Saturday Frights – The New Twilight Zone: A Little Peace And Quiet (1985)

Saturday Frights – The New Twilight Zone: A Little Peace And Quiet (1985)

Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Frights! Tonight for your enjoyment we have the second entry from the first episode of the New Twilight Zone series from back in 1985. Entitled ‘A Little Peace and Quiet’ it concerns Penny (Melinda Dillon), a harried housewife who must contend with everything that her Family and a modern life continuously throws at her. That is until one day while she is gardening she discovers a buried box with a curious timepiece that as she later learns gives her the ability to stop time at will.

Melinda Dillon, who Retroist fans will recognize from her roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Harry and the Hendersons and A Christmas Story, does a fantastic job of playing the put upon Penny but to be blunt she isn’t a 100% likeable character. I found with this episode more so than the other offerings from the 1980’s Twilight Zone series that an excellent morality tale was delivered. I won’t spoil anything but let us say that Penny didn’t learn her life lessons from the mistake of Peter Parker, she obviously doesn’t believe “with great power comes great responsibility” and she suffers for it.

This episode was directed by Wes Craven (The Last House on the Left, Nightmare on Elm Street) and is a powerful episode. When this originally aired in 1985 I can recall our Civics teachers discussing it in class the next school day and it would appear that I wasn’t the only student shaken by the final images.

So turn out the lights, grab your favorite comfort food, and enjoy Saturday Frights with The New Twilight Zone’s ‘A Little Peace and Quiet’!
[Via] Classic Horror TV

Thanks as always to the ever impressive Sean Hartter for the awesome artwork you see up top. Check out his blog when you have the chance!


Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. This one always sticks with me because I missed the ending somehow. Not sure how that happened (I saw the beginning), but it did and my friend who was at my house had to tell me what I had missed. He said the missile was stuck in the air. I wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth or not (and in the pre-TIVO/YouTube days, I had no way of finding out), but the image was very evocative. I still think of it today and even wrote the outline of a screenplay of what might happen after such a scenario.

  2. Good stuff. I STILL think about this ending 27 years later. I haven’t seen it since the original air date. I remember missing the first few minutes because it aired on a Friday and i was outside playing before my curfew kicked in. Wasn’t the Bruce Willis segment on this episode as well? I remember as a teen thinking “Well, maybe you can rip out the circuitry of the warhead.” Then, I pondered scooping up the family as far away as possible. Now, I think maybe just heading straight for ground zero, because who would want to survive with a family in a nuclear destroyed country. Great memories.

  3. @George You are quite correct, friend. The Bruce Willis episode was first and was entitled “Shatterday”. These two episodes are considered by many to be the best of the season and while I seem to be the odd man out in regards to liking A Little Peace and Quiet more than Shatterday I believe they were both really strong openings to the new series.

    @Doug You really bring up a good point of how awesome it must be for kids today knowing that if they missed an episode on TV they at the very least can catch it somewhere online. Think back to the Christmas specials, if you missed A Year Without A Santa Claus you just had to tough it out until the very next year.

  4. I also thought about climbing up to take out the wires, but how would I get up there. So I thought she could keep starting and stopping time until it was right above her, then do it. I also thought about moving the family and every one else (something she had proven she could do), but after watching again and seeing that it was a worldwide destruction, I’m not sure that would do any good. That’s why I like this one so much – it is a quasi-happy ending at best, ambiguous and ominous.

    I’d also like to say that if Melinda Dillon wanted to touch my bottom, she wouldn’t need to stop time to do it.

  5. I LOVED this one. The image of the missile in the sky is still etched in my brain. In watching the end again, that moment in the bedroom really is beautifully acted and directed.

    GREAT find.

  6. to those who say let it get close to ground and then rip out the components there is a big problem with that. nukes dont go off at ground level. an air burst is much more destructive. so that missile is probably a second away from detonating.

  7. This is actually not the original complete ending. I would love to know if someone had recorded it since I have not been able to find it anywhere. If you notice, after Penny stops to look at the missile, she then turns to the right and walks off screen. What you don’t get to see, is that she continues to walk, turns a corner and then sees a SECOND missile that is inches from hitting the street and the stop motion people are attempting to run away. I read that this ending was altered, after it’s original air date, because there were complaints where too many people found it disturbing.

  8. Still Searching…you know…that does sound very familiar. The computer banks are pretty dusty in my head after all of this time but I can see that image pretty clearly now that you mentioned it.

    I wonder if on the DVD releases of the 1985 series it has the unedited version?

  9. I really want to get this series on DVD for this episode and a number of others. The themesong is still one of the creepiest of all time.

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