Thursday, July 22, 2010

TZ Repeat: "Third from the Sun" (7/22/1960)

Television during the summer was different in 1960. The viewing public wasn't offered an endless parade of second-tier reality shows (wait, is there such a thing as top-tier reality shows?). No, we actually got repeat telecasts of shows that were aired during the other nine months of the year. You know, in case we missed a few. We didn't have VCRs. We didn't have DVRs. We didn't have On Demand. So yeah, we got reruns, and we didn't mind at all. Imagine not being able to simply grab a DVD off the shelf, or download an episode of your favorite show onto your iPod. Imagine having to wait until it's shown on network TV. And not every episode got reran, either. If you missed it the first time, you might never see it.

Back then, television series actually ran for the entire year, and The Twilight Zone was no exception. 50 years ago tonight, a pretty great episode from the series' inaugaral year was repeated. "Third from the Sun" premiered on January 8, 1960, and was spotlighted on that same date this year, on its 50th anniversary, here. The episode is a true classic, and comfortably resides in my Top 40 favorite episodes.

Next week: One of the all-time great episodes is repeated. What if, in your darkest nostalgic hour, you could simply take a walk... into your past?

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