The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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And When the Sky Was Opened 

Three U.S. astronauts blast off from Earth on an initial test flight in an experimental rocket-ship, but during the flight into space the ship disappears from radar, then reappears. On ... See full summary »

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(teleplay by), (based on a short story by)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes
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Major William Gart (as James Hutton)
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Colonel Ed Harrington
Maxine Cooper ...
Amy
Paul Bryar ...
Bartender
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Nurse
Joe Bassett ...
Medical Officer
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Storyline

Three U.S. astronauts blast off from Earth on an initial test flight in an experimental rocket-ship, but during the flight into space the ship disappears from radar, then reappears. On return, the rocket-ship is hangared and put under a tarp, pending an investigation. One crewman is hospitalized for a leg broken on landing, and is visited by the other two. Next the pair go for a drink, and then one crewman phones his parents from a bar phone-booth - but they say they have no son! The astronaut immediately disappears, and no one in the bar remembers him, except the other astronaut in the bar, the Captain. Written by David Stevens

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11 December 1959 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a quote from Acts 10:11 (New American Standard version) "and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground." See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Col. Forbes and Col. Harrington depart Maj. Gart's room, they both have their US Air Force uniform covers (caps). Col. Harrington's cap has "scrambled eggs" on the visor as it should, however, Lt. Col. Forbes' cap does not. This is an error- as *all* US Air Force officers the rank of Lt. Col. and above should have the "scrambled eggs" on their cap visors. This is current today, and was the policy in 1959, as well. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Opening Narration] Her name: X-20. Her type: an experimental interceptor. Recent history: a crash landing in the Mojave Desert after a thirty-one hour flight nine hundred miles into space. Incidental data: the ship, with the men who flew her, disappeared from the radar screen for twenty-four hours.
Narrator: [continuing narration, subsequent to character dialogue] But the shrouds that cover mysteries are not always made out of a tarpaulin, as this man will soon find out on the other side of a hospital ...
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Connections

Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Twilight Zone #9 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

No Tricks
(uncredited)
Music by Bruce Campbell
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User Reviews

Final Destination... The Twilight Zone.
3 May 2012 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

This eerie episode from Season One reminds me a bit of the Final Destination films, in which a group of characters miraculously escape death only for fate to catch up with them a little further down the line. Here, it is three astronauts who somehow survive a perilous return from outer space in an experimental craft, only to mysteriously disappear one-by-one, their whole existence wiped from the memory of mankind.

For a change, the ending to this story is not much of a surprise—it's obvious from the moment Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes (Rod Taylor) reveals to fellow survivor Major William Gart (Jim Hutton) his suspicions about what is happening to them that both men will share the same fate—but it is this inescapable inevitability that makes the story so gripping. Watching Forbes struggling to convince his fellow astronaut of their terrible predicament is chilling stuff, but the real kicker comes when Forbes disappears, leaving Gart with the horrifying realisation that he will be next.


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