Revisiting The Twilight Zone: S05E02: Steel
Man vs Robot. The theme has cropped up a number of times through science fiction stories over the years, but this tale by Richard Matheson took it a step further in that the conflict was one where one of the sides had a significant advantage.
The idea of the story had merit throughout. Having the fact that boxing as a sport had been banned in the near future due to its brutality – or at least, the combat of man vs man was banned. In its place, robots had been introduced to fight against each other, and now instead of manager and trainer each robot had an owner and a mechanic. Of course, if you can’t afford a newer model robot, and yours seems to keep breaking down and replacement parts are too expensive, then what are you going to do? Such is the conundrum when former boxer Steel Kelly decides he cannot afford to forego the $500 money on offer, and decides to step into the ring himself disguised as his robot boxer and take on the metal monster opposite him.
Lee Marvin and Joe Mantell give good performances here that make the episode more watchable than it may have been without them, and their sympathetic portrayals are the best part of the story.
Rating: Bash his metal face in. 3/5