Original Story by James Crocker
Directed by Wes Craven
Original Airdate - September 27, 1985
  Melinda Dillon -
Greg Mullavey -
Virginia Keehne -
Brittany Wilson -
Joshua Harris -
Judith Barsi -
Claire Nono -
Elma Veronda Jackson -
Pamela Gordon -
Laura Waterbury -
Todd Allen -
Isabelle Walker -

Russ Jr.
First Shopper
Second Shopper
Third Shopper
Preppy Man
Preppy Woman


Wouldn’t it be nice if once in a while everyone would just shut up and stop pestering you?  Wouldn’t it be great to have the time to finish a thought or spin a daydream. To think out loud without being required to explain exactly what you meant. If you had the power, would you dare to use it, even knowing that silence may have voices of it’s own . . .  to the Twilight Zone?

A very harried housewife, saddled with 4 or 5 kids (it's difficult to make out how many she actually does have, they jump around so much) and a very hapless husband, gets absolutely no rest during her busy day. With watching the kids, going to the store, cleaning, picking up after her husband, etc., is seems like she's on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  One morning, in a scene that could only happen in a TV show or movie, she's cooking bacon for breakfast, and one of the kids puts a dead garter snake on the hot grill.  When mom sees the snake, she screams in terror, and the kids all laugh.

While gardening, she comes across an amulet buried in her garden.  After thinking it pretty, she puts it around her neck.   Later on, while doing something in the house, she tells the kids to stop it when they begin making too much noise, and she is surprised to find that they actually freeze.  She finally figures out that the amulet has magic powers and begins to use it to give herself some peace and quiet.  She stops the action at the grocery store, and takes a contested item out of a rivals' grocery basket, right under her nose, and walks away with it.  After filling up her cart, she stuffs some money in the store manager's pocket on her way out.   When her doorbell rings, she freezes the nuclear protestors on her doorstep, moves them around and arranges them in a pattern on her front lawn.  They leave in terror when she awakens them.

As she's taking a bath one night, her husband begins yelling.  She goes out to find the early warning alert on the TV, and learns that nuclear missiles have been launched all over the place.  She stops time, to protect her family, but when she walks outside and sees the missiles hanging suspended over her city, she realizes that she can never start time again, or everything will be destroyed. 



This story was written by James Crocker, and I'm assuming he adapted the teleplay, too, since I can't find any other information on that point.  It’s an intriguing premise handled in a silly manner. I met James Crocker at the 2004 Twilight Zone Convention, and he's a very nice person who thoughtfully autographed my laserdisc of this episode, rather than telling me to take a hike for being so nasty about his story. I had to apologize for this review, and he does know that I'm one of the few who doesn't like the episode. The vast majority of people love it, so it's my problem, not the episode's. 

My main problem with it is I can't figure out why this mother wants to save such a noxious bunch of kids, even if they were hers. Why this woman stays around for the kind of abuse her husband and kids heap on her is perplexing.  If the family had been a little more ordinary and sympathetic, the show might have had a power that would grab me.  As it is this entire family, as well as the town they live in, deserves to be nuked. The only thing about the show that really stays in my memory is that last shot of the missiles hanging suspended over the town. 

A sad bit of trivia: Judith Barsi, who played Gertie, the youngest of the children, was killed by her father, at age 11, three years after this episode was filmed.  The father also killed the child's mother and then himself.  There was spousal and child abuse in the family, but no one reported it to the police.  Her mother had been planning to leave with Judith, but she didn't get away fast enough.  Judith also did the voice of Ducky in "Land Before Time", and quite a bit of other work for one so young.  It's sad to hear that her promising life was cut so short.