The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

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{theory, work, human}
{@card@, make, design}
{law, state, case}
{area, community, home}
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Claude Akins: Steve Brand
Barry Atwater: Les Goodman
Jack Weston: Charlie
Amzie Strickland: Woman
Burt Metcalfe: Don
Mary Gregory: Sally
Jason Johnson: Old man
Sheldon Allman: First alien
William Walsh: Second alien
Jan Handzlik:

"The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. Originally aired when memories of the Second Red Scare were still fresh in the minds of viewers, the episode is often presented commercial-free as part of the Cable in the Classroom series in order to teach kids about the dangers of prejudice and hysteria. The question of whether the monsters of the title are the suspected aliens or the prejudiced residents of Maple Street is open to interpretation.

Contents

Synopsis

The episode begins in late summer; Maple Street is full of playing children and adults talking. A shadow passes overhead and a loud roar is heard, accompanied by a flash of light. Later, after it has gone dark, the residents of Maple Street find that their machines no longer work, and there is no power. They gather together in the street to discuss the matter. One of them, Pete Van Horn, volunteers to walk out of the neighborhood to discover the extent of the problem.

Another resident, Steve Brand, wants to go into town but Tommy, a boy from the neighborhood, tells him not to leave the street. Tommy had read in his comic/action hero books about an alien invasion is taking place, and Steve will probably not be allowed to leave. Furthermore - as part of this fictional invasion - the aliens insidiously placed within the neighborhood a family that appeared human. The power outage is meant to isolate and contain the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, another resident, Les Goodman, tries unsuccessfully to start his car. He gets out and begins to walk back towards the other residents when the car starts all by itself. The bizarre behavior of his car makes Les the object of immediate suspicion. One woman begins to discuss his late nights spent standing in the garden looking up at the sky. Les claims to be only an insomniac. Later that night, Steve tries to defuse the situation and prevent it from becoming a witch-hunt. Charlie, one of the loudest and most aggressive residents, pressures Steve about his hobby building a radio no one has ever seen. Suspicion falls on Steve when he sarcastically remarks he talks to monsters from outer space on his radio. Steve remarks to the neighbors "You're standing out here all set to crucify someone! You're all set to find a scapegoat! You're all desperate to point some kind of a finger at a neighbor! Well, believe me, the only thing that will happen is we're going to eat each other up alive!"

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