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Trivia / The Twilight Zone (1985)

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  • Acting for Two:
    • In "Shatterday", Bruce Willis played both versions of Peter Jay Novins.
    • In "Act Break", Bob Dishy played both Harry and William Shakespeare.
    • In "The Once and Future King", Jeff Yagher played both Elvis Presley and the Elvis Impersonator Gary Pitkin.
    • In "The World Next Door", George Wendt, Bernadette Birkett and Jeffrey Tambor played Barney Schlessinger, his wife Katie and Milton Baumsey as well as their Retro Universe counterparts.
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    • In "The Road Less Traveled", Cliff DeYoung played both Jeff McDowell and his Alternate Universe counterpart.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Like his character Roger Simpson Leeds in "Dream Me a Life", Eddie Albert was an elderly widower whose wife died three years earlier.
  • Alan Smithee:
    • Alan Brennert thought that his script "Healer" was so badly acted and directed that he took his name off of the episode. It is credited to Michael Bryant.
    • "Paladin of the Lost Hour", which was directed by Gilbert Cates, is credited to Alan Smithee as Cates disliked the manner in which it was edited.
    • Richard Matheson had his name taken off of "Button, Button" as he was displeased with the changed ending of his short story made at the insistence of CBS executives. It is credited to Logan Swanson.
  • Cast the Expert:
    • In "Grace Note", the operatic soprano Julia Migenes played Rosemarie Miletti, an aspiring opera singer who eventually becomes a star.
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    • In "Love is Blind", the folk singer Sneezy Waters played the Blind Musician.
  • Channel Hop: The series aired on CBS for its first two seasons from 1985 to 1987 and moved to syndication for its third season from 1988 to 1989.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • In his introduction to New Stories from the Twilight Zone, the series' executive story consultant Alan Brennert admitted that they produced their share of stinkers:
      • He considers "Welcome to Winfield", "The Leprechaun-Artist" and "Take My Life...Please!" to be "bad scripts we never should have greenlighted in the first place."
      • He describes "Button, Button" and "Monsters!" as "good scripts mauled by bad directors, bad production, bad acting, or all three." He later says that the series screwed up Richard Matheson's script for the former due to "network interference, dreadful acting, direction that turned the point of the story 180 degrees around from what was intended."
      • He admits that he tried to get "Opening Day" killed about twelve times "but everytime I thought I'd finally driven a stake through its heart the damned thing would rear up from the dead yet again."
      • Brennert was particularly critical of the presentation of his own story "Healer", which he thought was so badly directed and acted that he took his name off of it.
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    • J.M. DeMatteis criticized the presentation of his story "The Girl I Married" before it even aired:
      "I have a feeling that the show that appears will not bear much relation to what I wrote. What I've found out is that this season - unlike last, where the script was pretty much regarded as sacrosanct - the network is really interfering a lot...Regardless, I know I did a good job and it was a real satisfying experience."
  • The Danza:
    • Lori Petty played Lori Pendleton in "The Library".
    • Steven Andrade played Steve in "The Hunters".
    • Lisa Schrage played Candy (whose real name is Lisa) and Elena Kudaba played Mrs. Kudaba in "The Trunk".
    • Lisa Jakub played Lisa Cranston in "Street of Shadows".
  • Dawson Casting:
    • In "A Message from Charity", Robert Duncan McNeill was 20 when he played the 16-year-old Peter Wood while Kerry Noonan was 25 when she played Charity Payne, who is much the same age.
    • In "The Toys of Caliban", David Greenlee was 26 when he played Toby Ross, who is supposed to be in his early teens at most.
    • In "Joy Ride", Robert Knepper was 27 and Brooke McCarter and Heidi Kozak were both 23 when they played the teenagers Alonzo, Greg and Adrienne.
    • In "Private Channel", Scott Coffey was 22 when he played the 16-year-old Keith Barnes.
    • In "Time and Teresa Golowitz", Wallace Langham was 22, Grant Heslov was 23 and Gina Gershon was 24 when they played Nelson Baxley, Bluestone and Laura Schuppe, all of whom are 16 or 17.
    • In "Song of the Younger World", Jennifer Rubin was 25 when she played the teenager Amy Hawkline.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Harlan Ellison started off as story editor for the series, and wrote a number of the early episodes. However, his involvement with the show ended with a very nasty and public argument between Ellison and CBS executives who didn't want any part of "Nackles", a story about an old bigot who told neighborhood minority children they would be visited not by Santa during Christmas, but an evil creature known as Nackles.
    • George R. R. Martin complained that the execs got it into their heads that the show's central premise was "something extraordinary happens to an ordinary person," and forced him to add an ordinary person character to one of his scripts who serves no purpose, namely Tom in "The Last Defender of Camelot".
  • Fake American:
    • Helen Mirren as Maddie Duncan in "Dead Woman's Shoes".
    • As Season Three was filmed in Toronto, many American characters are played by Canadian actors.
  • Fake Brit:
    • Wayne Alexander as Cornelius, Ethan Phillips as Deaver and Robert Schenkkan as Eli in "Devil's Alphabet".
    • With the exception of Jenny Agutter as Morgan le Fay, the entire cast of "The Last Defender of Camelot".
    • Keith Knight as Archie in "Special Service".
  • Fake Irish:
    • The entire cast of "The Little People of Killany Woods".
    • Cork Hubbert as the Leprechaun Shawn McGool in "The Leprechaun-Artist".
    • Bunty Webb as Maggie Dugan in "The Crossing".
