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|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||John Brahm|
|Written by||Earl Hamner Jr.|
|Featured music||Stock created by Jerry Goldsmith|
|Original air date||January 3, 1964|
|“||Portrait of a nervous man: Oliver Pope by name, office manager by profession. A man beset by life's problems: his job, his salary, the competition to get ahead. Obviously, Mr. Pope's mind is not on his driving... Oliver Pope, businessman-turned killer, on a rain-soaked street in the early evening of just another day during just another drive home from the office. The victim, a kid on a bicycle, lying injured, near death. But Mr. Pope hasn't time for the victim, his only concern is for himself. Oliver Pope, hit-and-run driver, just arrived at a crossroad in his life, and he's chosen the wrong turn. The hit occurred in the world he knows, but the run will lead him straight into—the Twilight Zone.||”|
Oliver ("Ollie") Pope is an office manager who is in a hurry. The nervous and distracted man's mind is not on his driving, and as a result, he slams his 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan into Timmy Danbers, a young boy delivering newspapers on a bicycle, injuring him seriously enough that the boy eventually dies of his injuries. Pope stops, but then, instead of offering aid, hurries off, trying to conceal his part in the accident. His wife Lillian and his co-workers notice that he is increasingly irritable. A co-worker named Pete Radcliff is inaccurately identified by a witness and Pope does everything to foment that erroneous suspicion.
Before long, the vehicle seems to take on a mind of its own. The Fairlane itself rebels against its owner: at first, when Ollie Pope is near the car, it honks its horn, flashes its lights, attempts to start on its own, drops its bumper, tries to close its hood on him, and repeats the radio newsflash of the boy's death in an attempt to get Ollie's attention. Then, while his wife is driving the car, it drives to the scene of the accident and stalls out, seemingly determined to get Pope to admit his guilt.
Eventually as Pope starts walking to work so the car is not seen by police, the car leaves Pope's garage on its own, chases him down the street in a rain storm and seems to be about to run him down. It stops just before doing this and the passenger door opens; Pope gets in and the Fairlane then drives him to the police station, where he walks in to confess.
|“||All persons attempting to conceal criminal acts involving their cars are hereby warned: check first to see that underneath that chrome there does not lie a conscience, especially if you're driving along a rain-soaked highway in the Twilight Zone.||”|
- Edward Andrews as Oliver Pope
- Helen Westcott as Lillian Pope
- Kevin Hagen as Pete Radcliff
- Totty Ames as Muriel Hastings
- Michael Gorfain as Timmy Danbers, newspaper boy
- John Hanek as Policeman
- Robert McCord as Passerby
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External shots (involving the car) of Pope's home and the park were filmed in a Culver City, California, neighborhood. The house that served as Pope's home still stands at 4183 Keystone Avenue (the address appears on an exterior shot in the episode) and the nearby park where the accident took place is the Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park. It is located a few blocks from the Sony Pictures (formerly MGM) lot. The scenes where Pope is chased by his car were filmed on Jasmine Avenue. The home at 4262 (as shown in the episode) has since been replaced, however the adjoining yard that he runs through (and house) are still there and readily identifiable.
California license plates from the year 1963 can be seen on the front and rear of the Ford sedan. Since the story wasn't location-specific, electrical tape was used to mask the word "California" from the top of the plates. One plate contained the number FYH 234.
Edward Andrews refused to appear in the scene where Oliver Pope is almost run over by his car. His stand-in was actually "pinned" underneath the front tire.
A couple of "continuity" errors are also made in this episode. In one scene, the wife (Lillian) claims in a phone call that the car had stalled out (at the original scene of the accident) on "3rd and Park". In a later scene, the parked car's radio wakes up the wife from a sound sleep. She wakes up Ollie, who goes into the garage to see what is going on. The radio switches to a news broadcast and the announcer says that the man who had been arrested for the hit-and-run had been positively seen at the scene of the accident, which happened on "3rd and Elm". In addition, in the final scene of the episode the front bumper (which fell off in an earlier scene) alternately appears and disappears.
- 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