Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Jar: The Case Of An Alfred Hitchcock Hour Episode Mistaken For The Twilight Zone

I have always enjoyed TV anthology shows, which offer new stories and characters each week. 

I love short stories and anthology programs are perfect for adapting well-written and interesting short stories.   

Joseph Wambaugh, the former LAPD sergeant and best-selling author of police novels whose own anthology program, Police Story, ran successfully for several years on TV, once told me that most TV viewers prefer regular, recognizable characters in TV series. 

True, but TV has offered some classic anthology TV programs.        

Back in the late 1950 and early 1960s, when I was a kid and aspiring crime writer, I was a huge fan of two TV anthology series in particular. 

Both TV series featured an interesting and notable host and narrator and a catchy theme song. 

Alfred Hitchcock Presents offered the famed film director (seen in the above photo) as host and narrator. Hitchcock’s balding head, rotund figure, and British accent was unforgettable, as were his amusing and often clever introductions to stories of crime and mayhem. 

I later also became a hug fan of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. Serling (seen in the above photo), a famed TV writer, was also a memorable host and narrator with his rich voice and serious demeanor.

Serling mostly presented tales of horror, fantasy and science fiction, but he also offered a good share of crime stories. 

Both classic TV shows can be watched today on MeTV at MeTV – America's #1 Classic Television Network

Both anthology series have developed a new generation of fans. 

Debopriyaa Dutta at offers an interesting piece on an episode based on a Ray Bradbury short story that appeared on Alfred Hitchcock’s program, but was so eerie that many people still believe the episode appeared on The Twilight Zone:    

As memorable as title cards for television shows go, the opening of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" stuck with people for many reasons. Charles Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" blaring the background, director Alfred Hitchcock himself would dole out introductions, right after his silhouette briefly appeared on the screen. As the show was structured as an anthology of macabre stories directed by a bunch of established and emerging talents, Hitchcock would offer a teaser right before every episode, touching upon the kind of horrors that were going to play out on the small screen. "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" premiered on CBS in the year 1955 — a time when television had not achieved the boom it would in the later years — but the show endured, thanks to Hitchcock's gravitas and the quality of the half-hour tales that were presented.

In 1959, writer Rod Serling sowed the seeds for his anthology series, "The Twilight Zone," which expanded upon the vignettes of horror by incorporating stories tinted with absurdism, suspense, black comedy, and dystopian narratives. While Serling and Hitchcock's shows were intrinsically different in tone and treatment, it was fairly easy to mistake one show's episode for the other, as both had undergone the anthology treatment and told stories of dynamic variety. Hitchcock's series obviously predated Serling's, and helmed ideas that served as inspiration for countless creatives down the line — however, the overlap of the two shows lies in their explosive popularity, and how they both carved a niche in the genre in a way that is solid and timeless.

Keeping this in mind, it is not surprising that one of the episodes from "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" — a continuation of Hitchcock's parent anthology series, that ran from 1962 to 1965 — was mistaken for a "Twilight Zone" episode. How and why did this mix-up happen?

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

The Case Of An Alfred Hitchcock Hour Episode Mistaken For The Twilight Zone (

You also watch The Jar episode via the below link:

The JAR (Alfred Hitchcock Hour) - video Dailymotion 

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