Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ring-a-Ding-Girl - Tuesday Flashback Feature Premiere Twilight Zone

Welcome to the new Tuesday Flashback Feature. We'll reminisce about TV shows usually from the 1950s-1970s where gemstones or pieces of jewelry featured prominently in the storylines. Each Tuesday, there will be a different show, often a US sitcom. Information, including spoiler plot outlines come from various sources & will be as accurate as possible. A show photo will be included if possible.

I'm always interested to hear your memories and am looking for other jewelry-themed shows people may suggest to add to the list. In the interest of supporting fellow artists, I'll also be featuring a few shops where the pieces tie into the general theme of the featured story.

The Ring-A-Ding Girl, by Earl Hamner, Jr.
Twilight Zone, December 27, 1963

Rod Serling, Intro: "Introduction to Bunny Blake. Occupation: film actress. Residence: Hollywood, California, or anywhere in the world that cameras happen to be grinding. Bunny Blake is a public figure; what she wears, eats, thinks, says is news. But underneath the glamor, the makeup, the publicity, the build-up, the costuming, is a flesh-and-blood person, a beautiful girl about to take a long and bizarre journey into the Twilight Zone.”

Movie star, Bunny Blake is famous for her collection of valuable rings. The fan club in her hometown of Howardville sends her a ring that she'll find out is magic. In it she sees the faces of friends and family who tell her that she's needed back home.

She arrives in Howardville on the day of the annual Founders' Day picnic and spends time with her sister, Hildy, her nephew, Bud and friends. Bunny continues to see images, as if looking into a crystal ball, in the ring of a jet airplane encountering severe weather. Like the image in the ring, it turns out to be a very rainy day outside. She tries to get the picnic to postponed to another day, but they refuse.

She then plans a one-woman show at the auditorium at the same time as the picnic in the attempt to draw people to a different location.

Concerned about her sister's odd behavior, Hildy accuses Bunny of "showing off" by announcing her one-woman show at virtually the last minute. The town has to choose between seeing her or attending the traditional picnic.

After saying that she and Bud are going to the picnic as usual, Hildy changes her mind and they'll go to the auditorium for Bunny's show instead. Later, a jet crashes onto the picnic grounds. Thanks to Bunny, almost everyone is at the auditorium instead of the picnic grounds.

A breaking news flash comes on the radio. While Bunny's sister and nephew are listening to reports of the crash, Bunny says a final quiet goodbye, goes outside in the rain and disappears.

Just then, a police officer calls the house to inform Hildy that Bunny is among the deceased passengers on the plane. Of course the sister does not believe the officer, since Bunny was right there in the house.

The radio news anchor confirms that Bunny was indeed on the plane, while also stating that several townspeople saw her that day as well. The anchorman notes that since all the townspeople were in the auditorium waiting to see Bunny's concert, their lives were saved. Otherwise they would have been at the picnic grounds, where the jet crashed.  

The newscaster adds, "Until the mystery is unraveled, one thing remains for certain: Bunny Blake is dead." In Howardville, Bunny had heeded the messages conveyed by the ring and in so doing averted a tragedy, for everyone but herself.

In the final scene Hildy finds Bunny's magic ring, which had fallen to the floor. The ring is now chipped and charred, presumably because of the fiery plane crash. Hildy stares down at it....

Rod Serling:  "We are all travellers. The trip starts in a place called birth - and ends in that lonely town called death. And that's the end of the journey, unless you happen to exist for a few hours, like Bunny Blake, in the misty regions of the Twilight Zone."

The Twilight Zone Radio site offers free downloads of three of their radio versions including The Ring-a-Ding Girl. I have some of their shows, but have not downloaded them directly from their site.

Hamner: "It's true, some of my characters seem to have contradictory character traits.  Jess-Belle is a witch, but she is also possessed by love.  The Ring-A-Ding Girl seems selfish, yet she gives her life to save many of her friends and neighbors.  I guess I am interested in characters who have many facets to their personalities just as in life people seem to be more interesting the richer their life experiences are." From Rod Serling.com.

Related Links:

The Dolls, Wooden Dummies, Mannequins & Mystic Seers of The Twilight Zone

See more Wall Clocks

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