Twilight Zone: Season 4, Episode 16

On Thursday We Leave for Home (2 May 1963)
"The Twilight Zone" On Thursday We Leave for Home (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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Space colonists from Pilgrim I, Earth's first spaceship to colonize the outer regions, have spent 30 years in their new home. It's a lonely barren place and they are waiting for a ship from... See full summary »

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Title: On Thursday We Leave for Home (02 May 1963)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Colonel Sloane
...
Al
...
George
Jo Helton ...
Julie
Mercedes Shirley ...
Joan
Russ Bender ...
Hank
Danny Kulick ...
Jo-Jo (as Daniel Kulick)
Madge Kennedy ...
Colonist
John Ward ...
Colonist
Shirley O'Hara ...
Colonist
Tony Benson ...
Colonist (as Anthony Benson)
Lew Gallo ...
Lt. Engle
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Storyline

Space colonists from Pilgrim I, Earth's first spaceship to colonize the outer regions, have spent 30 years in their new home. It's a lonely barren place and they are waiting for a ship from to arrive to transport them home. Some of the colonists are at their wits end and another one, the 9th in six months, commits suicide. They are led by William Benteen, who they call Captain, a tough no-nonsense type who does his best to keep the together. They rejoice when the ship arrives and are given three days to prepare for their departure. As the day approaches however, Benteen assumes the community will stay together on Earth. When he realizes that most in the community will go their own way once they get home, he decides they should stay. When the group decides otherwise, Benteen is left with only one option. Written by garykmcd

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2 May 1963 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the rescue ship from Earth arrives, several colonists ask about various places on Earth during a meeting between the ship's crew and the colonists. One of the questions is about the Finger Lake District of New York. This area had a special significance to script writer Rod Serling. It is located close to his home town of Binghamton, he and his family vacationed there frequently, and Serling named his company that produced "The Twilight Zone," Cayuga Productions, after one of the lakes. He later taught at Ithaca College for the last five years before his death. See more »

Goofs

During one of his monologues, Captain Benteen talks about the planet never experiencing night due to the presence of two suns. For this geometry to be true, the suns would have to be on opposite sides of the planet, yet they are clearly close together in the sky. This would actually leave night across the opposing hemisphere of the planet's surface. See more »

Quotes

Captain Benteen: [addressing colonists who are no longer there] Well, my friends - any business to transact today? No business?
[fondly]
Captain Benteen: Jo-Jo. Jo-Jo. Nothing from you today? Don't you want me to tell you about the Earth, Jo-Jo? Don't you want to hear about the rivers and the seas, the blue skies in the night? The stars and the moon? Don't you want to hear about all those things today?
[outside, the Galaxy 6 begins blasting off]
Captain Benteen: There's color on the Earth, Jo-Jo. The change of the seasons. The wind. The wind ...
[...]
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Connections

Edited from Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lost in His Own Mind
19 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brian Jones founded the Rolling Stones. Once Mick Jagger and Keith Richards outshone him, he lost the will to live. At least that's how the story goes. James Whitmore's Captain Benteen is truly a saint. He has taken a group of misfit pilgrims on a fated voyage from earth and inspired them to stay alive. He uses strength and compassion or whatever it takes to allow them to survive. He also invokes his religion. His greatest ally, however, is the continuing promise of their returning to earth ("a spaceship is on its way"). He even leads them in chants that gird their courage. Then one day, the promised ship actually appears with a group of impressive astronauts who have come to take them back. Unfortunately for Benteen, he is quickly replaced in the adoration of his "subjects" by these young men. Of course, what happens next is obvious. The Captain begins to see himself as an actual messiah. There is a pathetic scene where he begins to pound at one of the standards of the space ship (actually a flying saucer) with a piece of petal. We see him sweating and grimacing as his kingdom comes undone. In addition to the obvious moral implications at work here, the greatest asset of this episode is the acting of James Whitmore. He never quite got his due as an actor, but almost every time he was on screen he did an admirable job. This is one of the more memorable of the Zone offerings.


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