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Rate "Need to Know"
10 29%  29%  [ 2 ]
9 43%  43%  [ 3 ]
8 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
7 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
6 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
5 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
4 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
3 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
2 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
1 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Zer0 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 7
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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:13 am 
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Episode 21.1 - Need to Know

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Original Air Date: March 21, 1986
Stars: William L. Petersen, Frances McDormand
Writer: Mary Sheldon (from a story by Sidney Sheldon)
Director: Paul Lynch

A governmental investigator finds insanity spreading from person to person like a plague in a small, otherwise normal town.



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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:04 pm 
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William Petersen (CSI) stars as an investigator looking into why people in a rural community are going insane. Francis McDormand, playing a woman whose father is a victim of the "disease", also assists in the investigation.

The opening scene sets up the story perfectly and left me asking "what was that all about?". It geared me up for the story to come. When Petersen's character visits McDormand's father in the mental hospital, the room appears to be covered in blood. It's quite shocking, whatever it is.

The ending is great and it made me wonder what may have happened to the world as time went on, kind of like "A Small Talent for War" and "A Little Peace and Quiet" did. I especially enjoyed the last scene and shot of Petersen as he turns toward the viewer. The distant scream from the farmhouse is very effective, as is Aidman's closing narration.

My Rating: 10 - Excellent

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:04 pm 
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whitsbrain wrote:
I especially enjoyed the last scene and shot of Petersen as he turns toward the viewer.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:05 am 
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DrMoreau wrote:
whitsbrain wrote:
I especially enjoyed the last scene and shot of Petersen as he turns toward the viewer.


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Thanks, DrM! This snapshot is taken just after Petersen's character learns the "meaning of life". If I had a list of shows or movies with my favorite unresolved endings, "Need To Know" would be on it.

Here's Aidman's closing narration: "Man is a questioning creature, constantly striving for answers. But there is some knowledge for which he is not yet ready. Secrets that once learned, overwhelm him. Secrets that for now are best left undisturbed...in the Twilight Zone."

Classic!

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:21 am 
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I have mixed feelings about this one, since I really wanted it to have a happy ending of some kind. It even sets up the idea of the main characters becoming a couple (though in something like Twilight Zone, that isn't usually something to count on). Sort of the same vibe you get from the two characters in "The Fear." But I've always liked William Peterson's scary look at the viewer (the one pictured here). When it comes to that actor, I'll still take this over whichever one of those eighty or so versions of C.S.I. he's on.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:16 pm 
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Happy endings in life are great, in TV and Movies, I'll take shocking, twisted or unexpected.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:14 pm 
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I thought this was a little dumb considering the cast. :? In trying to have a
short story type snap ending sometimes leaves the NTZ a little wanting in
my book. :( Just didn't work for me, this episode anyway. :wtf:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:36 am 
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I enjoyed this one -- quality episode. It's based on Sidney Sheldon's short story, and I found the execution to be very good. It was fun to see Petersen and McDormand here and I thought they both brought life to their characters, even in such a short amount of time. I never would've guessed the ending, and didn't anticipate it either, as Petersen was doing everything he could to avoid hearing 'the secret'. A top tier episode for me, and one I wasn't expecting to be while watching it.

9!

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:00 am 
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Yes, i think was a suprising good segment. 9.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:04 am 
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Conceptually brilliant, well realised. A solid 9 from me.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:57 pm 
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This is my favorite episode of the new Twilight Zone. For me, it touches upon the ultimate mystery and the ultimate question of our existence. What is the meaning of it all? Why are we here? What is the purpose of existence? This is really the toughest and most intriguing question(s) to tackle on a TV show and this episode managed to strike the right tone in suggesting that the answer is too profound, too unsettling, too surprising, too disturbing, just too plain scary and, in the end, too simple. That's the mind-blowing paradox: as depicted here, the answer is very simple - yet, so simple that it causes madness in most minds, as if we are prepared ONLY for something very complex.
Our brains are wired a certain way, maybe.

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Besides Petersen and McDormand, especially effective is Robin Gammell as the main loony, Potts; from the second that Petersen's investigator meets him, we get this feeling that something is terribly wrong and something very bad will probably happen, even though Potts seems harmless during that first minute. And yes, that last shot of Petersen is pretty chilling. It really threw me off-guard the first time I watched this episode. (a sidenote: I recently watched a segment from an old comedy show; I'm pretty sure it was an old Monty Python episode; in that bit, there was a mysterious one-liner joke that caused people to laugh uncontrollably - to the point of death; it shows that this concept can be applied to various genres).
ImageImage
After each time I watch this episode, I start to think about this terrible, unknown sentence-as-an-idea, this small collection of words which overwhelm people entirely, driving them mad. I begin to wonder - how would I approach such an idea; how would I react? Would I still want to hear this answer, knowing that it would drive me mad? Would the quest for answers - for knowing the answer to the ultimate question - supersede my desire to avoid madness? Would I believe that, perhaps, I was someone - one of those rare few - who could handle such ultimate knowledge? Would I Need To Know, despite the destruction of my mind? So many questions... so few answers.

I give this one a full 10.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:46 am 
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That's a great point about "The Killer Joke" by the Monty Python team. It could easily be considered an influence. :)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:22 am 
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Creepy and effective, and although the ambiguity behind it is probably one of the best things about it, it still annoys the hell out of me not knowing what is being whispered :x lol

7/10


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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Kaptain Kirk wrote:
This is my favorite episode of the new Twilight Zone.


So I'm a year late to respond to KK, but I agree. This is my favorite episode of the new Twilight Zone, also.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:55 pm 
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MrRSerling wrote:
That's a great point about "The Killer Joke" by the Monty Python team. It could easily be considered an influence. :)



It has one of the great Monty Python lines -
"Comedy struck this quiet little neighborhood today."

(As in "Tragedy struck.")


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