display | more...

"Nothing in the Dark" is the sixteenth episode of the third season of The Twilight Zone, and was first broadcast in January of 1962. It starred Robert Redford, in an early television role, and Gladys Cooper, in one of her last roles. It also featured character actor R.G. Armstrong.

Gladys Cooper is Wanda Dunn, an old woman who lives alone in the basement of a tenement building. When a policeman (Robert Redford) is shot outside of her apartment, she reluctantly pulls him inside. Over the next few minutes, we find out that the woman is afraid of "Death", a man she believes is stalking her and trying to get into her apartment, and that if he touches her, she will die. Because of that, she has isolated herself from all human contact. However, in the Twilight Zone, just like in the real world, death can not be escaped forever...

One of the things I noticed while watching this episode is that in several ways, especially cinematography and structure, it was more experimental than other episodes. The previous episode, "A Quality of Mercy", for example, while it had an involved message, told it with rather prosaic camerawork and story structure. This story involves many close shots, and is also a bit more confusing structurally: much of the episode is based around the characters knowing things that the audience does not, which lends the episode an air of suspense. I also found it interesting that in contrast to much of the third season, which addressed more topical and realistic concerns, this episode came across as a fable, dealing with eternal issues in a magical manner.

As a final note, I also found it interesting that the episode contained an external reference that the producers at the time could not have known of. In the episode, there is an speech about death being a necessity, and about how the old must give way to the new. I find it interesting that the episode features Gladys Cooper, who at the time would have been more widely known than Robert Redford, and who first acted in a film in 1913, but that the film also stars Robert Redford, who would become a famous actor and director up until the present day.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.