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