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
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"Shadow Play"
Next →
"Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) (season 2)
List of The 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]

Archibald Beechcroft has an insufferably crowded time getting to work, and becomes annoyed when errand boy Henry spills coffee all over his suit. Taking some aspirin in the washroom, his boss Mr. Rogers lectures him about a proper lifestyle to maintain his health. Aggravated, Beechcroft says he's fed up with the crowded conditions at the office and wants to eliminate all the people of the world.

In the cafeteria for lunch, Henry apologizes to Beechcroft further for spilling the coffee, saving him a seat and presenting him with a book titled The Mind and the Matter, which deals with the ultimate in concentration, and Henry explains that his friend has learned how to make things happen with his mind. Beechcroft starts to leaf through the book in the cafeteria, continues to read it on the subway ride home, and finishes it over supper in his apartment. Agreeing with the authors that concentration is the greatest power in the universe, it occurs to him that he can use it to realize his dream of eliminating people. When his landlady knocks to collect his rent, he tests the theory, and successfully makes her disappear.

The next day, Beechcroft uses his concentration to make his crowded subway station empty of people. He rides an empty subway car to the office, which is totally empty, with doors opening for him. Though he takes satisfaction in his newfound peace and quiet, he soon grows bored. Reflections of himself appear, taunting him as bored and lonely. He tries diversions such as an earthquake and electrical storm, but isn't entertained. He glumly rides the empty subway home, where he is again taunted by his reflection. Arguing with it, he gets the idea of repopulating the world with people like himself.

He does so, and the next morning the crowds in the subway and elevator are back, but now everyone has his face and unpleasant, antisocial personality. Dismayed, he returns the world to the way it used to be. Henry again spills coffee on him, and asks about the book. Beechcroft pretends to have found the book "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]