Overall, I have been much, much happier with the season two episodes that I selected for us to sample, but I had to hit a loser eventually. In Rod Serling’s “The Rip Van Winkle Caper,” Oscar Beregi Jr. and Simon Oakland are among a group of four criminals who heist a train and go into suspended animation for a century to avoid detection. Weirdly, Serling didn’t do anything with the resulting situation that even required suspended animation and de facto time travel, just the desperation of criminals in the desert. There are some good performances – Oakland’s character is remarkably vicious – but I was left wanting them to get on with it and check out the world of the 2060s already.
By far the most interesting thing about the presentation was seeing Rod Serling endorse Oasis cigarettes after a preview of next week’s installment. Evidently, Oasis offered “the softest taste of all.” It doesn’t quite have the “I can’t believe I just saw that” cache of the Flinstones hawking Winston cigarettes, but it was an oddball little surprise. Since so many of these sponsorship ads from the period were trimmed from the films for rebroadcast, it was nice to see this in such splendid quality! Although clearly Oasis should have enlisted the services of the Flinstones because they still make Winstons, unfortunately, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Oasis before this evening.