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Headscratchers / The Twilight Zone (1959)

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  • From "Mr. Garrity and the Graves" — Adjusting the dollar value in 1964 for 1890, one dollar is worth about $30. What are the odds the TOWN DRUNK has $15,000 on his person?!!?!
    • In fact everyone seems to be carrying thousands of dollars with them. That's insane, especially in the Old West: anything more than $10 would be kept in a bank, and the bank was surely closed at the time the townsfolk were paying Garrity.
      • Perhaps not if the banker was also trying to get the money to pay Garrity not to resurrect someone.
  • From "I Shot an Arrow in the Air"- Was it at some point considered plausible that the first astronauts would need to bring along guns?
    • The Soviets always did, but their space programs opted for actual landings (rather than splashdowns) in the middle of Siberia, wolves and all. A lot of classic sci-fi automatically assumed that space explorers needed guns through analogy to terrestrial explorers of Borneo and Africa—most of the writers were exploring ideas, and didn't (or simply couldn't) know what they were talking about.
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    • The ol' "if you don't understand it, shoot it" philosophy. Though, ironically, the episode "People Are Alike All Over" might actually make it seem more understandable.
  • In "The Man in the Bottle" the couple wishes for a million dollars. Then a man from the IRS shows up and says that the taxes will be over $900,000. What kind of messed up world was the 1960s if people had to pay 90+% income tax? For that matter, why would the IRS show up that same day instead of waiting until, you know, they filed their return?
    • That was part of his Jerk Ass Genie personality. The wife mentions that they had given a lot of money away to the neighbors before the IRS man showed up.
    • People in the US in the 1950s really did face a 90% tax rate on income above a certain (large) dollar amount, after deductions. This tended to be hardest on people with incomes that could change a lot from year to year, like musicians and actors. The Beatles song "Taxman" famously complained about this.
    • The genie could also have been even worse - if the taxman had shown up later or not at all, they could have gotten in trouble for not reporting their windfall as income or ended up with a tax debt they no longer had the money to pay.
  • About the family that ended up rich but disfigured by the magic masks they had to wear as a condition of receiving their inheritance - rich people can afford plastic surgery, can't they?
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    • Plastic surgery in the 50s wasn't as advanced and given the level of deformity of their faces is very unlikely that any real change could be done.
  • In "Time Enough at Last", couldn't he try to find out other glasses? If things like books and food cans survive the nuclear blast most likely glasses can be found somewhere else.
    • He was practically blind without his glasses he'd never be able to find anything
    • He might have just jumped to conclusions and he could find some. Of course, he'd probably Go Mad from the Isolation eventually anyway.
    • It's also distinctly possible he really couldn't find anymore if he had prescription glasses. The number of people who'd randomly have the same prescription as someone else isn't a large one, and the number that'd be undamaged in such an event is even smaller.
  • For the ending of "Escape Clause"... why the hell would anyone find an eternity of being tortured in hell preferable to a life prison sentence? Especially when life in prison wouldn't really last forever in a practical sense once they figure out he's immortal?
    • Prisons in the 50s were horrible if you think going to prison today is bad it was like a 100 times worst then, and it would take like some 50-60 years for them to realize he's immortal. On the other hand not everyone believes in the existence of hell, nor even those who believe in the Devil, Jews, and Jehova's Witness, for example, do not believe in Hell but they do believe in the Devil, so he maybe was from one of those religions or he just didn't though hell was a real place even if the existence of a Satanic Archetype does exist as an entity.
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    • If he doesn't have to worry about dying or being injured, why doesn't he try to break out of the prison?
  • In "A Game of Pool" Jesse Cardiff beats Fats Brown, and in doing so became a legend...but he and Fats were alone when it happened, and I doubt anyone would believe his story of playing pool with a ghost. How did he become a legend with something no one else would know about?
    • I think is something on the line of "history resetting button", in the sense that as from then Cardiff would be regarded as the greatest player ever and all history will be rewritten to match that. It was like a playing for your soul kind of game.
  • in "The Hitchhiker," if Nan Adams really died in the accident in Pennsylvania, how was she able to continue to interact with people on the drive to Los Angeles, and pay for and eat food? Was she in some kind of purgatory, and were all the other people also dead? Or were they all interacting with a ghost?
  • In "The Lonely," why didn't they just take out Alicia's memory bank for the trip and install her in a new body back on Earth? Or, if time constraints prohibited that...well, a head-shot can kill her, so her seat of consciousness is probably in her head, and being mechanical she doesn't need to breathe and can't bleed out, so why not just saw her head off and take that back to Earth?
    • Probably has something to do with 50s people's idea of both robots and computers. Computers were immense room-size machines that would not fit inside a humanoid's skull, they probably did not have our concept of microchips and portable memories, whilst robots/androids for them worked as a unit, as a whole mechanical system, like a clock.
  • In "When The Sky Was Opened" if the crew of the space-plane wasn't meant to come back from where ever they dissapreared to for 24 hours while in space, why were their entire lives being erased from existence, and not just everything they did after they reappeared? If I had to guess, I'd say that the other place, or something inhabiting it, liked them, and decided to steal everything about them from our plane of existence, but that's not what the episode implies.
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