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Recap / The Twilight Zone S 3 E 95 Hocus Pocus And Frisby

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Rod Serling: The reluctant gentleman with the sizable mouth is Mr. Frisby. He has all the drive of a broken camshaft and the aggressive vinegar of a corpse. As you've no doubt gathered, his big stock in trade is the tall tale. Now, what he doesn't know is that the visitors out front are a very special breed, destined to change his life beyond anything even his fertile imagination could manufacture. The place is Pitchville Flats, the time is the present. But Mr. Frisby's on the first leg of a rather fanciful journey into the place we call the Twilight Zone.

A man who tells tall tales about himself catches the attention of aliens.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Alien Abduction: The aliens plan to bring Frisby back to their own planet as the most impressive specimen that humanity has to offer.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Frisby is captured by aliens on his 63rd birthday.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The aliens have a Venusian specimen who can sing at eight different pitches simultaneously and accompanies himself with his tail.
  • Brown Note: The sound of harmonica music paralyzes the aliens with extreme pain.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: The aliens mistake Frisby's tall tales about his own past for an incredible variety of impressive accomplishments because they have no idea what lying is.
  • Catchphrase: Frisby has a tendency to say some famous/important person gave him a nickname befitting whatever accomplishment he's bragging about this time along the lines of "old _____ Frisby".
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  • Chekhov's Gun: Near the beginning of the episode, Frisby is playing his harmonica, and someone asks him to stop because of its poor sound. Near the end of the episode he plays it while he's being held prisoner by aliens, and the music acts as a "death sound" on them.
  • Chromosome Casting: This episode has an all-male cast.
  • Crazy Memory: The episode concerns Somerset Frisby, who tells outrageous lies to his friends about his past. It comes back to bite him when he's abducted by aliens who have no concept of lying. Fortunately, the one thing he's really good at - playing the harmonica - turns out to give them excruciating pain.
  • Flying Saucer: The aliens arrive on Earth in a flying saucer.
  • Latex Perfection: The aliens use masks which perfectly hide their true appearance. Frisby shatters their leader's mask when he punches him in the face.
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  • Shopkeeper: Somerset is a humble General Store and Gas Station owner in the small rural town of Pitchville Flats.
  • Tall Tale: Frisby is a man who continually tells tall tales; Rod Serling even calls them his most common commodity. During the episode he's abducted by aliens (ironically, because they believe all his stories) and escapes, but when he tells his friends, they believe he is just Crying Wolf. (Of course, the whole episode could be a tall tale... from Rod Serling's point of view.)
  • Two of Your Earth Minutes: The aliens' leader tells Frisby that they will be taking off in "fourteen minutes, by your measure of time."

Rod Serling: Mr. Somerset Frisby, who might have profited by reading an Aesop fable about a boy who cried wolf. Tonight's tall tale from the timberlands of the Twilight Zone.

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