Twilight Zone – No Time Like The Past

★★★1/2 March 7, 1963 Season 4 Episode 10

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

I love time travel episodes. I wanted so much to love this one. No Time Like The Past has it’s charms but the hour long format works against it. It’s 4 time travel stories in this one. It could have been split up into two 30 minute episodes with the first three time jumps and the second episode the final jump. I think it would have been better for the hour long format to flesh out the first three time jumps. 

It was an interesting concept…to go back to the atom bomb dropping in Japan, the Lusitania sinking, and to try to kill Hitler. One of the flaws in this episode is he only gives himself a small amount of time to accomplish his tasks. In this case too much wasn’t a good thing. To sum it up…I wish they would have focused either on Hitler, Japan, and The Lusitania or the 1881 small town of Homeville, Indiana. The most interesting part of the episode is the 1881 Indiana story. 

Dana Andrews who played Paul Driscoll was a star in the 1940s in movies with Henry Fonda, Tyrone Powers, and more. 

From IMDB: Dana Andrews played the protagonist, Paul Driscoll, in this episode while his younger brother Steve Forrest played the protagonist, Major Robert Gaines, in the succeeding episode The Twilight Zone: The Parallel .

This episode takes place in 1963, in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, in Berlin, Germany in August 1939, aboard the RMS Lusitania off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland on May 7, 1915 and in Homeville, Indiana from July 1 to July 3, 1881.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Exit one Paul Driscoll, a creature of the twentieth century. He puts to a test a complicated theorem of space-time continuum, but he goes a step further, or tries to. Shortly, he will seek out three moments of the past in a desperate attempt to alter the present, one of the odd and fanciful functions in a shadowland known as the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Paul Driscoll does not much like the way the 20th century has developed thus far and decides to go back in time to change mankind’s future. He first travels to Hiroshima and tries to warn an English-speaking policeman of what is to come, but to no avail. He then travels to Nazi Germany and attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler but is thwarted when his rifle misfires. He then finds himself aboard the Lusitania but again is unable to convince the ship’s captain to alter course before it is torpedoed. When he returns to the present, he agrees with his colleague Harvey that the past cannot be changed. He still does not like the present, so decides to go back to July 1881 to live his life in the small town of Homeville, Indiana. Unfortunately he learns yet again that past events cannot be changed

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Incident on a July afternoon, 1881. A man named Driscoll who came and went and, in the process, learned a simple lesson, perhaps best said by a poet named Lathbury, who wrote, ‘Children of yesterday, heirs of tomorrow, what are you weaving? Labor and sorrow? Look to your looms again, faster and faster fly the great shuttles prepared by the master. Life’s in the loom, room for it. Room.’[1] Tonight’s tale of clocks and calendars in the Twilight Zone.

 

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Dana Andrews … Paul Driscoll
Patricia Breslin … Abigail Sloan
Malcolm Atterbury … Prof. Eliot
Robert Cornthwaite … Hanford
John Zaremba … Horn Player
C. Lindsay Workman … Bartender (as Lindsay Workman)
Marjorie Bennett … Mrs. Chamberlain
Tudor Owen … Captain of Lusitania
James Yagi … Japanese Police Captain
Robert F. Simon … Harvey
Adolf Hitler … Self (archive footage)
Gene Coogan … Fire Spectator Restraining Driscoll (uncredited)
Peter Humphreys … Steward on Lusitania (uncredited)
Robert McCord … Man Hearing About Garfield (uncredited)
Bobs Watson … Man at Dining Room Table (uncredited)

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

17 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – No Time Like The Past”

  1. Sounds like a great idea but not enough time to fully explore all those plotlines. I had to google to see what the Indiana story was. Also sounds a bit like one from an earlier season where someone tries to warn people about Lincoln about to be shot (and he ends up rooming with John Wilkes Booth)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know….I was going to add that….the episode you are referring to is “Back There”….
      Tomorrow’s episode it really good but over looked.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The concept of time-travel undoubtedly is fascinating. At the same time, it’s also a bit of a scary thought. On intervention in history can cause snowball effects you can’t control.

    While I haven’t watched this episode, it sounds like including four time travel trips was too ambitious and that less would have been more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes…you never know what you might change…you might change something evil that would lead to something much worse than what you changed.
      We would use it to go see the Beatles in Hamburg and Liverpool…so that would be a positive use of it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes…only 18 episodes in this season…but yea the hour long episodes for the most part didn’t work…some it did…like tomorrow’s

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Agree this one didn’t work – too many stories. I agree that they should have just focused on the last story. Interesting concept though in terms of trying to prevent evil from the past – but for example with the Hiroshima one if he had prevented it whose to say that when he came back it had turned out they Japan and Germany won the war and the world was very different.

    Liked by 2 people

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