|"The Lateness of the Hour (The Twilight Zone)"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
Scene from "The Lateness of the Hour"
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Directed by||Jack Smight|
|Original airdate||December 2, 1960|
|List of Twilight Zone episodes|
At the foot of the staircase in the Loren mansion—as Dr. Loren and the servants walk out of camera range, Rod Serling moves into view behind them:
|“||The residence of Dr. William Loren, which is in reality a menagerie for machines. We're about to discover that sometimes the product of man's talent and genius can walk amongst us untouched by the normal ravages of time. These are Dr. Loren's robots, built to functional as well as artistic perfection. But in a moment Dr. William Loren, wife and daughter will discover that perfection is relative, that even robots have to be paid for, and very shortly will be shown exactly what is the bill.||”|
Jana, the sensitive daughter of a creative genius, Dr. Loren, is distraught over her parents' reliance on her father's five seemingly perfect robot servants. She implores her father to dismantle the robots before he and her mother become completely dependent on them. After he complies, she reveals to her parents that she plans to start a new life by leaving the stifling confines of the house, getting married and having children. Seeing their dismayed expressions, she comes to the shocking realization that she, too, is a robot, albeit much more emotionally sophisticated than the ones that were dismantled. The discovery causes Jana such anguish that her "father" is forced to erase the memory of her former "identity" and ultimately use her as a replacement for Nelda, the maid skilled at giving Mrs. Loren her most pleasurable activity, a shoulder massage.
|“||Let this be the postscript—Should you be worn out by the rigors of competing in a very competitive world, if you're distraught from having to share your existence with the noises and neuroses of the twentieth century, if you crave serenity but want it full time and with no strings attached, get yourself a workroom in the basement, and then drop a note to Dr. and Mrs. William Loren. They're a childless couple who made comfort a life's work, and maybe there are a few do-it-yourself pamphlets still available... in the Twilight Zone.||”|
Announcer: "And now, Mr. Serling."
|“||An attractive and rather imposing room lived in by a man named Templeton. And, like most rooms, suggestive, really, of only a part of the man - the outside part. Our story next week takes off from here. Mr. Brian Aherne lends us his considerable talents in a script by E. Jack Neuman called "The Trouble With Templeton." It can best be described as poignant, provocative, and a highly-diverting trip into "The Twilight Zone".||”|
By November 1960, The Twilight Zone's second season had already broadcast five episodes and finished filming sixteen. However, at a cost of about $65,000 per episode, the show was exceeding its budget. As a result, six consecutive episodes were videotaped at CBS Television City, eventually transferred to 16-millimeter film ["kinescoped"] for syndicated rebroadcasts. Total savings on editing and cinematography amounted to around $30,000 for all six entries, not enough to justify the loss of depth of visual perspective, which made the shows look like stagebound live TV dramas (i.e. Playhouse 90, also produced at CBS). The experiment was therefore deemed a failure and never attempted again.
Even though the six shows were taped in a row, through November and into mid-December, their broadcast dates were out of order and varied widely, with this, the first one, shown on December 2, 1960 as episode 8. The second one, "Static", was shown on March 10, 1961 as episode 20; the third, "The Whole Truth", appeared on January 20, 1961 as episode 14; the fourth was TZ's sole Christmas entry, "The Night of the Meek", shown as the 11th episode on December 23, 1960; the fifth, "Twenty Two", was seen on February 10, 1961 as episode 17 and the last one, "Long Distance Call", was transmitted on March 31, 1961 as episode 22.