Wednesday, 26th October 2011
In the first episode of The Twilight Zone, airman Mike Ferris stumbles around a deserted town, unable to either recall who he is, or work out where everybody else has gone.
The town itself should have been familiar to him, though perhaps not as much as it is to film viewers today. The episode was filmed in the Universal Studios backlot known today as Courthouse Square. The set was built in 1948 for An Act of Murder, and by the time this Twilight Zone episode had been filmed, it had already been used for the Ma & Pa Kettle films, as well as B-movies It Came from Outer Space and Tarantula (compare the picture above with the second photo in our post about Tarantula).
The square was later used in To Kill a Mockingbird (which led to it being known temporarily as Mockingbird Square), and in the eighties it appeared in Knight Rider and Gremlins and, most famously, the Back to the Future films, which gave it its current name. You can see the courthouse itself in the still below, albeit without the clock tower: like many features of the square, the clock has come and gone as needed by the various productions.