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 1,145 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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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a parody of a line from the children's nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence". "When the pie was opened, The birds began to sing; Wasn't that a dainty dish, To set before the king?" See more »

Goofs

In Rod Serling's opening narration, we are told that the 'X-20 is an experimental Air Force interceptor that has been 900 miles into space'. That altitude is far beyond the capability of fighter jets; even if the X-20 *did* attain that high of an altitude, the aircraft and its crew would be exposed to the radiation of the Van Allen belts. By comparison, the space shuttle typically operates at altitudes between approximately 180-240 miles. To be fair, in 1959 this was not well understood yet. 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

 
Some good acting...but why?!
16 June 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode featured some excellent acting, though the story itself seemed to have HUGE problems--it just didn't seem to make a lot of sense. The show begins with two astronauts (Rod Taylor and Jim Hutton) talking in a hospital room after their ship has returned. Oddly, Hutton has no idea who "the Colonel" is that Taylor keeps talking about--though Taylor insists that this Colonel was with them on their historic flight. How could you have no recollection of this other man? And, when they look at the newspaper, it only mentions the two of them. At this point, Taylor has a flashback and tells Hutton about an odd occurrence. Taylor and this Colonel were in a bar--and eventually the other guy just disappeared and the folks in the bar suddenly acted as if Taylor alone had been there. It goes on like this for a while until there is a twist--a very unsatisfying and meaningless twist.

Aside from a meaningless script that seems to go nowhere, as I said above, the acting was really good. Taylor in particular was very good--with great emotion and no trace of an accent--though he is an Australian playing an American astronaut.


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