Twilight Zone – I Shot an Arrow Into the Air

★★★★  January 15, 1960 Season 1 Episode 15

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

Serling like to show the best and worse of people and this episode has both. Edward Binns plays the honorable Col. Bob Donlin and Dewey Martin  plays the selfish Corey who folds under pressure in the worse way.  A space ship is launched and crashes on what seems an unknown asteroid…survival will be difficult for the 4 survivors of the crash. It’s hot, rocky, and no water in sight. Cory is determined to survive no matter what. It’s a very good episode…I went back between 3 1/2 and 4 but the twist pushes it over the top.

Rod Serling was at a party when he was approached by a woman named Madelon Champion who told Serling a what if story and this was it. Serling gave her $500 dollars on the spot and gave her a co-writing credit.

Rarely did this happen… here is a quote from Rod Serling: I got 15,000 manuscripts in the first five days. Of those 15,000, I and members of my staff read about 140. And 137 of those 140 were wasted paper; hand-scrawled, laboriously written, therapeutic unholy grotesqueries from sick, troubled, deeply disturbed people. Of the three remaining scripts, all of clearly poetic, professional quality, none of them fitted the show.

This is one of only four episodes that Rod Serling did a mid-episode narration

This show was written by Rod Serling and Madelon Champion

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Her name is the Arrow 1. She represents four and a half years of planning, preparation, and training, and a thousand years of science, mathematics, and the projected dreams and hopes of not only a nation, but a world. She is the first manned aircraft into space and this is the countdown. The last five seconds before man shot an arrow into the air.


This is the story of a group of spacemen who crash on what they think is an asteroid. Since they are doomed, the Captain tries to keep military protocol. Nevertheless, Cory, one of the men, becomes a survivalist. He becomes selfish and begins to take over. He kills. He steals water. He whines. The story works toward an ironic twist, bringing out the best and the worst in everyone. Patience goes out the window over water. Remember the two men fighting at the conclusion of Von Stroheim’s Greed. There is a bit of this because when our lives are on the line, we often try to hold on to every second we can. Cory can’t see honor or morality or order. It’s just to grasp for that one more drop of precious water.

Rod Serling mid-episode narration 

Now you make tracks, Mr. Corey. You move out and up like some kind of ghostly billyclub was tapping at your ankles and telling you that it was later than you’d think. You scrabble up rock hills and feel hot sand underneath your feet and every now and then, take a look over your shoulder at a giant sun suspended in a dead and motionless sky…like an unblinking eye that probes at the back of your head in a prolonged accusation.

Mr. Corey, last remaining member of a doomed crew, keep moving. Make tracks, Mr. Corey. Push up and push out because if you stop…if you stop, maybe sanity will get you by the throat. Maybe realization will pry open your mind and the horror you left down in the sand will seep in. Yeah, Mr. Corey, yeah, you better keep moving. That’s the order of the moment: keep moving.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Practical joke perpetrated by Mother Nature and a combination of improbable events. Practical joke wearing the trappings of nightmare, of terror, and desperation. Small, human drama played out in a desert 97 miles from Reno, Nevada, U.S.A., continent of North America, the Earth and, of course, the Twilight Zone.


Dewey Martin … Corey
Edward Binns … Col. Bob Donlin
Ted Otis … Pierson
Harry Bartell … Langford
Leslie Barrett … Brandt
Boyd Cabeen … Technician (uncredited)
Rod Serling … Narrator (voice) (uncredited)


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

40 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – I Shot an Arrow Into the Air”

  1. sounds like another good one! Worth seeing perhaps just for the unusual mid-show narration but the story sounds good, like most of them. The video box said “video cannot be played” at my end, btw, but not a problem since they all are on Netflix anyway – that’s where I try to catch them while I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dave…Yea I better switch it out. The TZ is the same as Jimi Hendrix and Don Henley videos…they get pulled easily…that was on Dailymotion so I thought it would play


  2. The video said
    “Video cannot be played.
    Please enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.”
    I went to youtube and watched the highlights with narration by a reviewer. Not sure if I ever saw this one. Too bad someone’s “over-acting” had to taint it. Great premise for the episode though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lisa…they are so strict with the Twilight Zones…I’m going to replace it. The next one Wednesday is a classic!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a sad tale for sure…The first time I watched it I was surprised also and even more angry at the guy. The next one won’t be hard to rate!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am well into the second season watching- and I came across one I will watch because well I am watching them all again but one that I think of as a 2 star episode…..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Without getting past the 1st season I know one…in the 4th season that is a two…no amount of re-watching will change that. I’ll be heading into season two really soon as far as re-watching.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Christian…I’m starting something new tomorrow…1980’s Alternative College radio type songs…if you think of any send my way…REM, Replacements, Pixies, etc…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re right. Wall of Voodoo. And all these years I thoughtcrimes was GD. Oh well Mexican Radio would be a good one to feature

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cool, Max, looking forward to it. I’m afraid I won’t be of much help, since other than REM and – thanks to you – Replacements, I haven’t listened to alternative college radio music – at least not knowingly! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You might know next weeks… a UK band. It’s some good stuff though and these bands kept to guitar-bass-drums more than the 80s synth-electric drums – etc… It’s a good counter point to popular music at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed this one but I would give it 3 and 1/2. For some reason the twist at the end didn’t get me as much as for example third planet from the sun episode. I actually think I would have liked it better without the mid episode narration – a little over the top for me.

    I am about 4 or 5 episodes ahead and there is one I think is a 2 star. Will be interested to see what you think

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a five coming up also…The 2 has me wondering.
      Without going ahead I know of a 2 right off the bat but it’s way later on.

      This episode is sad because of what happened at the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes totally agree. While Corey shows some remorse I didn’t think the actor sold it enough. But I like the juxtaposition between an episode where you think they are on earth and their not and this one where you think there aren’t on earth and they are !

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it could have been better. Now…I can’t believe I’m saying this but I do believe this one would have worked better as an hour…Cory wasted no time in going over the bend….it seemed force. It was no build up.

        Liked by 1 person

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