Ashley native Russell Johnson is best remembered as the Professor on “Gilligan’s Island.” But during the ’60s, he was a frequent guest star on many television shows, including “The Twilight Zone.”
The series, which remains one of TV’s best, is being reissued by Image Entertainment in budget-priced sets. If you pick up “The Complete Second Season” (1960, Image, unrated, $30), check out an episode called “Back There” for an eerie appearance by Johnson.
The action begins in 1960 with Johnson and some pals playing cards and debating the merits of time-travel. Johnson doesn’t believe in the concept, at least until he exits the Potomac Club and finds himself in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865.
Almost instantly he realizes Abraham Lincoln is hours away from being assassinated and he must try to stop the murder from taking place. He gets an assist from a mysterious figure named Wellington but, hey, this is “The Twilight Zone,” so nothing is as it seems.
In some ways, the second season of “The Twilight Zone” ranks as the series’ best. In addition to Johnson’s episode, there’s the plastic-surgery-mindbender “Eye of the Beholder” and “The Invaders,” which has Agnes Moorhead as a woman tormented by aliens.
If you’re looking for a spine-tingling chill or two, it might be time to cross over into “The Twilight Zone.”