In that Twilight Zone episode with the bookworm bank teller, why is--

  • #1
824
44

Main Question or Discussion Point

--there no nuclear fallout after a bunch of nuclear detonations supposedly destroy the world? The man seemingly just walks out of the vault after having retreated to it to read a book on his lunch break, without being affected by any residual radiation. Was nuclear physics not well-developed enough in the late 1950s for the writers of this episode to know that it exists, or is my woefully scant knowledge of physics betraying me once more?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
PhanthomJay
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
7,156
502
Oh that was a great episode, when he had all the time in the world now to read without being bothered, then he lost his (_______)! It's just a story, that can happen only in the Twilight Zone...….
 
  • Like
Likes Lren Zvsm
  • #3
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,789
2,270
1. Fallout is fickle, dependent in winds and other factors.
2. Just because he didn't get sick in the story doesn't mean there wasn't fallout. The story ended.
3. It's fantasy.
 
  • Like
Likes Eclair_de_XII and PhanthomJay
  • #4
1,751
813
images.jpg
 
  • #5
1,456
775
Like most if not all Twilight Zone stories, Time enough at Last took rather extensive license regarding plausibility.
 
  • #6
1,751
813
Last night I happened to see one of my favorite episodes, "Twenty Two." That one scared the bejeepers out of me as a kid. I looked on IMDB and was surprised to learn the creepy nurse was played by Arline Sax [Martel], later to play T'Pring on Star Trek.
 
  • #7
Ibix
Science Advisor
Insights Author
6,446
5,144
There's an episode of the Twilight Zone where Bill Shatner (and no-one else) can see a gremlin on the wing of the plane he's on. The episode later got remade with John Lithgow. So in the episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun when Dick Solomon (Lithgow) meets the Big Giant Head (Shatner) at the airport there's a brief conversation about seeing something on the wing - "that happened to me, too!"
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Likes berkeman and DEvens
  • #8
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,789
2,270
So in the episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun when Dick Solomon (Lithgow) meets the Big Giant Head (Shatner) at the airport there's a brief conversation about seeing something on the wing - "that happened to me, too!"
Did not know that!
 
  • #9
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,953
1,072
Hey you Twilight Zone and PhysicsForums enthusiasts! Try a search on YouTube for "Twilight Zone Burgess Meredith" and see what interesting videos you might find listed.
 
  • #10
1,516
617
Pretty sure that the end of the episode happened a mere days after the nuclear war. All he seemed to have time to do was to organize the books he wanted to read. With the exception of acute radiation poisoning from huge doses at once, any negative effects would take a long time to develop, possibly even years.

Also, I think at the time, second generation thermonuclear weapons were much more common than the first gen fission bombs. Fallout only comes from fission, which in these new bombs were only used as a trigger mechanism for the much more powerful fusion stage. A powerful hydrogen bomb probably produces much less fallout than even the Hiroshima bomb.
 
  • #11
1,456
775
Here's a link to the original story at the Gutenberg Project: Time Enough at Last, by Lyn Venable

[Notice: original 28-year copyright was expired in 1982; if renewed, 28-year renewal was expired in 2010.]
 
  • #12
OCR
862
712
Henry Bemis said:
That's not fair. That's not fair at all. There was time now. There was—was all
the time I needed…! It's not fair! It's not fair!

Time Enough at Last - Wikipedia
.
 
  • #13
249
376
It could've been much worse....

 
  • Haha
Likes PhanthomJay
  • #14
30
8
Oh that was a great episode, when he had all the time in the world now to read without being bothered, then he lost his (_______)! It's just a story, that can happen only in the Twilight Zone...….
I would have LOVED to hear Rod Serling deliver your last sentence. Nice post.
 

Related Threads on In that Twilight Zone episode with the bookworm bank teller, why is--

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
752
Replies
7
Views
984
Replies
58
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
824
Replies
16
Views
2K
Replies
30
Views
4K
Replies
7
Views
960
Replies
17
Views
905
Replies
10
Views
4K
Top