Static (The Twilight Zone)

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"Static"
The Twilight Zone episode
Dean Jagger The Twilight Zone 1961.JPG
Paranormal radio as seen in "Static",
with Dean Jagger
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 20
Directed by Buzz Kulik
Written by Charles Beaumont
story by OCee Rich
Production code 173-3665
Original air date March 10, 1961
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Mr. Dingle, the Strong"
Next →
"The Prime Mover"
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) (season 2)
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"Static" is episode 56 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on March 10, 1961 on CBS.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Ed Lindsay, an embittered bachelor in his late fifties, living in a boarding house, is dismayed over the mindless programs and commercials on the TV set watched by the residents. He retrieves from the basement an old radio which, in his younger and happier days, he enjoyed as a source of relaxation and entertainment. Installing it in his room, he is pleased to hear the radio receiving 1930s/1940s music and programs, including live performances by Edward Bowes, Fred Allen, and Tommy Dorsey, all of whom are dead. He tells the others about the broadcasts, which they first assume are recordings. Unable to receive them on a modern portable radio, they come into his room—but hear only static. Ed now tries to contact the radio station ("WPDA", in fictional Cedarburg, New Jersey), but discovers it has been out of business for years.

Ed has a confrontation with Vinnie Broun (Carmen Mathews), who has lived in the same boarding house with him for two decades. In an earlier era, they had intended to marry, but other things interfered until too much time had passed. She tells him that the past cannot be recovered and he should let it go, and that he is simply having a delusion. Ed is furious and he throws Vinnie out of his room. His obsession with his radio continues to grow.

Worried about Ed's mental state, Vinnie and the other residents have the radio hauled away by a junk dealer. Ed rushes out and buys it back for $10. He takes it back to his room and, to his great relief, finds it still operational. He loses himself in an old Tommy Dorsey love song, the one he would share with Vinnie. The door to his room swings open, and Vinnie enters. Both Ed and Vinnie are young again, and Ed is now determined to do things right this time around.

Closing narration[edit]

Cast[edit]

Episode notes[edit]

As The Twilight Zone's second season began, the production was informed by CBS that at about $65,000 per episode, the show was exceeding its budget. By November 1960, 16 episodes, more than half of the projected 29, were already filmed, and five of those had been broadcast. It was decided that six consecutive episodes would be videotaped at CBS Television City in the manner of a live drama and then transferred to 16-millimeter film for future syndicated TV transmissions. Eventual savings amounted to only about $30,000 for all six entries, which was judged to be insufficient to offset the loss of depth of visual perspective that only film could offer. The shows wound up looking little better than set-bound soap operas and as a result the experiment was deemed a failure and never tried again.

Even though the six shows were taped in a row, through November and into mid-December, their broadcast dates were out of order and varied widely, with this, the second one, shown on March 10, 1961 as episode 20. The first, "The Lateness of the Hour" was seen on December 2, 1960 as the eighth episode broadcast; the third, "The Whole Truth" appeared on January 20, 1961 as the 14th episode; the fourth was the Christmas show "The Night of the Meek", shown as the 11th episode on December 23, 1960; the fifth, "Twenty Two" was seen on February 10, 1961 as the 17th episode; and the last one, "Long Distance Call" was broadcast on March 31, 1961, shown three weeks (and two episodes) after this one.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]