- The Fever (The Twilight Zone)
:"For other uses, please see
Fever (disambiguation)."Infobox Television episode
Title = The Fever
Series = The Twilight Zone
Caption = The
Slot Machinefrom The Fever
Season = 1
Episode = 17
January 29, 1960
Production = 173-3627
Everett Sloane: Franklin Gibbs
Vivi Janiss: Flora Gibbs
Music = Stock (taken primarily from
Jerry Goldsmith’s “jazz themes”, which are used as incidental music on many other "Twilight Zones")
Episode list =
List of Twilight Zone episodes
Prev = The Hitch-Hiker
Next = The Last Flight
"The Fever" is an episode of the
American televisionanthology series "The Twilight Zone".
Franklin and his wife Flora go to
Las Vegas, Nevadabecause she won a competition. He detests gambling, but his wife is excited about their vacation. Franklin is given a coin by a drunk man at the casino, who makes Franklin use it in a slot machine. He wins and tells his wife that they should keep the money and not lose it back like the other people.
As they depart, Franklin believes he hears someone calling his name. He continues to hear his name being spoken as he tries to sleep. Disturbed, he decides he cannot keep "tainted" money, and that he is going to get rid of it by putting it back in the machine. Later, Flora goes to the casino and finds him playing the machine obsessively. Addicted, Franklin has lost a great deal of their money. When Flora tries to coax him to stop, Franklin declares that he has lost so much, that he has to try to win some of it back. He becomes enraged when she presses for him to leave, declaring that the machine is "inhuman", that it "teases you, sucks you in." Others observe that he has been playing the machine for hours.
Eventually, the slot machine takes his last dollar and breaks down. Franklin begins yelling and attacking the machine to give him back his "last dollar." He is taken out of the casino screaming. Later in bed, Franklin tells Flora that the machine was about to pay off, but deliberately broke down so that it wouldn't have to. He then hears the machine again calling his name. He sees it coming down the hallway to their room, "chasing" him, but Flora cannot see it and believes that he is going crazy. When the machine continues to follow him, repeating his name over and over, "Franklin, Franklin, Franklin!" he backs up towards the window, his hands over his ears, finally crashing through the glass and falling to his death. The police stand over his body, noting that his wife had stated that he had not slept in twenty-four hours, and the sheriff commenting that he's "seen a lot of 'em get hooked before, but never like him." The last scene shows Franklin's last dollar rolling up and spinning out flat near his outstretched, dead hand. The camera pans over to the direction where the coin came from and there sits the slot machine "smiling" at him.
Preview for Next Week's Story
In "Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man",
Gordon F. Sanderwrote, "Serling celebrated the signing of his new show, "The Twilight Zone" by spending a weekend in Las Vegas. While Carol Serlingwas having good luck nearby, he became enslaved by a merciless one-armed bandit, an incident he would turn into one of his first "Twilight Zone" episodes.
When Serling adapted "The Fever" to short story form, he expanded the ending. "Flora Gibbs flew back to Elgin, Kansas, to pick up the broken crockery of her life. She lived a silent, patient life from then on and gave no one any trouble. Only once did anything unusual happen and that was a year later. The church had a bazaar and someone brought in an old used one-armed bandit. It had taken three of her friends from the Women's Alliance to stop her screaming and get her back home to bed. It had cast rather a pall over the evening." [cite book|title="Stories From the Twilight Zone"|year=1960]
* [http://www.tv.com/the-twilight-zone/the-fever/episode/12601/summary.html TV.com episode page]
* [http://www.cbs.com/classics/the_twilight_zone/video/video.php?cid=621774886&pid=z8JVefIT1v1A6dgFfQiAs0Nz78_YyHJP&play=true&cc=0 Full video of the episode at CBS.com]
*Sander, Gordon F.: "Serling: The Rise And Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man". New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
*Zicree, Marc Scott: "The Twilight Zone Companion". Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
*DeVoe, Bill. (2008). "Trivia from The Twilight Zone". Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1593931360
*Grams, Martin. (2008). "The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic". Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0970331090
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