This episode is different than just about every other in this series. Rather than a standard episode as might be seen on the show (that is, one produced internally), this is a short film that won the best short subject prize as the Cannes Film Festival (in 1962), and was brought over to The Twilight Zone to be shown.

The story begins with a notice posted on a burned-out tree stump:

ORDER
ANY CIVILIAN
caught interfering with
the railroad bridges
tunnels or trains will be
SUMMARILY HANGED

This notice, in turn, leads us to a bridge - presumably the one named in the episode title - and eight soldiers, who are slowly going through the paces of hanging a civilian - presumably for one of the crimes mentioned above. The pace of the hanging is horribly slow.

The Twilight Zone Recap: The Parallel

When Major Robert Gaines (Steve Forrest) launches in his spacecraft, he expects to make a few orbits of the planet, then come back down again. Sure there is some risk, but that's nothing new. What he doesn't expect is to black out in the process and wake up in a hospital bed.

But that's nothing compared to waking up as a Colonel. Or getting home, only to find a fence in front of his house. Or learning that his wife and daughter seem the same, but something isn't right about them. Or any of dozens of other small changes that simply can't be explained. It's as if he's in the right place, but just a few minor things have been changed along the way.

The Twilight Zone Recap: In His Image

Alan Talbot (George Grizzard, The Chaser from Season 1) is in love, and even though he's only known Jessica (Gail Kobe, A World of Difference, also from Season 1 and The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross from Season 5) for four days, he wants her to know everything about him, so they've made plans to go back to his hometown.

The only problem is that once he gets there, nothing is as he remembers it. The buildings aren't in the same place, his house isn't his, and he can't even find the place where his parents are buried. So they go back to the city and he looks up the names that were on the grave where he thought his parents should be and he finds another name, and he goes to find that person. The person he finds holds a secret, for he looks just like Alan, and he has a story to tell.

As it turns out, Walter Ryder Jr. created Alan just a week ago, and he filled Alan with memories of the town, but the memories are twenty years old - so that's why the town doesn't match with what it is like now. When Alan finds out, he cannot cope, and then he is furious, and finally he knows what he must do. Since Walter wants to create the perfect man, he gives him his chance, and he sacrifices himself so that Walter may take his place, and have Jessica, which Walter does. The story isn't bad, but the ending is a bit weak.

The Twilight Zone Recap: I Dream of Genie

George just wishes that one day Ann (Patricia Barry, who also played Leila in The Chaser in Season 1) would notice him, so he buys her an antique lamp at the suggestion of the salesman.

After trying to polish it up, he gets a surprise visit from a genie (played by Jack Albertson who was in the excellent The Shelter in Season 3). This genie is a bit jaded, however, and gives him only one wish.

Being a thinker, George goes through his options, and eventually takes an approach that most people probably don't consider. Rather than choosing to take something for himself, he chooses the road where he can give to others, over and over again. A very interesting ending.

The Twilight Zone Recap: The New Exhibit

Martin Lombard Senescu (Martin Balsam, who also appeared in The 16mm Shrine back in Season 1) has been caring for the wax figures of five murderers for a number of years. So when he finds out that the museum is going to close, he volunteers to take the figures home and store them in his basement.

His wife isn't happy - especially when she finds out that he intends to purchase an air conditioner, and even less so when she sees the bill from running the thing all the time. So she goes to her brother to vent, and he says she needs to confront her husband. He doesn't see the problem, and the figures stay. One night she goes downstairs to unplug the air conditioner, and as she reaches for the plug, Jack the Ripper's knife arm (which is rigged with a spring) releases and kills her. When Martin finds her, he figures that he will be blamed, so he digs up the floor and buries her in the basement.

An indeterminate amount of time later, the brother shows up to see what's happening, and while he is suspicious, he eventually leaves when Martin asks him to go, and is satisfied that his wife is visiting relatives. But when Martin turns around, the brother sneaks into the basement. Only while he isn't looking, another of the killers drops the axe on him - only this time, there was no spring-loaded arm. We don't find out what happens to the body this time, and there is no mention of a car or anything, but we can assume that Martin made things disappear.

Three months later, the owner of the wax museum visits to see how things are going and he has wonderful news - a gallery in Europe wants to buy the figures, as they were produced by an artist, and he would like to take some measurements of them for shipping. As Martin is upstairs making tea, the garrote of one of the other killers makes its way around the owners' neck. This is too much for Martin, and he threatens the figures when he returns, and at this point, they all come to life, expressing to him how he was the one who killed them, not they.

The final scene shows the gallery in Europe, but there is a new figure. This new exhibit is Martin, and we hear the tour guide explain how everyone is fascinated at how this mild-mannered husband killed his wife, his brother-in-law and his former employer and no one saw it coming. Nice!

