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 Posted:   Sep 23, 2020 - 12:05 PM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Frank Overton's one of those actors whose face is very familiar. That last conversation between pop and his son was quite moving.

Yes, he's "got that kind of face." wink


It came to me later - I remember Overton as Elias Sandoval in the Star Trek episode 'This Side of Paradise'.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2020 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Michael_McGehee   (Member)

Oh is his a wonderful heartfelt performance here in an Elegy to carefree childhood that passes so quickly...

...into bumpy adulthood that may just turn out all right if there's a reason to keep looking ahead rather than behind. And brother, do the Tribune FC and Hollywood SO do it here all right. The McNeely's a nice listen to as well, make no mistake, but the pace is slow substantially and the sound level is quite low. Which may not necessarily be a major minus on both counts for an elegiac composition. Nevertheless, the tempo of the Hollywood SO is dead-on to the original's and that aspect has always been a big plus to me.

But here I'm going to be a little more forgiving in that department. The Tribune FC falls somewhere between the McNeely and Hollywood SO tempo-wise and the latter has its customary crystal clear crisp sound, but the Tribune FC has the richest full string orchestra sound of them all and at just the right level. It feels more balanced. The bass does it. This is the performance that stands out for me for this, the heart of Herrmann's score for a sensitive scene that is fully underscored.


Howard, one thing to note is that the Tribute FC is a full string orchestra+ 2 harps so it is richer than the original orchestration. I think it sounds wonderful too.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2020 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Once again we humbly bow to your in-the-business pro know and sporting grace, Professor Hill.

It came to me later - I remember Overton as Elias Sandoval in the Star Trek episode 'This Side of Paradise'.

Indeed. Beautifully filmed ep, that one. Can clearly recall TV Guide giving it the "Close-Up" treatment for the night of its original airing.

He also had a memorable turn in FAIL-SAFE as a stern by-the-book General, who nonetheless shared a gentle Sloan/Tate-like moment on the phone with his Soviet counterpart near the film's stunning climax.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 5:55 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Again apologies for just jumping right into the middle of a thread without having read all the previous posts. I've been insanely busy, and, last night, knowing that this thread existed, it was Friday and 11 pm, I decided to watch my old DVD of "Walking Distance". I'd always liked it, and the Herrmann score is sublime of course, but I didn't quite think it (the episode) reached the heights that it could have.

Off on another tangent, my brother has been posting on Facebook photos of our childhood with the other kids in our neighbourhood, sometimes ten of us together climbing around the Monkey Puzzle (you people in the USA may have another name for that) or climbing up the chute (slide?) the wrong way... happy times, innocent pleasures. So "Walking Distance" did hit a nerve more so than ever last night, but I still think there was something lacking in it.
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WARNING: DANGER WILL ROBINSON: 61-YEAR-OLD SPOILER ALERT
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And then, lo and behold, in the DVD extras, there's a (audio only) seminar with Rod Serling talking about the episode with a bunch of students. This must have been from the early '70s because he mentions Night Gallery. Now, I had had it in my head that Serling considered Walking Distance to be his favourite episode... Where did I get that idea? Did anyone else have that notion? Well, in that '70s seminar he pointed out very clearly that he considered it a disaster, that he felt like dying of shame watching it nowadays. A lot of you must be familiar with this, but he said that in '59, despite his previous successes, he was still a fairly inexperienced writer, and he was mortified later to discover how wrong the episode turned out. He goes into some detail about how he should never have had the Gig Young character go back and actually seemingly cause his own accident on the calliope (he doesn't have a limp until he comes back to the present), but worst of all Serling says that he ruined everything by having Martin Sloan meet his parents too early. That should have been at the end. When you meet your parents in the past you are unable to function, you can't do anything else after that mind-shattering experience (I'm paraphrasing wildly here), but the Gig Young character wanders off after that first meeting and gets involved in other things. Serling says it was awful, just awful.

He did say that it had a nice score though.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Serling enjoyed these nostalgic retreat stories (he did a similar story in Night Gallery) and given how well-produced this was, it might have been his fav back in the day. If so, then he simply changed his mind. He's frequently critical of his scripts in those lectures or classes, not just this episode (there are others on the retail dvd/blu-ray). Maybe becoming a teacher made him re-examine his own work critically to set a good example. Bit of a bummer since he overdoes how "bad" certain script elements were, even if they work fine.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 11:03 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Serling enjoyed these nostalgic retreat stories (he did a similar story in Night Gallery) and given how well-produced this was, it might have been his fav back in the day. If so, then he simply changed his mind. He's frequently critical of his scripts in those lectures or classes, not just this episode (there are others on the retail dvd/blu-ray). Maybe becoming a teacher made him re-examine his own work critically to set a good example. Bit of a bummer since he overdoes how "bad" certain script elements were, even if they work fine.

I think you're probably right there, LC. He did come across as being hyper-critical of himself with the benefit of hindsight - and for the benefit of his students. Still, on the one hand I believe it would have indeed been better if Martin Sloan's meeting with his parents had come later, or at least that its effect on him had been more of an evident shock. On the other hand I can buy into it because of the semi-dream state evoked throughout. We're never sure if Sloan is experiencing this as clear-headed as if it were "real life" to him.

