Twilight Zone – The Lonely

★★★★1/2 November 13, 1959 Season 1 Episode 7

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This one is an excellent episode. This one probably isn’t recognized as a classic episode but it’s great. Two great character actors John Dehner and Jack Warden are in this episode. Plus you have a future star in Ted Knight that would go on to star as Ted Baxter in the Mary Tyler Moore show.

This episode…you feel the heat and the guy’s loneliness being a prisoner on a distance barren planet. This show makes you think…about the loneliness of the prisoner and when Captain Allenby gives the Jack Warden character a big box to open… makes you wonder what constitutes a human being.

The Lonely was filmed on location in Death Valley. Unprepared for the terrible conditions they would face, the crew suffered extreme dehydration and heat exhaustion and director of photography George T. Clemens even collapsed, falling from a camera crane while filming continued.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Witness if you will, a dungeon, made out of mountains, salt flats, and sand that stretch to infinity. The dungeon has an inmate: James A. Corry. And this is his residence: a metal shack. An old touring car that squats in the sun and goes nowhere for there is nowhere to go. For the record, let it be known that James A. Corry is a convicted criminal placed in solitary confinement. Confinement in this case stretches as far as the eye can see, because this particular dungeon is on an asteroid nine million miles from the Earth. Now witness, if you will, a man’s mind and body shriveling in the sun, a man dying of loneliness.


James A. Corry’s a man sentenced to prison; 50 years solitary on a distant asteroid. After 4 and a half years, James anxiously waits for Captain Allenby and his crew who every now and then bring him supplies, and also give him someone to talk to. When Captain Allenby arrives, he brings a suprise box for James; the ultimate female robot, named Alicia that is human-like and has feelings. James initially rejects her but soon falls in love with her. On the Captain Allenby’s next visit, he informs James he’s been pardoned and will return to Earth. But the ship only has enough room for him.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

On a microscopic piece of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man’s life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used. Without use, they will disintegrate from the wind and the sand and the years that act upon them. All of Mr. Corry’s machines, including the one made in his image, kept alive by love, but now obsolete—in The Twilight Zone.


Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Jack Warden … James A. Corry
John Dehner … Captain Allenby
Jean Marsh … Alicia
Ted Knight … Adams (uncredited)
James Turley … Carstairs (uncredited)

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

31 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Lonely”

      1. a 5 is tough- but i did a marathon the other day– and i think i am up to episode 20- and i think there are a few 5’s in the bunch i watched. what a great show- great writing and acting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do have two fives coming up soon. Walking Distance and Time Enough at Last were 5’s to me but I’ve already covered them in the top 10. Not bad two 5’s in your first 10 shows.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes great episode, and another great exploration of the theme of loneliness. Not just the convict but also the crew that has to bring supplies regularly – sounds like they are away from Earth and their families for most of the time as well, which is why they resent the prisoner so much. I almost thought that he was going to refuse to leave the planet in order to stay with the robot, even though it would have meant certain death.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you said that because I thought he was going to refuse it also. He seemed content for a few minutes.
      You could tell it was hot there also but I didn’t know they filmed it in death Valley.


      1. Yes that’s crazy! Just watched Shoot an arrow one – wonder if that also shot there although more mountains so maybe not. If it didn’t mean death (since no more supply ships) he probably would have stayed!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I bet more were shot there. There is a few with a desert landscape.

        I agree… loneliness solved! I’m glad though he got pardoned anyway and not just to earth jail.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried to briefly get that across about what constitutes a real human being…it’s of course about loneliness but the fem-bot opens up another box.
      I liked that review you had in your post by that other blogger. That’s a great one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes…I bet its even closer. Jen always tells me about something she doesn’t like…”I bet a MAN invented that”…I’ll tell her yep…arent we clever?
        Hunger in the world and we put all of our energy into things like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not seen this one but what a great premise and cast! (Sadly that link is “not available in this country”) All those actors are tremendously reliable on being excellent, and all faves, so a quick shout out too to Jean Marsh, a British actor who has been in so much over the years, Doctor Who (she had been married to future Doctor Who Jon Pertwee in the 50’s), Upstairs Downstairs (which was her show, she was involved in the production of the 70’s historical drama), Waltons, and films like Willow (George Lucas). John Dehner was terrific in james garner’s Support Your Local Gunfighter (he’d been in Maverick many times)Airplane II, Kolchak, High Chaparral – the latter classy TV series was probably the biggest Western show in the UK, it was repeated for years where none of the others were – apart from Alias Smith & Jones. Though The Virginian and Bonanza have cropped up on oldies stations in recent years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always liked Alias Smith & Jones and Doctor Who by the way.
      I didn’t know she was married to Pertwee…I’ve heard of Upstairs Downstairs…. I think PBS showed it over here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Watched it tonight…not bad but I was expecting a different ending. I guess Serling was making a semi-subtle commentary on the American justice/ penitentiary system with it as well as statement about humanity & what it is to be human…

    Liked by 1 person

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