In Praise of Pip
|"In Praise of Pip"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Joseph M. Newman|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Featured music||Rene Garriguenc, conducted by Lud Gluskin|
|Original air date||September 27, 1963|
|List of Twilight Zone episodes|
This was the first episode of The Twilight Zone to be 30 minutes long since The Changing of the Guard.
Max Phillips is a bookie who finds out via telegram that his son Pip, a soldier, has been seriously wounded fighting in Vietnam and will likely die. He is regretful that he didn't spend more time with Pip when he was younger. With that in mind, he returns $300 to an unlucky customer and gets into a fight with his boss and the boss's hitman. Max is shot by the hitman. Wounded, he stumbles into an amusement park and is surprised to see Pip, who is now a child again. After having some fun, reliving and expanding on enjoyable outings in the past, Pip runs away into a house of mirrors. When Max finds him, Pip explains that he is dying and vanishes. Max prays to God and offers to trade his own life in exchange for Pip's, then collapses and dies on the freeway. Some time after, the full-grown Pip - walking with a cane due to his war injuries - visits the amusement park's shooting gallery and recalls some of Max's advice as he begins to play.
The episode was filmed on location at the Pacific Ocean Park in Santa Monica, California. It is often incorrectly cited as the first American television drama to mention the growing Vietnam War, or the first to show a Vietnam veteran. However, starting in March, 1963, actor Glenn Corbett had become a regular on the series Route 66, playing returned Vietnam soldier Lincoln Case. The Vietnam War and its effects on Linc were crucial plot points in several Route 66 episodes, including his debut, which was broadcast six months before this episode.
"In Praise of Pip" actually opens in Vietnam, though, with a wounded Pip being brought into a front-line mobile hospital. This makes it possibly the first American television drama to have a scene set in the midst of the Vietnam War. Interestingly, Rod Serling originally wanted the episode's opening to take place in Laos; it was CBS who asked for the change to Vietnam.
Jack Klugman appeared in four episodes of the original series. In addition to this episode, he appeared in Death Ship, A Game of Pool, and A Passage for Trumpet. In addition to this episode, Billy Mumy appeared in two other episodes of the original series: It's a Good Life and Long Distance Call. Bill Mumy also appeared in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982) and the updated Twilight Zone tv series in 2003, in the episode It's Still a Good Life.
This was the first episode sponsored by American Tobacco (on alternate weeks), on behalf of Pall Mall cigarettes, who suggested that Rod and some of the guest stars and supporting players "light up" during the episodes. Unlike previous sponsor Liggett & Myers, American Tobacco did not have Rod plug their products at the end of the program.
One of only three Twilight Zone episodes to feature the line "Submitted for your approval" during Rod Serling's opening narration, which is probably the phrase most closely associated with the show that comes from those monologues.
The script originally had Pip stationed in Laos, but the network had Rod Serling change it to Vietnam.
Though both young actors in the episode played the same 'self-titled' character 'Pip' in the classic episode, Bobby Diamond and Billy Mumy did not actually meet in real-life until 46 years after the program first aired, September 27, 1963. Diamond and Mumy shot their scenes separately at the (now-defunct) Pacific Ocean Park in the summer of 1963. But they did not meet face-to-face until October 10, 2009, at a 'Twilight Zone Convention' in North Hollywood, CA.
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0