The Twilight Zone

Season 5 Episode 27

Sounds and Silences

Aired Unknown Apr 03, 1964 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes

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Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Over the top but enjoyable, with a fabulous performance by famed character actor, John McGiver.

    I'm surprised to see this rate so low. While not a classic episode, it is quite entertaining, even humorous. I laughed out loud when he played records of battle sounds at top volume. The main character is absurd, yet who hasn't seen a touch of such pompous insanity in one boss or another? We can all identify, which is ultimately what pulls us into these stories.
  • Navy nutjob loses his mind and his ability to hear sound while driving everyone else nuts with his sound.

    Hard to believe this episode has a 4.8 it's ten times better than than and it's directed by the legendary Richard Donner. This episode was another classic Twilight Zone venture into the insanity of man, namely a man ex-military losing his mind and his ability to hear sound but at the same time driving everyone else nuts in the process.

    This episode again was directed by legendary film director Richard Donner who did the Superman movies, Lethal Weapon movies, The Goonies!!!, The Omen!!! and many other movies. To put in other words this was directed by one of the best American directors of our time giving this episode (in one of his early stages of his career) that extra special feel.

    John McGiver stars as Roswell G. Flemington a retired Admiral, sea scout whatever you want to call him. T He owns his own shipping company but spends most of his time playing loud military records of bombings from Okinawa at full blast!!!

    This guy is nuts and one of the reasons why I would never join a military. Anyways, as stated this is another classic Zone episode written by Rod Serling that explores a man's ventures into insanity. Everyone knows he is nuts, his wife, his employees. As with other Zone episodes there is retribution for a character's abusive nature. In this case, since Flemington likes loud noise, Serling takes the ability to hear away from him-robbing him not only of the pleasure of him hearing his war songs and bombs, but his ability to annoy others with echoes of the past.

    John McGiver is brilliant here capturing a guy losing it right before our eyes. Even if this episode did not have the twist with the sound, this episode still shows us how one man can deteriorate over the years to the point where he himself can identify how crazy he is. However, with that said we get glimpses of how he became insane. Flemington describes to his wife how his mom was disciplined up to the point of insanity (he could only eat fudge brownies because it produced the most limited noise!!!) Thus his insanity is sympathetic to a certain degree, the abusiveness of the mother is transferred to the son, and as the son grows older it's no wonder why he would become the way he is.

    Once again proof of how much Serling wasn't just a great writer but a great psychoanalyst.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • As with the episode "Miniature," this episode was originally not included in the syndication package for the series. According to the first printing of Marc Scott Zicree's book "The Twilight Zone Companion" (@1982), a script with a similar title and premise had been submitted to Rod Serling years earlier and he had forgotten about it. A suit was brought by the writer and, thus, the episode was not put into syndication. Eventually, the writer was paid $3,500 for the oversight. The episode has since been put back into rotation.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Closing Narration
      Narrator: "When last heard from, Mr. Roswell G. Flemington was in a sanitarium pleading with the medical staff to make some noise. They, of course, believe the case to be a rather tragic aberration--a man's mind becoming unhinged. And for this they'll give him pills, therapy and rest. Little do they realize that all Mr. Flemington is suffering from is a case of poetic justice. Tonight's tale of sounds and silences from...the Twilight Zone."

    • Opening Narration
      Narrator: "This is Roswell G. Flemington, two hundred and seventeen pounds of gristle, lung tissue and sound decibels. He is, as you have perceived, a noisy man, one of a breed who substitutes volume for substance, sound for significance, and shouting to cover up the readily apparent phenomenom that he is nothing more than an overweight and aging perennial Sea Scout whose noise-making is in inverse ratio to his competence and his character. But soon our would-be admiral of the fleet will embark on another voyage. This one is an uncharted and twisting stream that heads for a distant port called...the Twilight Zone."

  • NOTES (2)

    • Included on volume 30 of Image-Entertainment's DVD collection.

    • Soon after this episode aired, a writer filed suit against Serling and company, claiming they stole his idea and script title. The suit was eventually settled, and the writer was paid $3500, but because litigation was ongoing at the time Twilight Zone was originally put into syndication, this episode was not included in the package and was unseen for many years.