"The Lateness of the Hour" is the eighth episode of the second season of The Twilight Zone. It was first broadcast in December of 1960, and starred Inger Stevens, John Hoyt and Irene Tedrow. This was one of a few episodes of The Twilight Zone, all in the second season, that was shot on videotape and not on film. This is not purely a technical point: this episode has a different "feel" to it than other episodes, due to the constraints of shooting on a stage and in a more visually lo-fi style.

The story begins in a richly appointed study, where an older couple are enjoying a pipe and a massage from the maid. They have a bevy of servants, all of whom turn out to be robots. The daughter, Jana, believes that she has been isolated by her parent's livestyle of comfortable, complacent roboluxury and wants them to turn off the robots and let her live a normal life. This is quite understandable, but this is The Twilight Zone and there has to be another twist...

A twist that I found pretty easy to guess, perhaps because, by chance, I watched High Maintenance last week. Apart from the twist, what else does this episode have? One of my impressions is that the visual style leaked into the narrative style: the grainy video tape footage and staging made this episode seem even more old than most Twilight Zone episodes, like something from the 1930s. And perhaps because of that, whereas many Twilight Zone episodes have a zingy, ironic feel to them, this episode felt much more melodramatic to me.

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