★★★★1/2 March 14, 1963, Season 4 Episode 11
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
I kept saying that the 4th season was not a great season of the Twilight Zone. As someone (Paul) pointed out…there are some really good to great episodes. He was right…there are some great episodes in the season. This is one of them. After watching this season over…it’s much better than I gave it credit for. Is it as good as 1, 2, 3, or 5? No, it’s just different with the hour format. Not apples to oranges, just different.
This could be a 5 star…I went back and forth with the rating. The small details in this episode keep it interesting.
This one is about a Parallel world. Steve Forrest who plays Major Robert Gaines is an astronaut that returns home from a troubled mission. He notices things wrong when he gets back…a different president, a gate around his yard that wasn’t there before, and small things that are wrong. His family also starts noticing little things…little things that only a loved one can see.
From IMDB: Steve Forrest played the protagonist, Major Robert Gaines, in this episode while his elder brother Dana Andrews played the protagonist, Paul Driscoll, in the preceding episode The Twilight Zone: No Time Like the Past
There is a moment after Maj. Gaines has spent the night with Mrs. Gaines where they attempt to embrace and she gives him a hard, questioning stare. According to producer Bert Granet, the intent of this interchange was to imply that sexual relations on the parallel world were slightly different from those of Maj. Gaines’ world, and that this had told Mrs. Gaines that he was no longer her husband. Unfortunately, in 1963 no direct mention of sexual behavior, even between spouses, was permissible, so that the scene is really too subtle to communicate this implication.
In the parallel universe, no one has ever heard of John F. Kennedy. The identity of the President of the United States in that universe is not revealed.
This show was written by Rod Serling and Richard Matheson
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
In the vernacular of space, this is T minus one hour. Sixty minutes before a human being named Major Robert Gaines is lifted off from the Mother Earth and rocketed into the sky, farther and longer than any man ahead of him. Call this one of the first faltering steps of man to sever the umbilical cord of gravity and stretch out a fingertip toward an unknown. Shortly, we’ll join this astronaut named Gaines and embark on an adventure, because the environs overhead—the stars, the sky, the infinite space—are all part of a vast question mark known as the Twilight Zone.
Astronaut Major Robert Gaines is the latest to orbit the Earth but something happens while there. Ground control loses all contact with him and although he returns safely, he apparently blacked out and has no recollection of what may have happened. Nor can he explain how the craft landed on land – completely undamaged – when it was meant to splash down in the ocean. When Gaines returns home he finds that little things are different: he’s now a full colonel and has been for some time; his house now has a picket fence; he no longer seems to take sugar in his coffee; and even his wife senses he is different after she kisses him. It is soon apparent that Gaines has returned to an Earth in an alternate universe
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Major Robert Gaines, a latter-day voyager just returned from an adventure. Submitted to you without any recommendations as to belief or disbelief. You can accept or reject; you pay your money and you take your choice. But credulous or incredulous, don’t bother to ask anyone for proof that it could happen. The obligation is a reverse challenge: prove that it couldn’t. This happens to be the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Steve Forrest … Major Robert Gaines
Jacqueline Scott … Helen Gaines
Frank Aletter … Colonel William Connacher
Paul Comi … Psychiatrist
Shari Lee Bernat … Maggie Gaines
Morgan Jones … Captain
William Sargent … The Project Manager
Philip Abbott … General Stanley Eaton
Fred Crane … News Anchorman (uncredited)