||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (December 2011)|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||William Asher|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Original air date||June 3, 1960|
A kindly fellow's life is turned topsy-turvy when he receives "help" from his guardian angel.
Mr. Bevis loses his job, gets tickets on his car (which has tipped over) and gets evicted from his apartment, all in one day. Bevis then meets and gets assistance from his guardian angel, one J. Hardy Hempstead. Bevis gets to start the day over again, except now he is a success at work, his rent is paid and his personal transportation is now a sportscar (Austin-Healey) instead of Bevis' previous jalopy, a soot-spewing 1924 Rickenbacker.
But of course there's a catch. In order to continue in his new life, Bevis must make some changes: no strange clothes, no loud zither music, no longer can he be the well-liked neighborhood goofball. Realizing all these things are what makes him happy, Bevis asks that things be returned to the way they were. Hempstead obliges, initially warning him that he'll still have no job, car or apartment—but, perhaps moved by his kindness and the warmth people have for him, arranges for Bevis to get his old jalopy back.
In the final scene of the episode, Mr. Bevis is shown finishing his fifth shot of whiskey, and he pays his total tab of $5.00 with one bill. He then leaves the bar, where his Rickenbacker was parked in front of a fire hydrant. When Bevis is about to be ticketed for this infraction, the hydrant suddenly disappears and then reappears next to the officer's motorcycle. 'J. Hardy Hempstead' is still watching over him after all.
- Orson Bean as James B. W. Bevis
- Henry Jones as J. Hardy Hempstead
- Charles Lane as Mr. Peckinpaugh
- Sarah Selby as Margaret
- William Schallert as Policeman
- Vito Scotti as Tony, the Fruit Peddler
- Horace McMahon as Bartender
"In the parlance of the 20th century this is an oddball. His name is James B. W. Bevis, and his tastes lean toward stuffed animals, Zither music, professional football, Charles Dickens, moose heads, carnivals, dogs, children, and young ladies. Mr. Bevis is accident prone, a little vague, a little discombobulated, with a life that possesses all of the security of a floating crap game. But this can be said of our Mr. Bevis, without him, without his warmth, without his kindness, the world would be a considerably poorer place – albeit perhaps a little saner."
- 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