Saturday, January 17, 2009


The late Pat Hingle appeared in a 'Twilight Zone' episode about "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford". It may not be as familiar to TZoners as many other episodes, mainly because it was part of the hour-long batch of episodes. As it turned out, the Reginald Rose script feels awfully padded when the story could have been told in half that time, like most of the stories on 'The Twilight Zone'.

Here's a basic description of what the episode was about:

"Horace Ford is preoccupied with his childhood...he longs to return to a time that passed him by all too quickly. His wife and mother can't stand to watch him go through this and it so interferes with his livelihood that he gets fired from his job as a toy designer. Eventually, he comes full circle and realizes that his childhood is not worth going back to, that it was all a bad nightmare."

Eight years earlier, Reginald Rose's first version of the story was told on 'Studio One'. It was still called "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford", but it was Art Carney who played Horace.

Now usually it's been the Toobworld Central ruling that the show which is first broadcast is the one that holds priority in Toobworld. Any remake that comes along after should be sent packing to another dimension. That's what's happened in the past with 'The 87th Precinct', 'The New Addams Family', 'Dark Shadows', the Tim Daly 'Fugitive', etc. It's why we accept the original version of 'Battlestar Galactica' over the highly praised "re-imagining" that just returned for its final run of episodes. (Well, that and the fact that it has too many good connections to other shows!)

But in this case, Toobworld Central made an exception. It's Pat Hingle as Horace Ford that is a citizen of the main Toobworld, not Art Carney's. Our reasoning is that even though it's not aired as frequently as other 'T-Zone' episodes, "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford" with Pat Hingle at least is shown often enough for people to remember. And one of the things that keeps Toobworld alive is memory. As great a series as 'Studio One' is considered from Television's Golden Age, how many people get to see any of the episodes - unless they go to the Paley Centre, or check out what's available on DVD.

And lo, the last shall be first.

Toby O'B

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