The Mind and the Matter

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"The Mind and the Matter"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 27
Directed by Buzz Kulik
Written by Rod Serling
Featured music Stock
Production code 173-3659
Original air date May 12, 1961
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Shadow Play"
Next →
"Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"
List of season 2 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"The Mind and the Matter" is episode 63 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on May 12, 1961 on CBS.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Mr. Archibald Beechcroft, who has had an insufferable time getting to work, becomes annoyed when an errand boy named Henry spills coffee all over his suit. Taking some aspirin in the bathroom, he encounters his boss, Mr. Rogers, who advises him that he needs to keep fit to avoid headaches. Annoyed, Beechcroft says he's fed up with the crowded conditions at the office and wants to eliminate all the people of the world.

Later, in the cafeteria, Henry saves Beechcroft a seat, because he's still feeling guilty about spilling the coffee. He also presents Beechcroft a book titled The Mind and the Matter, which deals with the ultimate in concentration. The book intrigues Beechcroft as he starts to leaf through it in the cafeteria, and he continues to read it on the subway ride home. In his apartment, he reads the last page, and then concludes that the authors are indeed correct that concentration is the greatest power in the universe. It then occurs to him that he can use concentration to realize his dream of eliminating people. He tests his theory out on his landlady, whom he successfully makes disappear.

The next day, Beechcroft concentrates while in the subway and all the other commuters disappear. Beechcroft walks into the office to find it totally empty. Though he takes satisfaction in his newfound peace and quiet, he soon grows extremely bored with being the last person in existence. After trying out diversions such as an earthquake or electrical storm, Beechcroft goes home for the night. To overcome his loss of purpose, Beechcroft comes up with the idea of repopulating the world in his image. This proves to be an even bigger mistake, since everybody else ends up being as anti-social, rude and cranky as Beechcroft. The people even look and sound like him.

Beechcroft returns the world to the way it used to be, now convinced that, for all its nuisances, it is the best of all possible worlds. Henry spills coffee on Beechcroft again, then asks him if he enjoyed reading The Mind and the Matter. Beechcroft pretends to dismiss the book as "totally unbelievable."

Closing narration[edit]

Cast[edit]

  • Shelley Berman as Archibald Beechcroft
  • Jack Grinnage as Henry
  • Chet Stratton as Mr. Rogers
  • Robert McCord as Elevator Operator
  • Jeane Wood as Landlady

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]