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TwilightZoneTom@Cult Labs 12th March 2011 10:25 AM

Season 1, Episode 17: The Fever
Season 1, Episode 17: The Fever

Airdate: 29/01/60
Writer: Rod Serling
Director: Robert Florey
Starring: Everett Sloane, Vivi Janiss

Franklin Gibbs and his wife take a trip to Las Vegas. Franklin, who detests gambling gets given a coin by a drunk man at a casino who makes Franklin use it in a slot machine. Soon Franklin believes the slot machine is calling his name…

Post your thoughts, reviews and comments about the episode and/or BD & DVD release for The Fever here!

Nosferatu@Cult Labs 5th April 2011 04:42 PM

I didn't feel that this quite works because Franklin Gibbs is such a pompous and hateful individual that you want him to meet a really horrible end! Fortunately, the ending is quite satisfactory but the episode does feel a little bit preachy in the way it deals with gambling.

TwilightZoneTom@Cult Labs 9th May 2011 07:49 PM

I think there's a message there that's probably worth telling, but unfortunately the killer slot machine just didn't work.

Bibliomike 19th July 2011 03:17 PM

Viewed solely on its own merits, I think "The Fever" is a fairly strong episode. Viewed today, however, knowing what we know about gambling as an addiction and not just a moral choice (although certainly not less than that), it feels unjustifiably preachy and mean-spirited toward Mr. Gibbs. No, he is not a likeable character; no, he cannot acknowledge or even see the difference between putting a nickel in a nickel machine and full-blown losing your live savings in Vegas; but, as Serling's opening narration indicates (heck, as even the title indicates), gambling addiction, like any other addiction, is an illness, and should be understood and treated as such. I am especially surprised Serling painted Mr. Gibbs so unsympathetically when the episode was, he states, inspired by his own brush with the addictive nature of gambling.

Though it's not quite the same thing, the image of a man endlessly feeding coins into a machine resonates with William Shatner's performance in "Nick of Time." If we view the latter episdoe as an analogy for addiction (especially gambling addiction), then I think we can see that Serling was capable of handling the issue in a far more sensitive and nuanced manner.

All that being said... like you, I do love the image of the slot machine spitting back out that last silver dollar in triumph. I am not sure Mr. Gibbs, for all his puritanical moralizing, deserved such a fate; but it is a classic Twilight Zone moment!

it'smebilly 19th July 2011 06:05 PM

I didn't like this one, one of, if not the worst of the first series for me. Very heavy handed message and cheap looking. Thankfully, there weren't too many like this.

PaulD 19th December 2011 01:15 PM

I agree with the general consensus on this episode - it was pretty bad. Far too heavy-handed and instead just comes across as being a bit silly to be honest. Still, considering how many episodes a season there were you'd be crazy to expect every one to be consistently fantastic.

Gojirosan 19th December 2011 03:53 PM

I always liked the silliness of this one. When I read "The Mangler" it reminded me of this!

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