“Next week on the Twilight Zone, Mr. Donald Pleasence, going to us from Broadway, brings his exceptional abilities to an extremely special program. The story plot of the aging schoolmaster who finds some faith, some hope, plus some mending glue for a few shattered dreams. Nonetheless it is found by him for the reason that strange manner unique in the shadow regions of the Twilight Zone.
Professor Ellis Fowler is an aging English teacher at the Vermont Rock Spring School for Boys, a position he has held for over half a century. After saying goodbye to his last course of the fall semester, Professor Fowler is summoned to the headmaster’s office before leaving for the winter break.
The headmaster, a well-to-do man, reluctantly informs the teacher that the school’s plank of trustees has voted never to renew his agreement for the Spring. They believe that someone younger may become more beneficial to the learning students. At home that evening, he flips through old yearbooks, remembering the hundreds of students who’ve graced his classroom.
He wonders just how many of his students remember him. He believes of all years he spent spouting poetry to uninterested, indifferent faces and feels foolish. He informs his housekeeper that he could be going for a walk and wanders out into the night time. After he leaves she discovers a clear gun holster in his desk drawer. Professor Fowler makes his way to the deserted school campus and discovers himself before a statue of Horace Mann.
- Allow the cream to absorb through the night
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He remarks to the statue that he has gained no triumph for humanity, in reference to the fantastic educator’s famous estimate. As the barrel is raised by him of the weapon to his temple, Fowler hears course bells ringing. Curious, he walks off to research. He eventually discovers himself back in his classroom, now empty.
Before he has a chance to get his senses he sees a room full of students materialize out of nothing at all before his eyes. He recognizes all of them. They are previous students from various classes throughout the full years, which are actually dead. Each learning student tells him of the tremendous impact that he previously on the lives. The professor is moved to tears. He comes back home in better spirits and tells his housekeeper that he is looking forward to retirement. He has made his mark and is preparing to convert the reigns over to someone else.
As he settles in for the night time he hears Christmas carolers outside his window. The home window is opened by him to find his students gathered on the lawn. He could be wished by them a Merry Christmas and continue on their way. The professor closes the window and smiles, content with the victory he has won for humanity.
“Professor Ellis Fowler, teacher, who discovered rather belatedly something of his own value. To close out the third season from the Twilight Zone, Rod Serling penned this warm incredibly, moving story that appears to foreshadow many of the events that were to happen in his life in the coming years. While The Twilight Zone always held a separate fan base, it was never a solid candidate when it came to ratings due likely to the fact that it was an illusion program.
The show resided in constant fear of cancellation and at the end of its third season, after failing woefully to draw in a new sponsor after the departure of Myers and Liggett Cigarette Company, it finally found itself from the air. It could cease broadcasting new episodes for another seven months until it was cut back as a mid-season replacement, unseating the program that had replaced it.