The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
11 user 1 critic

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
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 »


Hanford: [at dinner] ... So what are your world views, Driscoll?
Paul Driscoll: ...I don't have any, Mr. Hanford.
Hanford: Of course you do, man. We ALL do! Like all this nonsense about giving the Indians land. What we need are twenty General Custers and a hundred thousand men! What we should have done is swept across the prairie, destroying every redskin that stood before us. After that, we should have planted the American flag deep, high and proud!
Abigail Sloan: I think the country is tired of fighting, Mr. Hanford. I think we were bled ...
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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

History Cannot Be Changed
3 November 2014 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Dana Andrews stars as a time-traveling scientist named Paul Driscoll who decides he can no longer stand his present, which he finds disappointing, so decides to alter three key events in history; first to warn Hiroshima victims that they are doomed, second to kill Adolph Hitler with a rifle, and third to prevent the sinking of the Lusitania, but all attempts fail, so Driscoll instead goes back to 1881 Indiana to settle down, but will yet again learn a most personal history lesson... Partially misguided drama wastes time on three futile attempts to change history(obvious padding) until the narrative picks up in Indiana, which is interesting and well-written, especially the dinner-time speech about planting one's flag. Uneven and overlong, but still entertaining.

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