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""The Chaser""
Thechaser
Series:The Twilight Zone (Original Series)
Episode:Season 1, Episode 31 (S01E31)
First Aired:May 13, 1960
Teleplay:Robert Presnell, Jr.
Story:John Henry Collier
Director:Douglas Heyes
Music:Stock
Guest Stars:George Grizzard, John McIntire, Patricia Barry
Lead Character:Roger Shackleforth
Previous Episode:A Stop at Willoughby
Next Episode:A Passage for Trumpet

"The Chaser" is the thirty-first episode of the The Twilight Zone.

Episode Details

Opening Narration

"Mr. Roger Shackleforth: Age: youthful twenties. Occupation: being in love. Not just in love, but madly, passionately, illogically, miserably, all-consumingly in love with a young woman named Leila who has a vague recollection of his face and even less than a passing interest. In a moment you will see a switch; because Mr. Shackleforth, a young gentleman so much in love, will take a short but very meaningful journey into the Twilight Zone."

Episode Summary

Roger calls a girl named Leila. He is in love with and she says "why don't you one big jump to the moon". Roger goes to a man house where he has lots of potions. So he buys a love potion to make Leila love him. When he goes to her house, she shuts the door in his face he stops her and gives her flowers and insists they have one glass of champagne. She lets him in. Then he puts the love potion in her glass. Then she says "I don't love you I don't want you here I don't even like you". She is finally under the spell and for the first 6 months it was everything Roger could have ever wanted. But then she gets too personal and invades his space. He goes back to the man who gave him the potion before and tells him he wants everything back the way it was. He gets a potion for that and a bottle of champagne. Then she says she has great news. She holds up a knitting needle with little socks which means she is pregnant. Then Roger drops the glasses making him stuck with Leila forever.

Closing Narration

"Mr. Rodger Shackleforth, who has discovered at this late date that love can be as sticky as a vat of molasses, as unpalatable as a hunk of spoiled yeast, and as all-consuming as a 6th-alarm fire in a bamboo-and-canvas tent.  Case history of a lover boy, who should never have entered... The Twilight Zone."

Preview for Next Week's Story

Next week, you'll stand in this alley at the shoulder of Jack Klugman, who plays the role of a trumpet player who has run out of music and run out of dreams. "Poignant" is the best word for Mr. Klugman's performance. Next week on The Twilight Zone, "A Passage for Trumpet". I think they're unusual notes indeed and we hope you'll be listening to them. Thank you and good night.

Crew

  • Rod Serling (executive producer: Cayuga Productions)
  • Buck Houghton (producer)
  • George T. Clemens (director of photography)
  • Bill Mosher (film editor)
  • George W. Davis (art director)
  • Merrill Pye (art director)
  • F. Keogh Gleason (set decorator; credited: Keogh Gleason)
  • Henry Grace (set decorator)
  • Ralph W. Nelson (production manager)
  • Donald C. Klune (assistant director; credited: Don Klune)
  • Franklin Milton (sound; credited: Frank Milton)
  • Philip Mitchell (sound)
  • Van Allen James (sound effects editor; uncredited)

Production Companies

Distributors

  • Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1960) (USA) (TV) (original airing)

Other

  • United Productions of America (UPA) (animated title)

Trivia

  • The character of Leila utters the line: "Why don't you take a flying jump at the moon?!", this is the same line used by the character Fred Renard in the earlier episode "What You Need" and by the character Michael Chambers in the later episode "To Serve Man".
  • This episode was adapted by Robert Presnell, Jr. from the short story "The Chaser" by John Collier. The script was originally written for and produced live on television on The Billy Rose Television Theatre in 1951.
  • In Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man, the episode's director Douglas Heyes said, "That was one of the great things about The Twilight Zone. I had total freedom. Sometimes I would think of an idea that make the episode more Twilight Zone-y [but] that would require some expense. I remember one episode, 'The Chaser', in which I devised a huge bookcase that must have doubled the budget, but [Serling and producer Buck Houghton] never blinked an eye. They just said, 'Okay, great!' I didn't have to argue with anybody over the money—they'd argue about the money and let me have it! I knew that they were having problems with Jim Aubrey, but they kept them away from me. My responsibility was to get the job done."
  • The short story also was adapted in 1951 for Tales from the Crypt, where it was retitled "Loved to Death!!" This was adapted in 1991 as "Loved to Death" (no exclamation points) for the HBO adult-horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt. The episode starred Andrew McCarthy and Mariel Hemingway.
  • This is one of several episodes from Season One with its opening title sequence plastered over with the opening for Season Two. This was done during the summer of 1961, so that the repeats of season one episodes would fit in with the new look the show had taken during the following season.
  • As originally aired, this was the final episode of the series with the original UPA "pit and summit" title sequence.
  • The first opening narration to contain, as did closing narrations, the words "The Twilight Zone".
  • The only first-season episode that was not written by one of the Big Three (Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson).

External Links

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