Saturday, December 3, 2016


More late-night MetaTV: The Twilight Zone episode “Back There” (first aired January 13, 1961) brings together Mr. Drysdale of The Beverly Hillbillies (Raymond Bailey), Emmett Clark of The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. (Paul Hartman), Roy Hinkley, the Professor, of Gilligan’s Island (Russell Johnson), and Henry Aldrich of the 1940s film series (James Lydon). A fan of the Lassie television series will recognize Lydon as Mr. Dennis, the down-on-his-luck father trying to get to California in the Lassie episode “The Christmas Story” (first aired December 25, 1960).

Like “Back There” itself (about preventing the assassination of Abraham Lincoln), watching television in this way is an exercise in time travel. Characters past and characters future, all present on the home screen.

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