7 February 2005 | runar-4
Considered a ripoff by some...
Episode #5.4 of _"The Twilight Zone" (1959)_(qv), "A Kind of Stop Watch", has a storyline that is nearly identical to that of "The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything". The episode, however, aired in October of 1963, the year after publication of John D. McDonald's novel on which the movie is based. Some people, obviously unaware of the novel, considered the movie a ripoff of the episode, and a number of reviewers who wrote unfavorably on this basis had to spend numerous inches of column space apologizing.
One of the contributing factors to the misunderstanding is that the novel quickly went out of print, overshadowed by the author's "Travis McGee" detective series and other adventure novels. In 1980, the year the movie aired, three of his science fiction-oriented novels, "Wine of the Dreamers", "The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything" and "Ballroom of the Skies" were published in 1980 in an omnibus volume titled "Time and Tomorrow" by Doubleday and Science Fiction Book Club. This still, however, did not contribute significantly to clearing up the ripoff accusations because of the limited distribution through the book club.