Not only does the Twilight Zone have a lot of episodes that deal with death and the possible afterlife, it also has a great number of stories that deal with war, and the people affected by those wars, both directly and indirectly. This episode is a beauty, with Rod Serling putting together a fascinating script, along with a hard hitting introduction and epilogue. On top of this, the performances of the actors of the two main characters are truly magnificent, and perfectly portray how you would expect these characters to act in the situation they find themselves in.
Oscar Beregi, Jr. plays the role of Gunther Lutze, the former commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, with both perfect evil and pathetic substance. On his arrival at the camp, some 16 years after the war has ended, to reminisce and gloat over past glories, he meets one of his former detainees, Becker, played perfectly by Joseph Schildkraut. The acting between these two, as the story ravels out to reveal the true nature of what is happening around Lutze is particularly intriguing.
One can assume that this storyline was a particular interest to Serling, and he has written a piece that encapsulates the evil that takes place during war, and the consequences that would certainly prove to be justified should the Twilight Zone actually exist. And, in the end, who can say that it does not. One of my favourite Anthrax songs, "Intro to Reality / Belly of the Beast" uses pieces of dialogue from this episode, as well as exploring the basis of the story. I love both still.
Rating: He walked the earth without a heart. 4.5/5