Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nuclear Accident Has Lessons for Everyone! Twilight Zone: The Shelter

Sitting around with nothing to do? Panicking needlessly? Well here's old Mike to help you out with thirty minutes of free entertainment. May I mention that I have repeatedly, over these last few years, urged people to store at least 2 weeks of food, water and supplies.

For your edification, I'd now like to present to you a classic TV show in three parts. It is Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. This episode is called, The Shelter. It first broadcast on September 29, 1961. I think it has important lessons for us all today. Wikipedia gives us a synopsis of the program: 

A small gathering of neighborhood friends in a typical suburban community are having a small dinner party to honor the local Dr. Stockton's birthday at his house. Dr. Stockton is well-known and liked by this gathering because he has either administered to the health and well-being of his guests or has delivered their children. Everybody is especially friendly and jovial and mention is made of his late night work on a fallout shelter that he has built in the basement. Suddenly, a Civil Defense (CONELRAD) announcement, overheard by Dr. Stockton's son, is made that unidentified objects have been detected heading for the United States. In these times, everybody knows what that means: nuclear attack.

(I don't want to ruin the ending for those of you who wish to watch this classic. The synopsis will continue below the videos at the very bottom of this post)

Frank and the others are trying to break into the shelter with a long piece of pipe.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. This episode is called, The Shelter:

Synopsis continues from above:

As panic ensues, the doctor locks himself and his family into his basement bomb shelter. The same gathering of friends becomes hysterical and now wants to occupy the shelter. All of the previous friendliness has vanished and is now replaced with bitter hate and soaring desperation as pent-up hostility and suppressed emotions boil to the surface. The end is moments away and everyone's mind is now vehemently poisoned by the clawing desire to survive, at any cost - the feelings of a neighbor, the sanctity of a friend's home, friendship itself, or the raw submission to violence. The climax shows the once-friendly neighbors breaking down the door to the shelter with an improvised battering ram. Just then, a final Civil Defense broadcast announces that the objects have been identified as harmless satellites, and that no danger is at all present. The neighbors apologize for their behavior, but Dr. Stockton wonders if they had not destroyed themselves, even without a bomb.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Sounds like a gripping parable which exposes the frailty of human nature. I expect/hope your next pendulum-swing post is about Kurosawa's Ikiru, The Magnificent Seven, or something more altruistic in nature.