The Twilight Zone, Season 1 Episode 7: “The Lonely”
Convicted criminal Corry (Jack Warden) has been sentenced to an unthinkably harsh punishment: isolation and imprisonment on a deserted asteroid. He has no contact with living creatures except for the crew of a supply ship which visits for a few minutes every three months. Captain Allenby (John Dehner) is sympathetic to Corry’s plight and does what he can to ease the burden of loneliness with books and other materials.
On one such visit, however, the captain brings Corry a shipment in violation of contraband rules and tells Corry not to open it until the ship has left, for fear of it being discovered by others. Inside, Corry finds a robot, named Alicia (Jean Marsh) that’s designed to appear and act human in every way. Although Corry initially rejects Alicia as an abomination, he quickly warms to her and the two build a relationship that defies their differences. However, things are never so simple in the Twilight Zone.
This is one of the weaker episodes of the first season in my opinion. The acting is good and the sense of desolation is really carried through (enabled by most of the episode being shot in Death Valley). But although the story is marginally interesting and definitely somewhat touching in the second half, it doesn’t feel like the Twilight Zone. At the risk of predisposing those who haven’t watched the episode (without spoiling the end), there are no supernatural elements at play here, nothing that isn’t easily explained and understood, and the story’s “twist” is mild at best. This would make for a great entry in a Sci-Fi anthology series, but as part of something as exotic as the Twilight Zone, it just falls short.
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