The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 46

Cold Reading

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Feb 14, 1986 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
33 votes
  • Afrikan magic instrument brings more Afrika into a radio set.

    I didn't enjoy this episode much. It feels empty, it feels out of character, it feels not scary at all. There is nothing in this episode that you can stop and say "that might happen to me" or "that better be destroyed or we are going to suffer" and even if it is there, the story is presented so harmlessly that in the end you have not been scared at all.

    The special effects once again make this episode look bad. The only thing i liked was the idea of being in Africa in the middle of a storm, kind of reminds me of the fear those first explorers might have felt a couple of centuries ago.
  • Fun and zany

    I'm not a big fan of period pieces. Other than Indiana Jones and a few others, going into the past really doesn't appeal to me. But I like this episode a lot. The acting was enjoyable, even including Dick Shawn's over the top performance. Most of the actors looked like they were really having fun. Okay, the special effects were typically bad for the series, but that's forgivable.

    Of the three segments originally aired together that night, this was by far the best. The other two, "Gramma" and "Personal Demons," were pointless filler. Skip those if you can. But "Cold Reading" is a keeper.
  • Dick Shawn is wonderful in this piece.

    After the intensity of 'Gramma', the producers wisely bookended this episode with 'Cold Reading', a wonderful journey into the world of radio dramas before the existence of television, introducing us to a host of characters, starting with the famous producer Nelson Westbrook.

    The attention to detail from the first bubble gum pop to Dick Shawn's odd entrance is what makes this piece work. And there are many such moments, the crazy old sound effects guy reversing his pipe in the rain, the announcer's hand movements, the stumbling lead actor, and no, that guy playing the drum was definitely not Gene Krupa. Brilliantly written and brilliantly directed - comedic escapism brought to you by the Twilight Zone.
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