  • Fake Nationality: Page Fletcher as the Frenchman Guillaume de Marchaux in "Cat and Mouse".
  • Fake Russian:
    • Stefan Gierasch as the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations in "A Small Talent for War".
    • The entire cast of "Red Snow".
  • In Memoriam: "A Saucer of Loneliness" is dedicated to the memory of Theodore Sturgeon, who wrote the short story on which it is based.
  • Name's the Same:
    • A Real Life example. John Hancock directed "Kentucky Rye", "If She Dies", "Profile in Silver", "The Library" and "A Saucer of Loneliness". An actor of the same name played Dr. Puckett in "The Convict's Piano".
    • In "The Trance", the talk show host Daphne Blake shares her name with one of the major characters from Scooby-Doo.
    • "The Curious Case of Edgar Witherspoon" and "The Wall", both written by J. Michael Straczynski, feature characters named Dr. Jeremy Sinclair and Sgt. Glenn Sinclair respectively. The original protagonist of Babylon 5, created by Straczynski, was Commander Jeffrey Sinclair.
  • Non-Singing Voice: In "The Once and Future King", the singing voice of Ronnie McDowell is dubbed in whenever Jeff Yagher sings a song as either Elvis Presley or the Elvis Impersonator Gary Pitkin.
  • Posthumous Credit: "Our Selena is Dying" is based on a story written by Rod Serling which was never produced during his lifetime. The script was written by J. Michael Straczynski but Serling received the story credit when it was made in 1988, 13 years after his death.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • In "Ye Gods", Carolyn Seymour (Megaera) is the ex-wife of the director Peter Medak.
    • In "Opening Day", Elan Oberon (Sally) was the girlfriend (later wife) of the director John Milius.
    • "Still Life" features the real life father and son John Carradine (Professor Alex Stottel) and Robert Carradine (Daniel Arnold).
    • In "The Storyteller", brothers Billy and Tony Anton played Daniel and Nathaniel Ellidge.
    • In "The World Next Door", the real life married couple George Wendt and Bernadette Birkett played Barney and Katie Schlessinger.
    • In "The Junction", the married couple Chris Mulkey and Karen Landry played Ray and Sarah Dobson.
  • Recycled Script: In-Universe in "Personal Demons". The veteran television writer Rockne O'Bannon tells his friend Herman Gold that for the last 20 years, his scripts have featured "rehashed plots and recycled characters." For instance, he recycled his script for the Gunsmoke episode "Marshal on Trial" as The Dukes of Hazzard episode "General Lee on Trial".
  • Self-Adaptation:
  • Similarly Named Works:
    • The episode "The Burning Man" has nothing to do with the yearly desert festival.
    • "The World Next Door" shares its title with an Alternate History novel by Brad Ferguson.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • As it was made in 1985, the ending of "A Little Peace and Quiet" is dated to the time of the pre-glasnost, pre-fall of the Berlin Wall cultural fear of a nuclear World War III between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The same is true of the apparent outbreak of World War III in "Shelter Skelter".
    • In "Aqua Vita", which was made in 1986, the television anchor Christie Copperfield reports on anti-apartheid demonstrations in Cape Town, the US government considering imposing further economic sanctions on South Africa and fighting between Sandinistas and Contras outside Nicaragua's capital Managua.
    • In "Private Channel", which was made in 1987, Mr. Williams is able to smuggle a bomb aboard the plane under his shirt. The airport clerk also asks Keith Barnes, who gains his telepathic powers from a Walkman, if he has a smoking or a non-smoking seat.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Write What You Know:
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Jenny Agutter starred in two episodes playing different characters: Morgan le Fay in "The Last Defender of Camelot" and Jacinda Carlyle in "Voices in the Earth".
    • Jaclyn-Rose Lester played Debbie Cunningham in "Children's Zoo" and Megan McDowell in "The Road Less Traveled".
    • Tim Russ played a cop in "Kentucky Rye" and Archer in "Voices in the Earth".
    • James Whitmore, Jr. played Trooper Dennis Wells in "Nightcrawlers" and Ira Richman in "The Girl I Married".
    • Nan Martin played a nun in "If She Dies" and Margaret's mother in "A Saucer of Loneliness".
    • Roberts Blossom played the disheveled man in "The Burning Man" and Mordecai Hawkline in "Song of the Younger World".
    • Jeffrey Tambor played Kyle Montgomery in "Dead Woman's Shoes" and both versions of Milton Baumsey in "The World Next Door".
    • Heather Haase played Lianna Ames in "The Shadow Man" and Mary Ellen Cosgrove in "Time and Teresa Golowitz".
    • Danica McKellar played the 10-year-old Nola Granville in "Her Pilgrim Soul" and Deidre Dobbs in "Shelter Skelter".
    • Richard Mulligan played Henry Corwin in "Night of the Meek" and Ernest Ross in "The Toys of Caliban".
    • William Atherton played Mr. Dundee in "Night of the Meek" and Brian Wolfe in "The Card".
    • Michael Alldredge played Mike Mulvaney in "The Little People of Killany Woods" and Schmidt in "The Junction".
    • Martin Balsam played Rockne O'Bannon in "Personal Demons" and Professor Donald Knowles in "Voices in the Earth".
    • Andrew J. Robinson played John F. Kennedy in "Profile in Silver" and Mr. Williams in "Private Channel".
    • Ellen Albertini Dow played Mrs. Hotchkiss in "Need to Know" and Dorothy Livingston's mother in "The Storyteller".


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