Her name is Wanda Dunn. She’s an old woman who lives alone in a shabby tenement, afraid to go outside. She’s convinced that Death himself is out there, just waiting to come in and claim her.
The thing is…. well, she’s right.
“Nothing in the Dark” is a moving study of humanity’s fear of its own mortality, and Gladys Cooper’s portrayal of the frightened old woman is one of the greatest performances ever captured on The Twilight Zone. Cooper will (happily) return for appearances in season four’s “Passage on the Lady Anne” and season five’s “Night Call.” She’s fine in both, but “Nothing in the Dark” is where she truly shines.
This is Death’s third (and final... I think) appearance in the series. We’ve encountered him twice before, in “One for the Angels” and “The Hitch-hiker” (both from season one) and, once again, he proves less frightening when his quarry stops struggling and acquiesces, a pleasant alternative to the skull-and-scythe depiction we’ve all seen countless times. Here’s hoping the real Death is a nice guy...
Another connection to “The Hitch-hiker” can be found in the stock music used in the episode. During Death’s surprise (well, not really) reveal near the end, the underscore features cues from Bernard Herrmann’s music for the radio production of “The Hitch-hiker” (which was subsequently used in the TZ adaptation). A nice touch for attentive ears.
"Am I really so bad?" Um... yeah, Bobby, you kinda are.