When I was little Billy Bayles’s age, I didn’t want a toy telephone that could talk to dead grandmothers. I didn’t want the ability to send people to the corn field with my mind, like pint-size Anthony Fremont could. No, what I desperately wanted when I was a child was my very own Twilight Zone Mystic Seer fortune telling machine.
The devil-headed, rhinestone-eyed, fortune-distributing napkin dispenser was the true star of the season 2 TZ episode “Nick of Time“. Starring William Shatner and Patricia Breslin, “Nick of Time” is a lesson in the perils of superstition, and the dangers of all too readily giving up our free will, and abandoning logic for the sake of emotion.
The Mystic Seer is just a fun novelty napkin holder, living out its relatively short pre-digital-age life on a table in a diner, in a small town called Ridgeview. But to highly suggestive people like Don Carter, this little hunk of metal and springs becomes a tyrant, a tyrant that will take complete control of your future… one penny at a time.
In 2014, I spent $400 on a “super-deluxe” Mystic Seer replica from Entertainment Earth. Yes, I said $400. I’d rather not talk about it, thanks. If you’re interested in reading my detailed review, complete with a fun photo documentation of how my relationship with Don (what I named my Seer) began, then click over to “Penny For Your Thoughts?“.
While there were definitely other things about my replica Seer that I was disappointed with, its biggest failure was the fortune cards. Or lack thereof.