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 »
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
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 »
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 »
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.
[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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The astronauts Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes (Rod Taylor), Major William Gart (James Hutton) and Colonel Ed Harrington (Charles Aidman) disappear from the radar for twenty-four hours during an experimental flight with the model X- 20. They crash on the desert when they return to Earth and Major William Gart breaks his leg and has to stay in the military hospital. However Forbes and Harrington are immediately discharged and they go to a bar to celebrate. Out of the blue, Harrington does not feel well and calls his parents that do not recognize him. On the next moment, Harrington vanishes from the booth and also from the newspaper and only Forbes recalls him. He runs to the hospital and Gart has no recollections about Harrington. When Forbes leaves the room, he disappears and then Gart and the X-20 model.
"And When the Sky Was Opened" is an engaging episode of "The Twilight Zone" about intriguing disappearances of three astronauts and a project. The beginning is ambiguous and the viewer is not sure whether Lieutenant Colonel Forbes has a daydream with his friend Colonel Harrington or not. But the conclusion surprises and is excellent. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Além da Imaginação: And When the Sky Was Opened" ("The Twilight Zone - And When the Sky Was Opened")
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