The Bard (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
Burt Reynolds and John Williams in a scene from "The Bard".
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||David Butler|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Featured music||Fred Steiner|
|Original air date||May 23, 1963|
Jack Weston: Julius Moomer
Mr. Serling's Opening Narration
|“||You've just witnessed opportunity, if not knocking, at least scratching plaintively on a closed door. Mr. Julius Moomer, a would-be writer who, if talent came twenty-five cents a pound, would be worth less than car fare. But, in a moment, Mr. Moomer, through the offices of some black magic, is about to embark on a brand-new career. And although he may never get a writing credit on the Twilight Zone, he's to become an integral character in it.||”|
A bumbling screenwriter, Julius K. Moomer, is in desperate need of brilliant scripts. His agent suggests that he does some research, and he finds a book with a black magic spell that he uses to bring William Shakespeare to life. Shakespeare produces a riveting screenplay for the writer, but is so horrified at the revisions by the sponsor that he assaults the leading man and storms out for good. Moomer's next assignment, a TV special on American history, seems doomed to failure until he remembers his book on black magic—and uses it to conjure up a new writing staff, including Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Pocahontas, Daniel Boone, Benjamin Franklin, and Theodore Roosevelt.
Mr. Serling's Closing Narration
|“||Mr. Julius Moomer, a streetcar conductor with delusions of authorship. And if the tale just told seems a little tall, remember a thing called poetic license, and another thing called the Twilight Zone.||”|
The episode was likely written by Rod Serling as a reaction to the advertising executives he dealt with regularly while producing for television. In the book The Twilight Zone Companion Serling is quoted as saying that things were so bad with the overcautious executives that "one could not ford a river if Chevy was the sponsor."
The episode was also featured in the final episode of The Sopranos, in 2007, "Made in America". Tony Soprano, the main protagonist of the series, is seen watching this episode while in hiding from his enemies in a safe house.
- 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