The Once and Future King (The Twilight Zone)

The Once and Future King (The Twilight Zone)

The Once and Future King was a "Twilight Zone" episode that aired in the fall of 1986.

Jeff Yagher plays Gary, an Elvis impersonator who gets warped back in time and meets "The King", Elvis Presley himself.


This episode opens up in a smoke-filled lounge where Gary is singing "Heartbreak Hotel" in Elvis' signature 1950s gold lamé suit. Much to Gary's chagrin, his performance receives mediocre applause. Afterwards, Gary is in his dressing room when his manager, Sandra (played by Lisa Jane Persky), walks in. Sandra tells Gary that she was able to book him into a small hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The mere mention of Las Vegas drives Gary into a rant about how "Vegas killed Elvis" and how he didn't have to make the same mistakes The King made just because he looked like him. As he gets up to leave, a frustrated Gary says, "The music, Sandra. It was great music." To which Sandra replies, "Maybe so, but it's not "your" music, Gary. Face it, you're not a're a nostalgia act." Gary then slams the dressing room door and the scene transitions to him behind the wheel of his car at nighttime.

As Gary is driving down the road, he sees an incoherent driver coming the opposite direction swerving left and right. To avoid hitting the driver, Gary steers off the road, only to have his car flip upside-down. Gary awakes the next morning and sees the damage done to his car. He then gets up, grabs his guitar and starts thumbing for a ride. A man in an old pickup truck sees Gary and pulls over. Gary runs to the passenger-side door, and to his shock, sees that the man 'looks' a lot like Elvis (Yagher in a dual role). He offers Gary a ride, saying "You look...all shook up." When Gary opens the door, you can see that the sign on the door says Crown Electric Co. (which was the company Elvis worked for before getting his first recording contract).

At first, the two look at each other mysteriously. They then break the ice by talking about how they're both musicians. As they're talking, Gary looks over and sees an old Chrysler DeSoto drive by. He then picks up a newspaper sitting on the floor and looks at the date: July 3, 1954. Gary comes to the realization that the man sitting next to him not only "looks" like Elvis Presley, but that he actually "is" Elvis Presley. Thinking that all of this is a hallucination resulting from his accident the night before, Gary says, "What a great dream." Elvis just turns to him, gives him a weird look and continues driving.

When they arrive at Crown Electric, Elvis' boss comes out and tells him, "Presley, we've told you we don't allow our drivers to pick up no hitchhikers...This time we'll let it pass being it's family and all. But no more riders, I don't care if it "is" your brother." Elvis then starts to question Gary about who he is and where he comes from. Gary replies, "I don't know, I think I must have died or something." Elvis just brushes it off and turns around to get back to work. Gary then uses Elvis' belief in the supernatural to convince him that he is Jesse (Elvis's twin brother who died at birth).

Elvis, thinking that Gary is his thought-to-be deceased twin, asks him why he came back. Gary tells him that he came back to help him because he was going to be bigger than he could ever imagine. Gary starts listing all the positives of Elvis' future career (tours, gold records, TV appearances) then he says that it "ain't gonna all be good" and he starts listing all the negatives (drugs, scandals, liars and cheats) but affirms that it doesn't have to be that way. Elvis then suggests that they go home to see "Mama" and "Daddy", but Gary (with a look of guilt on his face) refuses. He explains that they just wouldn't understand and that he only came back on a count of Elvis and his music. Feeling remorseful about deceiving Elvis, Gary starts to back out, until Elvis asks him to meet him the next day so that he could help him rehearse the song he was going to record for Mr. Phillips. Gary thinks about it and says, "Sing with "you"? Yeah, I'd like that."

The next day, Elvis and Gary are inside of Crown Electric (which is empty because of Independence Day). Gary continues to tell Elvis about his future success and how he is going to be the King of Rock 'n' Roll, to which Elvis replies, "Rock 'n' What?" Gary just says, "Never mind...I wanna hear you play." Elvis starts playing a smooth, easy-listening ballad called "I Love You Because" with his guitar. Gary is disappointed with Elvis' choice of song and attempts to convince him to play "That's All Right" and even moves around and shakes his hips.

