of_latehero.jpg

April 11 in Twilight Zone History: Celebrating the 1963 premiere of 'Of Late I Think of Cliffordville'

Contributed by
Apr 11, 2018

Today, April 11th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1963 premiere of "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville."

This one-hour Serling-written episode is packed with TZ veterans and some notable newcomers. Albert Salmi, who was previously a time traveler (albeit a swinging one) in "Execution" and an exhausted soldier in "A Time for Mercy," returns as the dastardly robber baron William Feathersmith. It seems that Feathersmith enjoys breaking the competition – in this case, it's long-time competitor Sebastian Deidrich, portrayed by John Anderson (who previously time traveled as Captain Farver in "The Odyssey of Flight 33").

of_late1.jpg

"Have a cigar," is William Feathersmith's (Albert Salmi) catch phrase, usually reserved for the competitor he is about to send to the cleaners in "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville."

But Feathersmith is getting bored – a bad habit for an entrepreneur – so he makes a pact with a female Devil named Devlin (newcomer Julie Newmar) to go back to his very beginning in the 1880s in his hometown of Cliffordville and rebuild his fortune. He thinks this will be a huge kickstart to his entrepreneurship. But, as we TZ watchers know, there will be a few twists and turns along the way...

Wright King, who portrayed the newspaper man in "Shadow Play," returns as Feathersmith's janitor in the present, and Hugh Sanders, who was a passenger on "Judgment Night," plays a mechanic in the past. David Lowell Rich did a nice directing job.

of_late2.jpg

Actor John Anderson returns to the TZ fold as Deidrich, a competitor of robber baron William Feathersmith (Albert Salmi) in "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville."

However, in many ways, this is a pastiche of previous TZ themes – particularly Serling's fascination with time travel and nostalgia.

That said, let's hoist a five-cent beer to the powers of justice that conspire to bring Feathersmith down in a world where comeuppance is just around the corner in The Twilight Zone.