Twilight Zone – Passage On The Lady Anne

★★★★1/2 May 9, 1963 Season 4 Episode 17

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

The story is not really scary but the setting will remind you of a horror movie. It takes place on a ship that is surrounded by fog. Mix that with black and white and the Wolfman film comes to mind. This is the first hour-long episode I watched many years ago.  This episode benefits from the hour format. You see a couple who are teetering on breaking up decide on a cruise. Throughout the episode, you see the gradual healing and the companionship replacing turmoil. Their older fellow passengers help them both along the way. This story could not have been made as well in a half-hour-long format. 

I would strongly recommend this and there is a twist but the twist is a little ambiguous. This is not an episode where a bad person gets cosmically punished for doing bad things. It does show real-life problems that you can relate to today. The cinematographer and set designers deserve praise in this episode. 

From IMDB: Because of the large number of well-known actors in this episode, the closing theme featured a credit roll of cast names instead of the usual still frames. The remaining non-cast credits were then done with standard still frames. This was the only episode of the series to ever use a credit roll.

This was the last Charles Beaumont Twilight Zone screenplay to be actually fully written by Beaumont himself. Around the time this episode was made, Beaumont (then only 34) began suffering from the rapid onset of a degenerative neurological disorder (believed to be either Alzheimer’s and/or Pick’s Disease) which affected his speech, memory, and concentration, as well as causing him to physically age very rapidly. As the disease progressed, Beaumont was soon unable to meet his writing commitments. A number of his writer friends, including Jerry Sohl and William F. Nolan, supported Beaumont by ghostwriting stories with or for him and submitting them in his name, although Beaumont insisted on splitting the fees with his helpers. His last screen credit (also probably ghostwritten) was in 1965, by which time he was too ill to work at all, and he died on 21 February 1967, aged only 38, although his son later recounted that his father “looked ninety-five” at the time of his death.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Charles Beaumont

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Portrait of a honeymoon couple getting ready for a journey – with a difference. These newlyweds have been married for six years, and they’re not taking this honeymoon to start their life but rather to save it, or so Eileen Ransome thinks. She doesn’t know why she insisted on a ship for this voyage, except that it would give them some time and she’d never been on one before – certainly never one like the Lady Anne. The tickets read ‘New York to Southampton,’ but this old liner is going somewhere else. Its destination – the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Eileen and Alan Ransome’s marriage is going through a bad patch and they decide to go on a holiday to London. Eileen insists on traveling by ship and they book passage on the Lady Anne, an old ship that is not recommended by the travel agent but is leaving quite soon. When they arrive at the port terminal another passenger, Mr. McKenzie, insists strenuously that the young couple has made a mistake and tries to discourage them from coming along on what is a “private cruise”. Mrs. McKenzie keeps her own counsel but clearly shares her husband’s sentiments. Another passenger, Burgess, tries to warn them off as well. He and McKenzie offer them money, eventually $10,000, to leave immediately. The Ransomes take umbrage and refuse. The couple finds that all of the other passengers are quite elderly but unsurprisingly have a good deal of wisdom to dispense to the young couple. Alan and Eileen are just beginning to really enjoy the trip when the captain suddenly puts them off the ship at gunpoint with provisions and a promise to notify the authorities of their location. They are rescued but as for the Lady Anne and her other passengers — well, there’s the rub

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

The Lady Anne never reached port. After they were picked up by a cutter a few hours later, as Captain Protheroe had promised, the Ransomes searched the newspapers for news – but there wasn’t any news. The Lady Anne with all her crew and all her passengers vanished without a trace. But the Ransomes knew what had happened, they knew that the ship had sailed off to a better port – a place called the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Gladys Cooper … Millie McKenzie
Wilfrid Hyde-White … Toby McKenzie
Cecil Kellaway … Burgess
Lee Philips … Alan Ransome
Joyce Van Patten … Eileen Ransome
Alan Napier … Capt. Protheroe
Cyril Delevanti … Officer
Jack Raine … Officer
Colin Campbell … Addicott
Don Keefer … Spierto
Frank Baker … Otto Champion (uncredited)
Sam Harris … Mersia Jones (uncredited)
Freda Jones … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Colin Kenny … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Scott Seaton … Ship Passenger (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey … Ship’s Greeter (uncredited)

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

6 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – Passage On The Lady Anne”

  1. I really like this one. It does have a creepy atmosphere which is contrary to the content of the plot. It doesn’t make sense they took the cruise after all of the evidence that it wasn’t a good idea. The cruise symbolizes more and their going against advice does also. It does feel more like a movie than a tv episode.

    About Beaumont’s health, it sounds like he may have been exposed to massive dose(s) of radiation. How he faded away so horribly tells me it wasn’t a natural death. The poor guy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do like this episode… they did it really well.
      Yea Beaumont was such a great writer…something was really wrong… he had Picks disease which is like dementia or is it… it should not make you age like that.

      Liked by 1 person

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