Saturday, 17 December 2011

Nightmare At 20,000 Feet (1963)

The Twilight Zone:Nightmare At 20,000 Feet (s5 Ep123),1963,USA
Director: Richard Donner
Stars: William Shatner,Christine White and Ed Kemmer
Original Air Date: 11th Of October 1963
"A man, newly recovered from a nervous breakdown, becomes convinced that a monster only he sees is damaging the plane he's flying in."


"The flight of Mr. Robert Wilson has ended now, a flight not only from point A to point B, but also from the fear of recurring mental breakdown. Mr. Wilson has that fear no longer... though, for the moment, he is, as he has said, alone in this assurance. Happily, his conviction will not remain isolated too much longer, for happily, tangible manifestation is very often left as evidence of trespass, even from so intangible a quarter as the Twilight Zone." - Rod Serling

Through all of its five season and 156 episodes Rod Serling’s legendary Series “Twilight Zone”  managed to captivate, scare, touch and above all thrill its audience. Through its five seasons there were many  terrific and thrilling episodes, From “Time Enought At Last” and  “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” to the unforgettable “Eye Of The Beholder” and “To Serve Man”, There are so many episodes that will never be forgotten no matter how many years pass. In my opinion no other show in history was able to dish out as many thrills or scares as Zone and there may be no more thrilling an episode than Nightmare At 20,000 Feet.

Nightmare takes place on a plane 20,000 feet above the air,Our main character is Bob Wilson  a man who has just recovered from a nervous breakdown,Bob and his wife look to return home and live a normal and happy life with their family,But unfortunenlty that's not going to happen,he may not know it yet but Mr Bob Wilson has just entered the darkest depths of The Twilight Zone.

Nightmare At 20,000 in my mind may be the very best episode of the Twilight Zone,Its a simple yet horrifying tale that is brilliantly written by Richard Matheson and  executed by Director Richard Donner(Superman:The Movie,Lethal Weapon,The Goonies), The story of a man who is at war with his own  mind is a scary enough concept but to set in 20,000 feet in the claustrophobic space of an airplane is terrifying,not to mention a gremlin on the wing which only he can see.Donner directs Matheson's tale superbly as he packs in some superb thrills with a huge amount of excitement. This segment was later remade for Twilight Zone:The Movie.

William Shatner portrays the distressed passenger and is phenomenal,His performance is utterly convincing as he plays it perfectly. The only problem i have with this episode is the look of the Gremlin,The makeup on the face looks fine but it seems like the actor is wearing a fat suit covered by hair but he gives a fine performance,I think the look was improved in Twilight Zone:The Movie (although not as effective), Other than that this is a perfect episode.

Nightmare At 20,000 Feet is one of if not the best Twilight Zone has to offer,It is extremely frightening and thrilling with great Direction form, Donner,thrilling writing from Matheson and a terrific performance from Shatner. Unmissable! I Give Nightmare At 20,000 Feet 5 Distressed William Shatner's Out Of Five.

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