"Mr. Bevis" is episode thirty-three of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It first aired on June 3, 1960 on CBS. This episode is one of only four to feature the "blinking eye" opening sequence, and the first to feature the opening narration which would be used (with minor changes) for every episode throughout season 2 and 3. The episode was an unsuccessful television pilot.
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||William Asher|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Original air date||June 3, 1960|
In the parlance of the twentieth century, this is an oddball. His name is James B. W. Bevis, and his tastes lean toward stuffed animals, zither music, professional football, Charles Dickens, moose heads, carnivals, dogs, children, and young ladies. Mr. Bevis is accident prone, a little vague, a little discombooberated [sic], with a life that possesses all the security of a floating crap game. But this can be said of our Mr. Bevis: without him, without his warmth, without his kindness, the world would be a considerably poorer place, albeit perhaps a little saner.
The narration continues when Bevis walks up to his car.
Should it not be obvious by now, James B. W. Bevis is a fixture in his own private, optimistic, hopeful little world, a world which has long ceased being surprised by him. James B. W. Bevis, on whom Dame Fortune will shortly turn her back, but not before she gives him a paste in the mouth. Mr. James B. W. Bevis, just one block away from the Twilight Zone.
Mr. Bevis loses his job, gets tickets on his car (which inadvertently hooks bumpers with another vehicle and, once pulled away, flips over), and gets evicted from his apartment – all in one day. Bevis then meets and gets assistance from his guardian angel, one J. Hardy Hempstead. Bevis gets to start the day over again, except now he is a success at work, his rent is paid and his personal transportation is now a sportscar (Austin-Healey) instead of his previous jalopy, a soot-spewing 1924 Rickenbacker.
But there is a catch. In order to continue in his new life, Bevis must make some changes: no strange clothes, no loud zither music, no longer can he be the well-liked neighborhood goofball. Realizing all these things are what makes him happy, Bevis asks that things be returned to the way they were. Hempstead obliges, initially warning Bevis that he will still have no job, car, or apartment. However, perhaps moved by the warmth people have for Bevis, and the man's genuine kindness, the angel arranges for him to get his old jalopy back.
In the final scene of the episode, Mr. Bevis is shown finishing his fifth shot of whiskey, and he pays his total tab of $5.00 with one bill. He then leaves the bar; his Rickenbacker is parked in front of a fire hydrant. When Bevis is about to be ticketed for this infraction, the hydrant suddenly disappears and reappears next to the officer's motorcycle. "J. Hardy Hempstead" is still watching over Bevis.
Mr. James B. W. Bevis, who believes in a magic all his own. The magic of a child's smile, the magic of liking and being liked, the strange and wondrous mysticism that is the simple act of living. Mr. James B. W. Bevis, species of twentieth-century male, who has his own private and special Twilight Zone.
- p. 66 Presnell, Don & McGee, Marty A Critical History of Television's The Twilight Zone, 1959-1964McFarland, 11 Jul 2015