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Steel (The Twilight Zone)

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Title: Steel (The Twilight Zone)  
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Subject: Richard Matheson, Real Steel, Death Ship (The Twilight Zone), Young Man's Fancy (The Twilight Zone), Spur of the Moment (The Twilight Zone)
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Steel (The Twilight Zone)

The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 2
Directed by Don Weis
Written by Richard Matheson
(Based on his short story Steel, first published in the May 1956 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.)
Featured music Nathan Van Cleave
Production code 2602
Original air date October 4, 1963
Guest actors

Lee Marvin: Steel Kelly
Joe Mantell: Pole
Tipp McClure: Battling Maxo
Chuck Hicks: Maynard Flash
Merritt Bohn: Nolan
Frank London: Maxwell
Larry Barton: Man

"Steel" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.


  • Opening narration 1
  • Plot 2
  • Closing narration 3
  • Production notes 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Opening narration


This episode is set in August 1974, almost eleven years in the future at the time that this episode was made. As boxing between human fighters was criminalized in 1968, the sport is dominated by fighting robots. Former boxer Steel Kelly (played by Lee Marvin) manages a B2-model robot called "Battling Maxo". Maxo is an older model that is no longer in demand. Kelly and his partner, Pole, have used the last of their money to get to the fight venue. They are being given this chance because one of the scheduled fighters was damaged in transport. Kelly has to assure the fight promoter that Maxo will be able to fight. After the fight promoter leaves, Kelly and Pole argue about Maxo's fitness. Kelly feels that Maxo should be able to go through with the fight despite its age and condition. Pole tests Maxo's functions, and an arm spring fails. They do not have the parts or the money to fix him. Kelly decides that he will disguise himself as Maxo in order to collect the money necessary for repairs. Despite a valiant effort, he is unable to damage the B7 robot he is fighting, even when he lands an unblocked punch directly in the back of its head. He is nearly killed but manages to last a little under three minutes. The crowd jeers and boos at Maxo's performance, not knowing that it is a human doing the fighting. Afterwards, the fight promoter will only give them half the prize money because of "Maxo's" poor performance; Kelly dares not protest, or the promoter will recognize him as "Maxo" and renege entirely. Kelly, bruised but stubborn as ever, tells Pole that they will use the money to get the parts to fix Maxo.

Closing narration

Production notes

This was the first episode sponsored by Procter & Gamble (alternating sponsorship with American Tobacco), who usually "pitched" Crest toothpaste, Lilt Home Permanent, and Prell shampoo, among their other products. Serling was not required to endorse any of P&G's products at the end of their episodes.

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
  • Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)

External links

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