Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 11

And When the Sky Was Opened (11 Dec. 1959)
"The Twilight Zone" And When the Sky Was Opened (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 1,100 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 4 critic

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), (based on a short story by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes
...
Major William Gart (as James Hutton)
...
Colonel Ed Harrington
Maxine Cooper ...
Amy
Paul Bryar ...
Bartender
Sue Randall ...
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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Trivia

Jim Hutton's TV debut. 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: [Closing Narration] Once upon a time, there was a man named Harrington, a man named Forbes, a man named Gart. They used to exist, but don't any longer. Someone - or something- took them somewhere. At least they are no longer a part of the memory of man. And as to the X-20 supposed to be housed here in this hangar, this, too, does not exist. And if any of you have any questions concerning an aircraft and three men who flew her, speak softly of them - and only in - The Twilight Zone.
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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

 
Well done Rod and Rod.
23 January 2014 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Astronaut Col. Clegg Forbes (Rod Taylor) visits his colleague Major William Gart (James Hutton) in hospital. They have recently returned from a mission in space with a third member- Major Ed Harrington, who no one remembers but Forbes! Especially chilling for Forbes as their spaceship X-20 went off the radar for twenty-four hours before they returned to earth.

One of the early episodes that set the standard. Interesting now as its a fantasy drama made at a time when space exploration was new. That is not to say that its dated as a mysterious sci-fi tale. The concept came from a Richard Matheson story called 'Disappearing Act' and this was the first of sixteen of his to be used for the Zone. In this case Rod Serling took the idea and created his own very different and absorbing teleplay. The three men are shown together briefly in flashback in a spirit of devil-may-care esprit de corps and in contrast as somewhat shaken by the weird goings-on in the main body of the story. Rod Taylor turns in perhaps his best performance-no Hitchcockian birds-no Morlocks- but instead something inexplicable and profoundly scary.

Just a thought. There's a William Gart in this, and a Gart Williams as main character in 'A Stop At Willoughby'.


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