Static (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Directed by||Buzz Kulik|
story by OCee Rich
|Original air date||March 10, 1961|
|“||No one ever saw one quite like that, because that's a very special sort of radio. In its day, circa 1935, its type was one of the most elegant consoles on the market. Now with its fabric-covered speakers, its peculiar yellow dials, its serrated knobs, it looks quaint and a little strange. Mr. Ed Lindsay is going to find out how strange very soon when he tunes in to the Twilight Zone.||”|
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.
|“||Around and around she goes, and where she stops nobody knows. All Ed Lindsay knows is that he desperately wanted a second chance and he finally got it, through a strange and wonderful time machine called a radio, in the Twilight Zone.||”|
- Dean Jagger as Ed Lindsay
- Carmen Mathews as Vinnie
- Robert Emhardt as Professor Ackerman
- Arch W. Johnson as Roscoe Bragg
- Alice Pearce as Mrs. Nielson
- Clegg Hoyt as Shopkeeper (the "junk dealer")
- Stephen Talbot as Boy
- Lillian O'Malley as Miss Meredith
- Pat O'Malley as Mr. Llewellyn
- Bob Crane as the disc jockey (uncredited)
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.
- 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
- "Bob Crane as Uncredited Radio Announcer /The Twilight Zone - 'Static' / 1961 (clip 1)". May 26, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
- "Bob Crane as Uncredited Radio Announcer /The Twilight Zone - 'Static' / 1961 (clip 2)". May 27, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2016.