031 – The Chaser

Original air date – 5/13/60

Story by John Henry Collier | Teleplay by Robert Presnell, Jr. |Directed by Douglas Heyes

Starring George Grizzard, John McIntire, Patricia Barry

Watch it here

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Roger Shackleforth (George Grizzard) is a young man in love. While trying to call Leila (Patricia Barry), the girl who he is smitten with, he causes a long line of impatient people waiting outside of the phone booth to use the telephone. When Leila hangs up on him, an impatient man comes up to Roger and hands him the contact of a professor named Daemon who he promises would take care of his heartbreak.

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At Professor Daemon’s impressive room filled with floor to ceiling books, Roger is asked if he is there to buy “glove cleaner” – “something odorless, tasteless, and completely undetectable” – which is supposedly going to set him back $1000. But when Professor Daemon learns that Roger is simply a lovelorn young man, he hands him a bottle of potion and merely charges him $1. The professor warns Roger that the potion will make his lady love him every waking moment.

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At Leila’s apartment, Roger begs to be let in. Seeing that Roger has brought along a bottle of champagne, Leila reluctantly lets him in. A few minutes after Leila unknowingly ingests the potion that’s mixed in with the champagne, her icy demeanor turns into love and admiration for Roger.

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Six months later, they are married. Every day Leila sits by Roger’s feet like a little puppy pronouncing her undying love and devotion to him. Roger is without a doubt put off by the overwhelming affection. He decides to visit Professor Daemon again.

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At Professor Daemon’s book-filled room, Roger has prepared a check for $1000 to purchase a bottle of “glove cleaner.” Now we know what this “something odorless, tasteless, and completely undetectable” bottle of potion is for. Before Roger leaves, the professor warns him that the potion will need to be used immediately in order for the substance to be effective.

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Back at home, Roger gives Leila a glass of champagne laced with potion only to be interrupted by the news that Leila is pregnant. The glass falls to the ground and shatters. Roger cannot undo the love spell will have to live with the crushing love for the rest of his life.

A cute episode, The Chaser is like a breath of fresh air. Like a situation comedy in the vein of I Love Lucy, it sure seems like a departure from other Twilight Zone episodes this far. Professor Daemon’s dungeon with tall bookcases against the walls is probably one of the most awesome set ever on any half-hour television shows. Unfortunately aside from fresh air and cool set, there aren’t much else to write home – or blog – about.

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