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The Twilight Zone: A Penny For Your Thoughts

Buying a newspaper, timid bank clerk Hector Poole flips the paper man a coin, which by landing on its edge has suddenly given him the ability to read minds.

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x16
Production Number: 173-3650
Airdate: Friday February 03rd, 1961


Guest Stars
Dick YorkDick York
As Hector B. Poole

Co-Guest Stars
Cyril DelevantiCyril Delevanti
As L.J. Smithers
Frank LondonFrank London
As The Driver
Dan TobinDan Tobin
As Mr. Bagby
Hayden RorkeHayden Rorke
As Mr. Sykes
June DaytonJune Dayton
As Helen Turner
James NolanJames Nolan
As Mr. Brand
Anthony RayAnthony Ray
As The Paperboy
Patrick WaltzPatrick Waltz
As The Security Guard
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Bank clerk Hector B. Poole is going to work when he stops to buy a newspaper. He tosses the newsboy a quarter... and it lands exactly on edge. As he walks away, Hector starts to hear the thoughts of the people around him. He wanders into traffic and is nearly hit by a car. The driver comes out and expresses his sympathy, but Hector can hear him thinking he's a fool. However, the man denies saying anything, and Hector realizes what has happened...

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Episode Notes
Dick York previously appeared in "The Purple Testament," and later became the first Darrin Stephens on Bewitched.

The original idea for this episode came from a short story written by Ted Kneeland. Kneeland was a writer, producer, director that worked for NBC before going to Australia to start Australian broadcasting in 1953.

Cyril Delevanti returns in "The Silence," "A Piano in the House" and "Passage on the Lady Anne."

Frank London is also in "Steel."

Hayden Rorke is best known for his role in I Dream of Jeannie as Colonel Dr. Alfred E. Bellows.

The concept of this episode was later recycled in the 1985 TZ episode "20/20 Vision." The means of telepathy in that episode are a pair of cracked eyeglasses, an allusion to the fact that Hector cracks his glasses in this episode.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Mr. Hector B. Poole, resident of the Twilight Zone. Flip a coin and keep flipping it. What are the odds? Half the time it will come up heads, half the time tails. But in one freakish chance in a million, it'll land on its edge. Mr. Hector B. Poole, a bright human coin, on his way to the bank.

Hector B. Poole: Miss Turner?
Helen Turner: Yes, Mr. Poole?
Hector B. Poole: Well, uh, please don't be offended but, well, I, uh, I would like to thank you for your kind thoughts.
Helen Turner: Well, I don't think I quite understand, Mr. Poole.
Mr. Brand: Romancing the help, Mr. Poole? Well, who can blame you? Miss Turner is the prettiest girl in the accounts section. (Thinking) Which is saying absolutely nothing. I haven't seen such an aggregation of beasts since the last time I went to the circus. (Aloud) Not much chance for socializing around a bank, is there? (Thinking) This one's probably a tiger under the proper conditions. All the sweet, prim types revert to the jungle once more. (Poole pours water on his head) You did that deliberately! I'll see you later about this.
Helen Turner: (Thinking) Good for you. He certainly had it coming. (Aloud) I suppose I should get back to my desk.
L.J. Smithers: (Thinking) Four hundred and one. Four hundred and two. Four hundred and three. Twenty years at the same desk. It isn't fair. Ah, but they'll be sorry for their treatment of me. Yes, at four-thirty this afternoon, I'll go into the vault like I always do. I'll take my briefcase with me and no one will suspect a thing. I'll fill my briefcase with currency and be on ship to Bermuda by nightfall. They'll all be sorry. Yes, indeed. I wonder how long it will take them to discover that the money is gone.

Closing Narration
One time in a million, a coin will land on its edge, but all it takes to knock it over is a vagrant breeze, a vibration or a slight blow. Hector B. Poole, a human coin, on edge for a brief time in the Twilight Zone.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
Associate ProducerDel Reisman
CastingEthel Winant
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerE. Darrell Hallenbeck
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Charles Scheid
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Film EditorLeon Barsha
Assistant DirectorLindsley Parsons, Jr.
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