Elvis is horrified, claiming that it's the devil's music and even accuses Gary himself of being a devil who has come to tempt him. The two break into an argument that leads to a brawl. Elvis grabs a guitar and swings it at Gary, but misses, hitting the edge of a shelf instead and breaking off the top part of the guitar's neck. As they continue to fight, Elvis pushes Gary into the shelves and they collapse, exposing the jagged edge of the broken guitar. Unaware of what's behind Gary, Elvis leaps towards him and accidentally lands on the broken guitar when Gary moves out of the way. The guitar goes right through Elvis' chest and he dies.

With no other alternative, Gary digs a hole later on that evening to bury Elvis, all the while wondering what was going to happen to the music and who was going to be the King. He even says to Elvis, "I'd make it up to you if I knew how." He thinks about it for a minute and decides from that point to assume Elvis' identity and to do everything just the way Elvis had. He then proceeds to remove Elvis' clothing, meanwhile telling him that he would make his "Mama" proud.

The following day, a nervous Gary (wearing Elvis' clothes from the day before) goes into Sun Studio and is received by office manager, Ms. Keisker, who lets him know that everyone is already waiting for him in the recording booth. Sam Phillips comes out and tells him "Alright kid, here's your session." As Phillips is preparing his recording equipment, Gary plays a little of "That's All Right" to the other band members who immediately join in. Phillips interrupts the trio and asks, "Hey Elvis, what the hell are you doin' in there?" Gary replies, "I don't know. I'm sorry, Mr. Phillips, we were just havin' some fun." Phillips tells Gary, "Well, I don't know what it is you were doin' either, but whatever it is, you keep doin' it." Gary just smiles, turns up his collar, and starts playing again.

As the song is playing, the scene flashes forward to 1970s Las Vegas where we find Gary (as Elvis) talking to a younger Sandra in his hotel room. He tells her that he did all the songs, all the movies, as closely as he remembered. He questions whether or not the real Elvis would've been a better King than him, or if there would've even been a King at all. He says that he has terrible dreams and that he talks to Elvis all the time and that Elvis tells him that he still owes him. He even goes as far as to say that Elvis would have "liked" Vegas. Sandra just tells him that he is tired and to not worry, no one would ever take his place, he was the King, the only King. She asks him, "Is there anything I can do for you? You look so sad." Gary replies, "No, Baby. You just be yourself, that's all I could ever ask for." He then sends her off with a scarf and a kiss. After she leaves, Gary sits in a chair facing a window overlooking the Vegas Strip as scene fades out.

ee also

* List of The Twilight Zone episodes

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) — infobox television show name = The Twilight Zone caption = format = Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Drama runtime = approx. 30 min. (Seasons 1 3,5); approx. 60 min. (Season 4) creator = Rod Serling starring = Host: Rod Serling Various other… …   Wikipedia

  • Dream Me a Life (The Twilight Zone) — Dream Me a Life The New Twilight Zone episode Episode no. Season 3 Episode 40 Directed by Allan King Written by …   Wikipedia

  • Need to Know (The Twilight Zone) — Need to Know The Twilight Zone (1985 series) episode Episode no. Season 1 Episode 21a Directed by Paul Lynch Written by …   Wikipedia

  • Dead Run (The Twilight Zone) — Dead Run The Twilight Zone episode Scene from Dead Run Episode no. Season 1 Episode 19b …   Wikipedia

  • Chameleon (The Twilight Zone) — Chameleon The Twilight Zone episode Final Scene from Chameleon Episode no. Season 1 Episode …   Wikipedia

  • Memories (The Twilight Zone) — Memories The New Twilight Zone episode Episode no. Season 3 Episode 41 Directed by Richard Bugajski Written by Bob Underwo …   Wikipedia

  • Dead Woman's Shoes (The Twilight Zone) — Dead Woman s Shoes The Twilight Zone episode Scene from Dead Woman s Shoes Episode no. Season 1 Episode 9a …   Wikipedia

  • Cold Reading (The Twilight Zone) — Cold Reading The Twilight Zone (1985 series) episode Scene from Cold Reading Episode no. Season 1 Episode 18c …   Wikipedia

  • Our Selena Is Dying (The Twilight Zone) — Our Selena is Dying The New Twilight Zone episode Episode no. Season 3 Episode 43 Directed by Bruce Pittman Written by …   Wikipedia

  • Dealer's Choice (The Twilight Zone) — Dealer s Choice The Twilight Zone episode Scene from Dealer s Choice Episode no. Season 1 Episode 8c …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”