Today, February 26th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1960 premiere of "Mirror Image," a dilly of an episode.
Gorgeous Vera Miles stars as bus station waiting room passenger Millicent Barnes, a woman who begins to believe she's being stalked by her doppelganger. She asks the attendant (Joseph Hamilton) about the bus schedule, and gets an annoyed response, something about asking him again, when she really didn't ask him the first time. Then she visits the restroom and that attendant (Naomi Stevens) tells her she's been there before when she hasn't. Suspense begins to build as Millicent has a momentary respite when fellow passenger Paul Grinstead (Martin Milner) comes to her aid.
Rod Serling was at his best when he took a simple situation – like people waiting for a bus – and turned it into a unsettling journey into the unknown. Director John Brahm, always good for added suspense and atmosphere, brings this story to life, and Miles is wonderful in her only TZ appearance. I’ve always been fond of her work, dating back to two of her westerns: The Charge at Feather River, a little 3D gem from 1953, in which she plays a captured girl who has a Stockholm Syndrome experience Old West style; and, of course, The Searchers, in which she plays sympathetic Laurie Jorgensen, Martin Pawley's (Jeffrey Hunter) very patient girlfriend.
So let's hoist a flask of Scotch (Millicent needs a shot) to one of the most atmospheric episodes in the series, and the show which is always on schedule, quality-wise: The Twilight Zone.