Eps 1: Where is everybody

Where is everyone

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Eugene Daniels

Eugene Daniels

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Mike Ferriss is walking through the city, unable to find someone else to talk to. The story introduces us to Mike Ferris, a man with no memories of what he was, wandering through the empty town where he lived. A man grows restless as he wanders around the neighboring town, growing more and more desperate to find anyone he can talk to.
The man rushes upstairs, hoping to find someone at a cabin running the photo, but no one is seen. He has been going through tests to determine his suitability to become an astronaut, and if he will manage the long journey to the moon on his own; a nearby city is a hallucination caused by sensory deprivation. The man is actually a trained astronaut named Mike Ferris, who has been restricted for 484 hours and 36 minutes in a quarantine room located inside a plane hangar, testing to see whether he can remain mentally sharp while trapped inside the tiny spacecraft for the entire trip. The man wanders into the nearest town square -- a plaza is the symbol of safety and security .
Rushing in and finding no one in the audience, the man begins to question what might have happened to the US Air Force which led him to this situation, until an advertisement for a film starts playing. Eventually, A man makes it into the kitchen, where he finds a warm pot of coffee on the stove, and some fresh baked cake, but no one else besides him yet. The man bursts into the kitchen, demanding some food, but once again finds nobody. The man walks into a coffee shop and calls out for a food, only to find nobody there.
He turns down the jukebox and attempts to ask a cook in the upstairs room about town, but no one answers. As the prison doors nearly creak shut, one man runs from the jail and onto the town square, asking where everybody is. There are no people anywhere, and even though it is in a small town -- one of the safer ones -- A man recognizes his vulnerability. The illusion of the dream, or at least of a lonely existence for a man in that small town, has been destroyed.
Mike Ferris finds himself walking through a completely empty town, without any memories of who he is or how he got there, with the only clues as to his identity being an air force jumpsuit that he is wearing. Oh, and episode one does eventually build some rationale to Mike Ferriss strange actions, and I give Rod Serling a lot of credit for that, but there are moments where I am left wondering about our pal. Rod Serlings original ending for this brilliant, Cold War-influenced, one finds Sgt. Mike Ferris finding in his pocket the ticket stub for a movie he experienced during a hallucination, leaving viewers questioning the difference between fact and fiction. It was an episode that sold the show to sponsors who were skeptical about Serlings outlandish ideas.
It begins The Twilight Zones first episode, a pilot, a half-hour which sold the series. This narration was used on the later released versions of The Twilight Zone episodes which were voiced by Rod Serling as narrator, with the line the sixth dimension replaced by the fifth dimension in order to fit with the subsequent episodes of The Twilight Zone. This narration was used in the original pilot for Where is Everyone?, where it was narrated by Westbrook Van Voorhis, as was written into the original Twilight Zone episode script.
I never watched all of these in order, but I did watch a fair amount of the more well-known episodes, so I knew the absence of science fiction or fantasy in the first episode was pretty typical of The Twilight Zone, but at the time, people must surely have assumed the rational explanations in the finale would have been a scheme, or maybe even a set of dreams and illusions. There are probably other episodes just as good, but in my book, there is not one better.
The novels that were available in the pharmacy shelves included The Last Man on Earth, by Richard Matheson, frequent Twilight Zone author and legendary sci-fi writer . A man paws through the piles of pulp novel titles on display -- one is called The Last Man on Earth, dated Feb. 1959. I like, for example, Mike Ferriss finding the Last Man on Earth book; although if these are actual books I have no idea.
The New York Times gave high marks to One For The Angels, saying Rod Serlings performance as the narrator proved that Science cannot predict what might be the effects of complete isolation on humankind, although the s resolution... felt corny and anticlimactic. As with the theme of age, isolation would become a subject often revisited by Serling throughout various episodes throughout The Twilight Zone, particularly season twos The Mind and the Matter, in which a man discovers he can remove external influences and uses power to eliminate all of humanity, only to realise the extreme loneliness that comes with denying human interaction.