Have you ever felt like your phone was glitching solely to inconvenience you? Maybe that your computer didn’t seem to be loading because you had something really important to do? Even though the marathon ended earlier this week I still wanted to devote some time to some of my favorite episodes. In this episode examination from The Twilight Zone Marathon on Syfy I’ll be discussing the technophobic Bartlett Finchley and “A Thing About Machines.”
This episode originally aired on October 28th 1960 as the fourth episode of the second season of the series. In “A Thing About Machines” Finchley insists that there is something very wrong about the technology in his home, which he happens to frequently damage. He spends much of his time alone, but when he does interact with people he isn’t exactly polite. He is remarkably rude to his assistant and to the other people he speaks to. Once she leaves things start to get strange. The phone rings, but no one is there, the typewriter begins typing without anyone touching it, and the clock chimes no matter what the time is. When Finchley checks the typewriter it has been typing “Get Out of Here Finchley” over and over again. The phone begins saying the same thing, and a dancer on his television begins telling him to leave. At one point he is chased down the stairs by his electric razor.
When he finally flees the house, Finchley attempts to use his car, but instead finds himself being chased by it. As he tries to run away he finds himself at the edge of a neighbor’s pool. The engine revs and Finchley falls into the water and sadly drowns. When he’s found in the morning the police rule it a heart attack and as the neighbors look on they don’t appear surprised. Finchley was not a well loved man, but the attack of his devices does hit hard. In today’s world with technology making up such a large part of our daily lives the idea of it turning on us suddenly is remarkably frightening.
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