|"Come Wander With Me"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Richard Donner|
|Written by||Anthony Wilson|
|Featured music||Jeff Alexander|
|Original air date||May 22, 1964|
"Come Wander With Me" is an episode of the American television series The Twilight Zone.
The "Rock-A-Billy Kid", Floyd Burney, arrives at a small town in search of a new song. He is directed to a dilapidated shop in the woods run by a reclusive old man. After his offer of money in exchange for an original song is rebuffed, Floyd hears a voice singing and wanders off through the woods, not seeing a nearby tombstone inscribed with his name.
Next to a lake, he encounters a pretty but mysterious woman, Mary Rachel, who reluctantly plays a song for him about two lovers who meet in the woods and are torn apart by tragedy. Floyd offers to buy the song rights from her, but she claims it isn't for sale. As he tries to seduce her, a jealous young man named Billy Rayford with a rifle shows up and confronts Floyd. Billy intends to take Floyd back to his brothers so that they can deal with him, but Floyd resists and kills Rayford.
Mary Rachel's song reflects the event, and foreshadows a future attack. As Floyd runs off, he looks back and sees that Mary Rachel's clothes have changed; she is now dressed in black, with a black shawl, mourning.
Soon, Billy Rayford's brothers arrive to chase after Floyd. As he prepares to flee, Mary Rachel begs him to stay, hoping things will be different "this time". She implies that these same events have occurred before. Ignoring her, he runs away and finds himself back at the shop in the woods. The old man declines to help him hide, and in his anger, Floyd kills the old man, then hides among the old musical instruments in the shop.
Billy Rayford's three brothers arrive at the shop, see the old man's body, and when Floyd bumps a music box, the brothers close in on him and shoot him. The camera returns to the image of the tombstone in the first scene, thus fulfilling the prophecy within the song that Floyd would die.
According to The Twilight Zone Companion, Liza Minnelli auditioned for the role of Mary Rachel, but was so nervous during the audition she was rejected. Although this was the third-to-last episode broadcast, this was the last episode in the series to be filmed. (The last original episode to be broadcast was "The Bewitchin' Pool". The very last episode to be broadcast during the original run -- as a repeat -- was "The Jeopardy Room".)
In an interview, episode director Richard Donner stated he thought Bonnie Beecher "was going to become a very important actress" and asserted that he (not Bill Froug) selected Beecher over Minelli for the role because he thought she was "incredible."
According to The Twilight Zone: The 50th Anniversary Tribute, by Carol Serling and Douglas Brode, in this episode which aired May 22, 1964, "Gary Crosby played the first Bob Dylan-style 'folkie' to appear on the small screen." In reality, some of Dylan's earliest recordings had been recorded at Beecher's Minneapolis home in 1961.
Contrasted against writer Anthony Wilson's other writing and production efforts, the episode is tersely described as "poor" in Irwin Allen Television Productions, 1964-1970, and as possessing "twists and turns that render it virtually incoherent" in The Twilight Zone Companion
The "Come Wander With Me" song was composed by Jeff Alexander and Anthony Wilson and sung by actress Bonnie Beecher. The song is built into the story. It builds verse by verse together with the events in the episode. Parts of the lyrics are not complete, since two of the ten verses are not sung in full. The song has been used in several places since its 1964 broadcast. It was covered by The Gathering's former vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen on her solo record Air, released under the moniker of Agua de Annique. It was featured on the soundtrack of Vincent Gallo's 2003 film The Brown Bunny. It was included on the compilation Late Night Tales: Air. It was also used as background music in Belgian director Koen Mortier's 2006 television commercial "Angels" for Dutch insurance company RVS. The ad shows flying men with open umbrellas inspired by René Magritte's Golconda. Lacoste also used it in an ad for their fragrance "Love of Pink". It was also covered by the band British Sea Power for their Man Of Aran soundtrack, and sung by Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta during the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group tour in 2011. An instrumental version of the song was also used by Jeff Alexander as part of his score for Jerry Thorpes 1968 western Day of the Evil Gun starring Glenn Ford.
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