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Focus on the Frightful: The Devil in the Twilight Zone

Today is not only Friday the 13th but it’s also my 666th post on Sci-F & Scary. So, let’s have a little devilish fun!

I’ve always found The Devil’s portrayal in media to be really interesting. He and his minions are portrayed in such a variety of ways that it’s really kind of fascinating. The Devil’s portrayals have ranged from goofy, to humorous to plain evil. Even in times when people were legitimately afraid of the Devil you can still find humorous takes on him. People mock what they’re afraid of and that seems to hold true throughout history.

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The Twilight Zone has a varied array of Devils residing in it. From humorous to downright terrifying this Friday the 13th we’re going to take a look at the assortment of Devils that have bedeviled the poor residents and passers-thru of The Twilight Zone.

The Escape Clause

Season One, Episode Six

Cadwallader (left) and Walter (right)

The Escape Clause features the hypochondriac, Walter. He sells his soul to Cadwallader to be immortal and never age. He quickly tires of scamming insurance companies by throwing himself in front of trains and cars. When his wife accidentally falls off the roof he turns himself in for her murder, hoping for a ride in the electric chair. Unfortunately, his lawyer is successful in arguing for life imprisonment.

Cadwallader isn’t a huge character in The Escape Clause but he’s of the more impish variety, giving Walter exactly what he asked for.

Twilight Zone Tuesday: The Escape Clause Recap

A Nice Place to Visit

Season One, Episode 28

TZT A Nice Place to Visit
Mr. Pip

After Rocky, a small-time hood, gets caught in a shootout with the police he dies and goes…somewhere. A place that’s too perfect and he has a ‘butler’ to cater to his every whim. But, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

Twilight Zone Tuesday: A Nice Place to Visit Recap

The Howling Man

Season Two, Episode Five

The Devil

A hapless tourist stumbles across a monastery in search of shelter. A monastery that’s hiding a big secret. And our tourist just can’t wait to let it loose. Because he just can’t listen.

Twilight Zone Tuesday: The Howling Man Recap

Printer’s Devil

Season Four, Episode Nine

Mr. Smith

The most famous Devil in all of the Twilight Zone is probably Burgess Meredith as Mr. Smith in The Printer’s Devil. A struggling newspaperman gets more than he bargained for with his new partner. A ‘man’ who seems to report on catastrophes almost before they happen.

Of Late I Think of Cliffordville

Season Four, Episode Fourteen

Miss Devlin

And the sexiest Devil of them all has to be Julie Newmar as Miss Devlin. She’s so witty and funny as Miss Devlin she is also, by far, the most charming of the bunch.

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Twilight Zone is truly a great show. It might have a few off episodes (mostly the ventriloquist dummy ones and Hocus Pocus and Frisby) but in general the episodes are great. I have seen them often but still find things o notice about them. I hope you all have had a safe Friday the 13th! Let me know what you think of the Devils down below!

Published inFocus on the Frightful

4 Comments

  1. I’ll have to check into “Cliffordsville,” too.
    The networks seem to have been fairly nervous about depictions of the Devil in those days. When “Dark Shadows” had with Angelique make a deal with the Devil, the networks forced the writers to downgrade the hellish character to one of Satan’s assistants! And in the fifty-some-odd segments of Serling’s “Night Gallery” I watched for my project, the Devil appears in a grand total of ONE.
    Here’s one to check into if you’ve not seen it: in the Swedish 1922 silent movie “Haxan,” the director played the Devil!

    • I have heard of Haxan but haven’t watched it yet. Now that you mention it they were rather coy about using the actual Devil as a character. I think the only one that’s referred to as the actual Devil is in The Howling Man. What a good catch!

  2. I am going to have to find that Julie Newmar episode. Rrrowl. I have always had a thing for Julie.

    Twilight Zone is a Hollywood show. Slickly written and produced on Hollywood sets from 59-63. There were others of its ilk, though, that pre-date this series. ‘One Step Beyond’ has turned out to be more than I had first supposed. The narrator is cheesy at first, but in time, we learn how sincere he is about this production. They do real life recreations of unexplained phenomena, and even bring in the real-life participants. One episode even has the host traveling to remote parts of the Mexican jungle to find a Shaman and they trip on peyote, on fifties television! However, a wonderful jewel we stumbled upon is ‘Tales of Tomorrow’. It ran from 51-53. This is not a Hollywood production. This is from New York, but get ready, this next tid-bit is difficult to get your head around; it was a LIVE TELEVISION BROADCAST! I shit you not.Sci-fi horror in a live, New York television broadcast. It featured both rising, and falling stars. Many of the themes later become classic sci-fi tropes and Twilight Zone episodes.They do a live broadcast of ‘Frankenstien’. They do ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea’. They break the fourth wall, and have an episode in which they lose their signal, and the studio accidentally witnesses a murder. This show is distinctly NOT Hollywood. You can tell there is a difference. Couples in the same bed. Real mouth kissing. Falling stars include Thomas Mitchell and Lon Chaney. Rising stars include Rod Stieger and James Dean. We have had to search YouTube, Amazon and the internet archives to track them down.

    • Oh awesome! I love One Step Beyond! I don’t see many people that have heard of it! We got the complete as it can be set (plus an extra that had others we didn’t have). It’s a hard show to find completely collected. I will definitely have to check out Tales of Tomorrow because that sounds amazing!

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