And that's where Serling again states that even within fantasy, there must be a set of rules, an inner logic to it all. Serling felt that his writing in Walking Distance failed in that it constantly contradicted itself. So many later Zone episodes played around without any of that inner logic at all. In some cases it worked to the show's benefit, in other cases it seemed just stupid.

Whatever, I find Rod Serling endlessly fascinating to listen to.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

On the other hand I can buy into it because of the semi-dream state evoked throughout. We're never sure if Sloan is experiencing this as clear-headed as if it were "real life" to him.

To that end, Martin Sloan's trip back to the Homewood of his youth need not necessarily be taken literally. So much of the series was based on the idea of probing the "5th Dimension"/mind/beyond the boundaries of imagination and then expressing it visually. And then often throwing something in to muddy the did-it-or-didn't-it-happen waters. It is no wonder that Serling's later self-criticisms, if what you report is accurate, recognize contradictory elements, in retrospect. Nonetheless, there is still too much to enjoy in WD as it is.

PS
OUTSTANDING spoiler alert, Private Pyle. I believe we've finally found something you do well! big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Rod Serling's closing narration for Walking Distance remains my favorite Twilight Zone dialogue:

"Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things, but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives - trying to go home again. And also like all men, perhaps there'll be an occasion - maybe a summer night sometime - when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind, there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then, too, because he'll know that it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory, not too important really, some laughing ghosts that would cross a man's mind - that are a part of The Twilight Zone."

I will forever exclusively associate Bernard Herrmann's TZ end title with Walking Distance.



Fetch that man a ru--chocolate soda with three scoops!
Right on, JP.

"Maybe when you go back, Howard, you'll find that there are merry-go-rounds and band concerts where you are. Maybe you haven't been looking in the right place. You've been looking behind you, Howard. Try looking ahead."

Why I oughta...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 12:18 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

The Twilight Zone complete blu-ray is on sale for $59 at deepdiscount.

The main character in movie SECONDS has the opposite motivation in returning to his youth - to redo his life, not relive it nostalgically. I was still reminded of this episode since he is "reborn" (although not involving time travel) and looks like Gig Young in the mirror here. The point being that Gig Young might not have actually been happy if he successfully stayed.



This is too funny. Never have seen Seconds although I've been aware of it. At a quick glance, I saw John "Perry White" Hamilton in the photo, then immediately recognized John "Hamilton" Randolph upon close inspection. But yes, Rock H here does have the Martin Sloan look.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

This is too funny. Never have seen Seconds although I've been aware of it. At a quick glance, I saw John "Perry White" Hamilton in the photo, then immediately recognized John "Hamilton" Randolph upon close inspection. But yes, Rock H here does have the Martin Sloan look.

That's funny, you're right, Randolph does look like Perry White in that photo.
I was thinking a mirror shot of Gig Young (posted earlier in the thread) would look like a non-mirrored Rock Hudson, but not so much.
SECONDS is a pretty dark film, although the message might be the same - you can't go home or relive your life.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Hey LC, was it you in another thread that mentioned "Dan Hollis"? I used to correspond with him all the time at the TZ Café many moons ago. Believe we are/were from the same neck of the woods in Jersey. And I mean nearby.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 1:07 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

I think you're probably right there, LC. He did come across as being hyper-critical of himself with the benefit of hindsight - and for the benefit of his students. Still, on the one hand I believe it would have indeed been better if Martin Sloan's meeting with his parents had come later, or at least that its effect on him had been more of an evident shock. On the other hand I can buy into it because of the semi-dream state evoked throughout. We're never sure if Sloan is experiencing this as clear-headed as if it were "real life" to him.

And that's where Serling again states that even within fantasy, there must be a set of rules, an inner logic to it all. Serling felt that his writing in Walking Distance failed in that it constantly contradicted itself. So many later Zone episodes played around without any of that inner logic at all. In some cases it worked to the show's benefit, in other cases it seemed just stupid.


I dunno how the episode would work if he met his parents later. Going home was primary part of returning in the first place. In the show, it might seem like a dramatic climax but it's really an open-ended moment. It needs the closure scene with the father, and he needs time before he can accept Martin's story. The parents' rejection is a good motivation for Martin to seek out his younger self again, who also avoids him like he's a creepy old man. The only bit I don't like is the voice over walking before he sees his dad again; seems like padding out the episode.
How did the story constantly contradict itself?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 1:26 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Howard - I've added the Spoiler Alert as you requested. But don't these things have a sell-by date?

