Today, April 20th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1962 premiere of the Season 3 episode, "The Trade-Ins."
Joseph Schildkraut and Alma Platt play John and Marie Holt, an elderly couple who come to the New Life Corporation to exchange their aging bodies for brand new models. John's urgency is stronger because he's wracked by pain. But there's an obstacle – the Holts only have enough money for one transformation, so John attempts to up their stake by entering a high-end poker game run by Farraday the gambler (Theo Marcuse).
According to direction Elliot Silverstein, Schildkraut's wife had passed away during "The Trade-Ins," so there was a true melancholy air about the actor during the shoot. However, he soldiered on, making this one of Rod Serling's best stories. Schildkraut had previously portrayed the concentration camp ghost in "Deaths-Head Revisited."
A Chicago native, Alma Platt was making her TZ debut. And if the young John Holt looks familiar, it's because the actor who played him – Edson Stroll – had previously portrayed the normal-faced human in "Eye of the Beholder."
Another marvelous actor present in this episode is bald-pated Theodore Marcuse, who played Farraday the gambler. Like John Van Dreelen, whom we honored the other day, Marcuse played TV and film villains throughout the 1960s. Sadly, his career was cut short at the young age of 47 by a traffic accident caused by his driving under the influence.
So let's raise a toast to the Holts and their incredible odyssey to find their own personal fountain of youth, the New Life Corporation, which could be a reality someday, and the show that's a constant reality for fans of speculative fiction: The Twilight Zone.