Anyway, I was reminded that the episode may have served as an influence on John with one of his characters. You’ll recall that Anthony and Miss Eells periodically come across a strange man wandering the stacks in the Hoosac Public Library. He’s described as "a secretive little character who spent about six nights a week in the library, aimlessly leafing through books and magazines" [The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb; 34] and sometimes playing chess [The Mansion in the Mist; 96]. Who is it? Mr. Beemis. We know nothing outside his name, and it's spelled differently from the character Burgess Meredith played in the 1959 episode, but they both appear to have some sort of bibliomania. I doubt the name chosen was a coincidence - but at the same time, part of me wonders if John added the character with his own doubts about anyone ever understanding the joke.
I’m curious if anyone knows of any other Twilight Zone influences that appear in John’s work? The only other episode that bears any resemblance (to me) is "The Mighty Casey" (1960) – the story of a broken-down baseball team whose manager permits a (gasp) robot to take the pitching mound. Take that, Evaristus Sloane.
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