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The Twilight Zone: The Mind and the Matter

A book about "using the powers of your mind," gives an unhappy man the ability to create an ideal world merely by willing it.

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x27
Production Number: 173-3659
Airdate: Friday May 12th, 1961

Director: Buzz Kulik
Writer: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
Chet StrattonChet Stratton
As Rogers
Shelley BermanShelley Berman
As Archibald Beechcroft

Jeane WoodJeane Wood
As Landlady
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Archibald Beechcroft arrives at the office where assistant Henry promptly spills coffee on him. As he cleans up in the restroom, Mr. Rogers comes in and berates him for failing to look healthy. Archibald denies drinking and explains that he's dead tired because he has to ride the subway, ride the elevator, and working an office filled with people jostling and pushing him around. Archibald says that he will fix the universe by getting rid of everyone so there'd only be one man left: himself. Rogers thinks he's mad but Archibald just storms off. Later in the cafeteria, Henry calls him over to his table in the crowded room and apologizes for spilling the coffee. He offers Archibald a book, "The Mind and the Matter: How You Can Achieve the Ultimate Power of Concentration." Harry says it's the only such book in existence and his friend swears it gives him the power to alter reality. However, Archibald is skeptical and ends up with Henry spilling more coffee on him. Archibald thanks him for the gift and reluctantly starts reading it...

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Episode Notes
Chet Stratton also appears in "Miniature."

Shelley Berman was also a well known stand-up comedian who won the first ever non-musical Grammy award in 1959 for his comedy album.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
A brief if frenetic introduction to Mr. Archibald Beechcroft, a child of the twentieth century, a product of the population explosion, and one of the inheritors of the legacy of progress. Mr. Beechcroft again. This time act two of his daily battle for survival. And in just a moment, our hero will begin his personal one-man rebellion against the mechanics of his age, and to do so he will enlist certain aids available only in the Twilight Zone.

Rogers: Get some sleep at night. Regular meals, lots of milk, fresh vegetables. Greens. Oh you can't beat those greens for vitamins. I'm a spinach-and-lettuce man myself. I'd even have them for breakfast if, well, if people wouldn't look at me a little tilt.

Archibald Beechcroft: All well and good. All well and good, to be sure. But what's to do? How does one occupy his time?
Beechcroft's Reflection: Too much of a good thing?
Archibald Beechcroft: I wouldn't say that.
Beechcroft's Reflection: But you're thinking it. Bored to death, aren't you?
Archibald Beechcroft: Well, let's just say that, let's just say that I am temporarily somewhat accessible to suggestions as to how to occupy my time.
Beechcroft's Reflection: Let's face it. You are bored to tears. Solitude is one thing but loneliness, loneliness is quite another.
Archibald Beechcroft: Loneliness nothing. I despise people. I loathe them. And I, Archibald Beechcroft, have done away with them. For good and all, mind you.
Beechcroft's Reflection: For good and all. Thought about any alternatives?
Archibald Beechcroft: Alternatives to what?
Beechcroft's Reflection: Alternatives to this. You're bored! You don't have idea one how to occupy your time. People are bad enough but inactivity is even worse. How about it?
Archibald Beechcroft: Oh, don't talk nonsense, please. I'm content. I'm honestly and truly content for the first time in my life. I've rid myself of the worst scourge there is. The populace.
Beechcroft's Reflection: Well, what about the thing that's going to happen to you in the after-
Archibald Beechcroft: Shut up.

Archibald Beechcroft: The thing of it is, while I don't care for people, it's difficult not having anyone.
Beechcroft's Reflection: Why not get someone?
Archibald Beechcroft: That's the point. Someone is everyone, and I can't stand everyone. Or anyone, for that matter.

Closing Narration
Mr. Archibald Beechcroft, a child of the twentieth century, who has found out through trial and error - and mostly error - that with all its faults it may well be that this is the best of all possible worlds. People notwithstanding, it has much to offer. Tonight's case in point in the Twilight Zone.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJason H. Bernie
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
SoundWilliam Edmondson
Assistant DirectorE. Darrell Hallenbeck
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