Here is my tribute to one of the great episodes from the landmark television series, “The Twilight Zone,” (first episode, October 2, 1959; final episode June 19, 1964). There is so much that can be said about this show. It was definitely a part of the zeitgeist and helped to set the tone of the counterculture movement as it made its way into the mainstream. “A Penny For Your Thoughts” is a classic TZ test of character as the walls come down covering up everyday civility for one man. Suddenly, Hector Poole can hear everyone’s thoughts and they’re often hostile and conniving.
One moment, he’s just a man buying a newspaper. But the quarter that Hector drops in the vendor’s box lands on its edge and triggers something supernatural. Hector has telepathic powers. Is this a curse or a gift?
This was George Clayton Johnson‘s first teleplay for the show. Before that, he had contributed two stories to TZ. Mr. Johnson was already flying on a rising star since his work on the story that was the basis for the Rat Pack classic, “Ocean’s Eleven,” (1960).
“A Penny For Your Thoughts” is from Season 2, Episode 52, originally airing on February 3, 1961.