★★★★ January 10, 1964 Season 5 Episode 15
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
The Long Morrow is a simple but complicated love story in the Twilight Zone. Robert Lansing and Mariette Hartley play Commander Douglas Stansfield and Sandra Horn respectively. They make the characers real and inject an emotional depth to their story. The Twilight Zone had some of the best casting of any show on television.
I would say it’s The Twilight Zone’s most romantic episode. This one is unbelievably poignant with the ironic ending. It makes you think about human spirit and the lenghs to which Man (and Woman) will go to realize an ultimate ambition. We are clever when we want to be but sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way we think it will.
To talk anymore about it would give the ending away. This is one you will have to watch.
Robert Lansing: I was a little reluctant to do the semi-nude thing in the ice block, but it was such a good idea, so visual, that I bypassed my own feelings and did it. I was wearing a pair of mini-trunks which today id wear on a beach.
From IMDB Trivia:
Both Robert Lansing (Commander Stansfield) and Mariette Hartley (Sandra Horn) later both guest star on Star Trek (1966), but not together. Robert Lansing played Gary Seven in S2E26 (“Assignment: Earth”), for a spin-off series that was not picked up. Mariette Hartley played Zarabeth in S3E23 (“All Our Yesterdays”) as a love interest for Mr. Spock.
This episode takes place in June 1987, in November 1987, from December 31, 1987 to January 1, 1988, on April 19, 1988, on May 1, 1988 and in 2027.
This show was written by Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears. Case in point, the scene you’re watching. This is not a hospital, not a morgue, not a mausoleum, not an undertaker’s parlor of the future. What it is is the belly of a spaceship. It is en route to another planetary system, an incredible distance from the Earth. This is the crux of our story – a flight into space. It is also the story of the things that might happen to human beings who take a step beyond, unable to anticipate everything that might await them out there.
The narration continues after Stansfield is informed that his journey into space will take forty years:
Commander Douglas Stansfield, astronaut, a man about to embark on one of history’s longest journeys: forty years out into endless space and hopefully back again. This is the beginning, the first step towards man’s longest leap into the unknown. Science has solved the mechanical details and now it’s up to one human being to breathe life into blueprints and computers, to prove once and for all that man can live half a lifetime in the total void of outer space, forty years alone in the unknown. This is Earth. Ahead lies a planetary system. The vast region in between is the Twilight Zone.
Commander Douglas Stansfield is selected to be the first astronaut to go on a deep-space mission. He will be away for 40 years but for much of that, he will be in stasis, and on his return he will hardly have aged. Stansfield is a seemingly ideal candidate as he is single and has no close family. Prior to his departure however, he meets the beautiful Sandra Horn and they fall very much in love. Forty years later, Stansfield returns but it seems he and Sandra had their own way of dealing with the 40 years since they last saw each other.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Commander Douglas Stansfield, one of the forgotten pioneers of the space age. He’s been pushed aside by the flow of progress and the passage of years, and the ferocious travesty of fate. Tonight’s tale of the ionosphere and irony, delivered from the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Robert Lansing…Commander Douglas Stansfield
Mariette Hartley…Sandra Horn
George Macready…Dr. Bixler
Ed Binns…General Walters