The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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Nick of Time 

A pair of newlyweds stopping in a small town are trapped by their own superstition when playing a fortune telling machine in a local diner.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Desperate Man
Dee Carroll ...
Desperate Woman


Don and Pat Carter are on their honeymoon when their car breaks down in the small town of Ridgeview, Ohio. They have a few hours to spare while their car is being repaired and spend time in the diner. There they find a fortune-telling machine, a game where you can ask a question and for a penny will spit out an innocuous answer. When the machine apparently begins to predict events - Don's promotion at work, a near accident on the street outside - a superstitious Don becomes infatuated with the device threatening his marriage and his future with Pat. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

18 November 1960 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first "TZ" episode to feature a future Star Trek (1966) regular, in this case William Shatner. James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy, and George Takei later all had guest appearances on the Twilight Zone, albeit none of them in the same episode. See more »


Don puts two pennies, not one, into the fortune telling machine before asking the question, "Is it really going to be four hours before we're going to get out of here?" See more »


Narrator: [Opening Narration] The hand belongs to Mr. Don S. Carter, male member of a honeymoon team on route across the Ohio countryside to New York City. In one moment, they will be subjected to a gift most humans never receive in a lifetime. For one penny, they will be able to look into the future. The time is now, the place is a little diner in Ridgeview, Ohio, and what this young couple doesn't realize is that this town happens to lie on the outskirts of the Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in The Twilight Zone: The Path (2003) See more »


American Patrol
Written by F.W. Meacham
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User Reviews

Beam Me Up, Scotty!
13 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

William Shatner, a superstitious man, and his new bride are forced to spend some time when their Ford needs a new water pump. They go to a hole in the wall diner and order lunch. They notice there is a fortune telling machine on the table. It has a little bobble head devil on top. For a penny, they can ask questions. The answers are like those from the old Magic 8 Ball. Inconclusive, yes or no answers. As Shatner asks questions and there seems to be an inkling of truth in them, he begins to smolder and obsess. His wife does what she can to get him to stop, but he continues. They even return to ask more questions. His own base superstition takes over. This is a lightweight episode but it does keep one in suspense and the conclusion is fairly satisfying.

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