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A small-time promoter desperately in need of money takes the place of his broken-down robot in a prize fight where humans are barred from participating.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 5x2
Production Number: 2602
Airdate: Friday October 04th, 1963

Director: Don Weis
Writer: Richard Matheson

Guest Stars
Lee MarvinLee Marvin
As Steel Kelly
Joe MantellJoe Mantell
As Pole

Co-Guest Stars
Chuck HicksChuck Hicks
As Maynard Flash
Merritt BohnMerritt Bohn
As Nolan
Frank LondonFrank London
As Maxwell

Larry BartonLarry Barton
voiced Man's Voice
Tipp McClureTipp McClure
As Battling Maxo
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Manager Steel Kelly and his partner and mechanic Pole arrive in Maynard, Kansas hauling a man-sized object with them: Battling Maxo. They go to a bar and Pole warns that they’ll have trouble finding parts. Kelly insists that Maxo will be okay and gestures toward the object. Pole insists he’s ready for the scrap heap but Kelly believes he’s got plenty of fight. His partner warns that they won’t make enough money to even get out of town, much less make repairs...

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Episode Notes
Matheson adapted his own short story "Steel," originally published in the May 1956, issue of The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction and subsequently collected in the anthology The Shores Of Space.

This was the first episode sponsored by Procter & Gamble.

Lee Marvin was also in "The Grave."

Joe Mantell is also in "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room."

Chuck Hicks was also in "Ninety Years Without Slumbering."

Frank London is also in "A Penny For Your Thoughts."

Merritt Bohn is also in "One for the Angels."

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration:
Narrator: Sports item, circa 1974: Battling Maxo, B2, heavyweight, accompanied by his manager and handler, arrives in Maynard, Kansas, for a scheduled six-round bout. Battling Maxo is a robot, or, to be exact, an android, definition: 'an automaton resembling a human being.' Only these automatons have been permitted in the ring since prizefighting was legally abolished in 1968. This is the story of that scheduled six-round bout, more specifically the story of two men shortly to face that remorseless truth: that no law can be passed which will abolish cruelty or desperate need - nor, for that matter, blind animal courage. Location for the facing of said truth: a small, smoke-filled arena just this side of the Twilight Zone.

Closing Narration
Narrator: Portrait of a losing side, proof positive that you can't out-punch machinery. Proof also of something else: that no matter what the future brings, man's capacity to rise to the occasion will remain unaltered. His potential for tenacity and optimism continues, as always, to outfight, outpoint and outlive any and all changes made by his society, for which three cheers and a unanimous decision rendered from the Twilight Zone.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBert Granet
EditorThomas Scott (2)
CastingPatricia Rose
MusicVan Cleave
Make-upWilliam Tuttle
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  Robert R. Benton
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorWalter Holscher  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorCharles Bonniwell
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