. Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: Pitchman. Formerly a fixture of the summer, formerly a rather minor component to a hot July. But throughout his life, a man beloved by the children, and therefore a most important man. Couldn't happen, you say? Probably not in most places, but it did happen in the Twilight Zone."
Next week, we invite you to take a walk down a Western frontier street at the elbow of a doomed gunman, whose salvation lies in nothing less than a magic potion and a Colt .45. Mr. Dan Duryea stars in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday," next week on The Twilight Zone. We hope you'll be able to be with us. Thank you and good night.
Some movies and shows of today are able to capture and recreate the unbelievable events that so many episodes of The Twilight Zone were able to portray to us so long ago. Some of the episodes may not have been quite as clever as this one was and some may have been cleverer, but it is safe to say that all of the episodes were decades ahead of their time.
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