Saturday, November 7, 2009

Afterthoughts ("Escape Clause")

A fine episode, but a bit obvious. I mean, come on... selling your soul to the devil NEVER works out. Oh wait.... season four's "Printer's Devil" might be the exception to the rule. Unfortunately for our (anti) hero here, there's no magical Linotype machine around to help undo the deal.

The Definitive Edition DVD sets are the preferred way to watch the show (versus the earlier DVD or VHS editions, or worse yet, the time-edited versions shown in syndication). Aside from the marvelous image and sound quality, one is also treated to a variety of extras, including commercial bumpers and Serling's comments about the following week's episode. Also, right after the end credits (but before the final CBS logo), there's usually a vintage promo for another CBS show (The Danny Thomas show, Wanted: Dead or Alive, etc), or maybe a plug for the American Red Cross. However, in the case of "Escape Clause," the viewer saw something else entirely after the credits rolled:

Evidently The Advertising Council felt it necessary to counteract Mr. Cadwallader's trickery with a healthy reminder for temptation-endangered viewers to get their heathen asses to church. I laughed out loud when I saw this.

Interestingly, "Escape Clause" was the third episode produced, but the seventh aired. The second episode produced, "The Lonely," was the eighth episode aired (therefore, we'll be spotlighting it next week). Television shows, especially anthologies, are frequently produced in one order but broadcast in another. Another example: "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine," which was the third episode aired, was the TENTH episode in the season one production cycle.

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