Twilight Zone – Third From the Sun

★★★★★  January 8, 1960 Season 1 Episode 14

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

The first thing about this  episode that catches my eye is the camera work. The angles they used were really interesting and keeps this episode fresh.

I run across people who have never seen the Twilight Zone…there are a few episodes I point them to…this is one of them. This has everything a great episode has… the great casting, story, and the surprise at the end.

This one has one of my very favorite twists at the end. At the time of this episode it had to hit home for many people…The Cold War and fear of nuclear annihilation were ever-present. Fritz Weaver did an amazing job of relating the fear and paranoia of an oncoming disaster.

Edward Andrews played Carling a security officer who is unlikable at first sight. He toys with the two families determined to block their secret plans for an escape. The more I see this episode the more I really dislike this guy…he played the part very well.

Some trivia: The background noises heard aboard the ship in the final scene were later reused in Star Trek. During the closing scene, the main characters are depicted aboard a spaceship, a reuse of the ship created for Forbidden Planet

This show was written by Rod Serling and Richard Matheson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Quitting time at the plant. Time for supper now. Time for families. Time for a cool drink on a porch. Time for the quiet rustle of leaf-laden trees that screen out the moon, and underneath it all, behind the eyes of the men, hanging invisible over the summer night, is a horror without words. For this is the stillness before storm. This is the eve of the end.

Summary

William Sturka works as a hydrogen specialist in a highly secure plant. Conditions are tense and there are constant rumors of war. The latest is that it’s going to happen in the next 48 hours. Unbeknownst to his wife Eve and daughter Jody, he and his friend Jerry Riden have been planning an escape of sorts for themselves and their families. Jerry is a test pilot and they plan to steal the government’s latest spacecraft heading off to a planet they believe may sustain life. Their biggest challenge is Carling, a security officer who seems to be onto their plan.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Behind a tiny ship heading into space is a doomed planet on the verge of suicide. Ahead lies a place called Earth, the third planet from the Sun. And for William Sturka and the men and women with him, it’s the eve of the beginning—in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Fritz Weaver … William Sturka
Edward Andrews … Carling
Joe Maross … Jerry Riden
Denise Alexander … Jody Sturka
Lori March … Eve Sturka
Jeanne Evans … Ann Riden

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

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

18 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – Third From the Sun”

    1. It’s a great one Dave. It hasn’t go that “classic” title I don’t believe like Time Enough At Last, The Hitch Hiker, and To Serve Man and others but it deserves it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes great great episode ! Really enjoyed it. I got the twist at end about 10 seconds before the reveal which made it all the more satisfying! On rewatching there are little tells that perhaps this isn’t Earth like the sound the car makes when their driving but not enough to give it away. I also liked some of the decor of the home – that phone was wild!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh…I have that phone! I bought it at a flea market years ago. When I rewatched the episode last week I found it again. I think originated from a French design.
      I’m trying to be careful on 5 stars but this one I had to…

      The actor playing Carling played it really well…I really hate him lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cool- I just looked up pictures of it. I had a standard old black rotary phone as a prop or conversation piece up north …got it in used store for about $5 too

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I’ve seen this one. Looks really good. I loved his speech in the trailer. SO TRUE! It is in inherent in human nature to take things to their furthest extreme 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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