The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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No Time Like the Past 

A scientist attempts to use a time machine to prevent tragedies, both in world history and in his own past.


(as Justus Addiss)


, (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Paul Driscoll
Abigail Sloan
Prof. Eliot
Robert Cornthwaite ...
Horn Player
C. Lindsay Workman ...
Bartender (as Lindsay Workman)
Mrs. Chamberlain
Tudor Owen ...
Captain of Lusitania
James Yagi ...
Japanese Police Captain
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (archive footage)


Paul Driscoll doesn't much like the way the 20th century has developed thus far and decides to go back in time to change mankind's future. He first travels to Hiroshima and tries to warn an English-speaking policeman of what is to come, but to no avail. He then travels to Nazi Germany and attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler but is thwarted when his rifle misfires. He then finds himself aboard the Lusitania but again is unable to convince the ship's captain to alter course before it is torpedoed. When he returns to the present, he agrees with his colleague Harvey that the past cannot be changed. He still doesn't like the present and so decides to back to July 1881 and live his life in the small town of Homeville, Indiana. Unfortunately he learns yet again that past events cannot be changed. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





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Release Date:

7 March 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Homeville County School was built in 1823 and was burned down on July 3, 1881. See more »


Paul goes back to 1881 wearing a modern suit, and when he gets there he is dressed in the clothes of the day. See more »


Narrator: [Opening Narration] Exit one Paul Driscoll, a creature of the twentieth century. He puts to a test a complicated theorem of space-time continuum, but he goes a step further - or tries to. Shortly, he will seek out three moments of the past in a desperate attempt to alter the present - one of the odd and fanciful functions in a shadowland known as the Twilight Zone.
See more »


Referenced in The Twilight Zone: Cradle of Darkness (2002) See more »


Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean
Written by David T. Shaw
Sung by the school children
See more »

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User Reviews

This Serling script is good - at times- but not at all times.
7 December 2013 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Paul Driscoll (Dana Andrews) is a time traveler who wants to leave the 20th century. He denounces humanity in his own time in a way that resembles Taylor the astronaut at the beginning of Planet Of The Apes (Serling scripted, of course). Driscoll then appears at different times earlier in the century, and of these only the 1939 scene works dramatically. Driscoll returns to 1963 saying he wants to live in the 19th century in a quiet place called Homeville (like Willoughby, Cliffordville etc). There, on the periphery of this story is the shooting of President Garfield. Some wise words about 'armchair warriors', and 'what a shrapnel wound feels like' ( Rod Serling suffered shrapnel wounds in WW11). Driscoll comes across potential love interest in school teacher Abigail (Patricia Breslin from Nick Of Time,series two).

Dana Andrews had a wonderful voice and I like hearing him delivering the pessimistic dialogue about the all consuming madness of war in men. The story however seems quite a bit rushed, which is a pity because some elements of this are very good.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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