Episode #5 is… Time Enough at Last (Season 1, Episode 8) On Netflix!
“Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A bookish little man whose passion is the printed page, but who is conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of tongue-cluckers and the unrelenting hands of a clock. But in just a moment, Mr. Bemis will enter a world without bank presidents or wives or clocks or anything else. He’ll have a world all to himself…without anyone.”- Rod Serling
This is not only a fantastic “Twilight Zone” episode, it is a piece of short film art! You talk to anyone who is familiar with “The Twilight Zone” series, there’s a good chance they will bring up this episode. It’s not just because Burgess Meredith is absolutely perfectly cast and is awesome, as he is in everything else he ever did. It’s not just because the story is so powerful, even though it is one of the most well written and acted episodes out there. The reason people talk about this episode is because of the twist. “Time Enough at Last” doesn’t have the creepiest twist out there, but it is a shocker! I mean a real shocker! You can’t believe what happens to this character and you will want to watch it again.
It doesn’t surprise me that this was one of Rod Serling’s first episodes, because it is one of his best. “Time Enough at last” is fresh, interesting and packs such a punch at the end. I have watched it over and over, time and time again and still I don’t get tired of the twist. I am thinking about it right now while smirking. You are really in for a treat with this one. This is one of the best examples of Serling’s genius and is the quintessential “Twilight Zone” episode.
The description- “Time Enough at Last” is about a bank teller named, Henry Bemis, who loves to read and will open a book anytime he gets a chance. The problem is that it affects his work and home life. He is always making mistakes at his job and has no form of communication with his wife at home. This is for a good reason because his wife and boss are impossible, demanding people. Henry is more of a book worm, who keeps to himself and hates confrontation.
One day Bemis is on his lunch break and is looking for a nice, quiet place to read. Well, he finds the bank vault to be a good fit and makes his nest there. He slowly doses off while reading when all of a sudden, he is woken up by a loud boom and the whole vault shaking around him.
He goes out to investigate and finds that there has been a nuclear attack and no one is left alive. The bank vault protected him from the blast and the radiation. (I know… a little stretch with the radiation not affecting him, but this was the sixties, so bomb knowledge wasn’t as available then, so be understanding. Especially considering they were testing these dangerous bombs under top secret protection on our own soil and out at sea. Of course the side affects were kept secret. Hello, remember “The Manhattan Project.”)
So, Bemis wanders around, looking at all the destruction, wondering what he is going to do with the rest of his solitary life. But then he stumbles upon a certain building that hasn’t been damaged that bad at all. This building has everything he has ever wanted in life and is his dream come true. But for no explained reason, the universe will not give you what you’ve always wanted… well not without a price anyway. This goes especially for the ones who enter “The Twilight Zone.”
I will say no more, I said too much! If you haven’t seen “Time Enough at last” then get excited, really excited, because this episode will not disappoint! It’s that good that it will live up to any grand expectations I set and probably exceed them. I think there is a Bemis in all of us and when you see his demise, it just hits that more close to home.
Also, why not come and experience the passion I have for “The Twilight Zone” and watch my television series “A Seat on a Train.” The first episode released on Halloween and you can see it at http://www.aseatonatrain.com If you love “The Twilight Zone” then why not come take “A Seat on a Train…”