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A Thing About Machines

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Title: A Thing About Machines  
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Subject: The Masks, Margarita Cordova, Richard Haydn, The Arrival (The Twilight Zone), The Mind and the Matter
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

A Thing About Machines

"A Thing About Machines" is episode 40 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on October 28, 1960 on CBS.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


A repairman has paid a house call to Bartlett Finchley, who is having trouble with the TV, and notes that he should not damage his appliances (he smashed the screen of the TV for a mild inconvenience). It turns out he is an ill-tempered gourmet magazine critic who reviles humanity, though he seems to be simultaneously lonely. He's as inept with machines as he is with people. Frustrated, he constantly abuses machines and starts to think machines are conspiring against him. The people he tells about this write him off as paranoid, but eventually every machine in his house (including his car) turns on him. Before this happens, he mentions the radio doesn't work, then his clock chimes more than the hour. His typewriter types the message, "GET OUT OF HERE FINCHLEY." A woman on the TV speaks the same message, and upstairs his electric razor rises menacingly into the air. Although the phone is unplugged, a voice on the phone speaks the same words.

He hears a siren and goes outside to find that his car had rolled down the driveway and had almost hit a small boy. After rudely dismissing the neighbors who had collected to gawk, Finchley returns to the house, drinks a full bottle of hard liquor, and passes out. When he wakes up, the television and other machines start telling him to get out, and his razor slithers down the stairs in pursuit of him. Finchley runs from the house and is chased by his driverless car (a 1939 Lagonda coupe). The car chases him to his pool and pushes him in. He sinks to the bottom and drowns. When the police pull him out of the water, they cannot explain how he could sink to the bottom when he was not weighted down (normally, a body would float), nor could they explain the car near the pool. They theorize he may have had a heart attack.


See also


  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0

External links

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