I return now to episodes of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, in proper black and white.
From Season 3, we have “It’s a Good Life,” which Serling adapted from a short story. It presents us with an Ohio town where a six-year-old boy (Bill Mumy) possesses hair-raising supernatural powers. He is a malign “god”: for inhabitants under a malign god, life is not worth living. The townspeople are continually obsequious to the boy, nervous over his every whim. It is too much for some folks to even take in.
The piece is as dark as so many short stories have been. Rather less dark but still eerie is Serling’s “Mirror Image,” from TZ‘s dandy first season. It is the show’s great doppelganger episode, offering Vera Miles as a woman at a bus depot whose “twin” has been appearing before other people there. Why hasn’t Miles seen this doppelganger? Because it (no, she) is choosing to be elusive. Either she is up to something or she likes to play pranks. Entertainingly peculiar, “Mirror Image” is painstakingly directed by John Brahm.