The Twilight Zone Recap: The Bard

Julius Moomer (Jack Weston, also in the excellent The Monsters are Due on Maple Street from Season 1) is in a bind. He is a writer, but he can't write. Sure, he can grind out zombie stories with the best of them, but they aren't very good. So he uses some black magic to conjure up William Shakespeare to help him out, and what do you know? It works.

A bit strange, really, as it's tough to imagine Shakespeare translating well to any 20th century medium, even after being edited by Moomer. But it's fiction. In the end, of course, it doesn't work out because Moomer wants all the glory for himself and Shakespeare doesn't think that is right. It's not that he does, mind you, he just doesn't like what Moomer is doing to his works of art. So he leaves.

Keep your eyes open for small roles from Burt Reynolds, John McGiver (Sounds and Silences from Season 5) and Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber, also in Hocus-Pocus and Frisby from Season 3).

The Twilight Zone Recap: No Time Like the Past

Paul Driscoll has invented a time machine and convinced himself he can rid the world of the things that make it such a horrible place. He visits Hiroshima, then Berlin, then the Lusitania, but he cannot change the events of any of them. Finally he decides to settle down in a small town in Indana where he will be away from everything.

The only problem is that the very next day is the day that the president comes to visit and gets shot, and he will die a few months later from an infection he picked up when shot. Then he finds out a fire will break out and school children will die, but if he saves them he will change the world. He tries to not give in, but he eventually tries to help, and in so doing actually sets in motion the events that start the fire and does the damage. Perhaps time is not so fragile as we would believe. But that does not mean we can handle the events of time.

Paul returns to his time, convinced that we are not meant to live outside our own time, and convinced to try and make it better through his knowledge that he has gained. This would have been an excellent episode if he had returned to find that some small thing he did rippled through the years to upset his world even though the larger events didn't do anything. That would have made it excellent. As it is, it was just good.

The Twilight Zone Recap: Come Wander with Me

This episode is another that perhaps isn't told as well as it could be, but isn't bad once you get to the end. We see a young singer, Floyd Burney, who is looking for his next song, when he wanders into a shop run by an older gentleman. Apparently Floyd was told that this is where he can find inspiration, and here he has come looking for it. Unfortunately for Floyd, the other man doesn't seem to anxious to help him. But after picking up a guitar and leaving some money to pay for it, Floyd takes off, for he has heard some notes that he thinks might just do the trick. What he fails to notice is the gravestone that he passes that has his name on it.

The Twilight Zone Recap: Shadow Play

In this odd telling, a condemned man is apparently dreaming, but he knows he is dreaming. The odd part is that he realizes that he is dreaming about his own execution. He feels he is dreaming, and waking up night after night, but cannot realize why he keeps waking up and cannot escape. The reason, of course, is that he is about to be judged guilty of his crimes, which is when he will actually be sentenced to death. Perhaps an interesting tale, but the way it is told makes it a bit difficult to follow.

The Twilight Zone Recap: The Prime Mover

A man in a diner is obsessed with gambling. He plays the one-armed bandit they have (which is perhaps a bit odd in itself), he flips a patron for his dinner (and loses), and after he loses, the man takes the quarter to the slot machine and wins the quarters from it. When the man finds his friend (Buddy Ebsen) has telekentic powers as they help save someone from a car crash, he figures it's time to visit Las Vegas.

So they head to the tables and make the dice turn up the way they need to, they make the roulette wheel land just right, they hit everything like they want. The only problem is that the effort causes considerable headache from the effort, not to mention a lot of moral compromise, and so the next day when the man wants to challenge a big gambler in some dice rolling, his friend loses his power just when he needs it the most.

They head back to the diner and everything turns out at the end - but as with most things in this series, it turns out that the power wasn't lost, just forgotten at an opportune moment.

The Twilight Zone Recap: The Purple Testament

An army lieutenant can see death on the faces of his fellow soldiers before they actually die, something that causes him considerable distress. He expresses his concern to his commanding officer (Dick York, also in A Penny for Your Thoughts from Season 2), who doesn't quite know whether to believe him or not.

He starts to believe when they go to a hospital and it happens again, then when he is told of his own impending doom just before they go into another battle, so he leaves his own possessions - some pictures and a wedding ring - behind, just in case. As it turns out, the soldier can predict the death of people, so it was a good idea.

The juicy twist comes at the end, where the soldier is shipped of for some rest, but before he goes he looks in the mirror and sees his own face, which naturally has "the look", so he knows he won't make it for the promised rest. The talk then is to be safe on the ride, and to avoid the land mines, so you know what's in store, but it's a good ending nonetheless.