This whole episode is a cornucopia of 60’s and 70’s stars. In this segment, we get Michael Constantine (Room 222), Bernie Kopell (Get Smart, Love Boat) and Clint Howard (geez, everything from Gentle Ben — Christ, a show about a kid who has a full grown BEAR for a pet! — to Arrested Development, with one iconic episode of Start Trek in between).
10-year old Clint is at a TV studio with his grandfather. They have given him a spot doing commentary, apparently having the same criteria for maturity as MSNBC.
He begins talking about some books he’s read and a telescope he hopes to get, driving the station manager crazy at the banality. Then he gets very serious and describes a missing girl being found, and an earthquake occurring the next day.
Despite Clint’s track record of having been 100% right on previous predictions, the station manager is outraged and threatens to fire everyone and burn the tape.
Of course, Clint is 100% correct, so we flash forward 18 months (during which young Clint has not grown an inch). Finally, after a year of public predictions being 100% correct, a doctor is sent to study Clint. The government also sends a man to monitor every show.
While getting made up for the day’s show, Clint gets very anxious and wants to go home. He is cajoled into staying,and makes a prediction of an event the next day which will turn earth into a paradise with everyone loving each other. Of course, he is lying.
The next morning, Clint admits the sun is going supernova and will incinerate the earth. Unfortunately, the episode takes a couple of minutes making this revelation when the audience gets the gist in a few seconds. Also, the cast seem to be bathed in a amber light, but the event doesn’t happen until tomorrow, so why the special lighting? Clint even points to the sun and says tomorrow it won’t be like that, indicating that today, the sun is normal. Maybe it was just magic hour.
Other than botching the twist, everything was pretty great, especially Clint Howard. I give it a 6.5 on the Richter Scale.
- Twilight Zone Legacy: Michael Constantine was in another heliocentric episode, I am the Night – Color Me Black.
- Nice opening shots in what I assume was an actual production studio at NBC. It’s like old-time NASA with the bulky equipment.
- John Badham went on to direct Blue Thunder, WarGames and Saturday Night Fever.
- Hulu sucks.