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January 7, 2010

The Twilight Zone: Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up? (1961)


The Twilight Zone: Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up? (1961)

Small town dilemmas with an extraterrestrial twist are on the menu in this episode of the original Twilight Zone.

Paranoia with a wicked sense of bizarre humor is on the menu in Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up? (from season two episode 64) written by Rod Serling and starring the perrenially odd and humorous Jack Elam.

During a freak snowstorm, two state troopers investigating a crash and are led to believe that it was caused by a UFO. The troopers follow footprints leading from the crash site to a local diner, where a group of passengers from a bus to Boston are waiting for word that a bridge up ahead is safe to cross. There is one more person among the travellers than there were people on the bus. There's a growing suspicion among the stranded travelers as the passengers each try to guess which among them is the alien. When they finally get permission to go across the icy unstable bridge they all leave before the alien is discovered.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Ross, a businessman played by John Hoyt, returns to the empty diner to tell the cook that the bridge collapsed killing the occupants of both the bus and the police car. As the cook wonders how the businessman survived aloud, Mr. Ross unveils his third arm by stirring his coffee with his third hand. Ross tells the cook that he's a Martian with plans to colonize on Earth.

Laughing, the cook tells Mr. Ross that he's too late. Taking off his paper hat, the cook reveals a third eye. The extra eye is "a trait all Venusians share," he tells his new Martian friend, and that his people, the Venusians, have already started a colony in America - meaning that the "Mr. Ross's" Martian invasion force has been intercepted.

Notes:
The late, great Jack Elam got his start in the infamous anti-marajuana exploitation flick She Shoulda Said No! (1949), later appearing in B westerns and posthumously in DJ Shadow's Entroducing album.


References:
Wikipedia, The Twilight Zone: Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?
IMDB, Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?
The Twilight Zone, Wiki
Pop Culture Project, "Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?"


Season Two of The Original Twilight Zone is available at:
Season Two of The Original Twilight Zone on Amazon

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