December 8 in Twilight Zone History: Wishing Happy Birthday to Dewey Martin ('I Shot an Arrow into the Air')

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Dec 8, 2017

Today, December 8th, This Day in Twilight Zone History wishes a very happy birthday to actor Dewey Martin, who turns 94 today.

A durable leading man of the 1950s, Martin portrayed Corey, an unhinged space jockey in the memorable first season episode "I Shot an Arrow into the Air." Having crashed on what appears to be a lifeless desert planet, Corey does everything he can to defy his commander, Colonel Bob Donlin (Edward Binns); their bickering escalates until it reaches a startling conclusion.

Corey (Dewey Martin, center) is obstinate, rebellious and self-serving towards his commanding officer, Donlan (Edward Binns, right) and fellow shipmate Pierson (Ted Otis, left)

I always remember Martin from two films of the 1950s. In the iconic science fiction classic The Thing From Another World, he plays Bob, the crew chief who, with a group of scientists and air force personnel, battle a deadly alien visitor (James Arness). Bob is the one who comes up with the concept of the "electric fly trap."

Later that decade, I caught him again as a slave in the spectacular Warner Bros. film Land of the Pharaohs. Martin was always very believable as a viral action hero.

The only thing that stops Corey's (Dewey Martin, left) rebelliousness towards his commanding officer (Edward Binns, right) is pure exhaustion in "I Shot an Arrow into the Air."

In TZ, he's in excellent form as a man who has crossed the 'thin red line' between sanity and madness. Written by Rod Serling, this is another episode that crosses its own line between time and space.

Let's raise a canteen of cloudy desert water to Dewey Martin and the wild path he blazed in the hot arid stretches of The Twilight Zone.