All-time scariest TV characters -- #9: The gremlin
by Keith McDuffee, posted Oct 24th 2007 12:00PM
Character: The gremlin
Show: The Twilight Zone
Episode: "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"
I don't consider myself all that afraid of flying. If a flight goes off nice and smooth, I don't think twice about it. Now, if you add in turbulence, I might get a little anxious. Remove the daylight and throw in some thunder and lightning, now I'm not liking flying very much. Flickering interior lights and strange engine noises -- I'm crapping myself. Having seen this episode of Twlight Zone, I'd probably automatically assume there's a fricken' gremlin on the plane causing us to quickly plummet to the ground.
This is surely one of the most familiar episodes of The Twilight Zone, if not only for the appearance of William Shatner as the freaked out passenger, Robert Wilson. Those of you who're mostly familiar with the Twilight Zone movie have also seen this role played by John Lithgow, who did what I think was an equally good or better job at acting completely freaked out of his mind.
What I found interesting was how similar the gremlin in the television version looked to the "normal" people in the Twilight Zone episode, "The Eye of the Beholder". I wonder if they used the same masks. In any case, the look of the gremlin wasn't the scariest thing about the character. The fact that some sort of being or person was outside in that hell storm was the scariest thing about it.
It could have been Ronald McDonald on the wing of the plane and I'd be equally scared. No, make that crapping-my-drawers scared.
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