Last Child - I was hoping you wouldn't ask me about the presentation of the story elements being "contradictory", although I recognised that risk soon after posting. No, not contradictory really... I was on a Serling roll and mixed in a lot of general stuff he'd mentioned in the Ithaca recording, about not being able to have it both ways, about the need for even fantasy to work within a given set of rules... and "contradictory" came out. Wrong word. Anyway, as I stated before (and to which Howard alluded) , this clear cut rule of logic within fantasy was often overturned in some of the best TZ episodes.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 1:46 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Last Child - I was hoping you wouldn't ask me about the presentation of the story elements being "contradictory", although I recognised that risk soon after posting. No, not contradictory really... I was on a Serling roll and mixed in a lot of general stuff he'd mentioned in the Ithaca recording, about not being able to have it both ways, about the need for even fantasy to work within a given set of rules... and "contradictory" came out. Wrong word. Anyway, as I stated before (and to which Howard alluded) , this clear cut rule of logic within fantasy was often overturned in some of the best TZ episodes.

Lol, thanks Graham. I wondered since I've disagreed with Serling's criticism. Some of his plots don't have overt causal reasons, but he thought "And when the sky was opened" failed because you never find out whodunit. For one thing, it's left unspecified and merely whimsical in the Matheson original story. And unlike "Monsters are due on Maple St." the events have been too incredible for a couple standard aliens. The lack of explanation works incredibly well IMO precisely because any reveal would be a disappointment. And inconsistent...the knowledge should make you vanish like the characters.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 1:57 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Hey LC, was it you in another thread that mentioned "Dan Hollis"? I used to correspond with him all the time at the TZ Café many moons ago. Believe we are/were from the same neck of the woods in Jersey. And I mean nearby.

Howard, if I mentioned him, it was not because I know him. I might have sent him some music inquiries on the old TWZ Cafe site (messages weren't carried over into the new site). And possible a couple emails back then. I'm not from Jersey, but you're saying youz twoz are?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2020 - 7:05 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Youse got dat right. Grew up with elements of Homewood like Martin's neighborhood, baseball glove lying on the ground at night, Woolworth's counter vs. drugstore's, Big Ben-type church clock in the near distance. And Willoughby's (!) classic train station, bandstand and fishing ponds. Maple St. on a late Saturday afternoon; parties like in "The Shelter." I can relate to all those things. Certain elements have crept into threads this side of cyberspace.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2020 - 5:49 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Yet another challenge. roll eyes And a prodigious one at that...

WELL, it looks like my “experiment” is finally complete. Prodigious challenge, indeed (for goshsakes it took a month; yeesh).

What a joy to listen to the Herrmann-conducted OST in its entirety for the first time. It really is The Performance. And thank you once again, Mr. Phelps, for adding the Herrmann TZ closing track. It's an appropriate coda in every way.

As someone pointed out in another thread, “...there are six versions of the score (iso-track OST, Varese OST, Silva OST, Joel McNeely, William Stromberg, and Michael McGehee), and it seems like no two of them are alike. Different cue omissions, different cue orders. It's confusing. You would need a near-Star Trek level of familiarity with the episode to even begin remembering which bits of music go with which cue name.”

Probably didn't help that the evaluations weren't in score order as well, at least in the beginning. That's the thing about threads, one never knows to where they will lead, they just keep winding. ANYWAY, let's mix metaphors and unwind/whittle it down/put it all in a nutshell/brass tacks, etc. Here is the ultimate re-recording compilation IMHO based on the cue-by-cue challenge and in score order:

1. Intro PICK 'EM
2. The Drugstore McNEELY
3. Memories TRIBUNE FILM CLASSICS
4. The Park TRIBUNE FILM CLASSICS
5. The House McNEELY
6. The Curtain McNEELY
7. The Parents TRIBUNE FILM CLASSICS
8. The Merry-Go-Round HOLLYWOOD STUDIO ORCHESTRA
9. Martin's Summer HOLLYWOOD STUDIO ORCHESTRA
10. Elegy TRIBUNE FILM CLASSICS
11. Finale McNEELY

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2020 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

And thank you once again, Mr. Phelps, for adding the Herrmann TZ closing track. It's an appropriate coda in every way.

Imagine my disappointment when Herrmann's theme had the crust to show up in episodes that weren't "Walking Distance"! Such was my admiration for the episode.

Serling's harsh words for "Walking Distance" reinforces my belief that artists are A) Rarely satisfied with a completed work, and B) Are terrible judges as to their criticism of their own work.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2020 - 9:07 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Serling's harsh words for "Walking Distance" reinforces my belief that artists are A) Rarely satisfied with a completed work, and B) Are terrible judges as to their criticism of their own work.


The Twilight Zone Companion (Zicree) says it's the finest episode they made.

Anyway, I harvested the iso track today and edited the long silences, only to tune in here and find that Howard already got it from Mr. Phelps. (Sigh)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2020 - 9:55 AM   
 By:   Michael_McGehee   (Member)

Howard,

To clarify my reasoning for the sequence and inclusion/exclusion of cues.... I was intentionally going for a 'suite' suitable for concert performance (following Herrmann's example with other of his scores) and not a complete soundtrack recording. The reason for this was to promote public performance. I'll leave it to everyone's individual judgement as to how successful it is.

I am happy to have been included in your final list among such excellent company.

Michael M.

 
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