The Twilight Zone: Season 4, Episode 16

On Thursday We Leave for Home (2 May 1963)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 605 users  
Reviews: 21 user

A human colony is rescued from a forsaken planet. But their leader is having a hard time accepting that things will change when they get back to Earth.



, (created by)
Watch Episode
0Check in

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

« Previous Episode | 118 of 156 Episodes | Next Episode »




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


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 them 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

2 May 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Buzz Kulik named the leader of the colony Captain William Benteen. This may have been an homage to Captain Fredrick William Benteen, one of Lieutenant Colonel Custer's officers at Little Big Horn. Captain Benteen is also mentioned in The Twilight Zone: The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms (1963). See more »


When Benteen and George are first at the electric panel, the mike keeps entering and exiting the picture's lower right-hand corner. See more »


Captain Benteen: Now listen to me. I want to tell you some things about the Earth that you haven't heard before. Things that are ugly. Things that are wrong. Things - that cannot be lived with. There is violence on Earth. There are hatreds! And jealousy! Now listen to me, listen to me and listen carefully. The Earth is a place we do not know. The Earth is a place we have never lived in. It is a society we do not belong in. If we leave here, we will die. We will *die*! We'll be committing suicide, if we go back ...
See more »


Edited from Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Excellent Twilight Zone episode
24 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Captain Benteen is a leader. He has led this group of "pioneers" leading a hard scrabble existence on a lonely, barren rock of a planet for 30 years, and tomorrow, a space ship is coming to take the forlorn group back to earth. All he has ever known is to be the leader of this group of 187. And when the ship comes, and everyone goes home and gets to live in freedom, what will happen to him then? This is the primary question brought up by this episode. How will Benteen deal with the loss of his authority and power? Will he be eager to lose his position as the leader of these people? Well, maybe this episode is a warning about what happens when power becomes ingrained.

This is one of the most effective and memorable Twilight Zone episodes. It still resonates with power and meaning today.

If this episode isn't an allegory for the dangers of totalitarianism, socialism or just those who think they know what's best for the rest of us, it ought to be.

29 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Thanksgiving v. New Years Marathon? Sitcom_Sally
Rip Van Winkle Caper hackraytex
"mini marathon" today (Thanksgiving) in L.A. extoetagger
Most moving episode? kr-1959
I Sing the Body Electric gasmaskproductionsbooks
This might be a good time to start the hotties of the TZ thread gary135r
Discuss On Thursday We Leave for Home (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: