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Monday, January 09, 2006

1.31 --- But Can She Type ?

Reviewer's note : again, guide writers got it wrong - this one is 1.31, and The Star 1.32.


Directed by :
Shelley Levinson
Written by : Martin Pasko & Rebecca Parr
Starring : Pam Dawber, Charles Levin
First aired : 20th of December, 1985.

Karen Billings (Pam Dawber, Mork & Mindy, Stay Tuned) is an overworked, underappreciated secretary, finishing some last errands for her boss Burt (Charles Levin) before departing for a Christmas eve party. Just as she gets ready to leave, Burt unexpectedly saddles her with another task - to make 35 copies of some paper, to be finished by next morning.

Grudgingly, Karen heads to the xerox room and starts chugging out the copies, until a weird combination of keys flashes a blinding ray of light. Not noticing anything, Karen makes the last copy and then leaves for the party.

Once there, she causes a massive commotion by admitting she's a - secretary ! Before she knows it, she is the toast of the party, drinking the night away and talking about her "exploits" at work, as people are strangely interested in her profession. At the end of the night, she even scores a job offer from mr. Rehnquist, who is desperately looking for a good secretary.

Not all is perfect though. After discovering she lost her keys, Karen returns to the xerox room and accidentally reverses the effects. She finds her keys, which fell out from her purse back in the "old" dimension, and heads home, where she finds out something odd happened after hearing the messages on her answering machine. She then dials the number on mr. Rehnquist's business card, and when nobody picks it up, she realizes she was in another dimension, where being a secretary is a rather glamorous line of work.

Back at work, Burt again chides her for a minor fault, and Karen decides she had enough. She prints out her resignation and heads to the xerox room, teleporting herself back to the "better" place. She promptly calls mr. Rehnquist, who is only too happy to employ her - and immediately send her first-class to his Paris offices.


Before there was Nicol Kidman, there was Pam Dawber. Yes, this is a fun episode. Yes, it features pre-Star Trek Jonathan Frakes as one of the guys at the party. But, please, let's just end it at the fact this is a solid, if not spectacular episode, and dedicate the rest of this review to drooling over Pam Dawber.

Fine, maybe not. But She Can Type ? is the second episode in new Twilight Zone's little Christmas medley, and is just good enough to be better than Night of the Meek, if not totally classic. Interestingly enough, the usually tight-fisted Mark Scott Zicree heaps praise upon it in his Companion, calling it "a charming, humorous piece". That, indeed, it is - but not completely worthy of the Golden Rods come the next award ceremony, in my opinion.

TZ Trivia : Amzie Strickland, who had a role in The Monsters are Due on Maple Street (4th of March, 1960.), apparently appears very briefly in this one as cleaning lady. Credit goes to Jed from The Twilight Zone Café for pointing this out.

Comments on "1.31 --- But Can She Type ?"


Anonymous chogokinman said ... (8:13 AM) : 

Episode très moyen, aux raccourcis scénaristiques prévisibles.
Assez faible pour la twilight zone.

Ma note : 2.5/5


Blogger Grant said ... (11:45 AM) : 

And one of the best (and cliche-reversing) lines in the series is Dawber emphatically speaking to her co-worker, before she jumps to the other dimension: "...if I never see you again... I'm GOING TO MAKE A COPY."


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:14 PM) : 

Marc Scott Zicree and his wife Elaine were very close friends with Marty Pasko. Marc and Marty were practically joined at the hip for a time in the 80s.

Now do you understand Zicree's extremely generous review?


Blogger Wompum Phacur said ... (9:42 PM) : 

The New Twilight zone 1985,Dec.episode"But can she type?",Staring Pam

The hostess (Deborah Harmon) says to Karen Billings(Pam Dawber),"A

secretary at my party,Here`s someone you Must meet!",,Then she is

introduced to a male Rockstar who flirts with her, and when he is

saying goodbye,, He kiss`s her.
This scene is Missing from all DVD versions available.
Where can I find the ORIGINAL episode,not the cut up "complete

episodes" offered by Image


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:15 AM) : 

I had this episode on VHS that I recorded back in the 1980s,and it had a short scene with the hostess saying "Here is someone you must meet" then the rockstar talks smooth and treats the secretary as if she is special,then kiss`s her goodbye,This was what made her act stunned and say goodbye to the hostess.then she meets riker at the bar.It is a complete storyline,the DVD version is like watching it with commericals.


Anonymous Adrock said ... (3:59 PM) : 

Side note, this episode was a bit of filler -- and slightly written to include a Yuletide date -- when Harlan Ellison's evil-Santa Claus project, "The Nackles", was quashed by the network suits moments before the cameras started rolling. That one was based on a Donald Westlake short-short, as adapted by Ellison to include a very '80s anti-racism theme. Would have been a screamer of a story, had it not been reportedly crushed. And that's why Ellison left the show.


Blogger MrSinatra said ... (12:23 AM) : 

A decent silver. It panders to the crowd that believes secretaries, not executives, are actually the ones doing things, figuring stuff out, etc. totally untrue and pure underdog fantasy, but still appealing in a nonsensical sort of way.


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