Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Twilight Zone: The Trouble With Templeton

"The Trouble With Templeton" is the third Twilight Zone episode in a row I've discussed in which the main character travels through time and learns an important life lesson. Instead of a pioneer or WWI flying ace, the protagonist is an aging actor who learns he can't live in the past. In that sense, the episode more closely resembles thematically "Walking Distance."

Booth Templeton (Brian Aherne) is the Broadway actor. After a bad start to his day, including being chewed out by the new director of his play and acknowledging he can't remember ever loving his current wife, who flirts openly by the pool, Templeton finds himself back in the year 1927. He goes to a speakeasy and finds his first, beloved wife Laura (Pippa Scott), who died seven years after they married.

"The Trouble With Templeton" is probably better than I give it credit, but after watching all these time travel episodes, I'm feeling a bit burned out. Theres only so many times I can watch a character visit the past or journey into the future and learn something important about himself before I find it tiresome."The Trouble With Templeton" is well acted, and I liked the looks of both the theater and the speakeasy, but the main narrative doesn't offer much new.

In an interesting change from the nostalgic look at the past, Laura treats Templeton with scorn when he professes his love and tries to get her to come with him, and he storms out of the speakeasy. Something is wrong because this behavior is unbecoming of her, but Templeton finds a script called "What To Do When Booth Comes Back." It's Laura's script, and Templeton realizes she was playing a part to convince him to not dwell on the past anymore, to get him to live for the present.

It's a nice presentation of a recurring theme, using the actor's medium to pass a message to him (Even if you're like me and wondering who wrote that script). Life is a play, and we can determine what role we're going to play.

No comments:

Post a Comment