The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 27

One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Dec 06, 1985 on CBS
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
39 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty
AIRED:
Angry with his adult life, a man, Gus Rosenthal, returns to his childhood stomping ground in Ohio and while digging up an old toy soldier finds himself transported back to when he was a boy. Taking on the guise of a writer he meets himself as a child - angry, frustrated and misunderstood. Taking the name of 'Harry Rosenthal', Gus tries to guide his younger self but sickens from his place out-of-time. When he has to leave he tells his younger self to stay behind...which was what frustrated himself as a child and led to him being so angry throughout his life. Returning to his own time, the old Gus returns to his life, sadder but wiser.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Inner-struggling guy goes back in time to his own childhood.

    8.0
    Although not creepy or dark but indeed sci-fi, I did enjoy this episode thanks to a good pace and a great story.



    We find Russ Rosenthal feeling a little off so he decides to pay a visit to his own childhood home. When he unearths an old toy soldier from the backyard he is transported back to the 50's where he meets his own younger-self. In the end we discover that the reason for all his anger was not other people but actually himself.



    Well told and great ending where we are shown that other parallel universe exist and many other realities are existing at the same time as ours.moreless
  • Gus Rosenthal finds himself back in time, addressing himself as a young boy, hoping to avert the poor choices he made in life.

    9.0
    Gus Rosenthal is somehow transported back in time to his childhood. Able to talk to his younger self, he tries to help himself make better choices and take his life in the right direction. However, by the end, when he must return, Gus realizes his own angry life was directed at the one man who showed compassion and care. "It was Mr. Rosenthal who left me. I was angry at him."

    I vividly recall the closing narration: It's rather bittersweet how we spend so much time trying to justify ourselves to shadows of those who are long gone. And even if they were alive, would they remember? Would they recall what they had said or done that made you spend the rest of your life proving yourself? And if you could go back, wouldn't you learn that you were always the master of your fate? And if you learn that great truth, wouldn't it free you of a useless burden? Dead cargo... from the Twilight Zone.

    This one episode had a dramatic impact on me. It was not scary, just sobering, insightful and helpful.

    I wish there was a way to get this episode on DVD.moreless
Peter Riegert

Peter Riegert

Harry Rosenthal

Guest Star

Chris Hebert

Chris Hebert

Young Gus Rosenthal

Guest Star

Jack Kehoe

Jack Kehoe

Lou

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: He had to go back. It was that simple. Back to the place where his anger had first taken root. Back to find the turning point which had set him on the road to success... and lonliness. Because here, in this small Ohio town, lived the shadows of the boy he used to be, and the man he could have become. Gus Rosenthal, is returning home... to the Twilight Zone.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: It's rather bittersweet how we spend so much time trying to justify ourselves to shadows of those who are long gone. And even if they were alive, would they remember? Would they recall what they had said or done that made you spend the rest of your life proving yourself? And if you could go back, wouldn't you learn that you were always the master of your fate? [Adult Gus learns that Jack became a cabbie.] And if you learn that great truth, wouldn't it free you of a useless burden? Dead cargo... from the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This story is partially based on the life of Harlan Ellison. Jack Wheeldon was the real name of a boy who tormented him.

    • Thematically the episode deals with many of the same issues and themes as the original Twilight Zone episode "Walking Distance".

    • The episode is based on the short story "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", by Harlan Ellison. The story was first published in the anthology Orbit 8 (1970).

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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