Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Twilight Zone - The Trouble with Templeton



Another travel back in time for someone longing for the past, The Trouble with Templeton is championed by a treasure of a performance from Brian Aherne. It is heart-felt in its presentation as a Broadway icon is going through an age crisis, speaking to his butler about death being a release from his current woe. Pining for times long gone due to present day disappointment as the wrinkles show when the makeup comes off, Templeton speaks to his butler about the day’s events and the young wife waiting for him to kick the bucket so she can gain his wealth. He talks about the rehearsals and how he’s treated by those working on the play. He speaks in a tone that is somber and soft, his heart and mind wishing for a past long gone. Aherne’s face speaks about the aching of his status as a supposed relic, his voice solemn in its acceptance of age’s twilight. Granted a return to 1927, he is given the chance to see his Laura (Pippa Scott) and former stage director, Barney (Charles S Carlson), waiting on him at a speakeasy with the jazz and prohibition-era hidden booze just flowing. They behave a bit wild, ready to get up and dance, gnaw on Kansas City steaks, and concentrate on living in the moment. Templeton just wants to go somewhere with Laura, to speak with the woman has always loved and misses greatly, who died and now exists before him alive again. But she is difficult, wanting to eat her steak, down her beer, and get on the floor to dance the night away. Templeton tries to explain to her and Barney that he’s returned to them, from the future, and that he wants to make sure he can enjoy as much time as possible with Laura. But she doesn’t want to go somewhere and talk, frustrated with his clinging hands and attention. When she disregards him, laughing in his face along with Barney, Templeton is hurt, wounded, but as he reawakens back where he belongs he realizes they did it for him…a script in his hand reads exactly as what just played out, and he decides he’ll get on with living, understanding the past is past. It is too much like Walking Distance and that classic episode’s shadow rests as an intrusive cloud over the whole episode. It is a formula I do think seemed to work even if is quite familiar. I think this one works completely because of Aherne, though. He embodies the older man wishing for the days of his youth. In that regard, I think the episode has certain value. But there were times on The Twilight Zone where they repeat a plot device with slight changes, as if creative fatigue besought them. The profound reflection/introspection in word/dialogue, along with Serling’s monologues, also helps to gloss over the familiar. Because of the emphasis on age and how the present just doesn’t provide much gratification anymore has a message that is universal. How many have felt this way and continue to feel this way? That’s a young Sydney Pollack (!) as the newly hired stage director authoritatively making demands of his cast, pointedly scolding Templeton when he arrives late for rehearsals. Templeton seemingly taken aback by his new director's remarks is well done as is when he returns, taking back his spot as an actor who makes demands, commanding the respect he deserves.





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Ckvh

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Bw5

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