The Twilight Zone

Season 5 Episode 26

I Am the Night - Color Me Black

Aired Unknown Mar 27, 1964 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

On the day an unpopular idealist is to be executed for the killing of a racist bully, the townsfolk are shocked to see the skies have turned pitch black.

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Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • On the morning of a condemned man's hanging, the townspeople wonder why the sun has not risen.

    Serling was a master of fable and allegory, using the trappings of a sci-fi/fantasy show to sneak across social commentary that never would have gotten on the air otherwise. In "I Am the Night--Color Me Black," he takes a stand on the effects of prejudice and hatred. Although it is a bit more blunt than some of his other works, the script still works fine, and the imagery of pervasive darkness still stands out in my mind today. I liked the way that the plague of darkness spread to other places affected by hatred--Dallas with the JFK assassination, segregation in the South, etc. Look for Jim Lindsey (Goober from The Andy Griffith Show) as a deputy who perjures himself on the witness stand.moreless
  • This episode demonstrates one reason Serling was special.

    One thing Rod Serling liked to do was preach--and I don't mean that in a bad way. If you weren't around in Postwar America, say 1946 until the 1960s, you don't really understand what television was like.

    Sponsors and networks killed topical television in the 1950s. They didn't want names named. Anything deemed controversial just never got on the air. Many of the Twilight Zone episodes dealt with this blind spot by disguising the message in allegory or fables.

    This episode is a fine example of Serling's technique, in my opinion. He always spoke out against intolerance and bigotry and seemed to be a big fan of the "cautionary tale" approach when it came to getting his message across.

    This story is a clear warning that nothing good ever comes of blind hatred and ignorance.moreless
  • As a condemmend murderer awaits his execution, he and the rest of the town wonder why the sun has not risen.

    A gripping epsiode revolving around the hatred of this town for this condemmed killer. It is 7:30am, 2 hours before execution and the sun still has not risen. As the episode goes on they seem to be angry about everything. A condensending sherrif, a bullying deputy, a somewhat philosophic reverend, an inquisitive reporter all play a part. This particular village is the only place on the map that is dark where it is supposed to be light in the beginning. But as the episode closes it affects other areas, Vietnam, Dallas (the assasination of John Kennedy), southern part of US (segregation).moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Rev. Anderson: In all this darkness, is there anybody who can make out the truth? He hated, and he killed, and now he died. And you hate, and you kill. And now there's not one of you, not one of you, who isn't doomed. Do you know why it's dark? Do you know why it's night all around us? Do you know what the blackness is? It's the hate he felt. The hate you felt. The hate all of us feel. And it's too much of it, it's just too much. And so we had to vomit it up, and now it's coming up all around us and choking us. So much hate, so much misery and hate.

    • Jagger: It's important to get with the majority, isn't it? That's... oh, that's a big thing nowadays, isn't it, Reverend?
      Rev. Anderson: That's all there is, is the majority. The minority must have died on the cross two thousand years ago.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: A sickness known as hate; not a virus, not a microbe, not a germ--but a sickness nonetheless, highly contagious, deadly in its effects. Don't look for it in the Twilight Zone--look for it in a mirror. Look for it before the light goes out altogether.

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Sheriff Charlie Koch on the morning of an execution. As a matter of fact, it's seven-thirty in the morning. Logic and natural laws dictate that at this hour there should be daylight. It is a simple rule of physical science that the sun should rise at a certain moment and supersede the darkness. But at this given moment, Sheriff Charlie Koch, a deputy named Pierce, a condemned man named Jagger and a small, inconsequential village will shortly find out that there are causes and effects that have no precedent. Such is usually the case--in the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (1)