Another oddball coincidence: a few days ago, when we watched “Printer’s Devil,” I told our son to be on the lookout for an actor he’d seen before, hoping that he’d identify Burgess Meredith. So with his brow furrowed and his aim to please, he asked, when the actor Charles Thompson came on screen, “Is that Batman’s butler, Alfred?” No, but he just had to wait a few days. I told him this evening that Alan Napier was in this episode instead. And then, wouldn’t you know it, the story’s about a ship completely booked with men and women in their seventies. Every new old-timer the young couple met, our son asked, “Is that Alfred?” Napier doesn’t show up until the final scene.
I’m afraid this one didn’t go over too well. I was intrigued by the strange goings-on aboard the Lady Anne, and why all the old codgers want this unhappy young couple, trying to save their marriage by way of two weeks on a ship without any of the man’s distractions, aboard. But our son was bored out of his skull, despite a great little halfway mark “cliffhanger” to lead into the commercial break. And Marie cannot bear to watch unhappy couples. I knew all the way through this one was like nails on a chalkboard for her. The opening scene, in which the unhappy couple (Joyce Van Patten and Lee Phillips) consult the most condescending travel agent in America, was particularly painful!
On the other hand, Marie often smiles patiently as I grumble good-naturedly about our son not quite recognizing actors, because, as she always reminds me, she never recognizes actors, either. But as soon as Wilfrid Hyde-White showed up, right after our son asked “Is that Alfred?” she asked “Is he Colonel Pickering from My Fair Lady?”
I had to check to make sure. I’ve never actually seen My Fair Lady. Sacrilege, I know.
That’s all from The Twilight Zone for now, but we’ll return with a look at season five in June. Stay tuned!