Twilight Zone: Season 4, Episode 6

Death Ship (7 Feb. 1963)
"The Twilight Zone" Death Ship (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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An interplanetary expedition from earth finds an exact duplicate of their ship and themselves crashed on the planet they were surveying. Should they stay or risk taking off and crashing?

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Title: Death Ship (07 Feb 1963)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Fred Beir ...
Lieutenant Carter (as Fredrick Beir)
Mary Webster ...
Ruth
Ross Elliott ...
Kramer
Sara Taft ...
Mrs. Nolan
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Storyline

In 1997, the spaceship E81 arrives at the 13th planet in star system 51. Their mission is to collect plant samples to take back to an overpopulated Earth so it can be determined if the planet could be colonized. What they find however is a crashed spaceship of Earth design. Inside the ship they three dead crew members - but the dead are their duplicates and the crashed vessel is the E81. The captain refuses to accept that they might be dead and explores several possibilities to explain what has happened including the theory that they may have time-traveled. The two crewmen hallucinate and come to believe they are already dead but the captain refuses to accept that and intends to prove that they are very much alive. Written by garykmcd

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7 February 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Some of the score was taken from Jerry Goldsmith's music used in Twilight Zone: Back There (1961). See more »

Goofs

The introduction to the show says that it is 1997 and the earth is over crowded. But when the crew members go back to their previous lives, the setting are all rather "normal" not over crowded. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Opening Narration] Picture of the spaceship E-89, cruising above the thirteenth planet in star system fifty-one, the year 1997. In a little while, supposedly, the ship will be landed and specimens taken, vegetable, mineral and, if any, animal. These will be brought back to overpopulated Earth, where technicians will evaluate them and, if everything is satisfactory, stamp their findings with the word 'inhabitable' and open up yet another planet for colonization. These are the things that are ...
[...]
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Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Twilight Zone #9 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captain Ahab Has Nothing on Jack Klugman
22 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a very familiar episode. It was written by Richard Matheson who always raised the Twilight Zone to a higher level. In it, a group of space travelers (using the same tired flying saucer that has appeared numerous time in Serling's offerings) land on a planet with a friendly atmosphere. There is tremendous tension among the three, Jack Klugman's Captain an ornery, inflexible autocrat. They are on an exploratory mission and it is natural for them to do this. Upon looking out on the landscape, they see a crashed saucer, an exact copy of the one they are on. Since it is safe for them to do so, they enter the ship, and are aghast to find exact duplicates of themselves, in various poses, all of them dead. Klugman refuses to listen to anything the others say. They are in shock and believe that they have actually died. The two shipmates actually experience a kind of out-of-body experience where they find themselves meeting people who have died in the past. They have also experienced evidence of their own deaths: a newspaper clipping and a funeral bulletin. They are shocked into returning to the ship. Suddenly, the prospect of remaining on the planet becomes unacceptable and this leads to action.

This is a nicely done episode. Jack Klugman's Captain is insufferable. It makes one wonder how these three haven't killed each other long before this. He sees the others as weak and whimpering.


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