Three astronauts touch down on an asteroid, where they discover a world of people that appear to be frozen in time. Confused, they theorize as to why everyone is motionless, until a man springs to life and explains.
In a far corner of the universe, a spaceship with three astronauts lands on a planet with gravity and air conditions virtually identical to that on Earth. Their surroundings appear as Earth did 200 years ago but the planet has two suns so they're fairly certain they didn't somehow end up back home. People however seem to be frozen in time. They eventually stumble upon Jeremy Wickwire, who is the caretaker for the locale. His explanation of what he is and where they are defies belief but in the end, he does grant them their wish. Written by
Their ship's instruments irreparably damaged, three astronauts from Earth are forced to land on an asteroid 655 million miles away from home. When they leave their craft, they are not only surprised to learn that the atmosphere is breathable and the gravity similar to Earth, but also that their new surroundings seem remarkably familiar. On searching the area, they discover a town similar to that of Earth from two hundred years ago, before the atomic war of 1985, complete with inhabitants who are seemingly trapped in time.
Elegy is one of my favourite episodes of Season One of The Twilight Zone for several reasons: Firstly, there is the puzzle to be solved: where is this strange place that they have landed? Why does it resemble Earth? How come nobody there can move? And who is the old man watching their every move?
Even more fun than the mystery is watching the extras to see how well they can remain perfectly still. With today's technology, this would be an easy effect to achieve, but back in the '50s it involved holding your breath and trying not to twitch or blink. Some of the extras manage it better than others.
Last but not least, there is the wonderfully ghoulish ending served with a huge helping of black humour and cynicism, all of which would seem more suited to a Tales from the Crypt story if it wasn't for the sci-fi setting. In short, an essential episode for fans of the macabre.
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