After a half year stretch in a sanatorium - where he was sent for freaking out
on a plane - Bob Wilson (William Shatner) boards another airplane to return
home - but does so uite nervously. His wife Juliette however calms him - if
just - & the plane takes off. But in mid-flight, with his wife sleeping,
Bob sees a monster, a gremlin on the plane's wing, slowly wrecking it. Alarmed,
he calls for the stewardess - who of course sees nothing, as the gremlin
manages to escape out of sight everytime anybody else but Bob is looking.
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But as Bob sees the gremlin doing more & more damage, he grows more
& more alarmed, but as he more & more desperately tries to get the
attention from just about anyone, he only turns them more & more against
Deciding to take matters into his own hands at last, he steals the gun of
asleeping security guard, opens the security window & shoots the
gremlin - to the expected desastrous results in the passenger department
stemming from pressure-drop ...
The plane has to make an emergency landing, & Bob, died to a stretcher,
is dragged off to another stay at a sanatorium. But if he is mad, where is the
damage on the plane's wing coming from ?
Even though the story is not without predecessors (most notably the
Bugs Bunny-short Falling Hare [1943 - by Bob Clampett]), this is
easily one of the most recoginzed, most remade & spoofed (among others as a
segment of the 1983 Twilight Zone - The Movie, as a segment of a Halloween episode
of The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horrors IV [1993 - by David
Silverman], and as a Johnny
Bravo-short - The Man Who Hated Clowns [1997 - by Rumen
Petkov]), & also one of the best episodes of the long running Twilight
In part, this is thanks to the wickedly clever & funny storytelling, but
mostly the episode - something of a one-man-piece to begin with - works because
of a great acting job by William Shatner, who carries the plot on his shoulders
with ease, & who generally proved to be a fine & versatile actor before
his (unexpectecd) success in Star Trek led him to believe he had
to play every role like Captain Kirk.