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March 3 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actors Harold J. Stone ('The Arrival') and James Doohan ('Valley of the Shadow')

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Steve Rubin
Mar 3, 2018

Today, March 3, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember two wonderful actors on the anniversary of their birth: Harold J. Stone (1913-2005) and James Doohan (1920-2005).

Stone starred in the unsettling episode "The Arrival," playing savvy FAA investigator Grant Sheckly, who arrives at the airport to find out why a commercial DC-3 airliner landed without passengers, crew, or luggage. Stone often played authority figures or criminals. As my good friend Avie Hern always points out, "He's the gladiator in Spartacus with the New York accent whose name is not Tony Curtis."

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In "The Arrival," FAA investigator Grant Sheckly's (Harold J. Stone) unorthodox way of determining if a commercial airliner is real or not is by putting his hand through the propeller. Yikes!

James Doohan co-starred in "Valley of the Shadow" as the father of a little girl (Suzanne Cupito, aka Morgan Brittany) who zaps journalist Phillip Redfield's (Ed Nelson) sheepdog into nothingness. Five years later, he would achieve stardom as Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on Star Trek (66 episodes, 1966-1969) and in many of the subsequent features. If there was trouble with the dilithium crystals that powered the Starship Enterprise's warp drive, Scotty was your man. It was kind of odd to see him in civilian clothes in "Valley of the Shadow."

A Canadian by birth, Doohan landed with the Royal Canadian Field Artillery on Juno Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and was wounded four times.

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Before he performed critical engineering services for Captain Kirk and company, actor James Doohan was a working actor, playing civilians like the father in "Valley of the Shadow."

So let's raise a toast to two consummate actors who brought their unique personalities and gifts to the gift that keeps on giving: The Twilight Zone.

And, if you haven't already, swing by my new website!

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Inquisitive journalist Phillip Redfield (Ed Nelson, right) wants to know what happened to his sheep dog in "Valley of the Shadow."  The father of a little girl (James Doohan) assures him that they'll find his dog.  

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