★★★★ November 24, 1958 Season 0 Episode 0
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
I should have posted this before I started the series so when I reached the end of 5th season I thought it was time to feature this one. CBS purchased a teleplay in 1958 that writer Rod Serling hoped to produce as the pilot of a weekly anthology series. “The Time Element” marked Serling’s first entry in the field of science fiction.
It’s a Time Travel episode and a good one. William Bendix as Peter Jenson goes back in time right before Pearl Harbor takes place.
This show premiered on November 24, 1958. Rod Serling wrote this episode and it appeared on the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. This one could have been a Twilight Zone.
Although this isn’t the pilot episode of The Twilight Zone, it was this Rod Serling production that eventually led to The Twilight Zone. It proved to be very popular with viewers, which led CBS to pursue a new series with Serling. Because TV viewers at the time were not used to the kind of surprise, twist endings for which Twilight Zone became noted (as in this episode), Desi Arnaz appeared on-screen at the end of the episode to offer his explanation of “what really happened.”
Martin Balsam (Dr. Arnold Gillespie) later played Admiral Husband Kimmel in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), which likewise concerned the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This show was written by Rod Serling
A man is sent back in time to December 6, 1941, to Pearl Harbor on December 5, 1941, two days before it is bombed. The episode relates his frantic efforts to warn military officials of the approaching catastrophe.
The complete episode
William Bendix…Peter Jenson
Martin Balsam…Dr. Arnold Gillespie
Darryl Hickman…Ensign Janoski
Carolyn Kearney…Edna Janoski
Alan Baxter…Army Doctor
Bartlett Robinson…Mr. Gibbons
Joe DeRita…Man at Bar (as Joe De Rita)
Paul Bryar…Paul Bryar…… Bartender at Andy’s
Gene Coogan…Bar Patron (uncredited)