The Ray Bradbury Theater: THE TOWN WHERE NO ONE GOT OFF (1986) – Jeff Goldblum TV EPISODE HORROR REVIEW


By Geno McGahee

The year 1986 was a breakout year for Jeff Golblum as he starred in the horror film “THE FLY.” OK, maybe he didn’t capitalize on it as he should have, following up with movies like VIBES and EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY, but showing his great talent, his career survived those speed bumps and he’s a big star even now. On top of THE FLY, Golblum also starred in an episode of the Ray Bradbury Theater called “THE TOWN WHERE NO ONE GOT OFF.” That sounds like a town with a major problem.

Cogswell (Goldblum) is a writer and is sitting on a train with no destination in mind. He sits across from a salesman (Cec Linder) and begins discussing his dreams and ideas. He is quickly cut down and challenged by the salesman to actually do something rather than always talk. I think there is a lot of self-reflection in this episode for Bradbury. He may have had moments where he felt he was doing more talking and dreaming than doing or he may have just met a real big prick on a train. Either way, this episode seems to his close to home.

Accepting the challenge, Cogswell gets off the train in a random small town. The conductor notes that nobody gets off in that town, which makes it more of a challenge. He gets off the train and the town is quiet and almost seems abandoned. The attempts to enter businesses or to even mingle fail. Cogswell’s only interaction is with an old man (Ed McNamara). The old man begins following him and the discussion begins.

In a garage, the old man begins telling him about how he’s been waiting for this opportunity forever and that Cogswell getting off that train, a stranger, was fate. When Cogswell discovers the old man’s hidden agenda, things get intense and become a life or death battle where only the creativity of the writer will rescue him.

THE TOWN WHERE NO ONE GOT OFF isn’t great, but it’s worth a watch. Goldblum once again does a great job and his conversations with the old man are pretty interesting. There are a lot of Bradbury tales where he just misses the mark. It’s made for TV, but he has done intense made for TV episodes like GOTCHA. This one is just too tame. It’s a good Sunday watch and I still recommend it, but it provides little to no scares.

Rating: 6/10


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