Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode 1

King Nine Will Not Return (30 Sep. 1960)
"The Twilight Zone" King Nine Will Not Return (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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Reviews: 14 user | 1 critic

A pilot of a downed WW II bomber comes to in the African desert and desperately tries to find out what happened to the rest of his crew.



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Title: King Nine Will Not Return (30 Sep 1960)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Capt. James Embry (as Bob Cummings)
Gene Lyons ...
Paul Lambert ...
Jenna McMahon ...


A USAF bomber pilot awakens in the desert, lying next to his downed B25 Mitchell. Capt. James Embry commanded the aircraft but has no memory of how he got there. More importantly to him, his crew is nowhere to be found. At one point, he even begins to wonder if he is hallucinating, especially after he sees one of his men momentarily sitting in the cockpit. When he awakens in a hospital bed he thinks it was all a dream but then wonders: did he really go back to the desert. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

30 September 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 1943 and 1960. See more »


When the Captain names the crew and their assigned tasks, he does not mention a bombardier, a vital crew member on a medium bomber. See more »


Narrator: [Opening Narration] This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead, and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning, she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in the wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
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User Reviews

The Twilight Zone's take on war...
25 June 2008 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Kind Nine Will Not Return is one of the Twilight episodes of the genuinely paranormal variety, where something happens which seems that it can't possibly have a rational explanation. Bob Cummings plays Cpt. James Embry, a World War II pilot who awakens in the desert next to the crashed remains of his plane, and his entire crew mysteriously disappeared into the vast desert. Sadly, the show commits that distinctly "twilight-zone" sin of having the lone character constantly calling into emptiness, looking for his lost crew members, in this case.

You may remember this from the show's pilot episode, "Where is Everybody?" where a Mike Ferris walked around a town basically having a conversation at the top of his voice with no one. In this episode, Embry is also calling repeatedly into the emptiness of the desert for his lost crew, at one point even squeezed into the back of the plane, still calling their names as though they had somehow managed to squeeze themselves into the cracks in the instrument panels. Isn't the back compartment of an airplane small enough so that you can pretty much see right away whether or not anyone else is in there with you? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and those planes are bigger than I think.

At any rate, this episode actually deals with much heavier material than many other twilight episodes, as it ultimately turns out to be a very real depiction of some of the effects that many soldiers and military personnel suffer after being involved in conflicts.

As it turns out, Embry (played by Cummings, who has very real military experience himself, as does Serling) has a very real reasons for experiencing what he experiences in the show, and a very real and very revealing reason is given for what happens to him in the show. Much more moving than your typical twilight episode...

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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