The Twilight Zone Episode 120: The Bard

General Information

Director: David Butler

Writer: Rod Serling

Cast: Jack Weston, John McGiver, Doro Merande, John Williams, Henry Lascoe, William Lanteau, Howard McNear, Marge Redmond, Clegg Hoyt, Judy Strangis, and Burt Reynolds

Composer: Fred Steiner

Air Date: 5/23/1963

Production Code: 4852

 

Overview

Devoid of talent, aspiring writer Julius Moomer (Jack Weston) uses a book of magic to summon William Shakespeare (John Williams). Claiming authorship of Shakespeare’sThe Twilight Zone The Bard dramatic teleplays, Julius learns a painful lesson on the importance of gratitude.

“The Bard” suffers from tedious humor, padded sequences, and an obnoxious main character—portrayed by Jack Weston of “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” Discerning viewers may therefore wish to forgo this episode, which benefits only from a clever narrative concept.

 

Pros

None.

 

Cons

Despite its reputation as the worst entry of the entire series, “The Bard” contains all the elements for a classic episode of The Twilight Zone: a struggling author, a The Twilight Zone The Bardpremise involving black magic, and a cameo appearance from William Shakespeare. Unfortunately, this offering is marred by a heavy emphasis on quirky humor—arguably the weakest of Rod Serling’s devices as a writer.

Also worth noting is Burt Reynolds’ impression of Marlon Brando, which, though potentially amusing if toned down slightly, serves only to enhance the cringe factor of this episode.

 

Analysis

In spite of its appalling execution, “The Bard” offers a thought-provoking statement on how changing the interpretation of a written work, especially when done The Twilight Zone The Bardfor commercial purposes, can detract from the creative value of an original fiction piece.

 

Concluding Comments

A satirical but groan-worthy installment of The Twilight Zone, “The Bard” should be avoided by diehard Serling enthusiasts and casual fans alike. Specifically unappealing is the character of Julius, who behaves in an arrogant, ungrateful, and entitled manner from beginning to end.

 

Overall Quality: 1/10

 

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One thought on “The Twilight Zone Episode 120: The Bard

  1. I liked parts of this episode, like most of the hour-long ones it might have been better at a shorter length. Burt Reynolds has an early role as a Marlon Brando-type character.