Twilight Zone – Back There

★★★★  January 13, 1961 Season 2 Episode 13

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

In this episode Russell Johnson makes his second appearance on The Twilight Zone. If you went back in time could you changed fixed events? We will find out in this episode. I like the time travel episodes and this one is no exception. I like the idea they built it around. This episode takes place on April 14, 1961 and April 14, 1865.

It’s not a perfect episode but a fun time travel adventure. This episode is a hard one to rate.  It just doesn’t gel like some of the others do.

The character Pete Corrigan mentions HG Wells in relation to his story The Time Machine, which had also just been made into a movie the year before this episode.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Witness a theoretical argument, Washington, D.C., the present. Four intelligent men talking about an improbable thing like going back in time. A friendly debate revolving around a simple issue: could a human being change what has happened before? Interesting and theoretical, because who ever heard of a man going back in time? Before tonight, that is, because this is—The Twilight Zone.


After debating with a member of his Washington club whether you could go back in time and change major events, Pete Corrigan seems to go back to April 15, 1865 the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He tries his best to warn the authorities of what will happen in a few hours time but it all falls on deaf ears. One person seems interested in what he has to say, but that person may have his own reasons for his behavior.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. Peter Corrigan, lately returned from a place ‘back there’, a journey into time with highly questionable results, proving on one hand that the threads of history are woven tightly, and the skein of events cannot be undone, but on the other hand, there are small fragments of tapestry that can be altered. Tonight’s thesis to be taken, as you will—in The Twilight Zone.


Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Russell Johnson … Pete Corrigan
Paul Hartman … Police Sergeant
Bartlett Robinson … William
John Lasell … Jonathan Wellington
Jimmy Lydon … Patrolman (as James Lydon)
Raymond Bailey … Millard
Raymond Greenleaf … Jackson
John Eldredge … Whittaker
James Gavin … Policeman
Jean Inness … Mrs. Landers
Lew Brown … Lieutenant
Carol Eve Rossen … Lieutenant’s Girl (as Carol Rossen)
Nora Marlowe … Chambermaid
Pat O’Malley … Attendant
Fred Kruger … 1865 Attendant (uncredited)


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

33 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – Back There”

  1. I always like those time machine type episodes- movies- reminded me of the only Stephen King book I read- about the JFK assassination -where someone goes back in time… and Milburn Drysdale also makes an appearance in this one! good episode. 4 stars seems right to me. …. I see Freddy Kruger also in it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh 11/22/63 I think. I saw the HBO version.
      I could watch time machine shows all day.
      Off Topic: Did you see Frequency? I think you were getting it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was disappointed in the HBO version- as usual the book was much better I thought…. I haven’t seen Frequency.. I think I ordered it but it never came…hmmmm. Will have to re-order.. thanks for mentioning it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Hans, this writeup made me think of that Stephen King book right away too, though I’ve not read it (that one’s always sort of been on my reading ‘bucket list’). sounds like an intriguing concept .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate that…it’s odd that these people we grew up with are passing.
      Yea I just read that not long ago…I guess they were the longest running band with the same members I would think…50 years they were together…


  3. Yes an entertaining episode – I like the subtle effect after he leaves the club and the door closes and you can tell he’s gone back in time. This one might have been a good hour one if they changed the plot so that he did prevent the assassination and then returns to the present to see what effect it had

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you think Johnson overacted a little in this one? Or do you remember it that well? Next time you watch it tell me what you think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just watched it for the first time tonight. Yeah I would say a bit overacted though better than his last appearance on TZ. But the plot and story theme make it a. Solid 4

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That is cool! I thought about doing that one but…it just wasn’t the same quality through…I binge watched them a few times…a few are really good but most aren’t Serling didn’t like it…and he had no control. He was just a host.


  4. a good one. While I pretty much surmised who the friendly bailer-out was before it was revealed, the twist at the end (at the card table in present time) was a really good one. I sometimes have thought about things like that… if you actually had a time machine, could you say go and stop 9-11? My guess is probably not… if you warned people at the airport or FBI they would have thought you crazy and when it happened, you’d probably go to Guantamo with them assuming you were a collaborator… of course THAT in turn would somehow change events but who knows how.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Serling got what he wanted out of the episode and that is to make people think about it…and you are right. No way people would believe you and yes you would be blamed as well.
      This one was remade as you will see in the 4th season and not as well.


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