The Twilight Zone No Time Like the Past 02

March 17 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actress Patricia Breslin ('Nick of Time,' 'No Time Like the Past') on the anniversary of her birth

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Steve Rubin
Mar 17, 2018

Today, March 17, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actress Patricia Breslin on the anniversary of her birth in 1930.

Breslin starred in two quite memorable episodes. In Richard Matheson's brilliant "Nick of Time," she and her superstitious husband (William Shatner) fall prey to a little fortune-telling machine in a small-town diner... a machine that begins to control their lives.

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What starts as a seemingly benign game turns into a deadly superstitious trap in "Nick of Time."

Breslin (1930-2011) returned in "No Time Like the Past" as 19th-century schoolteacher Abigail Sloan, who falls in love with time traveler Paul Driscoll (Dana Andrews). Driscoll has come to this seemingly idyllic town to get away from strife and uncertainty... only to find that this beautiful schoolteacher is caught in that web as well.

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Patricia Breslin shines in "No Time Like the Past" as a schoolteacher who's drawn to war-weary time traveler Paul Driscoll (Dana Andrews), who doesn't share 18th century attitudes about nationalism and planting the American flag.

In real life, Breslin was married to director David Orrick McDearmon, who directed three TZ episodes: "Execution," "A Thing About Machines," and "Back There."

Breslin's natural talents shine through in both her episodes. She projects the increasing panic of Pat Carter, terrified of what the fortune teller will next predict, and she has a quiet dignity as the schoolteacher who is impressed with Paul Driscoll's anti-war stand against a pompous super-patriot (Robert Cornthwaite).

So let's raise an aperitif to a fine actress who entered a timeless world where predictions are untrustworthy and time travel is fraught with danger... a fanciful world we call The Twilight Zone.

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